Preparing for Worship // January 28, 2018

Preparing for Worship // January 28, 2018

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We generally associate laws with limitation. “Thou shalt not steal.” “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” “Thou shalt not drive faster than 35 m.p.h.” Laws tell us what we have to do, and laws tell us what we cannot do. As such, laws impose limits on our actions. As sinful human beings (and our present culture only feeds in this), our tendency is to buck against anything that limits us. We are the masters of our own destinies, and we can do anything we set our minds to. But this is not how the Bible sees the law. The Bible depicts God’s law as “the perfect law, the law of liberty” (James 1:25). If the essence of law is limitation, how can James describe it as the “law of liberty”? G.K. Chesterton uses the image of walls around a playground. Imagine a playground on top of a hill with cliffs on all four sides. As long as the wall is there, the children are free to run around the playground, laughing and playing to their heart’s content. But if you remove the wall, their playing instantly stops and they will huddle in the center in order to avoid the edge. There is freedom in limitation.

This is because there are always consequences to our actions. Sometimes those consequences are good: when you work, you get paid. Sometimes those consequences are bad: when you speed, you’re more likely to wreck. Sometimes you reap the consequences of your actions: a man spending the holidays alone because of his adultery and divorce. But most of the time other people reap the consequences of our actions. No husband can have an affair without it affecting his wife and children. No child can disobey their parents without it affecting those parents.

So rather than complain that God has built a fence around our playground, let us run and laugh and enjoy the limitations that God provides. He has not left us to ourselves to figure out the best way to live. In revealing His law, He has revealed to us His own character, which we have the joy of imitating. God’s law is an expression of His love, for only as we obey Him and reflect His character are we living the way that He created us to live. Rejoice in God’s “law of liberty.”

THE WORD

Scripture: Deuteronomy 4:44-5:33
Sermon: Ten Words to Live By

SONGS

Come Ye Sinners (Indelible Grace)
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Thy Mercy (Sandra McCracken)
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Holy, Holy, Holy (Traditional)
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Song of Preparation: I Boast No More (Sandra McCracken)
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Song of Response: Love Constraining to Obedience (Shane Martin)
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Comments

  1. Chuck Macurda says:

    Barr, well done. The Holy Spirit is moving and spurring us on to learn more and more from His Word. I love the imagery of God’s law as a wall around a playground for children – freedom through limitation. Thank you for your faithful blog posts!

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