What truths do we find in Romanism and how do we apply them?
1) While the church cannot determine what makes up the “Canon of Scripture” the church has a responsibility to proclaim the scriptures as revealed by God
As Christians we need to submit ourselves to the authority of the Scriptures and not submit the Scriptures to our authority. One way we do this is by proclaiming the truth of the word of God to the entire world. As Paul states, we must:
“Preach the word; be ready in season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.” – 2 Timothy 4:2
2) In recognizing that Scripture cannot be understood apart from the indwelling Holy Spirit, the church has a responsibility to encourage believers to prayerfully and carefully study.
We have a responsibility to study ourselves and to encourage others to do the same. Paul instructs clearly in 2 Timothy 2:15 that we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God. Knowing that God has revealed Himself to us through His word should encourage us to strive to know Him better and the only way we can do that is through study, prayer, and worship.
3) While we recognize that the Church is not “Supreme”, we must recognize the authority of the Church in training and discipline in our lives.
While we know and recognize that God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us in knowledge and wisdom, we also recognize that God has indeed placed His servants in positions of authority over us and has called us to submit to those in authority in His Church. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:7,17)
Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith. – Hebrews 13:7
Obey your leaders and submit to them, since they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. – Hebrews 13:17
God has also instructed His church to make disciples throughout the New Testament. That instruction must be taken two-fold:
- The church is responsible for teaching and training members in the word of God.
- The member is responsible to follow instruction of the leaders who are discipling them and training them to be a co-servant.
The idea of bringing new converts into the fold to simply exist has long been a problem and we, as believers in Christ, need to take a stand for training and growing fellow workers in the fields rather than counting how many seats we can fill.