Following Traditions?

Acts 2:42 – And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.


I.    These people who were saved, baptized and added to the membership of the church at Jerusalem continued stedfastly


II.    In the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship.

A.     These people have a choice as to what they will follow.

1.      They can follow what the apostles teach, or they can follow what others teach.

2.      Colossians 2:8,9 - Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 

3.      Be sure to read this chapter starting from verse 1, which proclaims that everything we have is in Christ, not in the writings of men.

B.     Define the traditions of men of Colossians 2:8.

1.      There are two ways to define traditions – following the writing of men, or following the writings of God in the Bible.

a.      A giving over which is done by word of mouth or in writing, tradition by instruction, narrative, precept, so forth.

b.      of the body of precepts, esp. ritual, which in the opinion of the later Jews were orally delivered by Moses and orally transmitted in unbroken succession to subsequent generations, which precepts, both illustrating and expanding the written law, as they did were to be obeyed with equal reverence.

2.      Traditions of men will always lead a person away from God, but following the commandments of God will always lead a person closer to God.


III.    All men who professed Christ as their Saviour did not follow Acts 2:42.

A.     There was a split right at the very beginning of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, which was organized during his personal ministry, but received public recognition of their status as having the keys of the kingdom of God on the day of Pentecost.

1.      Some would begin to follow more closely to the writings of men than the writings of God in the Bible.

2.      Others would stick only with the Word of God in the Bible.  This is the doctrine of Solo Scriptura.

B.     The definition of tradition was different.

1.      Some believed the word tradition meant that the writings of the apostles and others was to be followed – along with the Bible.

2.      True believers would follow only the Bible, using the writings of men as a supplement to the Bible, to be followed only when those writings agreed with the Bible.

C.     The Catholic church, which was actually formed in 606, with Pope Gregory as the first pope was the first church which held this thought.

1.      They were fully formed in 606, but their history went back to the first century as they followed the writings of many different men, whom they considered more inspired than the Bible.

2.      Actually the Catholics have done nothing different than the Israelites did when they added their own laws to the Old Testament, finally coming to the place where they paid more attention to their own laws than to the laws of God.

3.      This is why God turned from them and organized his own church, to which he gave the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20.

D.     Many Baptist today are following in this very same pattern, accepting the writings of “Baptist Fathers” as more important than the Bible.

1.      Many people study these writings instead of studying the Bible.

2.      Religious book stores today are full of books which attempt to explain the Bible, but the most important thing any save person can do is to study the Bible.

3.      II Timothy 2:15 -  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 

E.      Matthew 15:2-9 – the discussion between the Jews and Christ concerning their obeying their own law while rejecting the commandments of God.

1.      See the difference between a commandment and a tradition.

2.      A bad tradition is that which is devised by man, but a commandments of God is given by him in his Bible.

F.      Mark 7:1-13 – Verse 8 – laying aside the commandments of God to hold to the traditions of men, reveals they have rejected the commandments of God.

1.      Verse 13 – they have made the word of God of none effect.

2.      Our lives should be filled with all good things of God.

3.      Check out Paul’s life before he was saved, before he started following the commandments of God and was following the traditions of men.  He was full of hate, bitterness, murder, wrath, separating families because they disagreed with him. 

G.     I Peter 1:18 – Our salvation did not come from following vain traditions, but with the precious blood of Christ.