Introduction to the Sermon Series The Wrong Arm of the Law
The Christian can’t’ live just any way
that they want too, without hurting their relationship with the Lord; but also can’t be excessive with the enforcement of rules and regulations.
The intent of this Series is to help the Christian navigate between Christian Liberty and Legalism.
Today, we are going to start a new Bible Study Series. We just finished a series on The end of the world as we know it. We have been discussing in that series the Full Armor of God. All the different pieces of armor that the Lord has designed for us in connection to what those pieces of armor were used for by the Roman soldier, and in contrast, what those pieces of armor will do for the Christian. Now, we are going to change directions a little bit in this series, and we are going to talk about some other things that we need to make sure that we employ in our Christian lives.
W.R.O.L. and E.R.O.L. Defined:
The term that we used in the previous study, the end of the world as we know it, (TEOTWAWKI) was borrowed from the Prepper community. The Prepper community as a whole has received some bad press, people taking things to the extreme; Dooms Day Preppers for instance; things of that nature. Prepping in and of itself is a good thing, it has some foundations that I believe you can find that are scriptural; As far as preparing for things to come. It’s never going to hurt you to prepare for personal disasters. The typical things, like on Dooms Day Preppers, that you see as far as an E.M.P. attack, the zombie apocalypse, and things along that nature are not likely to happen, and some of them can be downright ridiculous to think about, but in your personal life what is more likely to happen is perhaps someone will loose a job or something along those lines. Preparing for those things would be a good idea, having some food stored up is never going to be a bad thing for you and your family. For this series which is going to be entitled The Wrong Arm of the Law, I’m also going to be utilizing a couple of other prepper terms or acronyms that they use. Those acronyms being W.R.O.L. and E.R.O.L. Without Rule of Law, and Excessive Rule of Law.
Where should the Christian land in relationship to these two different philosophies? First of all, I would like to define these terms: W.R.O.L. = Without Rule Of Law; translates into a total collapse of society into something resembling a “Mad Max” scenario. Where the government and all life as we know it collapses and turns chaotic. Where you have a gangs rule sort of mentality, like what the movie “Mad Max” portrays; we have seen some small temporary outcroppings of this from time to time. For instance, when Hurricane Katrina landed down in New Orleans, they had some pockets of areas that had a lot of looting and crime going on, the law officers were busy trying to maintain order, but It was really just too much all at once and they couldn’t handle it all, so you had some areas that were basically functioning Without Rule of Law! Or for instance, the riots and things that they’ve had recently in Ferguson Mo. with everything that was going on there, you had different pockets of areas that are functioning as if there is no rule of law in place, and to take it to an extreme in the prepper community, some folks feel like at some point there is going to be a catalyst probably in the near future; Whether it’s a financial collapse whether it’s an E.M.P. strike, we get invaded by a foreign power or whatever, that is going to cause one of two things to happen; either society will degrade into what is across the board, complete and total Without Rule of Law or it is going to progress into an area, because of the same sort of catalyst, where we are going to have Excessive Rule of Law. So instead of being just having pockets of these things, it’s going to become what is considered to be the norm. They go from one extreme to the other. So E.R.O.L. or Excessive Rule of Law to be defined is: When a Government becomes oppressive and uses its powers and laws to control its citizens. That would be a scenario where there’s Martial Law, where it is similar to being under a dictatorship or something along those lines. Things that fall very closely in line with the novel 1984, written by George Orwell. George Orwell wrote that novel back in 1949; a lot of the technology and things that he discussed in that novel were not even in existence at the time that he wrote the novel. It’s sort of scary to think about how close his predictions have come to the way that things have actually transpired. In Orwell’s novel, of course, you have the inception of “Big Brother” and mass surveillance and things of that nature, and things that are really happening today, but back then they weren’t, but that’s what some folks think that society in general is going to devolve into. Where the Governments are just going to be excessively controlling everything that people are doing, what you’re allowed to think about or not think about. They believe that it’s going to be one way or the other to the extreme; whether it’s going to be a completely lawless society, or whether it’s going to be a society that is excessively ruled by the law, by the Government, by those that are in charge. Today, in our current situation that we have, there are certain Governments around the world that rule this way, they rule excessively, dictatorships or what have you, and they don’t make any qualms about it. They don’t care who knows that they are ruling that way, you have Shariah law and different things like this, that are in existence today and have become accepted behavior. Here in the United States, as of the current date, at any rate, that’s not acceptable behavior for the Government to do. Now the Government still does a lot of things behind the scenes, as far as monitoring things and we have surveillance all over the place these days as far as traffic cameras, and different things going on, closed circuit recording going on in all different types of places, internet browser tracking, but they’re doing it under the surface. It’s not an all outright excessive law situation. Folks who take radical positions on these two philosophies will either fall one direction or the other, where they believe that everything is going to be without law, or everything is going to be completely and totally controlled by the Government. I don’t believe that either philosophy is the way that it’s going to land. Whatever catalyst that may occur, Financial Collapse, Invasion by a Foreign power, or What have you, that’s going to cause society as we know it to more or less collapse, I don’t believe that we’re going to be completely in a Without Rule of Law situation, nor do I believe that it’s going to be a complete and total Excessive Rule of Law situation. I believe it’s going to be a little bit of both. I believe it’s going to be somewhere in the middle.
What does this have to do with you as a Christian? What does this have to do with the way you live your Christian life?
Turn to Galatians 2:1-16. 14 years after what? Read Galatians 1:16-17, after Paul went to Arabia and returned to Damascus, he was preaching the Gospel message that the Lord had revealed to him in the churches. 14 years after that transpired is where we find ourselves in Galatians 2, the companion passage to what is going on here is found in Acts 15, where they had a council meeting in Jerusalem. So here we are talking about The Wrong Arm of the Law, the wrong application of the law. When it comes to whether we are in a situation where it’s Without Rule of Law or Excessive Rule of Law. We have some local churches operating to one extreme or the other, and that’s what this study is hopefully going to help us to navigate through. Since we’re looking here, and we see right here in Galatians 2:16 The Apostle Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, the Apostle whom the Lord Jesus Christ revealed the Gospel too, says Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, so we know that we are saved by grace through faith. It’s not of ourselves; it’s a gift of God lest any man should boast. We find that over in Ephesians 2, so we know that we don’t earn salvation by living a good life, we don’t keep our salvation by the way that we live, there are some folks who operate in a Without Rule of Law type of situation, where thy feel that since I’m saved by grace, and I’m kept by grace, and I have eternal security or eternal salvation, since I don’t have to worry about losing my salvation because of the way that I live, then it really doesn’t matter what I do, and I can live any way that I want to live. That statement couldn’t be any further from the truth, just continue reading the passage Galatians 2:17, …Is Christ the minister of Sin? God forbid. No! we’re not supposed to do that. What is being dealt with here is Salvation, not Christian Living. Some churches and folks go the other direction, and they are very excessive with the application of their rules and their regulations. So, just like if society were to collapse, we are not going to be in a complete and total society where there is absolutely no rule of law or not completely and totally excessive and dictated to us when we are allowed to take a breathe or sneeze in public, it’s going to be somewhere in the middle. The Christian Life that you need to be navigating through to maintain a close and intimate relationship with your creator is going to be somewhere in the middle. It’s not an anything goes, just live any way that you want too, but also it can’t be a situation where we are so strict and uptight about everything, that there’s no room for Christian Liberty. Let’s look at Galatians 3:1-3. These folks are those who crept into the church here in Galatia, and they were telling the converts that they needed to add some things to their faith to maintain their salvation, there are a lot of folks who teach and preach that today as well. The Apostle Paul is saying are you so foolish that you’ve already forgotten what the Gospel is? Have you already forgotten what you have learned? Have you forgotten that you do not need to maintain good works to achieve salvation or to keep salvation? He further explained it over here in Galatians 4:21-31. Do you hear the law? Have you ever read what is in the law? I don’t just mean the 10 commandments; I mean the entire law. All the rules and regulations, all the things that you can eat and can’t eat, you can’t round the corners of your beard, and the types of dress that you had to wear, and the things as far as it goes whether you were to be considered clean or unclean depending on what you were exposed to, and what you had to do in order to get cleaned up if you had been unclean and all of these other rules and regulations that are through here; the Apostle Paul is saying, you desire to be under the law, have you ever read what the law actually says?! If you actually know what the law says, there is no way that you would want to place yourself in that situation. you wouldn’t want to place yourself in that situation, where it’s going to be excessive rule of law; you would be crazy to want to do that. He goes on starting in verse 22, explaining the two natures. We are Born Again, as Jesus told Nicodemus and therefore tells us in John 3, Ye must be born again when you’re born again you’re born again of the spirit. you’re not born again physically; you don’t go back through your mother’s womb. You’re Born a natural birth, and then once you come to saving faith and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, you are born into a spiritual birth, that is your second birth, you now have two natures. Th Apostle Paul teaches that we have the old nature and the new nature. we have the flesh, and we have the spirit, and they war with one another just like Isaac and Ishmael conflicted with one another, so it is within yourself today!
The way we live does, however, have bearing on our personal relationship with the Lord
Looking at these scriptures, it could possibly lead you to the W.R.O.L. philosophy, The Apostle Paul keep saying over and over and over again, repeating to us time and time again that we are saved by grace through faith, it’s not what we do; the works that we do aren’t pertaining to our relationship as far as salvation is concerned. The way we live does, however, have bearing on our personal relationship with the Lord as we grow in faith and knowledge of him. We have to notice what is being spoken about here in Galatians, What is being spoken about in Galatians is not the way we live our life after salvation. The Apostle Paul was given advanced revelation concerning how a believer should live after salvation, but that’s not what is being spoken about here in Galatians. If you look back in Galatians 1:6-12 you can see what the Apostle Paul is speaking about here in Galatians. Paul says that whether we or an Angel, comes to preach another Gospel to you, then they should be accursed. Not just cast out not just shunned, but accursed! Pretty serious stuff here. What is being dealt with in the book of Galatians is Salvation, not Christain living, but salvation. There were folks that were teaching the converts that they weren’t saved unless they also lived under the law. The Apostle Paul was saying, anybody how comes in to say that sort of thing will be accursed. He repeated it twice to make sure that we go it. What is being dealt with here is salvation, not Christian living. The Apostle Paul has been given advanced revelation concerning how we should live after we come to salvation, but that is not what this here is speaking about.
The intent of this series is to help us to navigate between Christian Liberty and legalism.