Summary: We live in a day of ’no absolutes’, w/ so much falling into the ’gray area.’ Here’s a Simple Formula, w/ Life-Changing Results...! [6 TESTS TO TAKE...ALL BEGIN W/ A "P"] Link included to formatted text and PowerPoint Template.
How To Determine Right From Wrong
2 Cor. 5:14-17
We are not under the law, but under grace,
but grace is not a license to sin!
I’m free to serve, not free to sin!!
6 scriptural tests to apply to anything questionable/gray area, not specifically mentioned in scripture: [should I or shouldn’t I?]
1. Proclamation Test
*This test asks, “Has God clearly proclaimed it to be wrong in His Word?”
*The problem here is 2 fold:
1) Many believers do not know what the Bible says. [alcohol… “look not thou (proverbs command!)]/ok to have sex if you’re in love/date unsaved if not serious/ok to gamble, just have fun, don’t let it get out of hand/go to parties if you don’t do what the others are doing
2) Many believers approach the Bible “cafeteria style” . [take what I like/leave the rest!/exposure to God’s Word doesn’t change our lives/hearing/reading/…it is obeying God’s Word that changes our lives (James: be ye doers/not hearers only!)
If it’s in the Word, there’s no question…you don’t have to pray about it!
2. Principle Test
*This test asks, “Is it forbidden in God’s Word in principle?” [mature Christians live by principle/spirit of law…not just letter] [ill. Of Eddie Haskell/Leave it to Beaver]
Gambling—violates God’s work principle/something for nothing/not work/not eat
Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
Also God’s greed principle/love principle—love for God and neighbor—remember where gambling winnings come from: gambling losses [hoping others lose as you hope to win]!
We’re supposed to love people and use things, but gamblers love things and use people!
[lottery is gambling in every way/stock market is different, benefits everyone]
Look for principles in other areas like dancing/tv viewing/movies/etc.
3. Partnership Test Col. 3:17
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
*This test asks, “Could I invite Jesus to do this with me?”
God is my co-pilot?/pilot!
Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit! He does go w/ you!
Ill.—little boy told to go down the street, over the bridge, and straight to school…ok/but on the bridge he saw a fish, then a butterfly, wandered, couldn’t find the bridge!/only knew 2 prayers, now I lay me down to sleep/and Lord’s prayer…tried that one: Our Father…[yes son, he heard from behind him…his dad had followed him that day!] He goes w/ you even when you do wrong!
4. Presence Test
*This test asks, “Would I be ashamed to be found doing it [thinking it/saying this] upon Christ’s return?”
Php 1:20 -
According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed…
Looking for that blessed hope/watch ye therefore!
Ill.—teacher had problem w/ class not keeping desks clean/went to principal for advice/he said, I’ll help/came to class next day and said, sometime each week I’ll show up and the cleanest desk will win a bike/one little girl said, I’ll clean my desk every Friday at the end of the week and I’ll win/what if he comes on Thursday?/ok, every day!/teacher: that’s good, but what if he comes at lunch?/girl: I have an idea, why don’t I just keep it clean!