There are Christians who attempt to justify their actions by saying some things are in the gray area of the Bible. We need to understand that God is not ambiguous in His Word. There is an absolute right or an absolute wrong and nothing in between with God. Paul said, “But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No” (2 Cor 1:18). It is yes or no and no maybe with the Lord our God.
Sin is doing anything that violates God’s law of righteousness. 1 John 5:17 says: “All unrighteousness is sin” and “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” (1 Jn 3:4). When we transgress or do things that are against God’s law, we have committed sin and sin is not ambiguous.
Everything that we do that is contrary to Bible teaching falls into one of these three categories. It is either the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life that gets us into trouble. James tells us that friendship with the world is enmity with God (4:4) and that we are to submit ourselves to God while resisting the devil (4:7). We are also told, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (Jam 4:8).
Gray areas are things that some Christians are involved in, often claiming that there’s no divine guidance, and therefore try to justify that these are acceptable. But are they? Are there really gray areas to in God’s Word? Jesus said: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16). There can be no “gray areas” as far as God is concerned.
Paul told Timothy to “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Nowhere do we read in God’s word where instrumental music is authorized, only that we are to “sing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16 f; Eph. 5:19). Therefore, instrumental music is wrong in worship to God. In the area of immodesty we are told to prove all things (1 Thess. 5:21), do all in the name of the Lord (Col. 3:17), do all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31), live beyond reproach (1 Pet. 3:150, and to wear the proper clothing (1 Tim. 2:9-10). We have now placed immodesty in the “black” column. What about dancing? God’s Word says to prove all things and abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:21-22), and that lusting is wrong (Matt. 5:28). Can we control the other person’s thoughts when dancing? “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Cor. 15:33). Many Christians are now watching movies that have bad language and sex scenes all through them. Surely we have read God’s word which says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8), and also the words of Paul which tells us what kinds of things to think on (Phil. 4:8). See also Titus 1:15. Movies with bad language and sex scenes are certainly something that Jesus would not approve for his disciples to watch. Is smoking something that God approves of? Would that be a work of the flesh or a fruit of the Spirit? Surely a Christian would know and understand that smoking hurts his influence (Matt. 5:16), is an addiction and enslavement (1 Cor. 6:12; 9:27), is offensive to others (Matt. 7:12), and is harmful to one’s health (1 Cor. 6:19-20)! Do you think this is something Jesus would do? Of course not! Finally, we are left with social drinking. Would a Christian consider himself part of that chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar person (1 Pet. 2:9) while taking another drink of alcohol? Drinking alcohol is not a fruit of the Spirit, it is a work of the flesh. Therefore, the social drinker is sinning (1 Thess. 5:21-22). We have gone to the word of God in order to “rightly divide” all those things that some Christians would call “gray!” Did you notice where all those “gray” things ended up?
Conclusion: The law of God is made for the lawless, disobedient, ungodly, and for sinners. It is for all those who practice things that are contrary to sound doctrine (1 Tim. 1:9-10). The Bible teaches us that “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 Jn 1:7-10). The apostle Paul wrote: “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:24-25). Children of God know what things are right and what things are wrong because they know there is nothing half right or half wrong with God.