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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Seek The Old Paths

The Old Testament contains a history of God's people and a record of their relationship with him. In Romans 15:4, Paul tells us "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." We only have to read the Book of Jeremiah to realize the reputation that the children of Israel had in their religion.(Jeremiah 6:16-21; 8:7,9; 13:10; 16:11-12; 18:15; 22:21; 23:22-23; 25:8-9) They did not listen. They did not obey. The result was the destruction of their nation and the captivity that followed.
God gave the following message through Jeremiah. Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk ye therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein." (Jeremiah 6:16) The directive given here would be good for us to heed today. But too many "religious" people are giving the same response that the people of Israel gave. "We will not walk therein." Man's attitude of rebellion against God still exists. Religious people practice things of their own invention with no regard for what God desires. God never gave us the liberty to do as we please without consequences. In matters of faith, He established His way. My way is not acceptable. We learn this in
Leviticus 10:1-2. "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord." God expects obedience.
God sent His son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. With Jesus death on the cross, He established the church, and provided the atonement for our sins. The New Testament (written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) is the authority in matters of faith. It tells us the plan of salvation, what God expects in worship, the pattern for church government and organization of the church, and provides many other practical and doctrinal teachings. The church in the 21st century should be identical to the church of the 1st century if it is to be the church we read about in the New Testament.
Modern man needs to return to the teaching of the Bible. We need to listen to the will of God and we need to be obedient to God. Anything less is not enough and anything more is too much. "Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up." We need to make a choice and take a stand. We need to return to the ancient paths or the old paths. Compromise in matters of faith is not pleasing to God. God expects obedience in matters of faith. In matters of faith, we need to have unity, in matters of opinion let there be liberty, in all things, love. Let's go back to the Bible and begin to seek the old paths.




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