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Summary: We fight our way through traditions in all walks of life. Sometimes we need to trim off our traditions and get back to what God intended.

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TRADITIONS

Text: 2 Thessalonians 2:15

Scripture Reading: Mark 7:1-9

INTRODUCTION

1. In the play, "The Fiddler on the Roof" Tevia begins talking about tradition and how it keeps a society going

2. Tradition is important to a society, and even in the Lord’s church

3. We need to keep the proper focus on traditions and to their source before determining which tradition we fight for and which we can let go

4. Thee are three sources of tradition:

a. Worldly tradition

b. Flawed religious tradition

c. Scriptural tradition

5. Each of these has an influence in our lives, some for good and some for bad

6. When we observe a practice we need to make sure we know the origin of that tradition before dismissing or accepting it

TRANSITION: The world is full of ideas which lead to:

I. Worldly tradition

A. Some traditions are enjoyable and hurt nothing

1. The sharing of gifts at Christmas

2. Families getting together at Easter

3. Birthday and anniversary celebrations marking the growth in the life of someone or the growing together of a couple

4. One that may not be so good is the cutting off of the shirt-tail of the hunter who misses a shot on a deer

5. Traditions of the world can be pretty harmless and bring joy to us when we practice them

B. Some are not so good

1. There are some who have a tradition of playing golf on Sundays and missing church because crowds are smaller

2. Some have a tradition of going to a bar after work or after some accomplishment and acting in an unbecoming fashion doing things Christians should not do

3. Some congregations even cancel or change service times to accommodate the Super Bowl or some other worldly activity, allowing the world to negatively impact their Christian fellowship

4. Worldly traditions like these that change our service of worship to God are bad traditions

C. Colossians 2:8, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ"

1. Do not let the ruts and pitfalls of the world grab you and drag you down

2. Romans 12:1-2 say not to let the world change you and put you into its pattern but to follow the pattern of Christ set forth in His Gospel

3. Traditions are OK as long as they do not interfere with our Christian service

a. Notice I did not say Christian life

b. Some designate their Christian life as separate from their worldly life

c. They have a church life and a work life and a family life and they are all different

d. But God clearly expects all of our life to be Christian and whatever else we do must be done as a Christian

e. All areas of life must be part of our Christian life clear of worldly traditions that are not according to Christ

TRANSITION: Avoid worldly traditions that interfere with Christ, also pay attention to:

II. Flawed religious traditions

A. Even in service to God traditions are found

1. A woman cut the end off the roast and did not know why, called mother, she did because pan was too small

2. One congregation covered bread with cloth, why? Did not have lids on original communion set

3. Traditions can come from silly reasons

B. We must understand the difference

1. Matthew 15:2-3, "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread." 3 He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?"

a. The "elders," learned men of old, said, "A man who eats bread with unwashed hands is as if he committed fornication"

b. There is no scriptural basis for this statement, it is found only in oral tradition

c. Jesus’ answers was challenging them on their willingness to transgress the commandments of God for their own traditions

2. Mark’s account shows Jesus going into deeper discussion on the point

a. Mark 7:6-7, "He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ’This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."

b. He clarifies our understanding of the difference between man’s flawed traditions and God’s commandments

c. If our hearts are close to God then men’s words will never take place of His

d. Romans 3:4, "…Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar"

C. We have some traditions here at North End

1. We have 12 trays, six per side, we have a set number of songs for each service, we have two sets of announcements, one for the sick and one at the end of services, we have Bible class following worship services, this order of services is traditional for us

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