A debate continues within Christianity on the need and effectiveness of erecting boundaries to avoid sin. On the one hand some argue that boundaries are akin to laws which the Bible emphasizes cannot justify or change the heart. The opposing argument is that barriers keep us from unnecessary temptation that could lead to sin. What makes this debate so difficult to settle is that both sides bring Scripture to bear on their arguments. No true evangelical Christian would debate that we are justified apart from the works of the law (Gal 3:11) and that no righteousness of our own could ever earn favor with God (Isa 64:6). But the same must be said about the opposing viewpoint as well, for who would debate Paul’s advice to Timothy to flee youthful lusts (1 Tim 2:22) or the necessity of parental boundaries similar to the instructions of parents in Proverbs 1-9 (cf. Pr 2:1-2; 6:20)? This same principle of boundary setting is implied in Proverbs 7 as well. As the dad tells the story of the naive fool, he notes that the young man passed near the house of the harlot, even taking the way to her house, and doing so in the dark. The father offers no commentary on the young man’s choice, but implicit in the tone of the passage is that being so near the area of the harlot is dangerous and foolish. Boundaries are necessary in our pursuit of holiness. While we cannot depend upon any law or boundary to change hearts, we also recognize that well-thought-out boundaries can prevent inadvertent falls into sin or even the potential of sin’s destruction. To eliminate boundaries under the pretense of freedom from the law ignores, at the least, the ongoing battle inside the Christian between the Spirit and the flesh (Rm 8:1-10). As we make efforts to avoid the inevitable demise that immorality brings, we would be wise to flee our youthful lusts, to stay far from the edge of the cliff of temptation lest we fall, but we must also remember that our corrupt flesh is still in us and its wicked desires must be put to death as we consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God (Rm 6:11). Praise God for His Spirit who writes the law of Christ on our hearts as He changes us into Christ’s glorious image (Rm 8:2).–Pastor Rory
Sunday at Liberty
9AM: Seth & Crystal Grotzke Ministry Presentation
10AM: Pastor Seth–Immorality’s Demise, 2–Proverbs 7:1-27
11:45AM: Day of Prayer
6:00PM: Missions Emphasis Night–Grotzkes
Sunday is our August Day of Prayer; plan to stick around after the morning worship for prayer in the multipurpose room.