“And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.”
Have you ever noticed how God has always had a pattern for doing things? When He instructed Moses on how to build the tabernacle in chapter 25 of Exodus, He was very specific as to how it and all of the furniture within it was to be constructed, and told Moses to “make them after the pattern for them” which He had shown Moses on Mount Sinai (v. 40). If Moses had ever been in doubt about how something was to be done concerning the tabernacle, all he had to do was check the pattern (Hebrews 8:5).
God hasn’t told us to build a tabernacle today, but He has told us to build something. Two thousand years ago the church was told that they as Christians are “God’s building” which is being built upon the only foundation that exists, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:9-11). The apostle Paul was the one who wrote this to them, and he said that he was the one who had laid the foundation of Jesus Christ upon which others were building (v. 10a). How did he lay that foundation?
Paul and his fellow apostles and prophets who wrote the New Testament were inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13; Ephesians 3:3-5; cf. Acts 2:4). Their writings are to be considered as coming from the Lord Jesus Himself (1 Corinthians 14:37). Thus, the New Testament is the foundation of Christianity upon which all who want to follow Christ must build.
Yet, notice that the church was also warned, “Let each one take care how he builds upon it” (1 Corinthians 3:10b). The reason for this warning is due to the fact that within the New Testament there is a pattern which Christians are urged to heed. Timothy was told by Paul, “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13). Paul also wrote to Titus that any church leader “must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). Whenever Christians attempted to add to or change in any way what the apostles and prophets were inspired by God to write and teach in the New Testament, they were rebuked and condemned if they did not repent (Galatians 1:6-8; 2 John 9-11; 1 Corinthians 4:6; Revelation 22:18-19).
This is why it is so important that you read and study the New Testament if you want to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. Within its pages you can see God’s pattern. The New Testament reveals God’s pattern for His church in that we read that it belongs to His Son (Matthew 16:18), it is His Son’s body (Ephesians 1:22-23), there is only one of it (Ephesians 4:4) and it is grounded in the truth of God’s Word (1 Timothy 3:15; John 17:17). We also read of the pattern God has for having faith in Him in that there is only one faith He recognizes (Ephesians 4:5), it comes solely from hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17) and it is proven to be living by our works of obedience to God’s commands (James 2:14-26). We read that we are saved by His grace through our faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), obedience (Hebrews 5:9; Matthew 7:21-27), confession of faith (Romans 10:9-10), repentance (Acts 17:30-31; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10) and baptism (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21). We also read that Jesus is the Savior of those who are in His body which is His church (Ephesians 5:23).
Follow nothing but the biblical pattern and you’ll be fine. Depart from it and you’re in trouble. Are you following God’s pattern and God’s pattern only? If you want fellowship with God, you must (2 John 9). Some refuse to do so, which is sad because that same pattern will judge them in the end (John 12:48). Let’s not make that mistake. Let’s do things God’s way, the Bible way.