T. PIERCE BROWN
When God commissioned Moses to lead the children ofIsraelfrom bondage, it is worthwhile to know what he was then told. Note Exodus 3:16, ” Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:” He was not to do the job alone. He was told to take those elders and come before the king and give him some information.
It is true that one man and God make a majority. It is true that if you have to stand alone for some right teaching or action, God calls on you to do it. There is no safety in numbers or assurance that a large number teaching something makes it right. However, there is emphasis on the fact that God has always wanted all that claim to follow him to be united. When we act as if God expects each person to make a success of life on his own, we misrepresent God and His word. Sometimes we act this way when we baptize a new convert. The inelegant expression, “Dunk them and drop them” may apply too often to our philosophy. When Jesus started, he gathered twelve, and around that twelve were one hundred twenty, and around them was another five hundred. This may help account for the fact that when the church began, it had three thousand the first day, and grew to ten thousand shortly.
We were not made to be alone. This is one reason the Hebrew writer said, ” not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh” (Heb. 10:25). There are many values in having others close to you. Not only are we able to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2), but they help to keep us from going to an extreme either to the right or the left if we are careful and thoughtful enough.
Paul knew he had to emphasize the importance of the whole body, when he pointed out that the whole body is not a mouth or an arm, but every part, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, is important. There are many who are dying spiritually, like a coal will die if taken out of the fireplace and left alone, because they do not want to have the responsibility of living in tune with the needs of the community of believers. They want the fruit of it, the joy of it in times of death or disaster, the good parts of it that satisfy their felt needs. But they do not want the part of it that demand their participation and commitment. So when Bible class time comes, they go home. When a personal evangelism group meets to try to win souls, they have some other things to do. But when they go to the hospital or funeral home, they appreciate the community of believers who minister to their needs. Remember Moses did not lead out of bondage just three or four leading men. He led the whole nation.
T. Pierce Brown
1068 Mitchell Ave.
Cookeville, TN. 38501
Phone: (615) 528-3600