The best way to truly move forward spiritually is to properly go back to the Bible! There is an old statement about Christianity that constantly rings true: “If it is new, it is not true and if it is true, it is not new.” In last week’s article we noted how important it is to seek to be undenominational. We are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10), and in His inspired word we find everything we need for knowing what’s right (doctrine), what’s not right (reproof), how to get right (correction) and how to stay right (instruction in righteousness) so that we can be the people God desires His children to be (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
However, it is not enough to seek to be undenominational; it’s not enough to believe that denominationalism is wrong based upon the New Testament. If this is what one practices, all one is doing is being against error (important as that is). Being pro-restoration lets others know what we are for, and is a crucial though sometimes neglected aspect of Christianity. The idea of being pro-restoration is simple: it involves seeking to go back to the pure teaching of the New Testament as revealed by the Holy Spirit so that in all things, including our beliefs, actions and attitudes, we live in a way that greatly respects the system of faith given by God Himself. The spirit of restoration involves “bringing back to an original state,” and in this case has to do with going all the way back to the pristine beauty of God’s will revealed in the New Testament. The Restoration Plea has to do with getting back to God’s original plan and gives us a sense of direction and unity. This is what we’re for and must ever be emphasized (cf. Ephesians 4:1-6).
Consider what wicked Jeroboam did in the Old Testament in 1 Kings 12 as an example. He changed the object of worship, the place of worship, the priesthood and even the time / day (12:25-33). This eventually led to God “giving up” on the ten tribes “because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he sinned and made Israel to sin” (1 Kings 14:16). It is interesting to contemplate how this also occurred with the gospel and was predicted in the New Testament (cf. Acts 20:29-31; 1 Timothy 4:1).
The early Christians “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42). As a consequence of this, those who believed “were of one heart and soul” (Acts 4:32). Is this not possible and desirable today?
There is such a thing as a New Testament pattern to which we should conform (cf. Romans 6:17-18; 16:17; 2 Timothy 1:13). There is such a thing as healthy teaching (1 Timothy 6:3-5). Bold, patient proclamation of the gospel is the only way for people to have the light of Jesus in this dark world. And may our love for God, for souls and for God’s word ever be evident by the way we act and speak! (cf. 1 Peter 4:11; John 13:34-35).