Liberty to Obey
- Date: April 17, 2017
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
- From Put On Christ
We're going to talk about liberties. Do you want to know what you have the liberty to do? Your liberty is to obey Jesus. The liberty you have is not to be used as an occasion to the flesh. The liberty you have-listen-is the fact that you've been set free from the bondage of thinking that you're righteous through the law. Read that in context. The liberty that those people received that Paul was speaking to was a people that were in bondage because "if I don't do this and this, I'm not going to be accepted by the Lord." He said, "Man, stop worrying about that. You've been justified by Jesus Christ. You are no longer under the bondage of trying to appease God through the law." That's your liberty. You've been liberated to-by the Holy Ghost-be obedient to the law of God, empowered by the grace of God to habitually live free from the world, from its enticements and from the bondage of self-righteousness through Pharisaical keeping of the law of God.
That's our liberty. Our liberty is not, "Well, now I can go drink a few drinks and I have that liberty." "Pastor, would you argue against that?" Yes, I would. Because I know one thing for a fact: it's sin to be drunk. "Be not drunken with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the Holy Ghost." Instead of trying to sneak a couple of beers on a hot Saturday while we're mowing the lawn, why don't we spend that time getting full of the Holy Ghost? Why don't we get drunk with the Holy Ghost? "Well, getting drunk with the Holy Ghost won't put salt back in my body and make me refreshed." Yes, it will. You know what it will do? You'll go in there, and you'll be praying in the Holy Ghost. And the Bible says this is the refreshing. You say, "Pastor, are you taking that out of context?" Yeah. But I'm trying to make a point. When you get alone with God and you get refreshed, guess what? Water will be sufficient. Amen? An Arnold Palmer (½ iced tea, ½ lemonade) will be sufficient. How many of you know what an Arnold Palmer is? Okay. It's good drinking.
You say, "Pastor, isn't this because you come from a family that had so many alcoholics in it?" No. "Isn't this because you used to drink quite a bit and you were a violent drunk?" No. It's because we're to shun the very appearance of evil. If one too many can make me drunk, then none is better. Wherein is excess, I don't want to play with stuff that can lead to one-too-many-is-excess, and it's in sin. How many women do we look at until it's excess? How many more calories do we shove into our mouths until it's excess? We just keep looking at it and saying, "Oh, maybe, you know…." Shun the very appearance of evil. Flee youthful lusts. Give no place to the devil. We can deal with all kinds of Scriptures that have to do with abstinence.
We could bring it into other areas. How about all of our justifications for fleeing the house of God when the day is approaching? Is it so common? Do we not even think about it? We could go on and on with practical things that we can identify with. What we're talking about is the bridegroom's coming; let's make ourselves ready. How diligent are we in being drunk in the Holy Ghost? I want to tell you something. If we were people full of the Holy Ghost, we would not be making the decisions we're making. I look back in the Word of God. I look back historically to some of our Pentecostal fathers in the faith, and we are not living like them. That great cloud of witnesses. And we're full of the Word of God and making decisions contrary to it and trying to find other Scripture to justify it. What kind of a position does that put us in? It's not good.
Every biblical imperative, every commandment to abstain, every commandment to pursue, brings us over to the thought processes of Colossians, "put off" and "put on". Every biblical imperative to pursue is a call to holiness. Every biblical imperative to abstain is a biblical call to holiness. We see it as rules. It's a map to holiness that brings us into the presence of God.