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A quick survey of history or current events informs us that when there is no faith in responsibility, a increase in laws follows. Here’s one of the sillier examples:

Convinced that Happy Meals and other food promotions aimed at children could make kids fat as well as happy, county officials in Silicon Valley are poised to outlaw the little toys that often come with high-calorie offerings. The proposed ban is the latest in a growing string of efforts to change the types of foods aimed at youngsters and the way they are cooked and sold. (Source: Los Angeles Times)

Let’s not limit this illustration or any other we can imagine to the realm of politics. The lack of personal responsibility can take place in any area of human interaction – including the church, and including our own soul. When a community of people are burdened with laws, rules, and policies personal and communal responsibility are no longer encouraged. All that is emphasized is following the rule or conforming to the decision.

Grace may seem like an absence of responsibility. Freedom in Christ may seem like a catch-phrase to say “Do As You Like.” In reality, God’s grace encourages personal responsibility. How? Because the action of God’s grace gives us a new spirit and changes our heart. Graces makes it truly possible to mature in Christ.

Read Galatians 6:1-10

Carry Your Own Load [Individual Responsibility]

  1. Do Good (v. 10)

  2. Avoid Sin (v. 7-8) – I am amazed that a people of the book can still subscribe to the idea that God is not a fair judge. For some reason the notion lingers among us that God is rather a tricky bureaucrat who will find the spiritual equivalent of a forgotten parking ticket on our record and damn us to hell for not following proper procedure. [Maybe we are the spiritual bureaucrats?] The problem with such views is that sin is not something to be avoided; rather we just have to have all sins properly stamped and processed.

    An important question for a church that trusts in the grace of God is “How do we deal with sin?”

Carry One Another’s Burden’s [Communal Responsibility = Our Own Responsibility as Part of a Body]

  1. Restore the Sinner (v. 1-3)

  2. Share All Good Things (v. 6)
    1. What will you reap? Support those who teach you how to live and do good. Support the ministries that do good. We reap what we sow.
    2. Do good to others – especially the church family because it sets an example – do good even if they are not so good to you! (The Law of Christ)

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 5 September 2010

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