Walking By Faith
Christians have both the obligation and privilege to walk by faith. Paul said, "We walk by faith, not by sight." (II Corinthians 5:7) All things done by Christians must be done "in the name of the Lord Jesus" or "by His authority." "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Colossians 3:17) The Bible is the standard of faith for the Christian. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17) Christians must have a deep respect for Bible authority in all religious matters. Everything done by Christians must be authorized by the New Testament. Living only by things authorized in the New Testament is what it means to walk by faith.
God authorizes by direct statement: Mark authorizes both belief and baptism as conditions of salvation. "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark ) Colossians 3:1-2 authorizes seeking heavenly things. "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." Ephesians authorizes singing from the heart without mechanical instruments of music. "Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord," Many direct statements in the Bible make it possible for Christians to "walk by faith."
God authorizes by example: Christians are commanded to observe the Lord's Supper. "And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me. In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." (I Corinthians 11:24-25) In churches of Christ we follow their Bible example.
Both by precept and example Christians are instructed to observe the Lord's Supper every Sunday. (Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:2) You may observe it in an upper room, but that is optional, not binding, as one may observe by studying the several passages concerning communion. Christians are also commanded to give. (II Corinthians 8 & 9) By example we are taught to give on the first day of the week. (I Corinthians 16:1-2) Many inspired examples in the New Testament make it possible for Christians to "walk by faith."
God authorizes by inference: An example of inference is in the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. The Bible teaches that Saul was baptized. It says nothing of his repentance. But, all Bible students know he repented. God commanded that all that would become Christians must repent. "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent." (Acts )
God commanded communion. Involved in the command is the authority to purchase or provide the items necessary for communion and for serving communion. Many inferences in the Bible make it possible for God’s children to "walk by faith."
God authorizes by expediency: Every thing God commands involves expediency. God commanded singing. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16) The song book is expedient to that part of worship. An instrument is not an expediency; rather it adds another type of music. It is an addition to what God has commanded. We are warned strongly that we must not add to or take from. (Revelation 22:18-19)
God commanded worship. He said that we are not to forsake “the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25) The place is an expedient. You might rent a place to conduct worship or the church might own a place to conduct worship, whichever would be most expedient.
Christians can know God and have eternal life. "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:3) Knowing and obeying truth is possible. "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32) Thank God we can "know" how to go to heaven!