Sometimes there are things that we may do that are good and noble but when tested against Scripture, we find that it is silent. Some examples might be the lighting of candles, saying a canned prayer, or inventing a tradition or holiday. These things might be done with good intentions and even in Jesus’ name…but if the Scriptures are silent on it, then are we really honoring Jesus? Can we really claim it is by His authority?
We must speak (and therefore do) what God has instructed us to do in His Word.
1 Peter 4:11 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Our words and actions must be in the name (i.e. by the authority) of Jesus; therefore we only have authority for the things revealed in God’s Word.
Col 3:17 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
We cannot think beyond what is written; therefore we cannot do anything that has not been authorized in God’s Word.
1 Cor 4:6 6Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.
We cannot add or subtract from God’s Word; therefore we cannot do anything that has not been authorized in God’s Word.
Rev 22:18-19 18I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
Men understood that silence is not authoritative. The apostles and elders wrote a letter to the Gentiles stating that the false teaching regarding keeping of the Mosaic Law had not come from them. This was evidenced by the fact that they had given “no such commandment” – i.e. they had been silent.
Acts 15:24 24We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.
A few more examples:
Noah obeyed by faith and built the ark. (Heb 11:7) If he would have done things not authorized in God’s command, he would not have obeyed by faith.
Moses obeyed by faith and kept the Passover (Heb 11:28). If he would not have done things not authorized in God’s command, he would not have obeyed by faith.
God was silent regarding striking the rock (Num 20:7-12). When Moses struck the rock, he transgressed God’s command (silence) and was punished.
God was silent regarding moving the ark on a cart and a person touching it to keep it from falling off the cart (1 Ch. 13:9-10). When Uzzah touched the ark, he transgressed God’s command (silence) and was punished.
God was silent regarding Saul offering the sacrifice (1 Sam. 13:1-15). When Saul offered the sacrifice, he transgressed God’s command (silence) and was punished.
Please give this thoughtful consideration as you examine yourselves in what you do in the name of the Lord. I sure will!