Sermon Outline By Brian A. Yeager
“Idols According To Their Own Understanding”
A. We know that idolatry is wrong (Leviticus 19:4, I Corinthians 10:14, and I John 5:21).
1. Idols are man-made gods (Psalms 115:4, Isaiah 2:8-9, and Acts 7:41).
2. However, idols are NOT only false gods, but ANYTHING that we exalt above God (Matthew 6:24, Ephesians 5:5, Philippians 3:18-19, and Colossians 3:5).
3. The secular definition of an idol is: “an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship. • a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered” (New Oxford American Dictionary).
a. Idolizing athletes, artists, etc.
b. There is even a show called “American Idol”.
4. A person may deny practicing idolatry, but what do their actions show is really in their hearts (Ezekiel 14:4)?
B. We also know that following our own understanding is wrong (Proverbs 3:5-7).
1. We know we should cease from following our own ways and thoughts (Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 23:4, Proverbs 28:26, Isaiah 5:21, Isaiah 55:7-9, and II Corinthians 10:18).
2. Thus, we have to rely solely on what God says is right (Deuteronomy 29:29, Job 32:8, Jeremiah 7:30-31, Luke 4:4, and Colossians 3:17).
II. Body: We cannot create things, according to our own understanding (consider all that this statement entails), which we then idolize (Hosea 13:1-4).
A. People err when they practice idolatry by exalting men and following them over God (Jeremiah 17:5 and Matthew 23:1-12).
1. Preachers are not the standard (I Corinthians 4:6), but we see it often in various ways…
a. “Who do you have scheduled for meetings” (like the name of a preacher means something - Acts 4:10-12)?
b. “What preachers do you know” (as though knowing a man means you’re sound - I Corinthians 2:2; cf. Acts 19:13-15)?
c. “This preacher said it, so I know it is the truth for he is a knowledgeable man” (as though the word of men means something - I Thessalonians 2:13).
d. Note: Faithful preachers will oppose being exalted (Acts 14:8-18).
2. Elders reigning with too much authority, not allowing the true head of the church to lead (I Peter 5:1-4; cf. Colossians 1:12-18).
B. The human institution idol wherein God’s institution (the church) is implied to be insufficient as our only spiritual institution (I Timothy 3:15).
1. “We have good brotherhood publications for our studies” (yet, what about the Scriptures - Isaiah 8:20 and John 5:39)?
2. “Did you attend Florida College” (why do we need human doctrines and approval to be faithful Christians - Galatians 1:10-12)?
3. “The _________ foundation, society, etc., is great because they preach the Gospel everywhere” (though the church is the only spiritual institution assigned to this work - I Thessalonians 1:7-8).
a. Outside of the local church, no institution is authorized to preach the Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).
b. The only other way for evangelism to occur is through individual or concurrent action, not the formation of another organization other than the local church (Acts 8:12 and Colossians 1:1; 26-29).
C. The “church building idol”, wherein people start missing what the church is (I Corinthians 12:27 and Hebrews 3:6) and focus more on the structure they meet in (Acts 7:49).
1. True Christians will meet anywhere that is expedient (Acts 2:46 and Acts 5:42).
2. The only focus about any building should be that it provides one place (I Corinthians 11:20; 14:23) for us to assemble together (Acts 20:7).
D. “Church of Christ” traditions (Mark 7:7-9).
1. Sunday and Wednesday assemblies are fine, but it often becomes the tradition of days rather than when the whole body can come together (Ephesians 4:16).
a. We need to get back to meeting more often here in El Paso (Hebrews 3:13).
b. Let’s not serve the idol of “my time” by sacrificing the time we spend for God and brethren together.
2. Traditional songs that teach error (cf. Colossians 3:16) and others that may be scriptural, but those singing do not understand the words (Psalms 47:7 and I Corinthians 14:15).
3. Men voting on matters rather than the Scriptures speaking (Matthew 28:18-20 and I Peter 4:11) what the real head of the church authorized (Ephesians 5:23-24; cf. I Thessalonians 2:4).
4. The list could go on and on, the point is – traditions often becomes idols that get the glory rather than God (Colossians 2:8; 18-23).
III. Conclusion: We need to be sure we’ve cast down every exalted thing (II Corinthians 10:5) and fight against all forms of idolatry (Acts 17:16-17). In so doing, we’ll truly practice what we preach!
© 2011 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager