Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
NUMBER 39, PAGE 2,10a

Authority In Religion - (No. 2)

Asa M. Plyler

In our former article we pointed out that we, as the people of God, must have everything that we teach and practice spelled out for us in the Bible. If this is not true, we have played the ugliest role of all for more than a hundred years. If this is not true, our fight for a "thus saith the Lord" has been all in vain and without cause. Everything that we have taught as being distinctive is useless and untrue; we have harassed the religious world with thousands of public debates which have been without reason, right, or justification. And we have built up another denomination in the land — a denomination that has no right to exist!

Insofar as human wisdom goes, the land is filled with human doctrines that are a thousand times better than ours — if we do not need Bible authority for all that we do. If this is not true, we have given birth to doctrines and built up a cause that is a curse to the human race.

God gave us the Bible as a "guide-book" to lead us through this world and finally Into Heaven The happiest man in the world is that man who is following the "book divine," and who can give chapter and verse for all that he teaches and practices. Let us notice how easy it is to give Bible authority for what we do in the service of God.


It is no trouble at all to show that faith is a prerequisite of salvation. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mark 16:16) "Believe on the lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16:31) "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." (John 8:24) "Therefore being justified by faith we have peace, with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom. 5:1) "For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Heb. 11:6)


In like manner the Book shows that repentance is demanded. "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3) "Repent and be baptized every one of you, for the remission of sins " (Acts 2:38) "Then hath God to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." (Acts 11:18) "But now commandeth all men everywhere to repent." (Acts 17:30)


But what does the Book say about confessing Christ? Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my father who is in heaven." (Matt. 10:32) "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Rom. 10:10) "If thou believest with all thine heart thou mayest; and he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts 8:37) "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." (Rom. 14:11)


Do I have Bible authority for believing and teaching that baptism to a penitent believer is necessary for the remission of past sins? "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mark 18:18) "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38) "And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:18) "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us; not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God." (1 Pet. 3:21)

Bible Authority?

Now, can the man who teaches a system of religion in which men are asked to come to a mourner's bench and "pray through" give any Bible authority for that? Yes? Where? We have heard men teach that the sinner should "pray on till God answers and speaks peace to the soul"; but can they show chapter and verse for such things?

We are never insulted when any honest person asks for "Bible authority, please!" for the things which we teach and practice. Nothing in the world gives us more pleasure than for an honest and sincere man to ask such a question. Such a question causes the gospel preacher to "come alive" with interest and enthusiasm. Dozens of passages come rushing into his mind and fill his heart with sympathy for the man who asks for God's truth on such matters. It never occurs to any minister of Christ to call such an enquirer an idiot, a crank, a hobby-rider, or "anti" religious! He is only too happy to fill this man with Bible passages for him to read and study.

Lord's Day Worship

Let us notice further the teaching of those who seek to be "Christians only." We teach and practice that the saints of God are to meet upon the first day of the week to commemorate the resurrection of our Lord. We observe on that day the Lord's supper. Now where is "Bible authority" for such practice and teaching? "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples and said, take eat; this ls my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matt. 26:26-28) Luke gives the story in these words: And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me." (Luke 22.19) "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and continued his speech until midnight." (Acts 20:7) "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." (1 Cor. 16:2) "Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching." (Heb. 10:25)

The Contribution

Do we have "Bible authority" for the contribution? See the verse just quoted above. Who denies that there must be funds to carry on the work of the Lord? "Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple, and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." (1 Cor. 9:13-14) "Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things." (Gal. 6:6) "It hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily, and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty it is also to minister unto them in carnal things." (Rom. 15:26, 27)

Every faithful gospel preacher of the land contends with all his might that we mus live godly lives here in this world. "The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, and righteously, and godly in this present world." (Titus 2:11,12) "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:20) "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ." (Phil. 1:27)

We contend that it is a Christian duty, as well as a work of the church, to help the poor in their needs, and afflictions. "And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." (Acts 2:45) "Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea, which also they did sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul." (Acts 11:29, 30)

For all these things, and for all that we do in religion, we can cite "Bible authority." How about the things that you believe and teach and practice?

— Parrish, Alabama