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How Do We Love Those Who Exploit Our Kindness?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2021 1:00 am

How Do We Love Those Who Exploit Our Kindness?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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January 19, 2021 1:00 am

Episode 623 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

1. Is it a contradiction when it says “faith without works is dead” when faith is a gift and works are things that we do?

2. Lately I have felt a strong call to start fasting, but I do not know much about fasting. How do I draw close to God as I fast and how do I determine how long and how often to fast?

3. In Luke 10, why does Jesus tell Martha to stop serving and to be more like her sister, Mary?

4. In Hebrews 9:7, it speaks about the “unintentional sins of the people,” is there a difference in how God forgives intentional and unintentional sins?

5. What would you say to someone who has suffered a miscarriage and what hope do they have that their child is saved?

6. How do we love people who exploit our kindness and love for them? Should we do everything for such people out of the commandment to love your neighbour as yourself. If not, how do we respond to their demands.

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The Bible tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

But how should we respond to those who continually exploit our love and kindness that is one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with pastor Pedro Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question. At 833, the court, that's 1-833-843-2673 you can post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or twitter accounts or email us at questions at core, Christianity.com first step today we have a good news story to share with you back in 1996, Ralph and Lisa Turner launched an organic farm on 1/5 of an acre in Freeport, Maine. Eventually they developed a steady customer base and bought 12 1/2 more acres. Much of their business came from restaurants in the city of Portland and when the pandemic hit last year those restaurants were forced to close at that point their farms future seemed very much in jeopardy, but rather than ditch the harvest. Mr. and Mrs. Turner came up with Plan B. The couple opened a farm stand selling pre-bag to produce it three bucks a pop and set out word by their company newsletter.

In addition to making purchases their customers started leaving generous tips to show their support and keep the farm going. Now the charters have made a profit this year, but their business survived and they say they're looking forward to a new planting season this spring, God blessed Turner's that's really cool, Bill. Are you a fan of organic food is that year.

You know I am. But when I go to the grocery store I'm looking for the cheapest stuff available yet, so my my wife is in and so that's how that's yes so we oftentimes get the organics that is there.

Did I miss the organic bananas are just a little bit weird sometimes I just don't get that I don't like bananas organic and I'm never getting up.

Yeah let's get to our first question of the day.

Derek posted this on our website he says is a contradiction when the Bible says faith without works is dead. When faith is a gift and works are things that we do yeah Derek, thanks for that question.

Oftentimes, we do sort of pick those things against each other faith and works and the statement he referring to.

This is from the book of James in James chapter 2 verse 17. After James talks about faith without works.

Being dead and that there really is in the context of you know people who say oh yeah, I am a believer I am a Christian but their lives don't reflect that anyone we've all met people like this right and go to church.

I really don't care at all about the word of God. I don't have love in my heart for the people of God that that is one of the signs we been born again. John says in first John chapter 4 is I think Chuck James is really hitting on that they are specifically now passage of Scripture that that I think we ought to go to her thinking about faith and works in an Derek you said faith is a gift. I like that in Ephesians chapter 2 verses eight through 10 listen with the apostle Paul said, for by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not of your own doing, it is the gift of God right there. Like you said Derek, not a result of work, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. And so we are not saved by our good works are saved by faith alone, but were saved for good works, and that's with the apostle Paul says there then I think that's how we need to view the relationship is were justified were saved by faith alone, but saving faith right is accompanied by good works that were never to be perfect this side of heaven. Bill, you know this. I know this, but the spirit of God is at work in our hearts.

Sanctifying us and were saved unto good works, and so Paul says that there's no there's no contradiction there with James saying faith without works is dead. An agent is not contradicting himself and so it is important for us to understand properly the relationship there between faith and works. What faith does and what works to faith justifies and works are this this sign of having been justified by faith. If you will know one of the things I've noticed is when you have Christians that come out of either a Catholic background or maybe a more legalistic background. They often feel like they if they don't do enough good things God isn't going to truly love them that Bill and I don't even think it is people come out of legalistic backgrounds are Roman Catholic batting for for all of us is sort of our natural inclination to slip into. This works-based mentality because the grace of God which is free which is unmerited is so contrary to everything were taught. You know from from the time of our birth. It's it's all merit-based.

It's you, do good and I and you'll be blessed right and you'll be rewarded.

God's grace comes to sinners and so I think a lot of us can can struggle with this and that's why it's important for us to get the gospel right one of my former pastors once would often say this, that was really helpful for me. He would say. Remember there's nothing you can do that would make God love you more than there's nothing you can do that make up may God love you less. He just loves you the way you are. That's who God is. Yeah why John, I just preached on this first John chapter 4. He says God is loving God demonstrated his love for us, not when we were righteous, godly, you know, being faithful to the Lord strong spiritually. It was impulsive this in Romans five was what we were sinners and so if God loved you as a sinner, he sent his son to die for you when you were in that state it.

If God's love me wasn't depend upon your performance, then why would it be dependent upon your performance.

Now that's one of things I said so I think that's true. Let's go to the phones right now if you got a question for pastor, a drill, here's the number is 1-833-843-2673. That's 833, the court, Mallory is calling in from Connecticut hi Mallory show 28 so I really appreciate the information and encouragement you provided a strong call call to ask them to grow close to Jesus by doing that, but I don't know much about fasting, and so my two-part question. It how do I draw close to him as a fast and then also how do I determine how long and how often that's a great question and Mallory I just want to say hi how encouraged I am to hear you say you know you want to continue to grow in your relationship with the Lord and to show God that you love them, and now fasting is is one of these things that we see throughout the Bible in the Old Testament and in the New Testament and typically in Scripture, it was associated with times of great difficulty in trial when when the people of God were being confronted by some plague or an invading army.

They would set their eyes upon the Lord and they would fast they would deny themselves the food for a period of time and they would devote that time to prayer for drawing near to the Lord and and I think that that there's a clue there for us. You know about the kinds of times in which were supposed if I think sometimes people say why just fast every Wednesday or I just fast in a once a month. That kind of a thing, but typically in Scripture, it was more of an occasional thing. It was something that happened in response to these great difficulties in the people Gunderson look weak. We don't even want to focus on food right now. What were eating, we want to stop and just seek the face of the Lord. And so I think Mallory that there are times where it is appropriate for us to fast as Christians and it's in those same circumstances, times of great difficulty times of suffering even fasting for the things that are happening around us, me think of some of the trials that that this nation is experiencing being able to seek the Lord and and to pray. I don't know that I would say that it needs to be something that you just sort of build into your spiritual disciplines as it were, like III spend every Monday fasting every Friday fasting and the other thing I'll say is don't bite off more than you can chew no money intended II told the story before I had a friend who he said I just I just really need to fast to seek the Lord, and he decided he was gonna fast. All food for a whole week. All he was can it do is you a drink. These these them milkshake are not milkshakes that would be a good fast these crazy movies evidence yes most movies for the whole week and he led by the end of the week. He was starving and so what he did was he he blended. He said some lasagna with milk and 1/2. It was the best lasagna he had. It was sort of biting item biting off more than you think we can.

I think we can do that and and so I would say you know it.

If you feel like there are there are things that are happening around you there that are causing civil I just really need to focus on the Lord.

Right now it had time of prayer. I think it is appropriate to say I am becoming a fast meal or for today and I'm in a use that time to pray and to seek God's face and and those are the moments when I would say it's appropriate to fast Mallory Mallory. Thanks so much for your call. Thanks for being one of our regular listeners.

Thank you. Okay have a wonderful day.

This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez's we have Janet or Jeanette from Michigan on the line. Hi there, how are you recently radiating the story where Jesus went to visit Mary and Martha and I only sympathized with Martha and I felt like she really love the Lord and I didn't understand and I'm just curious why what Jesus meant when he said there is only one thing worth being concerned about and Mary has discovered it and it will not be taken away from her plenty mean that the yeah you know, sort of the uninteresting passages in it.

Luke chapter 10 beginning in verse 30. Let me read the text for those who are not familiar with it now as they went on their way.

Jesus entered a village and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. Martha was distracted with much serving, and she went up to him and said, Lord, did you not care that my sister is left me to serve alone.

Tell her to help me. But the Lord answered her, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her that I love this story in the Gospels and I think it's it's a really important for above a really important story for us in our context because we tend to like to be really busy for Jesus, don't we often times you hear churches say that don't focus so much on it on what you get out of church but what can you give what can you do what's your ministry. How is it that you're serving.

It's good for us to serve out of the knowledge the sense that we have of the fact that we first and foremost been served by Jesus himself by sitting at his feet, and that's the main thing and and and that's what Jesus is highlighting for us here Jeanette that that the most important thing for us is to receive from Christ. It's not primarily about what we do know that this is so backwards again for us and we think about the grace of God, you think about Jesus in John chapter 13 for example, when he washed the disciples feet. Remember Peter's response to him, Lord, no way. You're not gonna wash my feet. Yet Jesus takes a towel up bows down and washes his disciples feet. And frankly, when we gather together every Sunday for church. The primary thing that is happening what I try to communicate as a pastor as a minister of the Gospels were coming first and foremost to receive Jesus's surface to hear him speaking to us to learn from him and and that's what Mary was doing.

That's what Mary was doing. And so Jesus commanded her no, it's not that you know Martha was was totally offer that what she was doing was bad, but oftentimes I think we can sort of have the Martha mentality were busying ourselves with service and were looking around at all the people who aren't serving Jesus like we are and we begin to judge them or don't you see my sister over there you wife and she volunteered in the nursery or that kind of thing.

And Jesus says hey come sit at my feet. Receive my grace and after having received it go and serve one another and so I think Jesus is just helping us here to see the priority of the fact that we are recipients of God's grace and I hope brothers and sisters, that is you sit down on Sunday in the pews, as you gather together with other believers that since you have man. We are first and foremost recipients.

And that's what Jesus is highlighting for us here in this wonderful passage Jeanette. Thanks for your call. Thanks for being a regular listener. We appreciated it literal that reminds me. I know of a mega church where when you start attending there and then become a member. The first thing they do the very first thing is I want to plug you into a service role. Yeah while you get to be a greater are you going to be a small group person. Are you going to be kids ministry. It's all about finding a pull a place to plug you in. Is there a danger that the I think there can be anything we focused too much on what are you doing, people can lose sight of what has been done for me and the role of the church is to communicate to people very clearly. The fact of the gospel. What has been done for you and if were not doing that consistently. Then when people are serving for years and years and years and they're not hearing that message they begin to get worn out and tired. They begin to like Martha look at other believers around the missing you nothing this bitterness there wire and other people serving as much as I'm not quite in the and that's where we have to be really careful so you know I that services good and we want to plug people into to serve in the church where there gifted but it's really important that we are focusing first and foremost on how they've been served by the Lord your listing. The core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez by the we are a listener supported program. So we count on people just like you to keep this program on the air yes and out right now I want to thank the members of the inner core. It's that group of people that with the monthly donation of $25 or more, supporting us helping us to stay on the air. We thank you so much Mrs. we've transitioned to live. It's been a huge blessing, a huge encouragement for us and I want to invite you if if you're encouraged by this program.

If you've been blessed by the answers we give here at core Christianity, would you consider joining that group.

The inner core. I guess that a monthly donation of $25 or more and when you join, you'll get a signed copy of the book core Christianity out just a wonderful resource that dives into the core truths of the Christian faith written by that the man who helped to start this this radio program I want a mild seminary professor, Dr. Michael Horton and so yeah we would love for you to join thank you for your support for your prayers and you can find out more information where we are at Bill Weller website, which is core Christianity.com/inner core to join inner core again. Core, Christianity.com/inner core. You can also call us up for that particular offer. Any one of our offers.

Here's the phone number it's 833 the court by the way, that book that Pedro mentioned. If you are new to the faith.

Or if you're a person who really wants to firm up your your understanding of Christianity and good solid theology. Man oh man this is such a wonderful book. We can't recommend enough and if you join the inner core again will send you a copy of Dr. Michael Horton's book core Christianity was go back to the phones and Sean from St. Louis has a question for/on Shane. Oh. Sorry.

So, no problem. So my question with the understanding the difference between mistakes and intentional actions and last week on the program you guys were talking about a friend who texted you atrial about your use of the word sarcophagus is on the air coffee guy.

Yeah, aesthetically. If I want that friend who sent that text without numbering to include a smiling winking emoji.

Would you consider that a mistake or an unpardonable sin yeah well yeah I wouldn't say it's the unpardonable sin, because those yet. It comes close their Shane and got I don't know what else to say to this guy. I mean, he sees a he's a crazy went look. There is an unpardonable is it's not how you use emoji's go-ahead dodging filters. As you know is our parent organization of the radio program called the white horses which I currently serve as a listener to that program from Australia recently wrote me asking about Hebrews 97 man Verse talks about the days of the old covenant were the high priest used to sprinkle the blood on the altar, but it says they're in that verse 97 about the unintentional sins of the people into this led him to write need to ask you know whether God actually forgives any of our intentional sins.

So I thought maybe you know you could answer the question for me girl yeah well you that that distinction there under the old covenant intentional sins and unintentional sins another. There are different views on the I know that one uses sense even with intentional sins.

There were sacrifices that could be offered that would that would move in intentional sin into the realm of an unintentional sin if if it wanted lightly and that in that case, it could be pardoned.

This would obviously would cause a lot of concern right like it if unintentional sins or intentional sins. Excuse me, could not be pardoned. When I would be a huge problem but but the fact of the matter is, is I don't think that we have to worry about that as believers in Jesus Christ, and it is very clearly the case when you look at the Scriptures that people who had sinned intentionally against the Lord did in fact receive pardon, even under the old covenant. I'm thinking of men like David when he doesn't get any more intentional than committing adultery and murder.

And yet, what does Nathan the prophet say to David, the Lord has put away your sin brothers and sisters that the reality is, each of us.

We sin against the Lord every day and thought, word, and indeed unintentionally and intentionally. That's why the gospel has to be all of grace.

You know you start to think, oh man, I'm doing pretty good because I haven't intentionally send in a while you know that that kind of a thing of the reality is we are desperately in need of the mercy of the Lord and and every quote unquote biblical hero that we see in the Scripture was as well. I think also of Peter denying the Lord Jesus three times. It couldn't get any more intentional and that Jesus actually told him he was gonna do it. These are to be, we saw that that wasn't to be with the reality prior to that he knew he knew better. And yet he still did it. And yet, the Lord Jesus at the at the end of John's Gospel.

He sits him down for breakfast and he restores and so you know I think what what's important for us to emphasize for those who are concerned, you know, is it the case that God is not going to forgive me because I've sinned intentionally in this website. Maybe I've committed the unpardonable sin were joking about that. There with you Shane. You know what is. That will will know intentional sin failing falling into sin intentionally setting that's not the unpardonable sin even though sins by the blood of Jesus Christ can will can and will be forgiven. And so that's that's a great hope that we have and so thank you Shane for your your question and for keeping me for keeping me on my toes. We should mention that Shane's actually friend that's right, but except so much for the call. Let's go to Kendra from Escondido, California hi Kendra, welcome the core Christianity and care what someone had a miscarriage and but hope today have a very happy yeah well you know when is is a pasteurized. I've walked with several families that have experienced miscarriage and it's it is devastating is heartbreaking and so sometimes tenderly do you mean you just sit down and you you lament, you weep with those who weep and that would be my my first approach for believers. You know, we have the promise in Scripture that God wants to be a God to us and to our children that God is as his goodwill towards his people any of the text that is often gone to and it is a passage that I go to as well. It's that text of Scripture where David is reflecting on the death of his child after you know committing this sin with Bathsheba in second Samuel chapter 12 in M&M to begin vinegar guy reading in verse 21, then his servant said to him, what is this thing that you have done you fasted and wept for the trouble he was still alive when the child died you arose and you ate food he said while the child was still alive-I fasted and wept for. I said, who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me.

The child may live. Now he is dead.

Why should I fast can I bring them back again.

I shall go to him, he will not return to me and is so that me this text is been taken in different ways, but I think one. One way in which we can take it is in David is saying very clearly he's not coming back right and he's not coming back but one day I'm in a go to him and I think for believers, we have that hope as well for our children who have perished for those who have lost children and miscarriages that the Lord holds them that the Lord holds them, and that the grace of Christ covers even them that God has this goodwill towards them and so sister that that's how I would approach them and that there is that passage of Scripture. But then just God's overwhelming heart of love towards his people and even toward their children. We have time for one more question. This is from Dan.

He says how do we love people who exploit our kindness and love for them. Should we do everything for such people out of the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. If not, how do we respond to their demands will be and I know personally and in my own life. I've had situations like this right where where you have a friend or family member and you feel like they're just taking advantage of my love of my forgiveness and one of the things that I found personally when when I continue to love that person.

When I continue to love and forgive that person is that it humbles me it it confronts me with the reality of the fact that so often I take advantage of God's grace of his goodness of his kindness.

I am reminded of how merciful the Lord is of how patient the Lord is with me. So in one sense it did. It helps to put to death my own pride and and then in another sense.

One positive thing is it's a way for us to exhibit the love of Christ to others.

Now I'm not saying we endure abuse or we enable bad behavior that kind of it. They have a different answer for that, but the reality is when someone is difficult to love continue to love them and show them mercy because that's how God has loved us. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at core, Christianity.com and click on offers and the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673.

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