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Summary:

Intro.:

1. Book in my library entitled, THE COLUMBUS CHICKEN STATUTE; AND MORE BONEHEAD LEGISLATION.

a. Humorous collection of outdated laws:

1) Columbus, GA--letting a chicken's head dangle--$25.00.

2) Baltimore, MD--Bowled since 1833 you must pay $2.00 fine.

3) Hartford, CT--Theater owners must bring water every hour.

4) West Virginia--Against the law to sneeze on a train!

5) Ohio Revised Code, Section 3783.23--"No mirror shall be placed in any part of a theater, assembly hall ... used by

the general public, except in the women's & men's restrooms."

b. Imagine what would happen if these laws were ever enforced!

2. Now, for the point of all this:

a. Blue laws not a problem because of the way they are viewed.

1) No one thinks leaving watermelon seeds on the sidewalk in Hammond, IN is nearly as important as not killing someone.

2) Both EQUALLY the law--one more important than the other!

b. The question we want to consider this A.M.:

1) Does it make any difference how we view God's laws?

2) Are all of God's laws the same or are some more important than others?

I. TWO WAYS TO VIEW THE LAWS OF GOD.

A. The "Domino" View--uniform, all of equal importance. < Set up dominoes >

B. The "Bull's-Eye" View--center the highest, most important. < Display target >

II. WHICH VIEW MOST ACCURATELY REFLECTS SCRIPTURE?

A. The Old Testament:

1. Amos 5:21-22.

a. Why does God say he "hates" these things?

b. Because something else was more important!

2. 2 Chron. 30:18b-20.

a. Many ritually unclean people wanted to eat Passover.

b. Eating Passover important; so was being clean!

c. People ate Passover; Hezekiah prayed . . .

B. The New Testament:

1. Mark 12:28-34.

a. If Jesus = "domino", he'd have said all were same.

b. "Most important"--Love God and love neighbor.

2. Matt. 5:17-19.

a. "Least of these commandments."

b. Does this not imply "greater commandments"?

3. Matt. 23:23.

a. Tithes are important!

b. But not as important as "just., mercy & faith."

4. 1 Cor. 2:1-2; 15:1-4.

III. SOME IMPLICATIONS OF CONSIDERING "WEIGHTIER MATTERS OF LAW."

A. There needs to be a focus to our faith.

1. If we want to grow as believers, we simply MUST come to grips with what's at the core!

a. What is the gospel?

b. Is it possible to forget what's at the core?

2. Knowing and acting on what is central to the faith makes us co-workers with God.

a. In the kingdom of God no such thing as "busy work."

b. Either you know what the gospel is or you don't!

B. Points out our need to be able to hit the "bull's-eye" with people.

1. There needs to be a natural progression in our teaching.

a. Begin at the core, work outward.

b. Unbeliever doesn't care if LS is every week!

2. Drawing power in CORE, not FRINGE (cf. John 12:32).

C. Reminds us that faith is a PROCESS rather than a PRODUCT.

1. When people become Christians we don't expect them to have every matter pertaining to the faith all worked out!

a. If so, NOBODY would ever become a Christian!

b. Becoming a Christian means a CHANGE OF DIRECTION & not PERFECTION!

c. If we believe that, why are we so hard on people sometimes?

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