Summary: One strike and you are out! Is that the game you want to play.
• SLIDE #1
• I love baseball, I love everything about the game, I LOVED playing it, I love watching it, and I loved coaching it.
• Baseball is fun for both athlete and nerd alike. It takes a lot of skill to hit a round ball with a round bat when the ball is doing all kinds of crazy things.
• For the nerd, stats galore!
• There are a lot of things to like about baseball. For those who like order and rules, baseball is great. For those who like tradition baseball is full of it.
• As far as the rule lovers, there are a lot of unwritten rules like when a pitcher has a no-hitter going, you don’t try to bunt, ask former MLB player Robin Ventura about what happens when you break that one.
• The message today is not about the game of baseball, but we will weave it in with our passage today to help us better illustrate what God is sharing with us today!
• In our previous passage from last week we looked at the issue of favoritism. I am sure there were many who thought that even if they were violating that issue, that it was no big deal.
• Favoritism cannot be as bad as let us say MURDER!
• James will address another practical issue that we must be careful to guard against, the issue of picking and choosing what we will obey from God and what we will ignore.
• When we look at what God commands, which ones do we follow and which ones do we not follow? What criteria do we use for making those decisions?
• This is the crux of what we are going to deal with; can we pick and choose what we are going to obey?
• Jesus dealt with this picking and choosing issue with the Pharisees.
• SLIDE #2
• Matthew 23:23 (ESV) 23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
• Let’s begin with verse 10
• SLIDE #3
• James 2:10 (ESV) 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
• One reason we cannot pick and choose what we will follow is…
• SLIDE #4
I. One strike and you are out!
• One of the beauties about baseball is the fact that you get THREE strikes before you are out. When you go to the plate, unless you hit it before then, you will get at least THREE swings before you are out.
• This passage more or less says, “one strike and you are out”. That seems harsh. When I played baseball there were many times that I would have liked to have had five or ten strikes before I was called out.
• James says in God’s game of ball, you get ONE chance, ONE swing of the bat, if you miss, YOU’RE OUT!
• The people that James was addressing were under the impression they could obey just part of God’s law and ignore other parts, like favoritism.
• Some folks think they can be saved by just following the 10 Commandments.
• Verse 10 shows us why that is impossible as well as Galatians 3:10
• SLIDE #5
• Galatians 3:10 (ESV) 10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”
• The fallacy of this thinking is that if you want to be saved by the Law, you have to keep every point of it everyday of your live or you are condemned by the very law you are trying to keep. James says, “strike one, you’re out!”
• Today you need to understand that if you have broken one of God’s laws, you are a sinner who is in need of salvation.
• It is important for us to know that it only takes one sin for us to be called OUT. Unlike baseball we are offered GRACE through Jesus so that we can be called safe!
• WE need to understand the severity of picking and choosing what to follow and what not to follow, from what we would consider the most egregious to the most minor of sins will all demand the same price from us.
• Which leads us to verse 11 and another reason we cannot pick and choose what to follow and obey.
• SLIDE #6
• James 2:11 (ESV) 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.