It's Center, Ordinances, Worship, and Ministry
late A. N. O'Brien
Edited and printed by J.B. Sparks
We have endeavored throughout this tract to point out some of the lines of truth in the
Word of God, in a connected manner, and to satisfy the candid reader that there is
sufficient guidance in the Bible for the walk of the believer with regard to church
relations, life, and worship. Each reader can judge for himself whether this has been
done. Much has been omitted, but lines of study have, it is hoped, been suggested which
will be of blessing to those who desire to walk according to the Word.
In closing it would be well to note the importance, which the Spirit of God places upon
a correct walk. In Col. 1:9,10 we have the apostle's prayer for the Lord's people at
Colosse. The order of his petitions is important: (1) "That ye might be filled
with the knowledge of His will," (2) "That ye might walk worthy of the
Lord," and (3) "Being fruitful in every good work." Who in
sectarian circles ever inquires for God's estimate of sects ere he joins them? And how few
desire to walk worthy of the Lord in this matter even after they know His mind? Their
whole stress is laid on the third point, service, and even this is much of it in direct
opposition to the Word of God. The Bible never reverses this order. In 3 John we have it
again enforced. (1) "The truth in thee," (2) "Thou walkest in the
truth," v.3, then (3) service, v.6, 8.
The sectarian cry is "Work, Work, Work," and their test of a man is what he
is doing. Their panacea for a sin-burdened heart is more work, forgetting that the sin
question is settled, not by work, but by ceasing from it entirely to look away to Christ's
finished work. John 19:30 and Rom. 4:4.
But how many of them stop to consider the trial of their work "of what sort it
is"? 1 Cor. 3:13. There are some solemn statements in the Word of God for such to
ponder. "He that is of God heareth God's word." John 8:47. "He that
rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him. The word that I have
spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." John 12:48.
How solemn to trifle with such a book, or to set it aside for the traditions of men! "If
ye know these things, happy are ye, if ye do them." John 13:17. Here again it is
not mere knowledge, but the subject heart and obedient feet, which receive the blessing of
God. "Why call ye me Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?" Luke
6:46. The contest, v. 47-49, shows that knowledge, coupled with obedience, makes the
Christian like a man whose house is on the rock while the same knowledge with
disobedience, leaves him like a man with his house on the sand, at the mercy of the winds
and floods. How prone is man to be disobedient and how sad the consequences. "Hath
the Lord as great delight in burnt offering and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the
Lord? Behold to obey is better (not easier) than sacrifice, and to hearken than the
fat of rams," 1 Sam. 15:22. May obedient feet gladden His heart and may you hear
His words of satisfaction in you "I have no greater joy than to hear that my
children walk in truth," 3 John 4. With this I lay down my pen commending you,
the dear people of God, wherever you are, "to God and to the Word of His grace"
Acts 20:32. May you continue in His Word and know the truth, that "the truth may
make you free." John 8:31, 32.
"Since you would know by what name I would be distinguished from others. I will
tell you I would be, and hope I am a CHRISTIAN. I choose if God will count me worthy, to
be called a Christian, a believer, or any other such name which is approved by the Holy
Ghost. And, as for the titles of Anabaptist (Baptist), Independents, Presbyterians, and
the like, I conclude that they come neither from Jerusalem nor Antioch, but from Hell, or
Babylon." John Bunion", 1672, author of "Pilgrims Progress".
"In the first place, I pray you to leave my name alone, and not to call yourselves
Lutherans, but Christians. Who is Luther? My doctrine is not mine. I have not been
crucified for anyone. Paul would not that any one should call themselves of Paul, nor of
Peter, but of Christ. How then does it befit me, a miserable bag of dust and ashes, to
give my name to the children of Christ? Cease, my dear friends, to cling to these party
names and distinctions; away with them all; let us call ourselves only Christians, after
Him from whom our doctrine comes."Martin Luther".