In your Bible, if you would join me in Matthew seven, Matthew seven, and we're going to read verse one down to verse twelve. And when you find your place, if you would stand in honor of God's wonderful word this morning. It's nice to have that sun out today, wasn't it?
It's always seems like sometimes in the winter you can go a few days without the sun and what a joy to see. Matthew seven, verse one, we're going to read down to verse number twelve. The Bible says, judge not that you be not judged for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged and with what measure you meet, it shall be measured to you again. Why beholdest thou the moat that is in thy brother's eye, but consider us not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how will thou say to thy brother, let me pull out the moat out of thine eye and behold, a beam is in thine own eye. Thou hypocrite first cast out the beam out of thine own eye. And then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the moat out of thy brother's eye. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend you. If you read verse seven with me, ask and it shall be given you seek and you shall find knock and it shall be opened unto you. He goes on to say for everyone that asketh receiveth and he that seeketh findeth to him that knocketh it shall be opened. For what man is there of you of whom, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
Don't raise your hand. Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If he then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children.
How much more shall your father, which is in heaven, give good gift things to them that ask him. And then if you'd read verse 12, as we conclude, therefore, all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them? For this is the law and the prophets.
God bless you, you may be seated. When you get into Genesis chapter one and two, the Bible tells us at the end of every day of creation, God said it is good, it is good, it is good. And then at the end of seventh, the sixth day of creation, when everything was finished being created, God said it was very good. But the only thing God said it was not good was that man was alone.
And he said, I will make him a help me for him. And so we have God making Eve from the rib of a man and bringing him, bringing her unto Adam, and she was his perfect match. And in Genesis two, marriage was instituted by God. And marriage is truly a blessing. Family is such a gift of God.
Children, grandchildren. I was talking to one grandmother today, and her and her husband were so excited about the grand babies and their lives. And today we had new eight new babies dedicated to God. And I want to say thank you to the Lord.
If you haven't had a child in a while, just it's time to have another one, right? It's a way to grow the church just through the nursery. But not only is our family, our immediate blood family, a great blessing in our life, and what a joy, but also our church family.
I love Lighthouse Baptist Church. I love my church family. God has made us as relational beings.
We need each other. And yet even in the midst of the blessedness of marriage, of children, of family, of a church family and friends, we also have to deal and navigate through the challenge of sin. Genesis three and four, after God had instituted marriage and the blessedness of the family, there was the fracturing power of sin that emerged in Genesis three and four. And the sin that fractured the first family is also the same sins that fracture our family and friendships and Christian relationships. God's word calls us not to ignore sin. In our lives, nor the sins of others.
Many have falsely interpreted Genesis or Matthew chapter seven, verse one. Judge not that you be not judged as though you should never confront anyone about anything they do wrong. And if that's the case, then parents can no longer discipline their children. But love does not ignore a spouse's sin, especially because it causes that person great harm as well as the marriage, but rather they out of love seek to remove the sin from that person's life by speaking love and truth and confronting such things. Love also does not ignore a child's sin because we know what sin can do in messing that child's life up as well as their relationship with God.
Love doesn't ignore a friend who goes into sin because they know what kind of damage that would do to that person's life spiritually as well as their relationships. And one of the hardest things that we have to do in life as Christians is navigate those conversations and confrontations. We have to handle those situations in our lives, whether with marriages, friends, children, parents.
There's a lot of different things that you have to work through. And today I want to look at what Jesus Christ says in his word about how to work through those challenges in relationships. In light of the great joy of relationships, there also brings great challenges because of the indwelling sin that we all have in our own lives. You know, the Bible says marriage is not only for better, but also for what?
And that's a reality. So today I want to look at the golden rule that our Lord gives us as we start with God's principle. This is God's guiding principle we are to live by. If I were to ask you, what are you to be motivated by? What would be the foundational truth that God has given to us in teaching us how to work through relationships on the human scale?
What would be your answer? And according to the Bible, the top shelf issue for God is that we would love one another. James chapter 2 verse 8 says this, if ye fulfill the royal law, according to the scripture, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Thou doest well. And James calls loving one another the royal law. Galatians 5 14 says for all the laws fulfilled in one word, even this, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Our love for one another is what Jesus calls loving. His commands of us, according to John 13 verse 34 and five, he says, a new commandment I give unto you that you love one another. And he says this, as I have loved you were to love one another as Christ loved us.
And then he goes on to say, by this shall all men know that you're my disciples. If you have loved one toward another, it is indeed the love that we have for one another that reflects our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, not only are we to love each other, which can sometimes be very easy to do, but we're also to love our enemies. In Matthew 5 verse 43 and four, Jesus says we are to love our enemies and to bless those that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.
That is a very difficult thing for the natural man to do. Now, Matthew 7 verse 12 really encompasses this love. It is the fleshing out of that. And so the first word in verse 12 is therefore. And whenever you see therefore, it is always written for a purpose.
It's tying in the previous truths with a concluding statement. So therefore, what you've just learned in verse 1 through 11, what you've really learned in this entire Sermon on the Mount, therefore is what he's saying. And he says, therefore, all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you. In other words, how you want others to treat you, he says, do you even so to them. And then he says this, for this is the law and the prophets. This is the culmination of that reality.
This is the fulfillment of that. If you want others to be merciful to you, then be merciful to them. If you want others to forgive you, then you forgive them.
If you want others to be kind to you, that's what you need to do to them. You will find versions interestingly of the golden rule among the Greeks, the Romans, the Jews, even among Buddhists and Hindus. They all have a version of the golden rule. But what is extremely interesting is when you study those out, they all put it as a thou shall not.
They all put it in a negative light. It's a negative command. For example, Rabbi Hillel, which is a leading Jewish rabbi in first century said this, what is hateful to yourself, do not to someone else. Basically, don't do to others what you don't want them to do to you.
And that's not difficult at all. Anybody can do that. Lost people can do that. It's actually motivated by selfish reasons. It would be said like this from a parent, don't hit your brother unless you want your brother to hit you.
You can obey that command out of sheer self-preservation. But he was always so much bigger and stronger than me. But he's getting older these days.
And, you know, he only benched 380 pounds this year. So I should be getting close to him in about 30 years, I should say. But I remember I get so mad. And, you know, if I hit him, he would hit me 50 times back, even worse.
I thought this isn't even close to being fair, you know. And so until the time I got the baseball bat, well, we don't need to go there. But it's not hard to fulfill the command that says don't do to others what you don't want them to do to you. What is difficult is what Jesus says.
He reversed it. And only in Christianity do you ever find this. Jesus is presenting the positive side. Do to others what you want them to do to you. Do to them what you would want them to do.
It's easy to keep the law because you don't want to have a consequence to you. It's harder to make a great sacrifice for someone you don't know to benefit them. This is selfless love. And you do it only for the sake of the person that you are serving, even if that love is not reciprocated. That is the high call that the Lord is asking of us and really what Jesus Christ displayed to us. We are called to treat our spouse exactly how you want them to treat you, no matter how they respond to that treatment, whether they are grateful for it or if they're indifferent to it.
To treat neighbors exactly how you want them to treat you with love and patience and kindness and grace, co-workers, bosses, fellow believers. And so ask yourself today, is that how you love those in your life? Do you positively do for them exactly the way you would want them to treat you? People sometimes say, well, I sure wish that person was more patient with me. The question is, are you being patient with them?
That's the issue here. I sure wish that they would show some more love and respect and kindness. Well, do you show love and respect and kindness? Most of us have a Hinduistic or Buddhist theology when it comes to this golden rule. Well, I'll be nice to my spouse if they're nice to me or I'll be, you know, I'm not going to be mean to them so they don't be mean.
No, Jesus, anybody can do that. What he's saying is do to them exactly how you want them to treat you with no thought of return, even if they're indifferent. That's what God is calling us to.
This is the top shelf issue. Now, in that high call to love, we have the struggle again to navigate the wrongs that people do against us when they sin and violate and do wrong. He just told us in Matthew chapter seven, verse one, not to judge, not to be critical, not to be judgmental, not to be censoring of other people. We are first, he tells us in verse three through five, to examine our own lives to make sure that we are clean and right before God. He warned against hypocritical judgment in verse number five. When we see the little piece of sawdust, he calls it a moat in your brother's eye.
But there's a beam, which is literally a house rafter, a large wooden plank hanging out of your own eye. So he says, don't be so fast to point out those things and other people without first examining your own life. Because what was happening in the days of Christ was the system was a legalistic system. We taught on all this last Sunday. If you weren't here last Sunday, you really need to make sure you go back and hear that sermon as these words and truths are so essential to understand. Because I think Matthew seven, verse one through six is probably one of the most misunderstood passages, and we preached for an hour last Sunday to clarify that, so I'm not going to do that all again today.
But, and you're just like, thank you, thank you, Josh, we want to keep it as brief as possible. So, but the people in that day were extremely judgmental, extremely critical, extremely arrogant. They didn't want to go and confront people over sin because they wanted to help them get out of the mess.
They wanted to confront them so they could shove them down and make themselves look good. This was a self-righteous Pharisaic system, and Jesus is rebuking that kind of spirit that is among them. Now, notice in verse number five, Jesus does not say this, thou hypocrite first cast out the moat out of thine own eye and then don't worry about the moat in your brother's eye, cast out the beam out of your own eye. And then he doesn't say ignore the moat or the speck in your brother's eye. He says, first get your eyes cleaned out.
First, get your life right with God so that you can effectively help the other person. Now, we think about this speck as being something small, but listen, all of us know what this is like, whether a child came into the house or your spouse came in and said, oh, you know, they're like, hey, can you help me? I got something in my eye and they're blinking, their eyes all red. And tell my wife a little bit, she had, she was dumping something out, I remember a couple of years ago, and she got this little piece of wood in her eye. And my wife is tough until it comes to her eyes. And so her eye goes into like PTSD trauma seizure when you get something in there. I've had contacts, some of you guys know what I'm talking about, you're used to touching your eyes.
I don't have a real problem with that. But she is not, she touches her eye. I mean, it is like, so I'm like, hey, can you help me? You know, we're trying to pull her eye apart just to get it, to get the eye drops to try to get in the side. You got her laying down, and I mean, that little eye is going crazy. I'm like, your eye may blow up here and just like, you need to calm down, you know, saying he's not safe. He's going to catch that wood on fire and burn it up in your eye, little eyeball.
And so you try to get that worked out. And you understand, even with a little tiny speck, I remember one of our guys at church who works in the iron world and does all that, got just a tiny little piece of metal in his eye, but you can't have any peace in life. I mean, you hurt all day till you get that thing surgically removed.
He had to get it out. But what if my wife came to me and said, hey, I got this in my eye, but I had a larger piece of splinter hanging out of my own eye. Well, I wouldn't be any good to help her until I did what?
I'd have to get mine taken care of. So once I got mine taken care of, the loving thing to do, is it to ignore her splinter? No, it would be good to say, hey, now I can help you effectively get yours out because I can see clearly. That's the point of what Jesus is saying here. He's not saying ignore the sins of other people, ignore the splinters of other people in their eye and don't worry about them. No, that's a hateful attitude.
That's a terrible thing to do. The judgmental attitude Jesus was speaking of was somebody who would look at somebody and like laugh at them for having a splinter and putting them down for it. Jesus is saying don't have that judgmental attitude and love go to them, but make sure your own hearts clean so that you can effectively help them as they need that help.
Does that make sense? So that's what Jesus is talking about here. And so we are to first examine our own hearts. Now, Christ is calling us to this. Now, the struggle for us is to navigate our approach to those who we see something in their life, some sin or fault that needs to be dealt with. We see some sin in their life and we know it needs to be addressed, but we're trying to figure out how to come and contact them and how to talk through that and work through that. People can mess their lives up with sin in their life and we don't want it to mess their life up.
We don't want it to mess the marriage up or their children or their spouse or their Christian testimony. Now, if you're a seasoned Christian, you know the challenge that this presents because every one of us deal with this probably on a weekly basis at different levels. When somebody does something wrong, and again, it could be a spouse, co-worker, family member, whoever it could be, and you stop and you say, ah, man, you know, I know I need to go deal with this, but how do I approach them?
How am I going to word this? I don't want to get into an argument. I don't want them to get defensive. I want to make sure my own heart's right about this because sometimes when people sin and they can aggravate us and get us upset and do something wrong, we deal with this in marriages and families and co-workers and all these situations, we need to make sure that, hey, God, I need to make sure my heart's right because I don't want to go out there and have a beam hanging in my own eye because I'm so angry and I'm venting to them. So how do I navigate this?
When's the best time to talk to them? I mean, that can be a struggle. Anybody know what I'm talking about when you're working through all that?
It can be very, very difficult to try to figure out how do I do this? And you need to understand the answer for this is found in verse 7 through 11. We saw God's principle, and now let's look at God's provision. If one of the most misunderstood passages in the Bible is Matthew 7, one of the most misunderstood passages that are taken out of context is Matthew 7, verse 7 through 11. If you want to know what a text means, you need to understand its context.
Context will give you the meaning of the text so that you don't have a pretext. People like to twist the Scriptures. They do it oftentimes with places like Philippians 4-13. I can do all things through Christ, and they write that on their faces.
They go play football thinking God's going to give them the extra strength they need to win that game when Philippians 4-13 was actually written to deal with people that are going through difficulties dealing with anxiety, dealing with worry, how to overcome discontentment, and I can do all that. I can have peace. I can trust God.
I can be content because He strengthens me. That's the context of that, so you need to understand why it was said in the Bible, not rip it out. We don't take the Bible carte blanche and just pick that out and put it where we want it to be.
And so here leading up to this passage are some extremely important truths. When you take the Sermon on the Mount, which was preached from Matthew 5 through Matthew 7, you see that Jesus has just laid down a standard of Christian living that we just can't live up to on our own. We need grace for this.
We need God's strength for this. He tells them in Matthew 5-20, He said, Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you won't even make it to heaven. He tells us to be poor in spirit, all the beatitudes that He lays down, the eight beatitudes. He tells us to rejoice in suffering and persecution.
I mean, how are we going to do that? In Matthew 5-40 through 45, He talks about loving our enemies. In chapter 6, He talks about prayer and fasting and giving and doing all that with the right heart. He gets into Matthew 6 for a couple dozen verses on not worrying and then turning all those things over to God and seeking His kingdom first. And then chapter 7, how we are to deal with the faults and sins of not only our own lives but others and navigating those difficulties and not judging people. And this is a heavy, heavy passage. Arthur Pink rightly says, Christ had presented a standard of moral excellency which is utterly unattainable by mere flesh and blood. Now here, Jesus is specifically tying this prayer into the setting of dealing with people in difficult situations. And there's at least three things that we need God for in prayer as we read through Matthew 7, verses 1-6.
And the first thing we need God in prayer for is in knowing how to confront people the right way about their sin, not doing it in a judgmental way but doing it in a loving, discerning way. Anybody ever had someone in your life that you know that they need to be confronted but it's just the challenge of saying, how am I going to maybe talk to my spouse about this? I don't want to get them at a bad time. I know they've been stressful. I know they've been saying and doing some things that need to be dealt with and it's really causing some conflict among our home and our children and our family and just spiritually.
And you're trying to figure out how to word that, how to converse through that. It can be very, very difficult things sometimes in family relationships. People also often avoid conflict.
They don't want to deal with problems. But when you avoid conflict, what happens is the splinter can get infected and it just grows like a mass behind the scenes. The Bible also tells us in Galatians 6, verse 1 and 2, Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness. It doesn't say ignore the person in the fault.
It says go to them and seek to restore them. And so you go to them for the purpose of getting them out of the mess that they're in, considering yourself also lest you also be tempted. And then he says, bear one another's burdens.
What burdens? The burden of their sin that they're carrying. Help them get out of that and you will fulfill the law of Christ.
It calls it the law of Christ. We are commanded to do this because, again, nothing is more destructive in a person's life. Sin is more destructive than heroin, than crack cocaine, than anything else, any drug, any type of alcohol.
Sin will destroy a person's life. But people can often be prideful. And sometimes they can get upset when you try to talk to them. You ever confronted somebody and said, hey, I need to talk to you about your attitude recently, or I need to talk to you about what you said the other day that was just out of line. And a lot of times people respond, well, I didn't do anything wrong. It's not my fault. Anybody ever had somebody do that to you? Who's ever done that to somebody else? Okay, put your hands up. Don't behold them. You know who you are because we've all done it.
Oh, it's not that bad. Besides, there's a lot of people doing it. And so we need wisdom, friends. We need boldness. We need to know how to speak the truth in grace and to deal with these things in a discerning manner. And listen to me. Don't be the person who won't take anyone's rebuke. Don't be the person who says, well, who are you defending, yourself?
Think about this. The person that's unwilling to receive rebuke will hold up all of that rebuke and say, God, I'm not going to get rebuked by any human being. I want to get it all from you one day when I stand before you. It's the person who says, Judge now. Let's you be judged. And you're like, I'm trying to love you and get you out of this situation. Well, if you don't want rebuke from a fellow sinner who loves you enough to confront you to try to help you through this, you're going to stand before a righteous savior who's going to confront you about this.
We should be like, thank you so much for pointing that out of my life because you know what? I know I'm not perfect. And what amazes me is the people who say, I know I'm not perfect are the same people who try to be self-righteous. You know what self-righteousness is?
It's looking at somebody and saying, Judge not. What are you so perfect that you never have any faults that need to be addressed? Are you so good that you won't take any rebuke from your husband or wife? You will not let anything be told to you without you cutting them off, short circuiting their conversation with you? Nobody can ever correct you then, right?
Well, I can tell you, if you're that kind of a person, you're going to live a very spiritually dry life, unable to be used by God because you have too much pride to receive rebuke. That is a dangerous place to be. And I can tell you, if you don't listen to the word, there is only one other teacher that is left for you, and it's called P-A-I-N.
Pain will be your teacher. We all know what that's like, right? As a teenager, some of us, oh, I don't need to listen to my parents.
They don't know what they're talking about. They don't, you know, my daddy and nothing. And then we go out and run and live like a crazy person. And then we're like, man, Dad, I'm so sorry.
I messed up my life. And hopefully it doesn't take six months or six years or 20 or 30 years to figure that out. Some of us have gone down some painful roads, and we're literally sitting in this church today because pain finally woke us up. You all know what I'm talking about? And I don't want to have to go through that pain, and I don't want you to go through that pain. And that's why we, with tears in our heart and our eyes, say, friend, listen to me. Don't go down that road because I know where that ends. Praise God for people like that in our life.
We should wrap our arms around them and say thank you for telling me about this because, you know what, I don't always see things in my own life. I'm a self-justifier often. I don't always recognize my own faults. Thank you for being a loving mirror in my life. That's how we should respond to people, but do we respond like that?
No. And that's why we need the humility of God in our hearts. And so one of the things that we need to go to God and pray for is how do we approach it? Secondly, we need to examine our own hearts for hypocrisy and impurity. You know, sometimes when we go to other people, we can get frustrated. We can get angry because we're upset with our spouse, our children, our parents. We're upset with the neighbor, coworker, whoever it is, a fellow Christian. And instead of going them in love, we go to them in frustration and irritation. And I can tell you, friends, we need to make sure our own heart's right. That's why he tells us what he does in verse number three through five. Don't be a hypocrite.
Make sure your eyes are clear so that you can help them effectively get that out because if it's not, you can do more damage to them. And you know, it's easy to see faults in others, we think, but it's very difficult to find faults where? In ourselves. That's why Jeremiah 17 verse 9 says this, The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. And he says this, and who can know it? I don't know my own heart. So often I don't know my own heart.
But you know who does? Look at verse 10. I, the Lord, search the heart.
You know what? We need to go to God in prayer because I don't know my heart, but God, you do. And so let's be like David in Psalm 139 verse 23 and 24. God, search me and know my heart. Try me, know my thoughts. See if there's any wicked way in me and lead me in that way that's everlasting. And then thirdly, we need to know how to speak and keep silent to those that Christ refers to in verse number 6 as dogs and swine or hogs. He says, Give not that which is holy unto dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.
If you're a Christian, you know what this is like, and you probably know what it's like more as we're living in the world that we do today. You ever shared your faith with somebody? And I used to do construction for about six years before I went in the ministry. And I love that word. I love to work around guys. I love to share my faith.
I went to public high school. I love to every day be able to interact with kids and talk about the things of God. But there was also some challenges with that when people start taking God's name and throwing it around and just running it down. And so you have to like, you know, how far should I go when they begin to mock God?
When do I keep silent? The Bible calls it casting your pearls before swine. So you don't want to do that, and you want to restrict sometimes those conversations. And so here he says, Don't judge in verse 1. But then he says, Make sure you have clear judgment and discernment in verse 6. So what he says here is there's got to be an understanding and discernment when you are to share and when you're to keep silence. You know, sometimes Jesus doesn't want you to share the gospel. Did you hear me? Sometimes he doesn't want you to share the gospel.
That sounds awkward, doesn't it? But didn't Jesus do that? This is what he says in Matthew 21, verse 43. He says, Therefore I say unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation, bringing forth fruits thereof. He hid the truth from the Jews after they kept rejecting, rejecting, rejecting. He's like, You don't want it.
You won't have it. He began to speak to them in parables so that hearing they would not hear and seeing they would not see. And praise God, he opened the door to the Gentiles. Amen. Fellow Gentiles. You all are Gentiles.
You know that, right? Well, we're actually Jews and Abraham by faith. But praise God that God has brought us to salvation. Acts 18, verse 6, this is exactly what Paul did as well. It says, And when they, or the Jews, opposed themselves and blasphemed, he shook his raiment and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads, I am clean, henceforth I go unto the Gentiles. There's a time to share and then there's a time to say, You know what? This person is taking the truths of God and the hogs and dogs, what that refers to is unbelievers who treat God's truth as something.
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