In a previous article entitled “Sound Words,” emphasis was given to the importance of calling Bible things by Bible names. It is also important to do Bible things in Bible ways.
Doing Bible Things
“Doing Bible things” refers to what we do in the work and worship of the church, as well as how we live the Christian life. Where many people may think of “Bible things” in a limited, or narrow, way as only pertaining to those things they do “at church;” it is actually much broader than that.
The apostle Peter said that God, in the Bible, has given to us “all things pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). So, “doing Bible things” can refer to everything from what we do in the work and worship of the church to how we live our daily lives.
God gave the Bible to be “a lamp to [our] feet and a light to [our] path” (Ps. 119:105). We are told to “walk in the light,” meaning to live our lives according to the word of God (1 Jn. 1:7). The Bible is the guidebook for our lives in all that we do (Col. 3:17).
Sometimes when we talk about the necessity for Bible authority someone will respond with a comment like, “Well, according to that you can’t even use the word ‘Bible’ because its not in the Bible.” However, the word ‘Bible’ is in the Bible thirteen times in the New Testament Greek.
It is a Greek word, translated as “book” in English. For example, “the book of Psalms” (Acts 1:20) is “the biblos (book) of psalmos (Psalms).” The word biblos was transliterated into English as “Bible” to refer to God’s Holy Book.
God’s Book – the Bible – requires that people do more than just know what it says. It requires that people be “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:21-23).
Jesus said that true faithfulness is much more than just calling Him “Lord, Lord;” true faithfulness is doing “the will of [His] Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21-23). So we must be “doing Bible things.”
In Bible Ways
Many people would claim to be “doing Bible things,” but are they doing them “in Bible ways”? As was pointed out in the article “Sound Words” some weeks ago, just because someone uses a Bible word doesn’t mean they’re using it in the way the Bible uses it (i.e. “Pastor,” “Reverend,” “Christian,” “baptized,” etc., etc.). In the same way, just because someone is claiming to do “Bible things” doesn’t mean they’re doing them in “Bible ways.”
A good example of this would be the way the church worships. There are all sorts of things that are called “worship” in churches today. Everything from snake handling to foot washing to full-blown rock concerts are called “worship.” Worship is certainly a “Bible thing,” but are those “Bible ways” to worship?
When a person studies the worship of the New Testament church, they will find only five things that are clearly described as acts of worship. For example, in Acts 2:42 the church assembled in fellowship with the apostles for the observance of the Lord’s Supper, study and prayer. In Acts 20:7 the church assembled to observe the Lord’s Supper and hear the apostle Paul preach.
In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, the church was commanded to take up a collection when they were assembled on the first day of the week (Sunday). That collection was an expression of how they had given themselves to the Lord (2 Cor. 8:5). In Hebrews 2:12, the writer quotes a prophetic statement of Christ saying He would sing praise to God in the midst of the assembly (cf. Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16).
As you examine the example of the early church recorded in the New Testament, this is what you will find them doing in worship: 1) taking the Lord’s Supper; 2) praying; 3) singing; 4) studying; 5) giving. So to do the “Bible thing” of worship in a “Bible way” means to do it according to that example. And each of those things individually are described in the New Testament so that they can be done in a Bible way.
Jesus said that God is Spirit and those that worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. To worship Him “in truth” means to worship Him according to His word (Jn. 17:17), it means to do that “Bible thing” in a “Bible way.”
Worship is just one example. The same could be said for how we do the work of the church in edification, evangelism and benevolence; and how we live our daily lives in accordance with the will of God (cf. Gal. 2:20; 5:22-26; et. al.).
Are you “doing Bible things in Bible ways”?