Journey towards Holiness - Don't Go There (part 3)
Sermon shared by Mark Nichols
Summary: The keyword for holiness to exist is BOUNDARIES.
Denomination: Christian/Church of Christ
Audience: Believer adults
So I want to help you put up fence. To mark out your boundaries so that you can begin to live a life that you are called to live!
And I know what you’re thinking, “Mark, I’m an adult. I don’t want boundaries.”
Well I’ve got news for you, you all ready have SOME sort of boundaries. We’re memorizing them this month. The 10 commandments. Have you killed anyone lately? Have you stolen anything? No? Why? Because you have some boundaries set up. Those are easy boundaries to establish. Those are boundaries that God has set up! God said DO NOT MURDER. DO NOT STEAL. In those areas, God has placed a sign that reads: NO TRESPASSING. But what about the “grey” areas of life? Grey areas of life? What could you possibly mean? I’m talking about areas where the lines are not so easily established.
Those things that the Bible doesn’t specifically say anything about. Do you have boundaries established in your own mind concerning those things?
All I’m encouraging you to do, is set up some more boundaries.
And so our parallel text is found in Romans 14:1-3;
Romans 14:1-3; 4-22
“1) Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.
(did you catch it? Disputable matters. Paul is about to address a ‘grey’ area that was a source of conflict for the church in Rome. This dispute in particular dealt with food. Particularly, food sacrificed to idols. You see, after a sacrifice was offered to a god in a pagan temple, only part of it was burned. The remainder was often sent to the market to be sold. And so the debate raged on: “Should a Christian eat meat offered to idols or not? Some had no problem with eating this meat…others gave up meat all together to avoid a guilty conscience. Paul also addresses this source of conflict in 1st Corinthians 8. Verse two continues)
2) One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak eats only vegetables. 3) The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.”
What’s clear in these three verses that in matters of grey area (where God’s word doesn’t specifically address such issues), is this: our boundaries will look different. But please remember, don’t judge one another…God will take care of that.
T.S.: So it would take us a month to go over all the details in this chapter. I just want to show you two principles that will guide you as you set your boundaries in life…
First of all, “Don’t Go There!”
I. If it bothers you (vs. 5)
Verse 5 says: “One man consider one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”
If it bothers you to do something, then you’ve over-stepped your boundary. Time to back it up.
In Acts 24:16, Paul is on trial before Felix, and Paul simply states: “I strive to always keep my conscience clear before God and man.”
Paul is saying that he won’t do anything that he feels would contradict what he believes to be right…in how he acts towards God and how he acts towards men, Paul will do what he believes is right. How can Paul make this bold claim? Because He has the Holy Spirit as his guide!
A. Trust Your Guide!
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