Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 26, 1956

The Ground For Absolute Safety

David Lipscomb

The great source of division and strife in the religious world is the unwillingness of men to be satisfied with the approved appointments of God. They claim the right to add to, to modify, to supplement with their own devices and inventions. They claim that "what is not forbidden in the scriptures is allowable." They seek and advocate and establish what is not forbidden instead of seeking and maintaining what is authorized and approved. A diligent study of the scriptures would surely satisfy all that the scriptures tie man to what is ordained, commanded, approved in the Bible. "Every plant which my Heavenly Father planted not, shall be rooted up." (Matt. 15:13.) "In vain do they worship me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men." (Matt. 15:9.) The context of this passage shows plainly that the Savior meant not only that the worship offered through the precepts of men was offered in vain, but that all worship, even that which God commanded and which is presented through His appointments, is vain so long as the worshipper is teaching and holding as doctrines the precepts of men. The traditions of the elders could not be added to the commandments of God without vitiating the service rendered in obedience to the commandments of God. It is an assertion emphatic that God accepts no divided fealty. Man can add nothing to the appointments of God without nullifying and destroying them. He then adds: "Every plant which my Heavenly Father planted not, shall be rooted up." Every thought, every institution, every organization which does not have God for its author shall be destroyed. God's power is in God's institutions. God will be served only in his own appointments and bestow His blessings upon His children as they walk in His institutions and use His approved instrumentalities. He is a jealous God. His institutions are not only to be preserved pure, but his children can rely upon none other that his. No additions can we make to them. "Who hath required this at your hands?" will be a question of as fearful import at the last day as the charge: "You have neglected my commandments and forsaken my paths." It was as great a sin in David to put on Saul's armor as to fail to use the sling and stones.

But to close. It is not concerning things that are commanded or approved in the Bible that controversy and divisions exist. On these believers in the Bible are agreed. If Christians will just confine their faith and practice to the things written, approved, and required in the Bible, they will require no other efforts at union; they cannot separate. The only cure for division is to add nothing to the things revealed and approved in the Bible. He who adds another point to the faith or another institution or another addition to the appointments of God either to its government, mode of operation, or worship, than that revealed in the Bible, introduces questions that necessarily gender strife, destroy the unity of the body of Christ, and himself falls under the law of heresy. We should seek not the things that are not forbidden, but we should seek for that which is revealed, commanded, approved in the book of God. All therein is sealed by the blood of Christ and is vested with the power of God; all else is without that blood and possesses only human efficacy. The Bible is at once the guide and limit of the faith and actions of the Christian.