I hope you can see this photo clearly. I took this of the beautiful California Redwoods. Can you see the two vertical trees that have grown from the horizontal branches of this Redwood? Isn’t that magnificent? They are all part of the same tree! I was simply amazed and in awe of the Lord’s handiwork. In all of creation, there is an object lesson. This particular picture brought today’s post to mind.
~1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
~Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
~1 Thessalonians 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
~1 Thessalonians 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
Who does one follow when it comes to the things of God? Does one follow church leaders? Does one follow the Bible? What if the Bible says one thing and the church leaders say another? What does one do?
Some churches say that their church’s traditions and church fathers’ writings are additions to the word of God and more recent. Therefore, they must follow these traditions. Some believe that God’s word is the foundation only and traditions and church fathers’ writings are building blocks which must be obeyed. Hmmmm! That ought to be a red flag! (Proverbs 30:6 and Revelation 22:18)
Paul wrote several times in today’s text that we should follow God – and if we follow a church leader, that church leader must be following God and what His word commands. In other words, we should not be following after a leader who goes against the scriptures. The scriptures are our measuring stick. If our church leaders say one thing and the Bible says another, we are to follow the scriptures. Paul had the opportunity here to tell us to follow leadership even when they are wrong or even when they make up doctrine that goes against Scriptures. However, Paul emphatically stated that we are to follow after leaders who follow after God – and God reveals His will in His word! Many churches are extremely against following the scriptures only. (Jeremiah 23:32, Matthew 22:29, Hebrews 3:10)
Read these verses and ask yourself if the church you attend falls under these guidelines. There are fundamental beliefs in Scriptures that cannot be compromised – salvation is one of them. What does your church leader teach about salvation? Read your Bible – compare the two. If there is any difference, your church leaders are not heeding Paul’s exhortation.