Summary: This is number six in a series of sermons on the John Brown Church Covenant of 1858 which with some variation is the covenant that our church uses. this message deals with alcohol, drugs, and sexual immorality.
Text: 1 Peter 4:2-3, Title: Baptist Biggies, Date/Place: NRBC, 8/24/08, PM
A. Opening illustration: AKA Drugs, Sex, and Rock and Roll, Tell about the perception of Baptist in some areas like Standish,
B. Background to passage: Tonight we will continue in our walk through the NRBC Covenant. The paragraph that we are looking at is best described as promises for our actions toward others in general, for the purpose of demonstrating the worth of our God to a watching world. So far this paragraph has included promises we make to maintain private and family worship, to evangelize our friends and neighbors, to carefully choose our actions in light of a watching world being faithful and just, to avoid gossip and fighting among ourselves, as well as anger. The first week in Sept we will begin to look at the paragraph that deals specifically with our care for one another in the church. The text that we will look at tonight denotes these activities as those that are not of the will of God, but of the will of unbelievers. And lists them and other related sins together.
C. Main thought: Tonight we will look at the things that people really think of when they think “Baptist.”
A. Alcohol (v. 3)
1. Most of these sins listed in verse three are related to alcohol. And it is historic Baptist practice to totally abstain. So much so that we are known as the people who don’t drink, at least publicly. The bible does not forbid categorically the use of alcoholic drinks, but condemns drunkenness and warns against the affects of alcohol. And our covenant states that we will totally abstain, and here is why I believe that it is a good promise to make, even though it may go somewhat further than biblical prescription.
2. Pro 23:19-21, 20:1, Isa 28:7-8, Luke 1:15-16
3. Illustration: $25 billion will be spent this year on beverage alcohol, advertisers will spend $600 million telling you that you ought to drink, every twenty minutes in our country, one person is killed in an alcohol related automobile crash, highest rates in 15 years, 40% of all suicide attempts each year in our nation are alcohol related, In 1996, 1.5 million arrests were made for drinking under the influence of alcohol, “Can I do it before God and before others in total faith and confidence that it is right?”
4. 1) We are dealing with much different forms of alcohol that in bible times. 2) We have other better, cheaper options, plus clean water. 3) Drinking is not wise/best. 4) It can be habit forming. 5) The entire industry leaves a trail of destruction. 6) It may offend other believers. 7) It may hinder your testimony to unbelievers. So yes, I think it is a good promise to have to make to become a member of NRBC. It protects our church from accusation. It protects your life, family, your walk with Christ, and your witness. By the way, the same thing goes for tobacco, but historically, we haven’t stood so strong there--$$$.
B. Drugs (v. 3)
1. There is almost no explanation needed. The OT and NT condemn any sort of mind altering chemical or idolatrous practices. They are illegal in this country. And you can’t find too many good things so say about them or their affects on individual and family lives.
2. Gal 5:20, 1 Thess 5:5-6, 1 Peter 1:13, 4:7, Rev 9:21, 1 Cor 6:12,
3. Illustration: nearly 20% of teens admitted to taking some sort of prescription drug to get high. A lot of kids believe that, since they’re prescribed and the FDA has approved them, they must be safe. Parents need to watch their medicine cabinets closely, taking special note of painkillers. Unfortunately, prescription drug abuse can still lead young people down the same path of self-destruction as illicit drugs. The estimated annual direct cost to our society resulting from substance abuse is more than 250 billion dollars; Take a look at the people who use drugs and line them up with people who do not... big difference! Look at the lives of 5 people you know who use drugs. Generally they have many chums, but few close friends, high rate of changing jobs and are often unemployed, are absentee parents who party all night while their teens are left home unsupervised, are irrational in their logic and thinking pattern being plagued with poor judgment. They have many sexual partners, are often unfaithful to their spouses and are violent and irrational with their children. They tend to be selfish and unable to exercise self control in any area of their lives. When confronted with such facts, they simply deny the truth and accuse you of being crazy, when in fact they are the crazy ones. They are hurting and unhappy but they don’t know why. It is estimated that in the United States alone people spend 80 billion dollars annually on drugs.