A. The Christian life has both positive and negative aspects.Proposition: In our Christian lives, there are many pitfalls to avoid.
B. Although positive, Christianity has to have negative restrictions at times.
I. THE SHALLOWNESS OF HUMAN PHILOSOPHY, vs. 8-11
A. It is empty.II. THE SHADOWS OF LEGALISM, vs. 11-19
B. It is based on tradition.
C. It leaves out Christ.
A. Salvation of the cross is superior.III. THE SUBSTANCE OF THE GOSPEL, vs. 19-21
B. Legalism tears the believer down.
C. The Old Law was but a shadow.
A. It frees us from human regulations.Conclusion: If we avoid the pitfalls and remain close to Christ, we can be complete in Him.
B. It fastens us to Christ our head.
C. It enables us to grow.
A man put this sign in front of his auto repair shop:
"Beware of bargains in life rafts, brain surgery, parachutes, and auto
repairs." There are truly some points in life at which bargains are
no good. When cultists came calling on a man in one village, he said,
"Come in. You're offering me a better deal than I'm getting up there at
the church!" We must go beyond that which looks good to find real
value, to find the truth, to find God's truth!
A recent cartoon showed a teenage boy talking to
a teenage girl. He was saying, "I may be a little weak on opinions
and convictions, but my prejudices are as strong as any body's."
In Harry Reasoner's book, Before the Colors Fade,
Reasoner wrote an article about Christmas. He called it "The Truest
Thing in the World." That can be said of the whole gospel.
It is the truest thing in the world. Many ideas may hold some truth.
They may be partially true or even temporarily true. The gospel,
however, is "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
It is indeed, "the truest thing in the world."
A little sandpiper, flying high above the Mississippi
River, can hear the surf from both the Atlantic and the Pacific coasts!
Do we try to tune our ears in two directions? Do we try to keep one
ear attuned for the voice of God and the other for the call of the world?
It won't do! We must tune out the earthly frequencies and let God
alone direct our path.
Hans Christian Andersen wrote of a mirror that made
every good and pretty thing look bad. Do not many of us have just
such a distorted view of life? Good looks bad; and bad looks good.
We must come instead to the true mirror of God's Word and see things as
He sees them. Then we shall see them as they truly are.
In many northern cities, when spring melts the snow and cars splash the slush, road crews must come along and scrub the street signs. They've become obscured! For many, the spiritual street signs have been covered by human ideas and opinions and prejudices. We need to wash all that off and see what directions God has given us.