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FOLLOWING THE BIBLICAL PATTERN (1)
Victor M. Eskew
A. How would you like to
1. Put together a 2000 piece puzzle with no box top?
2. Put together a child’s gym with no instructions?
3. Learn to fly a jet with no manual?
4. Build your dream home with no house plans?
B. The result of each of the above scenarios would be that each person would do what is right in his own eyes.
C. Let’s carry this thinking into the spiritual realm.
1. What if there were no pattern, no plans, no guidelines, no instructions for anything regarding the home, the church, salvation, worship, or the Christian life?
2. What we would have is every person doing what is right in his own eyes.
3. We have seen this type of action many times in the past.
a. In the days of the judges (Judg. 17:6; 21:25)
b. In the days of Jeroboam (I Kings 12:25-33)
c. In the days of the Gentiles (Rom. 1:18-32)
D. Our lesson is entitled: “Following the New Testament Pattern.” In this lesson, we will be discussing what some refer to as “pattern theology.” We will assert that we must follow the Biblical pattern.
I. SOME DESPISE PATTERN THEOLOGY
1. “The germ that seems to be the culprit of division within the Churches of Christ is pattern theology associated with a so-called worship service carried out on Sunday morning” (www.freedominchrist.net, “Oddities in Pattern Theology,” Dallas Burdette).
2. “If we were to take detailed pattern theology seriously, then we would soon find ourselves in the midst of chaos” (www.kevinpendergrass.com, “When Patterns Become Abstract,” Kevin Pendergrass).
3. “While we see ‘pattern’ as something that makes the whole congregation spiritually and emotionally ill, it is probably true that these patterns have long ago abandoned the Bible as the model for teaching text and song” (Lovelines, Rubel Shelly as quoted from www.piney.com/WinPattern.html).
B. Why do they despise pattern theology? They want to be able to do what is right in their own eyes: children’s church, praise teams, Lord’s Supper take on any day of the week, celebration of “holy days,” instrumental music in worship, expand the role of women in leadership positions in the church, fellowship with denominations, and a host of other practices.
II. THREE QUESTIONS FOR THOSE WHO OPPOSE PATTERN THEOLOGY
A. If a person rejects the New Testament as a pattern, how does one determine what is to be done, or, not to be done religiously?
1. Example: Jesus said: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God…” (Matt. 4:10).
a. Worship is a command.
b. How is it supposed to be carried out? What are we supposed to do in order to worship God?
2. Example: Jesus said: “Upon this rock I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18).
a. Jesus built a church.
b. What did it look like back then?
c. What is it supposed to look like today?
B. If you practice something religiously, how do you determine that is “must” be done?
1. Do you assemble on the first day of the week to worship? How do you know this must be done?
2. Do you use unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine on the Lord’s Table? How do you know this must be done?
C. How can you teach against the need for a pattern when the Bible clearly reveals the need for patterns?
III. PATTERNS CAN BE FOUND IN EVERY BIBLICAL AGE
A. Patriarchal Age: the ark was built according to a pattern (Gen. 6:14-16)
Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make to the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof: with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.
B. Mosaic Age: the tabernacle (Exo. 25:9)
According to all that I have shewed thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
C. The Christian Age: the church (Heb. 8:5)
Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed thee in the mount.
1. God gave Moses a pattern for the tabernacle.
2. The Old Testament tabernacle was a shadow of the heavenly tabernacle to come under the New Covenant.
3. The spiritual tabernacle is “better” than the physical tabernacle constructed by Moses.
4. Was God more concerned about how the OT tabernacle was constructed than He was about the construction of the NT tabernacle? Surely not!
IV. PATTERN THEOLOGY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT – NT WORDS
A. There are six English words to study.
1. Example used 11 times 4 Greek words
a. John 13:15 (5262)
b. I Timothy 4:12 (5179)
c. Hebrews 4:11 (5262)
d. Hebrews 8:5 (5262)
e. James 5:10 (5262)
f. I Peter 2:21 (5261)
g. Jude 1:7 (1164)
h. I Corinthians 10:6 (5179)
i. I Corinthians 10:11 (5179)
j. I Peter 5:3 (5179)
k. I Thessalonians 1:7 (5179)
2. Figure used 6 times 3 Greek words
a. Romans 5:14 (5179)
b. I Corinthians 4:6 (3345)
c. Hebrews 9:9 (3850)
d. Hebrews 11:19 (3850)
e. Hebrews 9:24 (499)
f. I Peter 3:21 (499)
3. Pattern used 4 times 3 Greek words
a. I Timothy 1:16 (5296)
b. Titus 2:7 (5179)
c. Hebrews 8:5 (5179)
d. Hebrews 9:23 (5262)
4. Shadow used 3 times 1 Greek word
a. Colossians 2:7 (4639)
b. Hebrews 8:5 (4639)
c. Hebrews 10:1 (4639)
5. Form used 2 times 2 Greek words
a. Romans 6:17 (5179)
b. II Timothy 1:13 (5296)
6. Likeness used 1 time 1 Greek word
a. Romans 6:5 (3667)
B. As we study the concept of “patterns” in the New Testament, we would need to look at ten different Greek words.
1. Antitupos (499): I Peter 3:21; Hebrews 9:24
2. Deigma (1164): Jude 7
3. Metaschematizo (3345): I Corinthians 4:6
4. Homoioma (3667): Romans 6:5
5. Parabole (3850): Hebrews 9:9; 11:19
6. Skia (4639): Colossians 2:7; Hebrews 8:5; 10:1
7. Tupos (5179): Romans 5:17; 6:17; I Timothy 4:12; I Corinthians 10:6, 11; I Thessalonians 1:7; I Peter 5:3; Titus 2:7; Hebrews 8:5
8. Hupogrammos (5261): I Peter 2:21
9. Hupodeigma (5262): John 13:15; Hebrews 4:11; 8:5; James 5:10; Hebrews 9:23
10. Hupotuposis (5296): II Timothy 1:13; I Timothy 1:16
A. There is no denying that religious patterns and examples are extremely important. If not, the New Testament would not devote so much attention to them.
B. In our next lesson, we will examine some verses about patterns and look at some patterns that we must make application of in our lives.