We Don’t Do Religion

 

I.          A young lady called, asking if I would consider conducting her wedding.

             A.         I tell them that I’m willing, but I have certain restrictions. If either had been divorced, it had to be because of sexual immorality (that eliminates most of the calls right there). I also require that they take a pre-marriage class, understanding it will take some time, though it won’t cost them any money.

             B.         “Classes? 13 hours of studying the Bible? But my boyfriend and I don’t do religion. I mean how can I know the Bible is not just some old book that men wrote.”

             C.         The conversation basically ended there, though I did ask why she was calling area churches if she didn’t want religion in her life. Turns out that she couldn’t get a Justice of the Peace to a wedding in her backyard.

             D.         People balk at the thought of a living God. To understand that there is someone greater than I, whom I must serve. To conform my life to laws of righteousness. No, they would rather pretend there is no God.

II.         Why do we have laws anyway?

             A.         There are broad and diverse views held about the Bible.

                          1.          “Christ freed us from the law, so now we live by a set of principles, not regulations of do’s and don’t’s.”

                          2.          “We live by the Spirit and as the Spirit moves me, that is what I will do.”

                          3.          There are some who believe they can ignore Jesus and the New Covenant and continue to live a semblance of the Mosaical law. (Jews)

                          4.          There are some who try to blend portions of the Old Law with the New Law (Seventh Day Adventist)

                          5.          There are others who claim the New Testament has been replaced with an even newer covenant (Mormons, Moslems).

                          6.          Among so-called Christian denominations, most feel the law God has given is out of date and must be modernized to suit today’s world.

             B.         Laws define sin

                          1.          Sin is the breaking of a law - I John 3:4

                          2.          Without a law to break, sin exists, but it is not counted against a person - Rom 5:13

                                       a.          Lying, stealing, and murder have always been wrong. It will not change, whether there is a law or not.

                                       b.          However, to punish or even to rebuke someone for sinning, there must first be a law.

                          3.          This is why many people object to religion. They don’t want to be held accountable for their actions.

             C.         Laws improve mankind

                          1.          If we understand what doesn’t work, we know enough to avoid them.

                          2.          However, laws define what is right as well as what is wrong - Ps 19:7-11

                          3.          God’s laws are righteous and trustworthy - Ps 119:137-138, 164

             D.         Laws show how imperfect we are - Rom. 3:10-12, 19-20

III.        Law is not the solution for mankind’s problems

             A.         It seems that whenever something bad happens, we want to fix it in one of two ways, throw more money at it or pass another law against it.

                          1.          Children were shot by children wearing camouflage outfits, so one school in Texas has announced that they are outlawing camouflage outfits.

                          2.          Laws don’t fix problems, they can only define what the problem is.

             B.         God does not make frivolous laws, but the same basic problem exists

                          1.          Heb 7:18-19 - law does not make anyone perfect

                          2.          While the law defined sin, it could not make a person whole again - Gal 3:21-22

             C.         Laws are not the solution, because mankind has shown itself unable to keep laws - Rom 8:3-4

             D.         To save us from our sins, God had to come and die on our behalf, fulfilling the requirement of the law that the penalty of sin is death.

IV.       The reach of God’s law

             A.         Some people don’t want religion. They don’t want to live under rules that say that their choice of life style is wrong.

             B.         This world has never been without laws - Gen 2:16-17

             C.         Long before the Mosaical Law was given, Abraham was given the way of the Lord - Gen 18:19

             D.         Sin reigned from Adam to Moses, implying that there was a law in effect - Rom 5:12-14

                          1.          Long before Moses, people understood right and wrong

                          2.          Anger could lead to sin - Gen 4:6-8

                          3.          The heart was responsible for sin - Gen 6:5

                          4.          Drunkenness brought on shameful behavior - Gen 9:21

                          5.          Pride lead to the scattering of the nations - Gen. 11

                          6.          Lying was wrong - Gen 12:11-20

                          7.          Adultery was wrong Gen 12:18-20

             E.         Consider this, if a person lives within the boundaries of the U.S.A., can they legitimately claim they are not bound by the laws of this land?

                          1.          We live within the universe that God created - Col 1:16-17

                          2.          If we live within God’s physical kingdom, then we must obey His laws.

                          3.          No matter how unfair you think it may be, the law of gravity still holds.

             F.         Even so, some insist that they are not governed by any “religious” law

                          1.          Then why is it that murder is wrong? Is it just because we have a law against it on the books? Why is adultery still frowned upon, even though it carries no punishment? Why do we consider some people “good” and others “bad”?

                          2.          Rom 2:14-16 - By a knowledge of right and wrong, people show that they do recognize God’s laws. God is within His just rights to condemn those who ignore His Laws.

V.         We live in a land, not of our making, in a universe that to is not of our making. Our existence demands that we subject ourselves to laws.

             A.         Those laws clarify right and wrong. Helping us to live better lives if we desire to do so.

             B.         Yet, each of us recognizes that we are unable to keep the Laws of God. We might deny God’s sovereignty over us, but His right to rule does not depend on our acceptance of His rule over us.

             C.         God did not leave us lost in our sins, but He came to earth, in the form of man, to free us from sin’s bondage.

             D.         Will you not accept His free gift today?