Matters Of Faith Matter
If you are seriously ill and need a doctor would you say, "Oh, just any doctor, it does not matter who?" If you need medicine, is one as good as another? Does which medicine you take matter? If you are reading a book, is one as good as another? Does which book you read matter? If you are looking for a wife, does it matter which woman you choose? If you are buying a car, does it matter which one you buy? Do matters of faith matter when it comes to our service of God? Matters of faith matter. They matter so much that concerning matters of faith the Bible says, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." (1 Corinthians 1:10) Concerning matters of judgment or opinion we will never agree. Concerning those matters there must be love and acceptance. However, concerning matter of faith, matters of faith matter. When matters of faith are involved we must speak the same thing, and be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
The truth that there is one God is a matter of faith and matters of faith matter. There is a God in Heaven. The first words of the Bible say, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) Is one God as good as another? The God of the Bible built or made all things. "For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God." (Hebrews 3:4) The heavens declare God's glory. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork." (Psalm 19:1) There is no God like the God of the Bible!
The truth that the Bible is God's revelation to man is a matter of faith and matters of faith matter. The Bible was written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:20-21) The apostles were guided into all truth. "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." (John 16:13) The message Paul and the other apostles spoke and wrote came by revelations. "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:11-12) Jesus promised, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." (Matthew 24:35) Since this promise is certain, is one book as good as another? It is a matter of faith that the Bible is God's word and matters of faith matter.
The truth that Jesus is our sin sacrifice is a matter of faith and matters of faith matter. Animals were sacrificed in Old Testament times to the God of Heaven. Daily sacrifices are made to gods around the world. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice. His substitutionary death for our sins is the greatest fact of all times. "Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you -- unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) Jesus Christ suffered sin's penalty in man's place. There is no sacrifice to compare with the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins!
The truth that there is one church is a matter of faith and matters of faith matter. Jesus promised to build His church. "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18) All the saved are added to this "one church." "Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." (Acts 2:47) The church is those people called out of sin and called into God through Jesus. There is no church like the church of the Bible.
The truth that there is one faith is a matter of faith and matters of faith matter. God's plan included only one faith. "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." (Ephesians 4:5) This one faith is produced by all speaking the same thing. Hear again these simple and easy to be understood words, "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." (1 Corinthians 1:10) One faith is not as good as another. Jude said Christian must, "...contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude 3) Even in a tradition bound world it is possible to be a Christian only because there is one faith.
The truth that there is one way to worship God is a matter of faith and matters of faith matter. Acceptable worship is in spirit and in truth. "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:23-24) The early church worshipped on the first day of the week. (Acts 20:7) Their worship was simple: (1) Singing, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:19), (2) Praying, "Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18) (3) Communion, "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) (4) Giving, "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 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 Corinthians 16:1-2), and (5) Preaching, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42) Scriptural and acceptable worship is from the heart and according to the New Testament pattern.
The truth that names are important is a matter of faith and matters of faith matter. The Bible says, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) The first century Christians were Christians only. We should wear only the name of our crucified Savior. "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter." (1 Peter 4:15-16) There is no name like a Bible name both for the church and its members!
The truth that God has a plan of salvation is a matter of faith and matters of faith matter. Can we pray the sinner's prayer for salvation? Or must we believe in Jesus, "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." (John 8:24), repent of sins, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent." (Acts 17:30), confess the name of Jesus, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized into Christ to wash away sins. "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16) Those who accept the wonderful news that Jesus died for our sins should repent and be baptized to be saved. "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38) Please choose to be saved in Christ instead of following some plan that will not save?
There are many things that are matters of faith and matters of faith matter. Is one as good as another or do matters of faith matter? Is there any god like the God of the Bible? Is one baptism just as good as another or do matters of faith matter? Is one church or one doctrine just as good as another or do matters of faith matter? Our only hope is salvation in Christ. Are you in Christ?
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA