This morning I would like for us to look at some terms and definitions. I believe that these will help us in making decisions and choices that will be pleasing to God. I don't want anyone to get mad or offended, but I do want us to think! The five terms are Principles, Convictions, Standards, Preferences, and Hang-ups. Let's define them.
I. Principles: Bible truths that we must live by to please God.
A. These are direct or implied commands from the pages of Scripture.
1. Some Examples?
2. 10 Commandments
3. Direct biblical mandates
B. They do not change because of time, location, or individuals.
C. They do not change because of acceptance or rejection.
II. Convictions: Personal beliefs based upon biblical principles which govern our lives.
A. There is a difference between saying I have convictions and living by those convictions.
B. If we are not living by them, then they are not really convictions.
C. We do not need to listen to know what a person's convictions are, all we need to do is look at their lives.
III. Standards: Rules that we make to help us keep our convictions.
A. Note, these may change depending upon our needs.
B. They serve as a protection to us.
C. There is an example found in Exodus 19:23
EXODUS 19:23 23 AND MOSES SAID UNTO THE LORD, THE PEOPLE CANNOT COME UP TO MOUNT SINAI: FOR THOU CHARGEDST US, SAYING, SET BOUNDS ABOUT THE MOUNT, AND SANCTIFY IT. (KJV)
1. Biblical principle: Ex. 19:12
2. Conviction: If the people touch the mountain they will die.
3. Standard: We will build a wall around the mountain for protection.
D. Standards are designed to help us keep our convictions...they should never take the place of them.
1. Pharisees had the highest of standards, but they were the furthest from Jesus.
2. Standards are not a measure of spirituality.
3. Too much emphasis can lead to pride and arrogance.
IV. Preferences: What we believe would please God, but we have no direct biblical basis for it.
A. Not the same as prinicples, convictions, or standards.
B. But these are not necessarily bad or wrong, they are what we do that we believe pleases our Lord.
C. Much of what we do in our worship and service to the Lord should be out of a heart of love with the desire that we please Him.
V. Hang-ups: Things we believe very strongly about, even though there is no biblical basis for it.
A. Often these can be hindrances to our relationship with others.
B. As a result they can hinder our effectiveness in our service for the Lord.