OceanSide church of Christ

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Are We Making This Harder Than It Has To Be?
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.                Introduction

A.    Classes are back in full swing since fall is upon us

                                                    i.     We remember how some classes we enjoy more than others

                                                   ii.     My attitude towards a class can make it short and easy or long and hard

1.     The same is true spiritually speaking

2.     If I look at the Lord.s work with the wrong attitude my walk with Him will be hindered and harder than it should be

B.    Let.s consider four attitude together that will make things harder than they have to be

                                                    i.     Legalism

                                                   ii.     Lack of Interest

                                                 iii.     Lack of Healthy Fear

                                                 iv.     Losing/Defeat

II.              Legalism

A.    Some are trying to .loosen. us up when it comes to the laws of God

                                                    i.     They view Christianity as being too legalistic because we follow all the laws the best we can (Rom 13:8-10)

                                                   ii.     But is it wrong to try to follow God.s laws and teach the importance of doing so?

B.    Satan watched the early Christians following the apostles. doctrine (Acts 2:42)

                                                    i.     He did not want them obeying all of God.s laws (2 Cor 2:9)

                                                   ii.     Therefore, he has used this weapon of legalism to get Christians to let go of God.s commands

C.    Some argue that strictly following God.s laws is unscriptural and uses passages like Galatians 5:1 and 2 Corinthians 3:6

                                                    i.     In context we quickly can see Paul is addressing the Old Law in both of these passages if we read a passage or two later

                                                   ii.     Paul isn.t saying to avoid all law but the Old Law as it isn.t binding today

D.    Our Lord takes care of the matter in Matthew 23:23

                                                    i.     He tells them to not only obey the .weightier. matters of law but also the lighter matters

                                                   ii.     In other words, I want you to obey all the laws not put more emphasis on some than others

                                                 iii.     Clearly, Jesus did not say only obey some laws and don.t worry if you don.t get the rest!

E.    Lack of Interest

If we begin to become apathetic towards Christianity we will certainly make it harder on ourselves

                                                    i.     Paul said we must be diligent, earnest, not apathetic (2 Tim 2:15)

                                                   ii.     Peter says diligence is the first step to growing in Christ and being in Heaven (2 Pet 1:5-11)

F.    Furthermore, without a growing faith we fall away in unbelief (Heb 3:12)

                                                    i.     I must be earnest in Christianity or my faith won.t grow

                                                   ii.     After all, if I think my labor is in vain I will not abound in the work (1 Cor 15:58)

                                                 iii.     Don.t let your attitude become apathetic and thereby lose your faith

III.            Lack of Healthy Fear

A.    Not all fear is evil just like not all judgement is evil (John 7:24)

                                                    i.     Jesus, in fact, commanded healthy fear (Luke 12:4-5)

                                                   ii.     Fearing God is healthy and fearing man is not (Isa 8:12-13)

1.     Man can join together against us but they still can only harm and kill us

2.     God can take our life and then destroy our souls

B.    We can.t be concerned with threats of man (1 Peter 3:14)

                                                    i.     Jesus tells us what to be concerned with and it isn.t man (Luke 12:8-9)

                                                   ii.     But I also love that He calls us His friend and reminds us that He cares (Luke 12:4, 6-7)

IV.            Loss/Defeat

A.    Some folks don.t take defeat well

                                                    i.     When we lose at something we may be tempted to give up

                                                   ii.     Jesus says not to give up but to take His burden instead (Matt 11:28-30)

B.    The Pharisees acted like God.s commands were hard and they obeyed them perfectly (Matt 23:1-4)

                                                    i.     God never promised ease but He did promise success through Him if we don.t give up

                                                   ii.     Notice God didn.t say to ignore the commands but to obey them

1.     Why? His commands are not burdensome (1 John 5:3)

2.     What is going to weigh us down is sin (Heb 12:1)

3.     Will you choose a life of sin or a life of righteousness? (1 John 3:4-10)

4.     Don.t give up!