Distinguish the Word of Grace from the Commandments of Men

Even in the days of the apostolic church, just before the coming of the kingdom of God, the apostle Paul had the foresight to make an important distinction between the word of grace and the commandments of men. 

In the opening chapters of 1 Corinthians he took his stand on the word of salvation he had declared and  thanked God he hadn’t gotten to involved in baptism.  He thus made clear that the word of the gospel was the means of salvation, not the act of water baptism (and he certainly didn’t call it a “sacrament”). 

After the departure of the apostles, church hierarchy formed and sacraments were instituted as an expression of man-made religion that has come to be called Christianity.  The true spirit of Christianity, however, has nothing to do with church or sacraments – anymore than it has to do with temple priests and sacrificial lambs.  The spirit of Christianity has to do with faith in an invisible God whose face is the Jesus Christ who walked the earth among us, showing us how to live in this fallen world.

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