Summary: Legalism leads to ineffective servants. Too many people quit "going to church" or even quit following God because they didn’t live up to the standards imposed, not by God, but by His people.
April 24, 2011 Evening Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: Legalism leads to ineffective servants.
Focus Passage: I Samuel 14:24-30, 36-46
Supplemental Passage: saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. "They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. "But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. "They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, (Matthew 23:2-6 NASB)
Introduction: Present the following as “new rules” for membership of ISBC or will be “excommunicated or fined”: Mandatory attendance of SS, Sunday Morning, Sunday Evening and Wednesday evening (hospital only excuse); Must present income tax return to determine correct amount of tithe and must tithe that amount; Men must wear coat and tie Sunday mornings and ties Sunday evenings; Women must wear dresses at all meetings; Children may not wear jeans, shorts, t-shirts, tennis shoes, flip flops or sandals; Women must wear hats on Sunday mornings; Women will be fined if wearing too much make-up – or not enough. Must bring at least one visitor per month; Must volunteer one Saturday for building work and one Saturday for outreach each month; Pastor and/or Deacons will have an unannounced refrigerator/cabinet inspection each month to look for alcohol; Card Playing is prohibited; Cable TV is prohibited; A wardrobe of ties, coats, dresses and shoes will be available for visitors to change into before services if arriving in unacceptable clothes; The NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE is the only translation approved for study and/or teaching; Members who fall asleep during the sermon must sit on the platform for the next service; Each member must work in any of the church approved ministries (eg Food Pantry, VBS, Choir, Cookie Ministry, etc); Business meetings will be at the discretion of the pastor- any disagreement will result in fine; Gossip, Gluttony, Lust, Cursing, Visiting the Casino or race track, Voting Democrat (and other sins of this nature) will result in a fine to be determined by pastor: to be known as “The Wages of Sin” tax; No OSU hats, coats, ties, shirts, or decorations of any kind will be allowed on church property; and other rules deemed appropriate at the whim of the pastor and notice need not be given.
I. Legalism Begins Selfishly
a. Saul made up the rule to make himself feel better
b. We often make rules because we don’t like the way somebody does something, etc.
II. Legalism Binds Widely
a. The people were afraid and tried to obey and enforce the rule
b. People try to live by the rules of man and end up getting discouraged or become ineffective
III. Legalism Burdens Unjustly
a. The punishment was not equal to the crime
b. Too many people have quit coming to church or even quit following God because they didn’t live up to the standards imposed, not by God, but by His people.
c. We might have good intentions in mind when we make certain rules, but they are many times made out of fear or jealousy.