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Overcome Evil with Good, Part 4

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
May 25, 2023 10:15 am

Overcome Evil with Good, Part 4

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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May 25, 2023 10:15 am

You should be a person of reason and truth. How I feel is not what determines what is true.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. In today's message titled Overcome Evil with Good, Rich will show how our acceptance into God's eternal community equips us to love and bless our earthly community. We can love because we have been fully loved, and that love allows us to build bridges into the lives of others. Our passage, 1 Peter 3, 8-13, reminds us to love regardless of how others treat us in return. This is the fourth segment from this message which was first preached November 13, 2022.

So, why biblical Christianity is true? And that truth needs to come out in the conversations that you have with people, because you're talking to them with a heart of compassion and grace and care, but you're also speaking truth. You're being a reasoned individual. And then thirdly, invitation. Pursuing peace is compassion, it's reason, and it's invitation.

Why do I say invitation? Because, listen to me, Christians, you are not called to win arguments. Are you with me? You are not called to win arguments. You are called to be the fragrance of Christ. And how we do a lot of conversation today, it's like we've got this rose, it's this beautiful rose, and you've got this opponent, and you're trying to convince them that this is a beautiful, lovely, smelling rose, and you chop off their nose and say, here, smell it.

That's what we do. Invitation. When they listen to us, when they interact with us, and they see our gratitude, they see our confidence, they see our freedom, will we have the moral authority to be able to invite them to a care group or a Bible study or church?

You're not going to do that if you're just simply out to win an argument. So pursue peace. Because, he says, we are called to a blessing, look at the end of verse 9, for to this you are called that you may obtain a blessing. What is this blessing?

Many things it could be, but here's a couple of things that I have written down. You're called to a blessing, and first of all, number one is that God gives grace to the humble. God gives grace to the humble. When you are humbly interacting with somebody who might be reviling you, God gives grace to the humble, and you will have a fresh experience of the grace of God. You will have an experience of his presence and his power in your humble, gracious interaction with this person who is trying their best to smack you down. That's one blessing, and the second one is you will impact your world. And one thing I learned a long time ago, when you have a conversation with somebody, whatever you feel about how that conversation went isn't reality.

Because if you have been truthful and gracious and reasonable, they are going to have some seeds planted in their mind that they're not going to be able to get rid of. You will impact your world by the grace of God, and that is a blessing. You will impact friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors, because you are in the process of overcoming evil with good.

That's what we're called to. Romans 12 21 makes that clear. In 1 John 5 4, and this is what has overcome the world. What has overcome the world?

Our faith has overcome the world. So we as a free people, because we are free, we are zealous for what is good. Zealous for what is good. Look at verse 13. Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? Some of you on the surface might think, you know, I can think of a lot of people who are there to harm you.

But let's think about this for a minute. If we are zealous for what is good. Because Paul is writing to Titus and he says, you are a people for his own possession, right? You are redeemed. He has redeemed you to himself, a people of his own possession, zealous for good works.

He's describing the church as a people who are zealous for good works. Why? Because we're free. So if you are in public or you're a next door neighbor, and you get a lot of hot air from somebody whom you encounter, whether it's a neighbor or somebody in public or an official or whatever, and you're getting all this hot air, and then you show them grace and kindness, what are you doing? You're making it almost impossible for them to push back against you. It's hard to push back against kindness. It's really hard to push back against kindness. Jesus gave us a supreme example of that in one of his teachings, didn't he? The story of the Good Samaritan. A lot of people, that escapes many people because they think, well, you know, it's just ethnic diversity.

No, no, no. Do you realize what the Jews thought of the Samaritans? Jews hated them. They called them filthy names. And then Jesus said, these righteous men were walking, and they see this man who's in the ditch, and these righteous men were too busy.

They had schedules to meet. But this loathsome Samaritan comes along, and he invests himself in this injured man. And Jesus asked the men who were listening to him, so who was the neighbor?

And he said, well, I guess it was the Pharisee. Jesus was talking about a parable about building a bridge into someone's life, even if that person considers you an enemy. In our freedom, we can build a bridge into their life with kindness.

That's how you overcome evil with good. Ed Clowney says this, he says, no one would hold a Samaritan accountable to nurse a wounded Jew at his own expense. Yet the Samaritan showed a love that could not be demanded, the love of mercy. He made himself a neighbor in the love of compassion. It's a very significant story. Having said that, and you may be working through some resolve in your hearts and minds right now, let me throw a truth at you, okay?

Unbelief may be agitated by the radiant virtue of the gospel lived. We need to be prepared for that. But you know what? That's not all bad news.

Do you know why? A washing machine agitates, okay? A washing machine agitates, but it produces cleanliness.

Unbelief may be agitated by the radiant virtue of the gospel lived, but that's what we're called to. Let me close, then, with this illustration, and there is a principle in forensic science, in law enforcement, there's a principle in forensic science, it's called the Lockhart Exchange Principle. And it's this, every contact leaves a trace. Every contact leaves, in other words, every criminal leaves a trace behind him.

Every one. Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as a silent witness against him. Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, this is evidence that does not forget.

So John Sutherland is an officer in London's police department, and he was giving a TED Talk. And using this principle, he explained how the Lockhart Principle applies not just to forensic science, but to all human interaction. And here's what he said, and I quote, every time two people come into contact with one another, an exchange takes place. Whether between lifelong friends or passing strangers, we encourage or we ignore. We hold out a hand or we withdraw it.

We talk towards or we walk away. We bless or we curse. And every single contact leaves a trace. I think Peter knew that. Which is why he said, on the contrary, bless.

Because whoever you come in contact with, you're going to leave a trace. So think about this now. Peter's words to a displaced and a disbanded people, a group of believers, a disdained group of believers, publicly disdained. And he says, who are you? As elect exiles chosen and beloved. See that's where you have to start.

You are who God says you are. Let that be your anchor. As elect exiles chosen and beloved, every contact leaves a trace.

Make it a trace of Jesus. You see there's two kingdoms here. You can draw a line, you can draw a line right through the middle of that.

Or at least after the third line, right? As elect exiles chosen and beloved. Let's draw the line there. That's the higher kingdom. That's where you belong.

Your citizenship is in heaven. You are seated with Christ accepted by the infinite holy God. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-25 14:09:19 / 2023-05-25 14:13:32 / 4

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