A. A wise master builder has two things at hand as he builds and is careful to use them:
1. The official project blue print.
2. A good set of measuring tools – to measure length, width, height, angles, etc.
B. As spiritual builders we need the same tools to build up our personal lives and the Lord’s church.
1. The blue print and measuring tool for life and the church is the word of God (cf. Jas. 1:25).
2. Paul warns against other measuring sticks or adding or subtracting from the one (Rev. 22:18-19)
C. Let us examine some faulty measuring sticks that we sometimes use to measure right and wrong.
A. Paul says this is not wise (2 Cor. 10:12).
B. It is not wise because:
1. Even a fool is right in his own eyes (Prov. 12:15)
2. What seems right to us may be fatal (Prov. 14:12)
3. Woe to those wise in their own eye (Isa. 5:21)
A. Judged by our works, not another’s (Rev. 20:13; 2 Cor. 5:10).
B. Sentiment that expresses such measurement.
1. “If he/she does, so can I”
2. “If the preacher, elders, deacons approve or do it, it’s ok.” (Acts 20:30)
3. “What I do is no worse that what he/she does”
4. “Brother Well Read Preacher said….”
III. Standing Practice
A. This is how religious authority shifts from the New Testament to traditions of men (cf. Matt. 15:9).
1. This has resulted in the religious confusion we have today.
2. Early subtle deviations from the New Testament pattern occurred (cf. 2 Thess. 2:7)
3. Each deviation became standing practice and a pattern for the next generation– not word of God.
4. It was this kind of thing that necessitated the “restoration movement.”
B. New questions, problems and situations arise – how do we determine the right course?
1. By what we have always said or done, or what we said or did the last time in a similar matter?
2. By what our present practice may or may not be?
3. By what is the current consensus of “the brotherhood?”
4. Or do we go back to the Bible each time and measure by it.
C. Our beginning illustration of the master builder shows the folly of this approach.
1. No good carpenter measures a new cut by the past cuts – goes back to original for each cut.
2. Ill. Two boys cutting wood for stove – over time wood became too long.
3. It may be that we need to go back and do some re-cutting – let not use past cuts to measure.
A. All too often the greatest consideration to solving a problem is so it will preserve peace.
1. Peace and unity among brethren is wonderful (Gen. 13:8; Psa. 133:1; Eph. 4:3)
2. Peace is secondary to purity (Jas. 3:17; Matt. 10:34; Lk. 12:51)
B. The greatest consideration must be does it please God (Gal. 1:10 NIV)
A. The way I want it to be rather than the way it ought to be.
B. How this will affect those that I love most:
1. Our parents or our children.
2. Our beloved brother or sister.
3. Our beloved congregation – its attendance and finances.
4. May be ok in purely judgment calls, but not in matters of clearly taught right or wrong.
A. God left us the scriptures as the blue print and measuring stick for us to build by (Heb. 8:5)
B. Let us be careful that we are not using the wrong measuring stick.
C. Let us begin by going back to the Bible for the plan of salvation from sin.