Summary: This sermons explains how we are to know right from wrong if we do not have a clear cut "Thou Shalt" or "Thou shalt not."
RIGHT VERSUS WRONG
How Can We Know?
My job, as your pastor, is to shepherd this flock.
In that I have to do many of the same things a real shepherd of real sheep would do.
He GUIDES them… to water, food, and safety
He PROTECTS them from outside dangers, and from themselves.
He PROVIDES them with many things they need to be healthy
As your pastor, I do the same.
I know that you are very busy with jobs, school, family, taking care of your home, caring for loved ones, and many other things.
I know you don’t have several hours a day to spend digging into the Word and finding the nuggets of gold to help you understand the depths of God’s Word.
I know you don’t possess the library of biblical commentaries and study books to really do a thorough background study of the text in Greek or Hebrew.
It is kind of like the sheep who do not have the ability to study the terrain and vegetation to know the best places to graze, but the shepherd does and it is his job to provide them the best grazing so they can grow.
It is my job to spend hours in the word, studying multiple sources and passages to get the best understanding of scripture so I can lead you to the best understanding and the ability to put it into practice in your life.
Today, my sermon is an attempt to take spiritual truth and break it down so you can understand and apply it to your life.
A few years ago, I walked into the residence of a church attendee who had some friends over and they were drinking beer. The natural question that came out of it was, "Is it a sin to drink beer?"
This is not a sermon on drinking beer... God did not point me to that subject or any passage about the subject.
It is not a sermon about drinking beer, unless the Holy Spirit chooses to use it to convict you of it… I don’t want to get in the way of the Spirit and what He chooses to say to anyone.
But, this is not a sermon about drinking alcohol… it is a sermon about RIGHT VERSUS WRONG....
It is intended to answer the question, “How can we know if something is PERMIISSIBLE... permitted, OK with the church and with the God?"
ESPECIALLY… if we don't seem to have a clear "Thou shalt" or "thou shalt not" verse.
Most of the lifestyle choices we have to make on a daily basis, are not regulated by specific commands of Scripture.
We are constantly called upon to exercise our judgment in these matters.
How can we be sure that we are making the right decisions.... in these "gray" areas?
Allow me to begin by making one BROAD, general statement of fact: In order for you to exercise judgment, (in the grey areas)YOU MUST BE FAMILIAR WITH WHAT THE SCRIPTURE SAYS.
To truly understand the GREY you must be knowledgeable about the BLACK AND WHITE
The more you know about the black and white… what God’s word does say… the less grey area there will be.
And you don't have to wait till you are a bible scholar to understand what the scripture says about any subject.
Go to the book store and purchase a Topical Bible..... Scriptures are arranged by topic or subject.
You can get on online at biblestudytools.com
You just choose any subject from the alphabetical list and it will give you every scripture that applies to that subject.
I would prefer for you to get a hard copy, so you can underline and write notes in it.
Sit down with your Nave's, your bible, a highlighter, a pen and some paper. .. Search the scriptures with the help of Nave’s.... and you will be able to make a good judgment on the Issue.
First question is always… WHAT DOES GOD SAY?
What is black and white about this issue?
For drinking alcohol
You can study Naves references and what you will come up with black and white are these (and others like them)
1 Timothy 5:23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
Prov. 20:1 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
Prov 21:17 He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich.
23:20 Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, 21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
23:29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? 30 Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. 31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! 32 In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things.