Speaking the Truth in Love

Speaking the Truth in Love

Commands, Aids, Additions

   A. Many do not understand how things can be authorized although
      they may not be specifically mentioned in the Bible.  They do
      not comprehend the difference between aids and additions.
      1. Outsiders often ask, "How can you do things not
         mentioned in the Bible, and at the same time speak against
         us for doing things not mentioned in the Bible?
         a. They say, "You people seem to arbitrarily select the
            things you want, and reject the things you don't want."
         b. They do not understand how we make a test of
            fellowship on some things but not on others.
      2. In addition to this, many members of the church are
         confused and disturbed over this subject.
         a. There has been much contention and division between
            brethren through the years because they did not
            understand the difference between aids and additions.
   B. We hope to shed some light on this topic in this lesson.
      1. All the things listed under AIDS are authorized because
         they are necessary in carrying out the command.
         a. In other words, we must use some type of aid or
            expediency in carrying out the command; otherwise, it
            would be absolutely impossible to obey it.
      2. Also, we want to show that all things listed under
         ADDITIONS are not authorized because they do not come
         within the scope of the things commanded.
         a. In other words, they are not necessary in carrying out
            the commands, but are things other than that
   C. Before we look at the chart let's consider some basics on
      establishing Bible authority.

   A. By precept--by a direct command or express statement.
      1. For example, we are commanded to withdraw from the
         disorderly (2 Thess. 3:6).
   B. By example--by a practice in the New Testament that was done
      under the guidance and approval of the apostles and prophets.
      1. The Bible teaches by example.  (Phil. 4:9).
      2. When we find people in the apostolic days practicing things
         with God's approval, we can be positive that under similar
         circumstances, we can do the same with God's approval.
      3. We know that the early Christians had to be taught before
         they could practice what God wanted.
         a. In some cases, however, the command to them may
            not be given in the N.T. record.  The examples of what
            they did may be the only thing that is recorded, and by
            these we are to learn what God wants of us.
         b. A good example of this is Acts 20:7.  No where do we
            have a command to partake of the Lord's Supper on
            the first day of the week; we do it because of the
      4. By applying Bible knowledge we see that some examples
         are not binding.
         a. For example, the "meeting in the upper room" in Acts
            20:8 is not binding because they met in other places--
            in a synagogue (James 2:2), in the school of Tyrannus
            (Acts 19:9), in the temple (Acts 2:46), in homes (Rom.
         b. Also, Jesus showed that the place would not matter
            (John 4:21-22).
   C. By necessary inference or necessary implication--by this we
      mean that which, although not precisely stated, is necessarily
      inferred or implied by what is written.
      1. In other words, it is the necessary conclusion from that
         which is written.
         a. All the things listed under AIDS are necessarily
            inferred.  At least one of the aids under each listing is
            necessary; otherwise, the command could not be
         b. For example, the church is to "assemble."  The
            command necessarily implies a place; therefore, a
            place is authorized.  Without a place, the church could
            not assemble.

   A. It is important that we recognize the general and specific 
      nature of authority.
      1. General authority is inclusive.  It includes any aid or
         method of execution that falls within the scope of the
         a. In other words, the things necessary in carrying out
            the command are authorized.  It is left up to our
            own judgment as to which is the most expedient.
         b. For example, God told Noah to "Make thee an ark"
            (Gen 6:14).  This part of the command is generic.  It
            was left up to him to choose the tools, means of
            transporting wood, etc. in building the ark.
         c. Another example of this is when the Lord told the
            apostles to "go into all the world."  They were left to
            choose "how" to go--either by horseback, ship,
            walking, etc.
            (1) This was much misused during the missionary
                society days when they said, "The Lord said 'go'
                but didn't say 'how' to go and thus the society is
            (2) The Lord didn't say "how" to go, but he said
                "who" was to go.  As to the organization, the
                church is the "who" that God authorized.
      2. The Bible also teaches by specific authority.  Specific
         authority is exclusive, excluding every aid or method in the
         scope of that which is specified.
         a. For example, God commanded Noah, "Make thee an
            ark of gopher wood."  This part of the command is
            (1) Since God specified the kind of wood, it
                excluded the use of other kinds of wood.

   A. Carefully consider each listing on the chart.  (See chart 

   A. Some things are authorized although they are not commanded. 
      They are authorized when they are simply aids in carrying out
      the command.  They are necessary: otherwise, the commands
      cannot be obeyed.
   B. Some things are not authorized because they are additions. 
      They are not necessary in carrying out the commands, but are
      things added to the commands.
      1. These fall within the realm of "going onward" and "abiding
         not" in the doctrine of Christ (II John 9), and "going
         beyond" the things written (1 Cor. 4:6).
   C. Let us pray for the ability to discern between aids and       
      additions that we might be pleasing in God's sight, and united 
      as brethren in Christ.
   D. If you are not a Christian, you must be baptized in water in
      order to receive remission of sins (Acts 2:38).  We have a
      baptistery in the building as an aid in helping you to carry   
      out this command.



Heb. 2:12; 1 Cor. 14:14-16

Write them, memorize, have song books Instrumental music, clap hands, have a choir, solo singing
Church to teach

1 Tim. 3:15; 1 Thess. 1:8

Radio program, TV shows, bulletin, personal work program Broadcasting business, own printing company
Church to support preachers

Phil. 4:14-16; 2 Cor. 11:8-9

Provide money, food, a house, transportation Church supported missionary society, send to another church
Baptize in water

Acts 10:47-48Matt. 28:19

Go to a pond, lake, river; build a baptistery Sprinkling, pouring; baptize in snow
Church to relieve its own needy

1 Tim. 5:16

Pay doctor bills, buy food, provide care Church supported benevolent organization
Church to assemble

Heb. 10: 25; 1 Cor. 11:20,33

Borrow, rent, buy meeting 


Build kitchen, fellowship hall, cathedral
Church to edify itself

Eph. 4:16

Bible classes, study guides, library, purchase workbooks Superintendent of Bible school, church supported school