Victor M. Eskew
God has given us a pattern for obedience, a pattern for the church, a pattern for worship, and a pattern for work. Strict compliance with that pattern produces Christians only, Scriptural worship only and Scriptural work only. The real legitimacy of Christianity rests in strict adherence to the pattern.
“Either God’s Word is that pattern or there is no pattern… If God’s Word is intended to be a pattern it is a perfect pattern, for God cannot be charged with imperfection, and following it is important — yes, absolutely essential. If God’s Word is not intended to be a pattern, then it doesn’t matter what we are or what we do, in religion, nor does it matter whether we are anything, or do anything.”
When the above words were written, most members of the church agreed with this teaching. Since then, however, many have departed from the above thinking. They would ridicule the idea of “pattern” religion.
GOD ALWAYS HAD A PATTERN. God’s giving man a pattern to follow is not a new concept. In the days of Noah, God gave this righteous man a pattern to follow whereby he and his house could be saved. “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it” (Gen 6:14-16). Here God gave Noah a specific plan to follow. Noah did not rebel against God. He did not speak evil of God’s pattern. Rather, he yielded himself completely to God’s instructions. “Thus did Noah according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (Gen 6:22).
God also gave a pattern to Moses by which the tabernacle was to be built. In the book of Exodus, we read of God’s command to Moses to make the tabernacle according to the pattern he had been given. And the Lord spake unto Moses saying…let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the
Pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it: (Exo 25: 1-9) Moses, like Noah, complied with the Lord’s pattern without murmuring and complaining. In Exodus 40, the tabernacle was erected. Verse 33 closes with these words: “So Moses finished the work.”
A PATTERN TODAY. God has not left man without a pattern today. That pattern is found in the Scriptures. “All scriptures is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2Tim 3:16-17).
God has given man a pattern to follow so that he can be saved from his sins. That pattern includes hearing the Word of God, believing that Jesus is God’s Son, repenting of sins, confessing the name of Christ, and being baptized for the remission of sins. He has given a pattern for worship, church organization, Christian living, and the home. The list is endless.
CONCLUSION. God did not intend for man to grope about in darkness with no pattern to follow. He did not intend for each man to make his own pattern. Therefore, He gave man the pattern He wanted men to follow. Man’s responsibility involves his doing all things according to that pattern. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt 7:21)