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!
Ill.—same at your house, gets out of hand quickly…best is to do constant maintenance and keep it clean!
5. Purity Test I Cor. 10:31 “whatsoever ye eat or drink…”
*This test asks, “Is there any glory for God in it?” or
“Can I honestly ask God to bless it?”
Pray: “God, bless this movie I put in the vcr now, it has some cursing and sexual content”
6. Peace Test Rom. 14:23
And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
*This test asks, “After praying about it, is there the least bit of doubt in my mind about it?”
We need to learn to give God the benefit of the doubt…if it’s doubtful, don’t! Not, how close to the line can I walk!
Ill.—Alexander Clark, Scotch Missionary to Africa, approached an African mauled by a Lion/almost dead/he bound up his wounds and nursed him back to health/man departed, but in 3 months showed back up on missionaries’ doorstep w/ his wife and children and said, the redeemed belongs to the redeemer, it’s jungle law, me and my family are yours!
It’s time for Christians to settle ownership and say to God, my life is not mine own, I’m yours…I want to do right in your eyes, not in my eyes!
Does it pass these 6 tests? Then do it for God’s glory!