"MAKE ALL THINGS ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN"
Text: Hebrews 8:5
1. The idea of a pattern is known to all of us. Teachers use lesson plans, carpenters us a blueprint, coaches devise a game plan, seamstresses use patterns. In legal matters, a will is a pattern devised by its maker and the executors and heirs must view the will as a binding, unalterable pattern. In spiritual matters, the New Testament is the Will of Christ and is to be viewed as an unalterable pattern for all of mankind to follow.
2. Previous lessons demonstrated that God does not want us to add to nor to take from His word, (Deut.4:2; 12:32; Rev.22:18,19). He does not want His people to deviate in any way from what He has said, (Joshua 1:7-9; 2 John 9; and Jude 3). His word furnishes us completely unto every good work, (2 Tim. 3:16,17). We to speak as the oracles of God, (1 Peter 4:11). This is the language we would expect when talking about a pattern.
I. IN EVERY AGE GOD HAS SET FORTH A PATTERN FOR HIS PEOPLE.
A. In the time before Moses' Law, God had a pattern or plan of action He expected Adam and Eve to follow, (Genesis 2:16,17). Noah was to construct the ark according to a God-given plan, (Genesis 6:14-16).
B. Under the Law of Moses, God spake to Moses saying, "According to all that I show thee, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the furniture thereof, even so shall ye make it," (Exodus 25:9).
C. Today, under the New Testament, the writer of the book of Hebrews (8:5) emphasized the fact that Moses was given a pattern (tupos) to illustrate that God has a plan or pattern we are to follow today. Paul told Timothy (2 Timothy 1:13) to "Hold the pattern (hupotuposin) of sound words which thou has heard from me..." Yes, God has a pattern for us to follow.
II. ALL THAT GOD HAS SPOKEN ON A GIVEN SUBJECT CONSTITUTES HIS WILL OR PATTERN.
A. If we give a builder a blueprint or pattern we do not want him to omit parts of it as he constructed a house for us. Likewise, we must not omit the teaching of any passage if we are to have all of the pattern. Paul declared the "whole counsel of God," (Acts 20:27).
B. Sometimes people say that they become confused when teachers and preachers skip about in the bible citing a passage from one book and then from another. The reason this is sometimes done is that God has spoken about a specific subject in various places in His Word.For example, a plumber may have to look at several different pages of a blueprint in order to know the entire plumbing plan. Likewise, we must gather all passages relating to the topic under consideration in order to obtain the entire pattern. Of course, each passage must be studied in context and properly handled or rightly divided, (2 Tim.2:15).
III. GOD HAS A PATTERN REGARDING OUR RELATIONSHIP TO OTHERS. Matthew 7:12 is a summary statement of this pattern but let us look at some of the specifics concerning:
A. other nationalities (Acts 10:34; Gal.3:28)
B. enemies ( Matt.5:43,44)
C. economic differences among people (James 2:2)
D. family relationships (Col.3:18-21; Matthew 10:35-37)
E. employer-employee relationships (Col.3:22-4:1)
F. brethren who have been withdrawn from (2Thess.3:6,14,15)
G. all of our brethren (John 13:35; 1 Peter 1:22; 3:8ff)
IV. GOD HAS A PATTERN REGARDING HOW TO OBTAIN FORGIVENESS OF SINS. Luke 24:47 and Acts 2:38 illustrate this pattern in action. The pattern is silent on being saved by faith only, grace only, having a good feeling in your heart, etc. Case after case is given to show how to be saved (Acts 2,8,16,18,etc.)
V. GOD HAS A PATTERN REGARDING CONGREGATIONAL WORSHIP He expects us to worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23,24) We are sing spiritual songs (Eph.5:19), pray through Christ, our Mediator (1 Tim.2:5), observe the Lord's Supper every first day of the week (Acts 20:7) and give as we have been prospered (1 Cor.16:1,2).
VI. GOD HAS A PATTERN CONCERNING THE WORK HE WANTS THE CHURCH TO DO.
A. Evangelize (Phil.4:15,16)--The congregation directly supports evangelists. A sponsoring church arrangements or a missionary society cannot be found in the pattern.
B. Care for needy members (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Tim.5:16)--The pattern says nothing of churches supporting from their treasuries benevolent corporations.
C. Edify each other (Acts 20:28; 1 Tim.5:17; Eph.4:16)--Nothing in the pattern authorizes the church from its treasury to make donations to educational institutions.
D. The pattern does not authorize the church to support social, recreational, and political activities.
Conclusion: "One of the great delusions of modern worshippers is the fallacy that there is no pattern, actually, and that it makes no difference what men do religiously, just so they are sincere in it; but this text reveals God as a pattern-minded God," (Burton Coffman on Hebrews 8:5).
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