Written Down Guidelines
Paul had a copy of the letter of James which contained the determinations that were made recently at the Council of Jerusalem (15:23-29). They were giving the churches certain guidelines and doctrines. It is good to give our converts good
doctrines in writing. However, it is so important that we do not add any unnecessary commandments and stipulations. If the rulebook of the founder is wrong, it will bring the people into bondage and limit the work of the Holy Spirit.
William Booth was the founder of the Salvation Army. That organization drafted a handbook so that they could set up a standardized outpost anywhere in the world. Their book of rules denies the baptism in the Holy Spirit and communion, and it is still the same today as it was in the time of Booth. Decrees like these limit what God can do in a denomination or organization for they are going to form and govern them. Our statutes must be right or we will hold people short of God's
mark. Paul gave them good guidelines, and “so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.”
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