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February 15, 2022 12:00 am
Early in His ministry, those who followed Jesus had expectations for Him. They expected their messiah to wage war against Rome, free Israel, and brings God's kingdom to earth during their lifetime. But Jesus had different intentions, and He challenged His followers to conform to His will, not try to make Him conform to theirs. Jesus' sermon on the mount, transcribed in Luke's Gospel, will be just as difficult and challenging for us today as it was for the Jewish patriots and nationalists in Jesus' audience.
So boss and Simon's office and rob us of the rights of the fraud office maybe persecutors and maybe even bring in the liens but we have been reminded through the words of Christ. Our mission is to deliver to our world, the gospel and to have this spirit and this attitude of graciousness and compassion and mercy and reminding them ultimately for the gospel that there is another country back to wisdom for the hearts.
Yesterday we began a message that we didn't have time today were to do a little bit of review and then bring you the conclusion to that lesson. Many of the people who heard and followed Jesus misunderstood his mission. They thought he came to bring them political freedom. But Jesus had different intentions.
Jesus preached a sermon about this and it's recorded for us in Luke chapter 6 Stephen Dailey returns to that passage today. It's filled with practical insight that relates directly to our lives today. This is part two of the message Stephen is calling a different Bill of Rights. My manager and translator for our media ministry is currently leading an underground church in China.
I had lunch a while back when he had other brothers to come here and every one of those pastors had spent at least three years in prison that they said to me that they don't even really consider a prison sentence worth anything if it's less than three years Jesus is preaching to a church that will soon be hiding in the catacombs of wrong is the liens are carded into the arena is wanting us to focus on the eternal destiny as you are hating and cursing and mistreating us pray. I want to those in one of the most persecuted believers ever is writing a letter to a young pastor listen to his perspective that is eternal. He mimics the Bill of Rights delivered by Jesus, the apostle Paul writes this.
First of all, that I urge the supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people for kings and all who are in high positions that get this that we may lead a life it's noted by this peacefulness, quietness, godliness and dignity in every way that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life directly, dignified in every way. Does that sound like your Facebook posts.
Does that sound like your twitter account got going dignified peaceful quiet. Can somebody say disagrees with you.
You know what I know about that guy is one of those Christians, but I gotta tell you, I can tell you spring for our country.
I can tell you spring for leaders. I get angry at him. He never responds that way back. You have the right to pray for those who mistreat right number five, you have the right to refuse revenge. Jesus now says in verse 29 to one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also. Matthew chapter 5 delivers a couple of additional words that are helpful. It's the right cheek. This is the idea of a backhanded slap. It's a metaphor for being insulted. This is not a recommendation here that you let the neighborhood bully have one more shot at no rhyme. However, this has to do with reacting supernaturally instead of naturally.
The natural thing is to strike back.
You may want to give you a better insult to get the last word, revenge, and if you're bigger than him in a literal sense to me slap you.
Will you take this hat off. That's the American way.
See, this is essentially a commander refused to hit back physically or verbally to never get even to never top their insult with a bigger one. Comes on typing it now to be vindicated when it is not right. Jesus effectively says here you have the right to live with never being vindicated anywhere on earth but in the sight of God alone right number six, you have the right to be robbed of personal possessions. Jesus is at the end of verse 29 from when he takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic. Either the cloak here is the row heavier material that reach to the ground. It typically served not only as an outer rope, but as a blanket it might affect along the Old Testament required that it was taken is applied yet to return it by that evening. Otherwise they would be told they would lose their blanket tunic was. The undershirt worn next to the skin agree scholars differ.
It's possible that Jesus could be referring here to robbery. It's also possible that this is a reference to legal action taken against the believer that is unjust, and so this is this is a metaphorical phrases that we use to this very day.
Talk about somebody who lost their sure we talk about somebody today is called. We have a Bill of Rights to protect our privacy and our possessions are houses, papers and property bound up in the amendments four and five but again she's delivering a different Bill of Rights. He says we have the right to lose everything and keep nothing so will we trust him that he will take care of us even when we are unjustly treated and left out in the cold. Now you need to understand Jesus is not diminishing the blessing of just law for those who uphold it is a sacred calling police, essentially telling his disciples here to live with the attitude that those possessions that shirt that wrote its temporary hold loosely, hold loosely. Now you can imagine by now that you know the energy and the excitement there on that plateau is just been sucked out of the year I meet thousands of people have come they want to hear Jesus preach.
They can't wait to see Jesus. He's the most famous person in in their world and in their not so sure now. Fact is that I did in earlier studies. John six tells us that when you get to the end of the start many disciples leave and walk no longer with their not interested in this Bill of Rights, Jesus isn't finished yet right number seven. You have the right to be generous to the who don't pay you back. Verse 30 Jesus gives by the way, the worst financial advice on the planet.
He says get to everyone who begs from you and from one who takes away your goods do not demand that finally the term for back here is understood in the context of borrowing and there is an element of desperation begging please. They want to borrow it could be food it could be you could be money that it would be also understand that in this culture. These common people work work were desperately poor. One historian said that they were all one that harvest away from total room so person is on the line and to another person who is in need is not Jesus. As you might will just consider it a gift or you generous the Lord says here if someone uses your possessions again. It's in the context of borrowing they've taken it and they won't return the can't.
Maybe they lost it.
Don't demand it back. It might've been your toolbox your table, your milk cow plow they just can't afford to give it back. So let them keep using Melissa the Fifth Amendment of our Bill of Rights gives us the right to never be deprived of property without just compensation. Jesus isn't suggesting now. By the way that we ignore the basic truths of property and possessions, but he is taking us to an entirely different standard. A different attitude of compassion for those who are in need.
He is essentially saying in this and in in this Bill of Rights, people are more important that possessions my citizens should be known for their generosity.
They give the give the give and to give right number eight you have the right to never see in your lifetime. Many of your wishes come true and people are thinking. What I really want to follow Jesus. Now this is originally called the Golden rule, dating back to the 16th century.
Jesus, summarizes in the statement. Everything he says here in verse 31 and as you wish that others would do you do so to that at this as you wish others would do to you, and you can apply this and do not they know in spite of that press forward in this lifestyle of good deeds and speaking gracious words and praying, faithful prayers and sacrificially surveying and heart of giving, generosity at this point I met somebody out of the audience here in the first century is beginning to think right now really seriously.
Everybody knows this is not the way world works gives way too much time in the carpenter shop had been out here, obviously the golden rule out here Lord is you scratch my back and I will scratch your that's how the world works. Jesus knew their hearts. He knows ours so he makes his point even clearer and more convicting, in case we didn't get it beginning at verse 32.
He says this. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you what active grace is that on your part for even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you what grace is that what benefit is that you sinners do the same.
And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you.
Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same but love your enemies, do good and not expecting nothing in return that phrase, expecting nothing literally means losing hope she give it up so that you will ever see. Come back your way. Jesus is saying I know how the world works.
I know how sinners act of not asking you uphold their Bill of Rights. I'm asking you uphold mine.
There is come naturally. Mine, supernatural see Jesus is not calling us here. They imitate humanity is calling us to imitate deity. Did you catch that big. Look at verse 35 your reward will be great as you be compensated one day you will be sons of the most high, for his kind. He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil be merciful, even as your father is merciful. That phrase sons of the most high is a Jewish idiom it, it means that your actions reveal what family to whom you belong phrases, Jesus will refer to the sons of this age.
That is, they belong is a world system, Luke chapter 16 verse eight and referred to the sons of those who murdered the prophets, are not biological sons are just acting like their forefathers there there acting like a family to which they become. Matthew 2331 so Jesus is saying here. If you live by my Bill of Rights. You will be recognized as sons of the most high, not related to anybody on the planet who are you, you must be related DNA Sivan Seneca the phospholipid in the days of Jesus's ministry said and I quote you wish to imitate God's do good deeds to the ungrateful everybody gets that everybody sees this is different. This is not all of our this is supernatural behavior. So as citizens of heaven. Act like your father says he's kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Those who deny him his merciful and I pull out of my neighborhood this morning and you know there's a diecut as long as I have come to church and thinking. It rained on his lawn. Just like it rained on my if I were God, I carved the clouds. It would just count rain around until he started going to church and really bothers me that his yard looks better just not gotten so gracious to our world they can live in love and paint, and enjoy scenery in relationships and raise children and go to the beach and enjoy life.
Merciful, I would siphon the oxygen off just for those God to whom we belong calls us to not respond naturally supernatural.
You want to do that you want to sign up as a citizen of his kingdom.
What would that let me when he makes three very practical applications. Since this is also easy to taken today number one. Let me encourage you to reject the rhetoric. What I mean is this reject the message is your hearing today. The Christians need to fight for their personal and religious rights. While we can voice our objections. We do have a Bill of Rights.
They are just unbalanced. It's within our right to claim them. The problem is when we consider them God-given and all of a sudden now we become American rather than global Christian. We can voice our objections. We can claim our legal rights as citizens anything about the apostle Paul. Remember he claimed the right to a fair trial in acts chapter 25 in verse 11. I appeal to Caesar without he went off to run. He also reminded the jailer was about to be done that, you don't need a Roman sitters Roman citizen without a trial where he said that in acts chapter 22 in verse 25. However, Paul viewed his Roman rights not as God-given guarantees. In fact, if you track his life.
Remember he did not get a fair trial.
He was killed and he was beaten many times stoned to death more than once.
They thought that he would back in and continue preaching. You see if our rights by our country are God-given. If that were true, then Christians today in China, and Afghanistan. In Turkey would need some answers from the apostle Paul, beloved, I want to be transparent and tell you that I believe and have been deeply concerned that the average Christian in our country is becoming angry threatened in is because of the deeply held error that Bill of Rights are biblical rights for the believer.
They are not, we can enjoy them but our rights as citizens have been delivered here by Jesus. He says essentially, this is how you can expect to be treated. In fact, think of Jesus himself. He he he lost all of his rights.
He gave them. In fact, freely away.
He gave up the right to live like Codey and in that glorious day. He gave up the right to use the his powers as God for his own convenience, he gave up the right to be treated like God. Every single one of his rights were demolished why they keep because he had a future view he did that so that you and I could claim rights that we been given as many as received him, to them and he Verizon's to become children of God. John 112. Anything beyond that are on thin ice here you're you're buying into the rhetoric of an ever-growing angry church and Christian community. Secondly, let me encourage you to rise above the arguments, especially in the classroom in the hallway in the board room in the courtroom. Those we work with on social media. Let your social media posts reveal to others that you're praying for your civil leaders with a be surprised to find that you are what them read your responses that you're more concerned about the progress of the gospel rather than your political party or is it just going to be the normal responses to where you're going to give your perspective on every issue that comes down the pike for me encourage you to rise above get beyond the arguments if necessary step away from social media. The next 30 days. Dive into this chapter. The record in Matthew five and immerse yourself in the implications of Jesus is counter cultural claims for his followers and then come out of that 30 days, I believe, refreshed with a gracious spirit toward other Christians who disagree with you. Imagine that with a greater sense of compassion for unbelievers who are not your enemies.
They are your mission field. Remember where they are no with that in mind, here's my third encourage remember your great commission. This is our commission hasn't changed in 2000 years make disciples of all the nations.
Our mission hasn't been and is from Paul's writings, the Jesus's message to our to replace political leaders, but never tried to unseat Nero, although we vote our conscience and thank God for the ability at this point to take advantage of our freedoms for the sake of righteousness but but remember that our mission is not temporary. I've lived long enough to learn that winning at the ballot box is a temporary victory.
Our mission is not to get our country to return to more conservative roots.
We cannot always understand. I I would be thrilled with the moral digression of our culture slowed to a crawl because today it seems to be infused with rocket fuel mixed with insanity, no doubt. I rejoice when Christians win seats on the school board and judicial benches and political positions that may be God's sacred calling for you where you about broader influence in those worlds that I will ever have to bring salt and light for the influence of the gospel in the sake of of righteousness and listen righteousness always exalts a nation, and sin is always a disgrace to any people. That's true, and we career of over the disgrace in our nation was just remember returning our country to conservative roots is not our mission conservatives can die and go to how just as quickly as the liberals remember the mission of the churches not to make someone a conservative. It is to make them a Christian that is a follower of Jesus Christ. I hear more and more Christian leaders today essentially preaching that we must return America to Judeo-Christian ethics.
We've got to save America beloved our mission is not to save our country anymore than it is for Germans who are Christians to save Germany North Koreans who are Christians to save North Korea Chinese Christians to save China that's temporary. Our mission is to remind the citizens of the countries which God has assigned us as ambassadors. These these countries that may insult us and silence us and rob us of the dignity of rights and defraud us and maybe persecutors and maybe even bring in the liens but we have been reminded through the words of Christ. Our mission is to deliver to our world, the gospel and to have the spirit in this attitude of graciousness and compassion and mercy and reminding them ultimately through the gospel that there is another country, there is greater citizenship. There is there is a high Alicia's there is an eternal kingdom. There is a this time naming and you'd better surrender. Ultimately, he will final word is the King of Kings and Lord of lords, and we in the meantime can entrust ourselves them to rise above your remember our assignment with eternal implications from the Lord who was delivered to us very different bill of rights.
This is wisdom for the hearts this lesson is entitled a different Bill of Rights and it comes from Stephen series from Luke six called the sermon on the plateau.
Stephen wrote a booklet entitled Blessed assurance. In it he answers the question of whether or not a Christian can lose his salvation. The e-book Blessed assurance is our gift to you this month. All you need to do is visit wisdom online.org is a link right on our homepage that will take you to. Thanks for listening.
Join us next time a Stephen continues teaching through this series right here on wisdom for the hearts