Sermon Notes

GodWhy Message Notes

The Do’s and the Don’ts (Sept. 15th) 

1) “In addition to the Bible, I also carry around a stapled printout of my rules, which I scan frequently. My original plan had been to pay equal attention to all the rules every day. This turned out to be impossible. That’s like trying to juggle seven-hundred-plus balls. The brain can’t handle it. I was too scattered. I will focus on one rule per day.. I’ve opted instead to go where the spirit takes me.” 

– A. J. Jacobs

He concluded with Thou shalt pick and choose. He said it was impossible to follow every little command every day all the time. The key was finding which ones to follow.

People in Jesus’ day were likely overwhelmed by the amount of laws in the Old Testament (613). 

Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

However, the New Testament has over 1,000 behaviors, actions, and mindsets to either do or avoid. Living a life trying to follow each one of these can be overwhelming. 

The role of the Spirit in the Christian life for morality and wisdom. 

John 16:12-13

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Galatians 5 14-18; 22-26

14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (tolerance), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Paul claims that when Christians operates in love, “there is no law” or need for a list of “do’s and don’ts”.  When you operate and walk in step with the Spirit of Christ you can know what to do in specific situations. 

2 Corinthians 13

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Spiritual/Emotional Maturity = Love 

More Love, Less Laws

How can we operate in the Spirit of Love when others do not, and life gives us very complex situations?

Love operating with wisdom.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906, was a German pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. 

Should he be involved in the assassination of Hitler or “love his enemies and turn the other cheek?”

We can do the “right things” and still be devoid of love. 

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

We all need God’s grace in the end when trying to navigate tough decisions and moral dilemmas of life’s choices 

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