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Life of Paul Part 23 - The Black and White Issues

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
May 4, 2020 7:00 am

Life of Paul Part 23 - The Black and White Issues

So What? / Lon Solomon

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May 4, 2020 7:00 am

Christian Liberty.

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Good morning folks house every body. It's wonderful to have you here. Let's open the Bible and study together. Ask chapter 15. If you would, and for the people is continuing in our study the life of the apostle Paul, and particularly with Christian liberty you I grew up as most of you know Jewish I will. I went to synagogue I fasted every young kid for every Rosh Hashanah. I went through all the training necessary to prepare for my bar mitzvah which I did. I went to Hebrew school twice a week. I went to Sunday school.

We celebrated Passover we celebrated Hanukkah. I watch as my mom lit Sabbath candles every Friday night and prayed and even on occasion during weekdays when I needed someone to come and then read Torok at the synagogue services. I would go in and do that and yet the truth is in those days I was in bondage. I was in bondage to a system of human religious performance, always wondering when I've done it all for if I done enough to somehow earn my way into heaven and into God's good graces and never having anybody been able to tell me what was an often win was enough. Nobody knew the post just before Christmas. In our study of the life of the apostle Paul. We looked at acts 15 where we saw the wonderful news of the Bible that when we give our life to Jesus Christ because of what he did for us on the cross he sets us free forever from a system of human religious performance and it's been a few weeks since we looked at this, I want to come back now wants to review what we learned a month ago and never going to go on to talk about this issue of Christian liberty of our freedom in Jesus Christ as it relates to our everyday performance. Most churches won't talk about this because they just want about dancing and drinking and smoking and chewing and all that other stuff they want talk about a worker talk about it because I believe what the Bible teaches on the subject is both intellectually challenging and spiritually motivating someone to be talk about this for the next several weeks and then will dive back in and keep going on, chapter by chapter with Paul's life okay so that's the plan. Let's review now what we learn. We looked at acts 15 a month ago we learned that 15 was all about the Jerusalem Council and the Jerusalem Council was precipitated by what happened in verse one of this chapter. Acts 15 one so men came down from Jerusalem to Antioch where Paul was and they were teaching the Gentile brothers there unless you are circumcised according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be say you cannot have eternal life cannot go to heaven and so the Jerusalem Council met to address two issues issue number one was just how does a person get eternal life is on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ plus nothing or on top of faith in Christ. Are there some human works. Are there some human acts of performance like circumcision or anything else that we have to do to complete the deal.

They answered it in verse 11 verse 11, Peter says no, we believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus. The undeserved mercy of our Lord Jesus, that we are redeemed just as they the Gentiles are the Bible reiterates here that salvation, eternal life going to happen is through the undeserved mercy of Jesus Christ that we trust what Jesus did for us on the cross. Plus nothing God gives us eternal life, salvation, a relationship with him as a free gift. Human works. Human effort have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Ephesians chapter 2 verse eight for it is by God's grace than we have been redeemed, not by human works, so nobody can boast. Here we have one of what may be the greatest piece of news anywhere in the Bible that our relationship with God through Jesus Christ is completely apart from our human performance friends. I believe this is a liberating truth is a wonderful truth because this truth sets us free to become everything that God made us to be that not knowing were not on a performance trip with God liberates us to really become the people God wants us to grow into. You know my son Jonathan the 16th in an incredibly profound thing to me a couple weeks ago and will talk about baseball and he plays baseball plays high school ball in his dreams to go on and play farther than that. We'll see where it goes but anyway he said you know dad. He said if I know that the coach has total confidence in me and I know that my starting position is secure and about how I play it even if I go over before I'm still going to start the next game. He said that's the kind of situation where I can relax where I can go out like go for the gold where I can give it all I got right can take risk where I can become the best player that I'm capable of being. But if I'm under the pressure that I know if I perform badly that my starting spot is at risk.

Every single time I go out on the field he said on tight. I'm nervous. I can't be the best I can be. I can't become the best player possible and it takes all the joy of playing baseball. I thought later you know that's true life you know when I know in life that I'm under human performance system and that it any moment I could get SWAC and at it. I can't perform. I bet you were tight were nervous. It's when we know that we have a relationship with God that is completely apart from performance, that whether I go forth before whether I go open for some data make up the difference with God in terms of how he loves me how we accept me my eternal standing with God friends. That's when I can relax. That's when I can go for the gold. That's when I can take risk.

That's when I can rise up without fear and become everything God made me to be and that's what it's more fun to live to that you're here and you never trusted Christ as your personal savior you got this feeling down inside of you that there is greatness in the others destiny and there is something more in there than you can pull out your absolutely right absolutely and presently tell you how to get it out. It's not by listening to self-help seminars don't do that is not by spending your money on self-help books. All you do is make an offer. Rich is not going to get it out to you the way it comes out is when we give our life to Jesus Christ.

When we enter into a relationship with God where human performance is not the issue that liberates us to begin rising up and becoming everything God created us to be to reaching the destiny of your ear and you never trusted Christ 2002 is the year we've got for you.

We want you to make that decision. This year God will start bringing the destiny out and taking you places you never dreamed of. Well, let's go on reviewing still. What was the other issue that the Jerusalem Council dealt with. It was this issue once a person becomes a follower of Christ. Now, how far does our freedom extend when it comes to our everyday Christian life meaning.

As a follower of Christ, do I have to act in a certain way will have to keep a certain set of rules in order to stay in God's good graces for as a follower of Christ in my three to act any way I want without jeopardizing my standing. My relationship with God, and they answer this question two, verse 19 James says it is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles were turning to God.

The message translation translates it that we should not trouble the Gentiles who are turning to God and he goes on to explain what he means making it clear that he's talking about.

By laying all kinds of Christian performance on these people.

James is no more.

James Woodward was reiterating here without our freedom in Jesus Christ applies to our Christian life just as much as it applies to our eternal life. Romans chapter 8 verse one. Therefore there is now no condemnation, no matter how I act for those who belong to Jesus Christ for when you gave your lives to Christ, you were adopted into God's family as dear children, we gave our lives to Christ. We became children of God in the way that the rest of the human race is an and as God's children. His love for us is unconditional.

It doesn't load up and down based on how what we do what we don't do Romans chapter 5 verse two through faith in Christ, we have gained access into this gracious position in which we now stand as a child of God.

I'm in a gracious position with Almighty God, where my eternal standing with God is based on grace, not my Christian perform God's love and acceptance of me is based on grace not my Christian performance. I'm free from all of that performance, nonsense, and God wants me to know I'm free.

God wants me to enjoy the three Galatians 5 wanted is for freedom that Jesus has set us free. Stand firm in and do not let yourself be entangled again by a yoke of slavery. Even Christian performance. Now were still reviewing what's the point. The point is as good as God's child, I have the freedom to act any way I want to act without endangering the bond of that exist between me and my heavenly father is there was a long how far is that freedom really go well. It extends to both areas of our Christian life every action you do falls into one of two areas in your Christian life either gray areas. These are areas that the Bible doesn't speak to you will not find a valid shelter without shelter, not in the Bible for these things and our freedom is absolute and total in the gray areas of the Christian life. You can go to movies, play cards, cut the grass on Sunday.

You can gamble listen to secular music and wear short skirts you can get attached to dance have a beer, smoke a cigar and have more nose rings and Miss Piggy, and God will still love you just the same and your eternal life will still be just as secure doesn't make a bit of different now.

This Christian freedom also applies to the other category of things in our Christian life, which is a black and white issues of life.

These are the areas of the Christian life where God does say something in the Bible about where God does have a valid shelter without salt, not in the Bible about them and folks Christian liberty means that you and I have absolute liberty to perform in any way we want to win the black and white areas and God will still love is to say listen as sad as it makes God, and it makes God very sick.

You and I can take LSD sleep with her boyfriend, girlfriend, commit adultery, watch pornography, cheat on tests in school, God will still love is to say, and God our eternal life will be just to secure now as Christians. It makes us uncomfortable to save a lot of churches would never allow their pastor to say that and you know Mike, I may find this one moan either before it's all over but this is the truth of the Bible.

This is what the Bible teaches. Now we established that several weeks ago and we said we were to come back and finish so nothing that's all review now a little more to do some new stuff and let me say this to you. Christian liberty is on diluted in the word of God we have but the Bible doesn't stop there all know the Bible balances this truth out by calling upon us to limit our liberty to temper our freedom in some areas of life and the Bible then gives us reasons why in this over the next several weeks is what we want to look at. Not today were to look at the black and white areas.

Why does the Bible call upon us to limit our liberty to temper our freedom in these areas were God says don't do those things.

We have liberty to do so. Why in the world is the Bible tells not to go.

There are reasons that we want to go over today and then next week were going to come back and start talking about the gray areas and what the Bible has to teach about using our liberty in those areas. So that's the plan, and an answer to the question why we have liberty does God ask us to refrain from exercising our liberty in these black-and-white areas is in Milan remind again. One of the black and white areas.

Okay, lying, cheating, murdering, robbery, cheating on our taxes.

Adultery. Premarital sexual relationships, homosexuality, abortion, pornography, the things that are clearly addressed in the Bible and God says on doing even though we have freedom of those areas. Why does God tell me I can't. I shouldn't use my freedom.

Well, here's the answer first Corinthians 1023. All things may be permissible for me.

Not all things are beneficial. All things may be lawful for me, Paul says, but not all things are profitable friend. It is lawful for me to go as fast as I want Montana but evidently is profitable to go hundred 75 miles an hour in a snowstorm profitable, but it's legal to as many of us is learning is legal to buy any stock in the NASDAQ you want that. That means profitable many of us have learned that the hard way. But it's legal. You can know, and in the same way.

There are things in our lives as followers of Christ that are just not profitable. And God says don't do you have the freedom to doing yeah, but don't do not profitable.

Know why I want to conclude today by giving the five reasons the Bible tells us why these black-and-white issues are not beneficial their lose lose proposition.

They're not profitable. Here we go number one reason number one is because they offend God. The Bible says God is a holy God, and that there are some things that just glad offend you, and these are those things that's why tells us in the Bible don't do these are things that will cause a breach in our warmth in our friendship with God.

We do those things, we lose our eternal life. No will it cause a hiccup in our relationship with God on an everyday basis. You bet it will, because these are offensive to you as a parent. There are some things my children can do that are very offensive to me.

One of them. For example, is lying to me.

I hate that is one of my hot buttons tell me anything. Tell me the worst thing you ever did. I can deal with that dull lie to me to civil Solano. What happens when they do like to you, you, making an assumption that they lied to me, but it's true. Okay so anyway what happens when my sons lied to me. Let me tell you what happens when one of my sons lies to me does it sever my relationship with my son, my no longer there. Father no, it doesn't change my unconditional love for that boy know why withhold food and clothing from the trial. No of course not. But it does mess up the warmth and the intimacy in our relationship until we get those things straight because that offended me to print the same thing is true in our relationship with God. These black-and-white things. I'll send God does it mean if you and I do want all the home that will sever our relationship with God.

No. Does it mean if we do want album that it'll change God's unconditional love for us know doesn't mean God will stop providing food and clothing for us know. But will it interfere with the warmth and the closeness of my walk with God. Yes, it will until we get it straight.

So I had to get straight first John 19 if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins cleanse our relationship put us back close together again folks.

These things offend God in the interfere with the warmth of our relationship with the don't do what God says. Number two. Reason number two is that they quench the power and the flow of the Holy Spirit in our lives never played the soap football game on the tendo for your Dreamcast or whatever the thing is when you take off the little meter goes up and down. You gotta try to kick it when the meters at the top. Never play that are otherwise the ball only goes like 5 yards or something.

I'm terrible with these games I don't know what it is, somehow, between my mind got it right but my fingers don't get it right always make an 8 yard kickoff or something like that what you know the Spirit of God in our lives is a lot like that little up-and-down leader of the spirit of God in his flow when our life goes up and down and Ian and now and what the Bible says is we want to be operating with the spirit of God's flow all the way at the top. We want the meter all the way at the top all the time.

We wanted at the top. That's the only way we can operate at warp speed spiritually and I live and that's why the Bible says. First Thessalonians 519 do not quench the Holy Spirit don't stand there would a water hose or squirt pistol and squirt fire on the spirit of God in your life. Don't take the meter down and by doing these black-and-white things we grieve the Holy Spirit. We quench the Holy Spirit, God left us here to be used, but we can't be used unless the Holy Spirit is working through us at maximum or both.

It's really sad how many Christians are operating on reserve power, making 5 yard kickoffs in our world because were doing things they quench God's flow. When I life these black-and-white things will do it. Number three.

Third reason why these things are unprofitable is because they bring bad earthly consequences on our life. Galatians chapter 6 verse seven do not be deceived.

Nobody makes a fool out of God for whatever a person so that is exactly what they will read and then God goes on to say, the person was so to please their own sinful nature. The person who does these black-and-white things I'm telling you not to do.

They will read literally, the word means decay rottenness. The friend I want to. I'm about to say to you can take to the bank. I've seen it over 53 years. It is true.

Here's what I want to say when ever we disobey God.

In one of these black-and-white areas. We will always live to regret always never seen it fail, sometimes bitterly so everyone of these black-and-white issues carries a sting like a scorpion, which is why God tells us stay away from them. They have consequences that are ugly and nasty and painful God says in his love don't go the virtue Riley Taurus Israel. Most of you know that one of my favorite places to go up on the Golan Heights which are on the east side of the Sea of Galilee and other Syrians occupied the Golan Heights for number of years. Finally, the Israelis ran the market in 1967, but between 9048 9067 they had military units up there in the every day they would shell across the Sea of Galilee.

The Israelis on the other side and so finally there was a war.

The Israelis grandma but if you go up there today there are still fields up there on the top of the and on the side of the Golan Heights that are completely surrounded by barbed wire and have read signs, then that way is what those signs say they say warning mine! Stay out there with a talk about what I thought about landmine that the Syrians put in there that are still there.

The Israelis never remove them because a lot of that landed them worth reclaiming.

They just put a fence around a put aside up and said it was landmines in here fellas don't go in here now. I never met a tourist in my life who stood there and looked at the signs and said you know these Israelis they really get all my nurse all they want to do is take all the fun out of life. I mean the biggest party poopers Iris all they are so prune facing her the biggest killjoy my life but up a fence like this and tell me not to walk in here. Nobody says that her body send a resume.

Thank God they put that sign up and I'm not going in there and you did an amazing, you know, their minds and life and God puts up signs and says warning minds don't go here and people stand or go. You know you the biggest prune facing ops all my life. I think all the fun out of life you the biggest killjoy I ever saw him tell me not to do something folks when we stupid we must be anonymous. God put those signs up and said don't go in there because when you going to get your leg blown all over Morris smart people say thank you God thank you God for put no signs up in smart people. They listen to the signs. Why should we do some of these black-and-white things very simple principle or landline don't blow your leg off. Will your body.

You have still destroy you, God, and his love is put up signs saying don't do We'll be smart enough to listen to number four wire these things unprofitable, number four, because they compromise our spiritual platform with people. I mean, first Peter chapter 2 says keep your behavior excellent among unbelievers Gentiles, but he needs unbelievers, so that by doing right. You may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men live as free men.

I love it because we are free men live as free, but it's do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil. Instead, use your freedom as an opportunity to serve God.

I think the greatest objection to Christianity and you've heard it is much as I had to try to share with somebody what they say they say well you know I knew a Christian ones and they did this and they did that needed the other thing, and if that's what the question is that I don't want to hear any dimes or some like that iron all time. Now you these people have a point there are certain things you and I can do that will completely cause us to lose our platform to share Christ with a that what is right is all this, it will on the gray area. Some of these gray area things you can do that when you're right you're right, there are some groups of people in some locations where you do some of these gray area things dance and drink and smoke in Gamblin. Whatever you can completely blow your platform that's true to talk about that beginning next week, but when it comes to these black-and-white areas friends you do any of these things in any place at any time with any group of people in your platform is gone and not just going for you is gone for any of us want to come behind you and try to reach that person that you you lost your platform with many times going for us to deliver your example up and thrown at us.

God left is here to reach people friends. He didn't leave us here just to have fun and buy stuff You reach people. What a stupid thing for us to do the rule in our platform.

By doing those things that God tells us if you do one people just to write you off in the writer, but he also tries to reach number five and finally, why is it that we should stay away from these black-and-white issues. Number five is because they rob us of our reward in heaven.

First Corinthians chapter 3 speaks to this.

It says no one can lay any other foundation than that which is already laid, which is Jesus Christ okay now as followers of Christ we all build on that same foundation we can build on it with two different things. We can build with gold and silver and precious stones. We can build permanent things, good things lasting things or on the foundation of our relationship with Christ.

We can build wood hay and stubble impermanent things worthless. We got our choice. The Bible goes on to say either case, our work will be shown for what it truly is because the day we stand before the Lord will bring it to light and God's fire will test the quality of each person's work. This is talking about our performance review when we get to heaven. We talked about that before, and the imagery here is a God takes a big old flamethrower around and turns it on everything we done in our life.

Now of course the things we've done that are permanent and lasting and good like gold and silver noggins when the fire dies are still there, wood, hay and stubble manner gone and then the Bible says if what we have built survives the fire, will receive a reward for that if if everything gets burned up. We ourselves will still be saved our eternal life is not in question box. We will suffer loss of reward you stimuli. What exactly are these rewards the gods given out habitable friend. I don't know Bible never says I can tell you this whatever God's given out rewards you want, whatever they are you more and so the book the Bible is telling us is when we do these black-and-white things. These black-and-white things like rewards suckers all they do is just take all the reward out of that time and energy that were putting in doing these things.

It's crazy. Why do these things there worthless and they rob is not only of eternal reward, but they bring pain and heartache on our lives down here. Why do these so let's summarize what we learned is arriving to what we talked about this I mean anybody in their right mind knows of God says thou shalt thou shalt not, you shouldn't do it. So why do we waste the whole message talking about this file.

You should sit my office on Tuesday. If you think this is so obvious.

Come be a fly on my wall.

I have people coming there and tell me the most unbelievable stuff you ever heard your life and when I say to them, didn't you know the Bible said not to do it they go for you will okay then why did you do it, no when we needed to talk about this today because there are some reasons why if we know what the Bible teaches. Friends are some reasons why we should do the same so I don't think we wasted this. Maybe if you feel we wasted on you. Come sit with me on Tuesday. I think you change your mind, so that summarize what we learned today we learned that we have freedom to do what ever we want as followers of Christ, we will still go to heaven, God will still love us and God will still meet our needs. That is true, but there were certain areas of human behavior were God says to us. I want you I command you. I call on you to limit that liberty not to exercise that liberty. These are the black-and-white areas and why does God ask us to limit our liberty number one because these things offend God and they disrupt our daily relationship with the number two because these things interrupt the power and the flow of the spirit of God through our life. Number three because these things bring Bad Earthly Consequences Are Way, #4 because these things compromise our spiritual platform with people and number five because these things rob us of our rewards in heaven, you save a lot of everything you said about these black-and-white issues are true, we would have to be an idiot to do these things, Christian liberty are no Christian liberty bingo bingo. That's a whole points that that's what God says. Deuteronomy chapter 5 verse 20 90 that my people's hearts would be inclined to keep my commandments always so that it might go well with them and their children forever friends. God wants us to be smart and smart people don't walk in the mine. God wants us to be smart smart people don't look at signs that say warning minds stay out and go you know what that fine for everybody else but on the to be able to walk through here even though I see dead carcasses all feel I'm to be able to walk through here and I'm going to be able to make it without being hurt. Smart people don't do that. God wants you to me to be smart if he tells us there mind somewhere. Stay away. Don't use your liberty there because he loves us friends is trying to keep us from getting her we would be very wise to listen but for for Jesus, thanks for talking to us today about everyday life right tell where we live. We have choices to make every day and many of them involve these black-and-white issues. Lord my prayer is that first of all, you would remind us we are free, you're not threatening us with the loss of our eternal life. You not threatening us with the loss of your love, your appealing to us to be smart to be obedient children to trust you that you know what you're talking about and to limit that liberty in the areas where you tell us it's dangerous. It's harmful.

It's offensive to you to simply say Lord because we love you fine, we just won't use our liberty.

There God. My prayer is that you would talk to each one of us here today about these areas in our lives, and that if we need course corrections here today you would give us the courage, with your help to make more God the series. Make it a blessing informed challenge and motivate our lives and we ask this in Jesus name, amen

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