Prove What Is Acceptable

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: I Thessalonians 5:16-24

 

I.         I doubt it has escaped your notice, but there are people around us who don’t always do what is right

            A.        How do you know who to trust?

            B.        People claim to be Christians, but we know people can and do lie

            C.        For that matter, how do I know if I am as good as I claim to be?

II.        Examine the evidence

            A.        Too often we let things slide.

                        1.         We just accept what comes along because it requires less effort

                        2.         Besides, who wants more “drama” in their life?

            B.        We want to live as God desires - Ephesians 5:1-2

                        1.         Which means we have to stay out of sins, such as fornication, impurity, and greed - Ephesians 5:3

                        2.         But that also means I can’t be talking as if those sins are acceptable, even when joking - Ephesians 5:4

                        3.         It isn’t something that can be ignored - Ephesians 5:5-6

                        4.         We have to be different - Ephesians 5:7-8

                        5.         Which means we need to prove what pleases the Lord - Ephesians 5:9-10

            C.        We need to prove all things - I Thessalonians 5:21-22

                        1.         We all too easily assume that whatever we are doing must be fine with God - Psalms 19:12-13

                        2.         We need to hang on to the good

                        3.         We need to reject (hate) the evil

                        4.         That means we have to take a stance

            D.        In other to mature, we need to be able to distinguish between good and evil - Hebrews 5:13-14

                        1.         It only comes through the use of God’s word – putting it into daily practice

III.       What we look at

            A.        It is not just what a person says

            B.        We are not to believe everyone who comes along - I John 4:1

                        1.         Those who follow God are not bothered by this - Acts 17:10-12

                        2.         Look at what they accomplish - Matthew 7:15-20

            C.        But we also have to examine ourselves - II Corinthians 13:5-6

                        1.         Look at what you do and accomplish - Galatians 6:3-5

IV.      What we compare against

            A.        We can’t use ourselves as the standard - II Corinthians 10:12

            B.        We can’t use the world - I Corinthians 2:14-16

            C.        It is God’s word that can improve us - Psalms 19:7-11

            D.        God’s word discerns the thoughts and attitudes - Hebrews 4:12

V.        You know more when you are interested in a subject

            A.        A car buff knows all sorts of details about what makes a good or poor automobile

            B.        A sports buff knows all sorts of details about what makes someone or some team good or bad at their sport

            C.        Learn to love God’s word - Psalms 119:97-104

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