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No rules! Just right! (Life without the rulebook)

(5)

Sermon shared by Rich Cook

April 2005
Summary: Third in a series on the Bible. This message looks at life without the guidelines found in the Bible. We might think we want a life of complete freedom, but without boundaries we creep into danger.
Series: The Word
Denomination: Nazarene
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
No rules. Just right. (Life without the rulebook)
Purpose: To illustrate life with no rules (living outside the truth presented in God’s Word)
1. Ever play Monopoly? (hold up Monopoly board) What if you had never played Monopoly before, you had never even seen it, and somebody gave you a board, all the pieces, the property cards and the money … with no directions? What rules could you come up with? (have fun coming up with silly variations on the game)
2. A world with no rules seems enticing sometimes. I’m sure, at some point in 1986, I puffed my chest out as a very self-important, all-knowing 16-year-old and said, "When I have kids I’m going to let them do whatever they want."
3. We’ve looked at the Bible the last few weeks. Is it true? Can we believe it? Is it still relevant?
· One of the biggest things people don’t like about the Bible is what they’d call "all the rules." We think we’d like to live in a world without rules. But we wouldn’t.
· Living life in a world without rules is like swimming in shark-infested waters without a steel cage. Swim inside the cage and you’re safe. Swim outside the cage and you’re shark food. Danger! Danger!
4. Romans 1:16-32
5. The righteousness from God (vs. 16-17)
· The world stands on the foundation of an ever-changing popularity contest. What people believed to be "truth" 50 years ago has been chucked for what is believed to be "truth" today. Guess what? Today’s "truth" will be chucked tomorrow.
· As Christians we’re to stand on the foundation of the Word of God. Hebrews 13 says that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. His Word is unchanging, regardless of what flavor of the month is being sported by some Hollywood actor, hip-hop artist or Washington politician.
· And yet when we take a stand for Godly values in public we can get embarrassed. Why?
a. Read from the Church of the Nazarene Manual concerning the upcoming liquor by the drink vote. (our town was facing a referendum on liquor by the drink the following Tuesday)
· The Life Application Bible says, "Paul was not ashamed because his message was the gospel of Christ, the Good News. It was a message of salvation, it had life-changing power, and it was for everyone."
· Why should we be ashamed to stand for that? God forgive us for being so spineless.
6. So what happens in a world with no rules?
· Outback’s slogan: No rules. Just right.
· As a matter of fact, I kind of like rules. If I go to the Outback, put my name on the list, stand and wait for 20 minutes and then watch somebody park their car and walk right to an empty table, I get sickened out! They broke the rules. That’s not right. That’s not fair.
· What happens when a school bus drops kids off, the kids walk in front of the bus, but other drivers ignore the stop sign that pops out from the bus? People get killed.
· We think God put gave us life rules to somehow kill our good time. But they’re there for our good and our protection.
7. Don’t believe me? What does a life without rules look like? Look for the fruit.
· Start reading from vs. 18-32
· Vs. 18-20. Creation alone reveals a good and loving God. Even those who don’t know him are without excuse.
· Vs. 21-23. Instead of clinging to the unchanging truth, they created gods of their own making … usually themselves. Some create a god to suit their sins.
· Vs. 24-27.
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