General Guiding Principles
By Bobby Ross
INTRODUCTION: How shall a believer know whether a particular thing, not specifically mentioned in the Bible, is right or wrong? There are four clear areas of revealed truth to guide us:
Together, these four bodies of Bible truth supply us with a scriptural guide to the kind of conduct that will guarantee to us the full blessing of God upon our lives. Instead of an ever-changing, man-made list of things we are not supposed to do, we have a positive and clear guide based on the eternal principles of the WORD OF GOD.
FIRST PRINCIPLE: WE HAVE LIBERTY IN CHRIST
John 8:32, 8:36; Galatians 5:1; Romans 14:5
Just as liberty is necessarily limited in this free land by laws for the regulation of traffic and the protection of life and property, there are at least five general statements which limit our liberty:
Galatians 5:13 - Liberty is therefore not given to make possible self-indulgence.
1 Corinthians 6:12 - Liberty therefore is not to be used as an excuse for enslaving habits.
1 Corinthians 10:23 - Liberty is therefore not an occasion for unedifying pleasures.
I Peter 2:16 - Liberty does not therefore provide an excuse for hiding sin.
I Corinthians 8:9 - Liberty is not therefore a license for hurting other Christians.
SECOND PRINCIPLE: THE EFFECT OF CONDUCT UPON SELF
Does it make for purity? I Timothy 5:22; 1 Peter 1:16
Will it defile the body? 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Corinthians3:17; 2 Corinthians 6:17
Is it habit forming? 1 Corinthians 6:12; John 8:34
Is it a victory, or a surrender? Romans 6:13; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Romans 8:37
Will it purify, or war against your soul? I Peter 2:11; 1:22
Our mind and conscience:
Does it edify? 1 Corinthians 14:26; 10:23
Does it defile the mind? Titus 1:15
Is it doubtful? Romans 14:23
Do you feel self-condemned by it? Romans 14:22
Is it a wise use of time? Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5
Is it the right use of money? 1 Corinthians 4:2
Is it the right use of talents? Matthew 13:22
Is it a faithful discharge of responsibility? Titus 3:8
THIRD PRINCIPLE: THE EFFECT OF CONDUCT UPON OTHERS
How does it look to others?
Does it adorn the doctrine you profess? Titus 2:10; Ephesians 4: 1; Philippians 1:27
Does it make you a good example? I Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:7
Is it wise in the sight of non-Christians? Colossians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 8:21; 1 Timothy 3:7
Is it wrong in the sight of others? 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Romans 14: 16; Philippians 2:15
Its actual effects on others:
Will it please and help your neighbor? Romans 15:2; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Hebrews 10:24
Will it offend anyone? 1 Corinthians 10:32; 2 Corinthians 6:3; Acts 24:16
Will it make anyone stumble? Romans 14:21; 14:13
Its bearing on your responsibilities:
Does it honor your parents? Colossians 1:20
Does it honor your church? 1 Peter 5:5
Does it honor your school? Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 2:13
Does it honor your government? Titus 3:1
Is it an unequal yoke? 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:11
Its relationship to your three great enemies-world, flesh, devil:
Does it indicate friendship with the world? James 4:4; Romans 12:2
Is it providing for the flesh? Romans 13:14
Is it a possible yielding to the devil? James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9; 1 Corinthians 10:20
FOURTH PRINCIPLE: THE EFFECT OF CONDUCT UPON GOD
Can it be done in the name of the Lord? Colossians 3:17; 1 Timothy 6:1
Can it be done as unto the Lord? Colossians 3:23; Ephesians 5:22; 2 Corinthians 8:21
Can it be done for the glory of God? 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Corinthians 6:20
Is it worthy of God and His kingdom? 1 Thessalonians 2:12; Colossians 1:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:5
TWO OF GOD'S PROMISES FOR OBEDIENCE
Deut. 29: 9: “Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.”
Deut. 8:18; Joshua 1 :7; 1 Kings 2:3; Psalm 1 :3; 2 Kings 18:6, 7
2. PRAYERS WILL BE ANSWERED:
John 15:7: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
1 John 3:21: “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.”
CONCLUSION: This puts the problem of questionable activities or amusements in its proper light. It provides the greatest incentive for living in accordance with the teaching of the Bible that the mind can conceive. The truth is seen to be that obedience to the WORD is the true key to the greatest blessing and joy a person can know.