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March 15, 2021 7:05 am
In the post-Christian era in which we live is quite common to feel oppressed by those who seem threatened by our values. Sometimes when we receive hostile pushback from adversaries is tempting to strike back in defense. Our first instinct is to retaliate rather than show compassion today on Insight for living trucks when doll resumes. Our study in Matthew chapter 5 in this passage Jesus is teaching his followers to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute these are bold commands.
Chuck Swindoll calls it. Shocking advice to the selfish and strong will. Your Bible is open to Matthew five verse 39 I say do you do not resist an evil person versus 38 to 42 or dealing with an evil individual. We are dealing often with people who have evil motives who would hurt us. Who would do us wrong. That's verses 38 to 42 when you get to 43 down through 47. Notice the last word in verse 43.
Your enemy again in verse 44, pray for those he says I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. The enemy so we have enemies vegan and 43 to 47. We have evil person mentioned in 40 and 38 to 42.
So with evil people in the context let's see what Jesus teaches and I suggest there are four segments in these verses 38 through 42. First he's telling believers who wish to operate under the power of Christ in a lost world. Release your right to personal dignity and respect. Look at verse 38 with verse 39 you have heard it was said, and I live for and I and truth for two now, Jesus describes the spirit of the law but I say do you do not resist an evil person, whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also the old expression turn the other cheek comes from that 39 verse what is it mean in the days of Jesus being slapped on the cheek was an insult of what you do you retaliate either operating under the power of the spirit. No, you don't answer back. Remember my disclaimer were not referring to national defense were not referring to criminal acts done against us or attempted against this were dealing with individuals who insult us but let's face it, I have experienced it, and you've experienced it. We been insulted. We had the ugliest thing said to us often to our face the best way I've learned from Jesus and handling of us to stay quiet and I'll tell you that's not easy to do live a very creative old nature and and I can come up with some real insults to get back don't insult back release your right to be respected. You're not going to be restricting be respected by the majority of what your work is or how pure your motive may be, some will find fault. So Jesus helps us know how to deal with those kind of people. There's a second release your right to cling to personal comforts. That's in verse 40 anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt let him have your coat also stop. These are instructions to individual followers of Jesus regarding releasing our individual rights. Here's a guy was fairly well off is not only got another tunic. He has a coat he's around someone who really could use more. Don't cling to everything you have be willing to release it. That's what he has in mind, here's 1/3 verse 41 release your right to your own private schedule and lifestyle.
What is 41.
Say whoever forces you to go 1 mile, go with him to force you to go a mile in the first century there were Roman soldiers. They were in authority over all the Jews because they ruled over what they call Palestine we know it is Israel, and they would say, often to a citizen carry that load carry my pack citizen couldn't answer back in an ugly way and pay a price for that. Jesus is now carry it. He says go on my own go 2 miles this were we get the idea of an extra mile, go the extra mile demonstrated attitude of willingness don't be so tight with your own plans and schedule. There's 1/4 look closely.
Verse 42 give to him who asks of you and don't turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have something someone else could use and needs. Do you really need it that badly. Now I can just hear some of you cynics thinking they'll take advantage of you.
You know the answer you're right. Don't let that deter you from loaning from releasing. Don't let that make you bitter because you been ripped off a few times and of the great shakes were just inches anybody else. There are some things I won't long you don't ask. But honestly, there aren't many I live long enough to know that I can't take any of it with me.
Never saw her sporting a U-Haul never got a deal with the enemy. How should we treat an enemy 43 to 47 Wickenburg look at 43. Interesting statement of Scripture look at this you have heard so you know this. The rabbis have been teaching. We say that in hearing it since they were early and only to a grasshopper when they lose any kids always growing up they heard in the synagogue, they heard from their parents. They heard from others who were adults, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. As if it's all one big verse will the first part of it is. Leviticus 1918, says love your neighbor back to dad's love your neighbor as you would like yourself. Nowhere in the Scriptures does it say hate your enemy. Nowhere, nowhere old or New Testament, but they've been taught that you and I have been taught things all our lives that are not scriptural, taught by people who learned them from their parents and from their parents. That's what I say to you become your own student of the Scriptures. Be sure your living by truth, not by hearsay Jesus is going to tell him is not about hating an enemy. Hate never accomplish anything by the way, except making me more angry, more bitter, he says, I say to you, look at the spirit of the law, 44, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you dozens I love the way your enemies live doesn't say love their beliefs and method of treatment doesn't say defend their plans and their motives not on nominal persons, people say supportive when they're doing wrong.
It says love them as people is a I can't do that. But wait a minute was last time he tried through the power of Christ. How else you explain Jim Elliott and four other young men fresh out of college going to Ecuador and giving their lives. The reason the outcome is a savage tribe who killed all five.
They loved the focus they love their souls.
Hello scriptural close of them started prison Fellowship without loving those men behind bars men and women and start that ministry that goes on today in a healthy manner because he saw when he was himself a prisoner what it was like to be behind bars and all the things that went on their and the things he might be able to help if he began a ministry prison Fellowship. How else could one offer.
Pray for the Nazis that he cooperate with them.
You know he didn't. He was imprisoned he was one of the holdouts that would let them give him his message to preach and to declare ultimately he was hanged shortly before there was liberation, but one offer was a marvelous example of someone who loved the hearts of those who hated him about Corrie 10 boom, the reason she had a ministry throughout her later years was her willingness to forgive the guard who made life so miserable for Betsy and for her and forgiving those who took the lives of her family know tell me you can't do this. Jesus never gave us a command that's unattainable you and I will become increasingly more despised in the world in which we live, and I urge you, let it go okay here's a simple little plan when you leave get on the road. Maybe not today but tomorrow traffic is heavy. There'll be some road hauled that what the lane okay. He just bought it. Okay, it's is he thinks and comes already cut you off in traffic. I will wait wait right there when you get a call cut off in traffic. What you think there's more to this lien than what's right there and how do around and cut him off really so now you own the lane, just stupid.
That is how much better not even let it bother you now. Since then I've a fun thing to each other guy guess he just bought that deadly means more to human life.
Okay, it's okay. Otherwise, zinc is got a husband guilty of road rage and then that makes the paper than the whole church is scandalized because I'm in jail for pulling that gun. That cop told me to load. This isn't rocket science. It really isn't. In fact will allotment and I'm intrigued by what Jesus says, I say to you, 40, 44, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you guy got that look at the next verse, so that you may be sons of your father who is in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. What on earth does that mean was that me when I'm all alone and I'm working through this verse. I gotta figure out what you are. You may be sons of your what do I do this to become a Christian is that what sons of my father means think can mean that you don't earn your salvation. Gotta mean something else.
So to get the day.
I imagine Mathew was there among those who heard the sermon on the Mount is Jesus presented disciples preach it to the disciples. Naturally, he would remember Jesus very words even the phrases. Jesus didn't speak Greek. He spoke Aramaic think he spoke a language that's a can. The Hebrew not a can degree now Matthew wrote he wrote in common. Greek, which is now been translated thankfully into English, and many of the leading but when Jesus spoke he spoke a language not unlike Hebrew their sister languages.
The characters identical, but the vocabulary is different and the pronunciation is a little different but anyway, back to this Hebrew, you may not know this but the Hebrews they had a language that wasn't really rich in and adjectives so instead of saying he's a peaceful man, the Hebrews would normally say he's the centerpiece or to say she is a kind woman know the Hebrews would say she is a daughter of kindness you tracking this with me. I look at this so that you may be sons of your father. You know what I think is a good rendering father like you live like this you respond like I described you take these words literally into your life and lifestyle you will be father like and what is the father like loving, full of mercy and grace.
And when your father like you model love and mercy and grace. You see a driving rainstorm doesn't stop when it gets to the right unrighteous and doesn't water his lawn rain falls on the unrighteous and the righteous. The sun shines on the believer and the unbeliever. That's father like careful here you're not careful you will build your little world around only Christians and see all those outside the Christian family is enemies careful here. They may be unbelievers, but their observant there were in need of love, forgiveness, mercy and grace.
A long leash of lovingkindness and when you are father like your different. Again I will say you will really stand out now. Then we got it all figured out. Well I hope. Actually we don't look at verse 48 be perfect. Thank anybody qualify a deer or somebody raising not so well a child in yes perfect it must mean something else. The translation must mean something else. So I dug a little and I found that the word is tell IRS TEL EI OS. The Greek word doesn't literally mean perfect. This original Greek word conveys the idea of mature tell IRS individual who has reached full stature is a man not a kindergarten child. A student who has a grasp of the of the subject because of the deep and link the study and it is a tell IRS student tell loss means an end and aim, a goal. The purpose you know what Jesus on the cross to die. The root word is it's finished, it's done. I briefly and accomplish the purpose of my mission to tell us die.
It is been completed. So what is the thing we bear the image of God. Therefore we fulfill our purpose when we live out the character traits of the father.
Jesus says do that your to be like that, even as your father is that the amplified Bible says you must be perfect.
That is, grow into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity that is telling us nothing. What's our response. I can wrap it up in three statements, the first in immature responses.
This is easy sees until tomorrow.
In the traffic in the got cut you off is easy until that person at work insults you is easy until that person doesn't turn get back to you what was borrowed. It's easy when someone takes from you and brings it back to when they rip you off. The first response. This is really easy, hand me the rose colored glasses the way I'm gonna live my life. You can't do it. So the second responses no. This is extremely difficult. Some of the things are easier than others depending on our makeup, but this is all pretty tough, no majority.
The only intelligent response to this actually this is impossible.
This is impossible in myself but the great thing about becoming a Christian. You're not just left with yourself. You had only yourself. When you came to Christ. Now you have the Holy Spirit who lives within you taken up residence within you and the Lord Jesus Christ releases his power through you and believe it or not, you can forgive that person you can ignore that insult. You can go the extra mile you can give up your rights. You can even have people say things against you, that are absolutely untrue and you don't have to set the record straight. You want to do that because the Lord is at work on your behalf.
I begin this message by saying assumptions or sorrow are shaky assumptions are shaky things to rely on you assume you don't need Christ.
You'll never fulfill what this says without Christ ever you haven't had no success at it you be frustrated within a weeks time.
But with Christ you could do it. Trust me. Please bow your heads you listen very carefully and I appreciate that this is not an easy section of Scripture to understand certainly is an easy to apply, but I can tell you this, it will never take place in your life without your having a relationship with Christ by faith. He who has the son has the life you does not have the son of God does not have the life since it is impossible to live like this without Christ. The only intelligent responses. I want to come to know him who can transform my life knew that now trust him now.
Thank you father in these closing words for the way you've been teaching us Jesus words guard us from getting out of balance.
Deliver us from all life lived without wisdom or common sense restrain us are father when the old nature would rise up within us and give us a heart for those who don't know you. Realizing that's the only way they know give us the ability to forgive without looking the wrong that was done, that is not taking offense, but realizing that it comes from a heart that doesn't know enable us are father through all of this and so much more to be truly salt that is tasty and light that dispels the darkness in the name of Jesus, our Savior and Master.
We pray, everybody said a man found it on the teaching in Matthew chapter 5 Chuck Swindoll titled today's message shocking advice to the selfish and strong-willed.
You're listening to Insight for living and if you'd like to learn more about this ministry or these messages, please visit us online. Head inside world.or then let me warn you this week will feature a sequence of convicting messages because in his sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke boldly about the dangers of hypocrisy and religious performance. And if you're prepared to take these principles to heart. Let me put you to a book checks written called simple faith it's closely aligned with our current teaching series and in this classic Chuck focuses entirely on Jesus sermon on the mount chuckles at the sermon of all sermons and we tend to complicate what it means to follow Jesus. Jesus spoke in simple and direct terms so anyone could understand him.
So to purchase a copy of Chuck's book again called simple faith.
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Chuck Swindoll's Bible teaching is broadcast, Risko, Texas, and the program encircles the low and is the voluntary donations of friends like you keep this outreach going to give a gift today. Collins listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888 or go online to Insight.org nine days. Chuck Swindoll describes the danger of turning our religious conviction into a performance Tuesday on Insight for living. The preceding message shocking advice to the selfish and strong-willed was copyrighted in 2015 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyright material for commercial use is strictly prohibited