Summary: God’s Word certainly points out for us what sin is and names it clearly, but God’s Word also helps us to make right decisions about life.
Week before last we started our series of messages called “Raising the Standard.”
The first message was entitled “What’s Your Standard.”
We found out that things like lying, living together, stealing, murder, abortion, hatred, and all sorts of other things that the Bible condemns are all right for most people so long as they think it to be so.
The Bible has taken a back seat to some other standards.
You can call sin what you want to call it, renaming it does not change the fact that it is sin.
God’s Word certainly points out for us what sin is and names it clearly, but God’s Word also helps us to make right decisions about life.
God’s Word teaches us how to live our lives pleasing to God.
The problem is that there are so many accepted standards in our world today for making decisions and for deciding what is right and wrong that it is up to you to decide what standards you are going to follow.
We found out that there are basically, three standards that all of us face in our lives.
1. The Standard of Popular Opinion
The standard of popular opinion preaches to believers “just go with the flow.”
2. The Standard of Feeling and Emotion
The standard of feeling and emotion says; “It just feels right!”
3. The Standard of God’s Word
The standard of God’s Word is found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
Then Sunday night we found out how to “Finding the Standard in a Nonstandard World.”
We found that within the Ten Commandments. God’s Standards for a nonstandard world.
In every persons life there is always areas that could use improvement.
If we would just pause for a few moments and reflect upon our lives we would begin to see those areas that need improvement.
Those improvements come only when we are willing to “Raise the Standard” in our lives.
It doesn’t matter weather you’re a bookkeeper, carpenter, house- wife, lawyer, or doctor, all of us could make improvements in our lives.
Isn’t it so true that all of us could stand a little “Raising the Standard” in our lives, weather it is our loyalty, integrity, obedience, attitude, or our health?
So for the next several weeks we will be going through a series of messages entitled “Raising the Standard” in hopes of understanding God and what God really desires of us.
Last week we entered into our second week of our series of messages “Raising the Standard” our message was “When We’re Tested.”
We found out that in every person’s life there comes a time when we’re tested. We considering five steps of understanding concerning testing.
1. The Testing
2. Who Does the Testing?
3. Joy in the Midst of Testing.
4. Patience through the Testing
5. The Rewards
We are assured that when we come through the testing in our lives, we will receive the “Crown of Life.”
This morning we looked at “Seven Sounds of Counterfeit” that covered seven areas.
1. Conversion without Change
2. Compassion Without Involvement
3. Commitment without Priorities
4. Convictions Without Obedience
5. Church Citizenship Without Loyalty
6. Confidence Without Peace
7. Companionship Without Togetherness
Now this evening we will look at James 2:1-13 “God Doesn’t Play Games.”
Shortly after the close of the Civil War, a former slave entered a fashionable church in Richmond, one Sunday morning at the beginning of a communion service.
When the time came, he walked down the aisle and knelt at the altar.
A rustle of shock and anger swept through the congregation.
A distinguished layman immediately stood up, stepped forward to the altar and knelt beside this Christian Brother.
Captured by his spirit, the congregation followed.
The layman who set the example: Robert E. Lee.
Here is a monument that should be erected, Lee and an ex-slave kneeling in prayer at the alter of Christ.
When anyone walks in to our church, that person must feel like the only one who is getting the honor is Jesus Christ.
We must “Raise the Standard” in our worship services.
No matter what background, personality, or race, weather a Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, or Pentecostal, that person must feel and know that will respect the fact that God is center focus in our church and not people.
We need to embrace that old spiritual hymn that says:
It’s not my brother
It’s not my sister
But it’s me O’ Lord
Standing in the need of prayer.
In the first century, A.D., polarized conditions governed society; people were either rich or poor, slaves or free, Jew or Gentile, Greek, Barbarian, or/and from pagan religions.
However, part of the good news of the gospel was that in Christ Jesus social barriers lost much of their strength.