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Bitterness

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
March 5, 2020 9:00 am

Bitterness

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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March 5, 2020 9:00 am

Everyone is born with a natural desire for justice. That’s why we love it when the bad guy in a movie gets what’s coming to him! But the Bible makes it clear that Christians are called to forgive. So does that mean we’re supposed to let justice fall by the wayside? Pastor J.D. answers that question as he continues our series, Home Wreckers. We’re discovering how the gospel satisfies God’s justice and mercy and equips us to forgive.    

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Dede Greer talks about an understanding of God's character is only when I believe that they just belong to God that I develop in my capacity to love is only the sense that God would get justice took away the hatred and rage from our my love will begin to grow. When I break God's life. I'm only now everyone is born with a natural desire for justice. We see it all over social media and the why we love it when the bad guy in a movie gets what's coming to them. But the Bible makes it clear that as Christians we are called to forgive the does that mean were supposed to let justice fall by the wayside.

Pastor JD answers that question today were discovering how the gospel satisfies God's justice and mercy and equips us ultimately to forget Pastor JD title this message.

Bitterness things that I love about the Bible that is not at all like the Brady Bunch. Sometimes people in the church are fake. That's true, but the Bible never is when the Bible presents families and presents them as they are not what we would wish that they always were you read some of the stories of families, especially Old Testament is like watching a Jerry Springer show what that tells me is that there are families in their marriages here in this church that have issues.

We got a statement under the summa church that everybody is normal in the note for note in your closet.

Their families are as dysfunctional as those as many of yours work. Now let me make sure I'm clear on this of you had great families and you come from great families and you have a great family now. I'm not trying to imply that behind every family is some deep dark secret.

My mom and dad were faithful to each other for our entire lives in the store, they never abused us, they loved us they serve.I grew up in a great old. Regardless, however, everybody's family, everybody's family looks a little different on the outside and a dozen inside that's reading same and writer.

Everybody's family looks a little bit different on the outside little smile that you got in your face something perfect. Everything looks good that your Bible with you know with with the precious moments that you know better scattered throughout their that is what is on the outside but some of you five minutes before you walk on this church campus in the car. Things did not look merely that even I put together. It is in our families that are salmon our selfishness become the clearest. It is certainly that way in my how you want to see me at my lease sanctified just follow me around the house for a while.

Right. So what I'm telling you is that regardless of how great your family was if you're ever going to survive have to learn how to deal with her disappointment was that there are two ways to have a great family.

Two ways. One is you can all be perfect all the time. The others that you can learn to show grace. The first was not really an option. Okay so wake up is not the Brady Bunch. The first one is not an option.

So I want to explore.

The second one with you. That is what it looks like I have a gospel centered grace, saturated, marriage and family for many of you with the dentist part of your heart right now goes back to some family hurts. That is wrecking your life. It might be hurt that came from your parents might be hurt that comes from a spouse that maybe it at spouse maybe maybe a sibling where it comes from but it's it's something inside you. Proverbs 1430 says it this way, a sound heart is light to the body, but bitterness is rottenness to the bones that that that that is a Hebrew metaphor meaning all the way down to the core of who you are. There's a rottenness that is affected everything that means it affects relationships that have nothing to do with the hurt me that this hurt that you carried from some point in your life is unforgiveness affects every part of you your job how you see yourself how you see your kids that you see other people why the New Testament says it basically same verse just putting the different words. Hebrews 1215. See to it that nobody fails to obtain the grace of God lives up to it or grasp it or embraces it see that no bitterness springs up and causes trouble and by it many become defiled over the place of bitterness become something that defiles you, your children, your relationship all in your life. Some hurt in the past. Again, I don't know where it comes from, but it's an open cancerous for seeping poison into your whole life. I agree with one marriage counselor I read this week you said that the enemy's greatest foothold in Minneapolis is one that none of us that that many was bullied and realizes there is a place of bitterness and unforgiveness in our lives back after having dealt with skeptical people. Now for many years of my ministry.

I think that for many of you your skepticism has less to do with intellectual problems and more to do some area of hurt and and and unforgiveness that comes from somewhere in your past will by God's grace. Listen, if you will open your heart and you will ask the Holy Spirit to help you by God's grace, it ends today, because God doesn't want you to be trapped in a prison of bitterness that is a homewrecker to talk about what that looks like Romans chapter 12. If you have your Bibles were going to be focusing today. Try to think what passage really that would get at the heart of this one and this is the passage that I just considered to be absolutely foundational to know how to get along in relationships, so were to look at it walk you through it. So you different things on it and try to try to show you how it applies to you specifically Romans chapter 12 or 17 or so. Paul begins repay no one evil for evil somebody hurts you and you hurt them back.

That's what you're doing your paying evil you're giving them evil, for they are evil they smack you use back and back that people with different personality types do this in different ways. You have more of an aggressive personality type, which means you're more of a yeller right anybody and I like that of been like that you yelled at each other you through things you smacked. Okay then there are others of you that have more passive personality type and you'll actually do it that way you're more the kind that you take one city discounted withdrawal on the surface it kinda looks like patients but it's actually patients at all is what you do is you just absorbing the hurt this rage is kind of boiling in you. You slowly turn the fountain of love offer your spouse until there's nothing left. As I disappointed you. These kind of people give the patient on the surface, but it is take it in and take it in and take it in until they had a limit and they just explode right all of a sudden they believed the marriage.

They have an affair go postal and shut their spouse in the wood chipper. One night right, but these are passive people just all of a sudden she got aggressive people, people who fight you got passive people. People who flee. A lot of us are kind of a mixture of the two like like me.

I'm going smack and run guy in a little bit passive little bit of aggressive I'm not you call a zero passive aggressive. This person responds not by talking frontally. It's a lot more subtle. You go cold on the person right. That's how you pay them back is with silence.

You think about it this is what the father did to the sun when he punished him for our sin. That's a form of anger and retribution got turned his face like that's what your spouse this person is hurt you go cold on you're not worthy of my relationship you withhold sex from them. That's another one would hope that you know this or I will give you a chance to devote yourself to prayer and fasting my Jenny talked about last week screaming seven: admit. Maybe it's crying. Looks like herb is not hurt such a way to pay them back. John Piper says it this way says personalities differ. Your retribution may take the form of tears look like hurt, but the heart has learned that this may be the only way to her back. It might come out of silence because we resolve not to fight it might show up in picky criticism. The relentless correction to be strike out. Persons who have nothing to do with its origin and it feels warranted by its actions by how wrongly it has been treated bosses repay nobody evil for evil to get to why and how the minute. Verse 18 it.

It's possible he says so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all nothing a lot about the Bible.

It's just very practical.

It recognizes that is not always possible to live peaceably with everybody and there's a time you gotta withdraw yourself and remove yourself from the situation will talk about that more amenable to keep one verse 19. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, never a big yourself. Leave it to the wrath of God because it is written, vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. You see in your heart.

There is the sense when something has been done.

That is unjust is little tuning for think it's wrong in your heart that lets you know that the balance of the universe is off and that something needs to be repaid. It's I got it. It's like the sense that you got that the guilty must pay the wrong must be righted, know that is God-given that is a God-given impulse that you have you put in you is why we enjoy revenge movie so much like a bicycle filled glass Harry Potter is like 24 was a popular writer Jack Bauer pay about the world for all the bad things that God right it. It's a God-given impulse. Paul says listen up for the believer. You'll have to avenge yourself because you can rest assured that justice will be done by God, the person who has done the wall either have their sin paid for by Christ on the cross was or they will suffer for themselves and help. Either way, vengeance will be served to the full extent, and that means that you have the ability to forgive you the ability to forgive because any amount of forgiveness that does not include a sense of justice will be a hollow forgiveness when the last year's level is a Croatian that went to the Serbian genocide is a believer, says decision. A lot of times I hear people say that if you believe in a God of justice.

Then you become very hateful and judgmental and violent yourself.

He said anybody who says that is an academic or a Hollywood liberal who's never actually live to injustice. This is when you have suffered injustice like a child being killed or watching your parents draw down and be slaughtered. Anybody who's lived that level of hurts knows that the only way that you can deal with the rage and hatred that dominate your heart is the belief that one day the God of the universe will write all rocks. He said it is only when I believe that vengeance belong to God that I developed in my heart the capacity to forgive and to love is only the sense that God would get justice took away the hatred and rage for my heart. My love for the Serbian people begin to grow. When I embrace the God to whom vengeance belongs is what Paul is giving you there.

Verse 20 to the contrary, to the contrary.

During these hungry feet and is firstly given something to drink for. By so doing one my favorite phrases, you will heap burning coals on his head will come back to that verse 21.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. That's the heart of the passage right there.

Verse 2170 need to memorize that do not repay evil for evil repaid for evil will be overcome by evil, evil with good. All right when we are, however, were hurt our natural response of the horn back.

Return evil for evil.

There are several motivations for this summer to give you the sense of the first of the sense of justice.

We feel like that the balance of the universe is off and we feel right now I unto deity when we are writing that wrong. A lot of times it's hatred I want to show you because I hate you for how you hurt me and I want to make you suffer for how you made me suffer. Sometimes it's a sense of self protection. I've taken been taken advantage does not take shot you. Sometimes it's a sense that this is how will change them never to learn if we don't make them pay this.

This passage overturns every single one of us every single one of those it teaches you to revolutionary things about race but I want you to write down here to revolutionary things about grace. By the way, a lot of times you hear people say that all religions basically teach the same thing.

Sleepily CS Lewis's book the abolition of man which Martinez is best book the abolition of man made a statement. He said when it comes to most ethical issues. It is indeed true that most will religions teach the same things about stealing about murder about adultery. He said there's a lot of uniformity there is a spot on this one right here this passage were looking at this through them about the teaching of the New Testament teaching stands in a class all by itself.

No other religion in the world teaches you what I'm about to teach you from this passage.

There is number one grace of swarms evil and gives good grace absorbs evil and gives good thing about it this way, you borrow my car for the weekend. Whatever reason I lose my mind and I let you borrow okay so I let you borrow my car you take it out and you rested. You don't have insurance so you come back to me in your like Judy I'm so sorry I wrecked her car how to play angry birds on the drug on the interstate and I just lost a goal-directed right now when I have a choice correct right not to make you pay. I can say we pay every incentive damage to this or I can forgive you if I lose my eye. I forgive you. I forgive you for wrecking my car. Think about what I just agreed to do if I want to drive the car. I just agreed to pay for myself but dammit my forgiveness of you doesn't make the damages go away or forgive you. Pops back up. That's not what happens if I forgive you that I am agreeing to pay the damage for your mistake or for your sin against me. I'm agreed to pay to myself in the same way. Listen when you said against me and you wound me emotionally. I have a choice the same choice I can make you suffer in return. Take vengeance on you or I can refuse to take vengeance and give you love and then I suffer alone your sin cost me but not you, I'm not. You bear the effects of your sin. You see, no one who has been deeply wrong just for gifts. Nobody who has been deeply wrong just for gifts. Grace always involve suffering if you forgive, you are agreeing to absorb the wrong for their read their action towards you and not give retribution response. This is of course what Jesus did for us he absorbed the effects of our sin and released us from the liability of punishment.

Jesus didn't just forgive us, he absorbed into his body.

The effects of our sin again. Nobody was really been deeply wrong ever.

Just forgive Tim Keller says like this there is never forgiveness without suffering nails warns sweat and blood never see the myth about forgiveness is that you just forgive and forget when you've really been hurt. That is almost impossible insane people forget God never forgets. He never forgives and forget God suffered our sin and put it away by choice every time God thinks about it he chooses to see it was sold in Jesus, you have to make the same choice when they have wrong you. You have to choose whether you were going to give retribution.

Whether you believe there sin was put away forever in Jesus will be vindicated and how I want to definition of grace. When I was a kid that I never forgot that on grace GRA CE God's riches at Christ's expense. God not just forgive me. Even just forgive you he gave you is riches, but at Christ's expense, which is yet another dumb question but respect Christians are not perfect or just forgive and Chris are not perfect. Not just forgive God not just wave his hand forgiveness he absorbed into himself.

The expense of our sin lavished upon us the riches of Christ, God's riches at Christ's expense. Grace absorbs evil what Jesus did. Grace overcomes evil second revolutionary truth from this passage Grace overcomes evil Paul says that in giving good you actually overcome I love the word overcome short-term means literally to conquer or to wrestle to the ground. You see, verse 20. This is by repaying good for evil, you will heap burning coals on the red. I love that phrase because on the surface like what got what I wanted to do in the first place I wanted to he burning coals and now were talking Paul is not talking on keeping burning holes in their head to hurt them, though, because the entire spirit of that passage would make sense. What I got, forgive them and then he burning holes in her head as you watch the flash melt off their scalp, you will have the sense of, but now it's only talking about keeping burning holes in their head is not going to hurt them. It's going to wake them up as the whole image. There even if I'm in bed and I'm asleep in your throat. You really hot really cold water on either one has the same effect. It wakes me up. This is your kindness to your repaying good for their evil actually wakes them up out of the slumber of their stupidity and their selfishness. That's what Jesus did for us is not. He gave us kindness and that woke us up. There is another deeply ingrained myth and us the way we change people's by repaying them evil for evil like ice when you last week that is just not true. Repaying evil doesn't overcome evil. It only continues broken, then a you showing grace overcomes evil again. How did God change you any change you by repaying you for your sin no change you by us. Change your heart by showing you grace by showing you grace, get this, he overcame evil in you, he changed her heart and woke you up top hot coals of mercy on your head by dying for your sin so you overcome evil in somebody and in yourself by showing grace. You see when you have hatred in your heart to somebody evil is growing and you mother's rings and the Lord of the rings to see corruption will be enough of the first reversibility that was showing Robert for the guardians writing your bones. 1215 for filing your whole body writable couple years ago called the Bishop of Rwanda, written by getting John Luciano, who lived through, he was here. It was a two to see you had been persecuted by the Hutus. Watch several members of his family die is a little worse. License ever crawled out of hell is that lie that you have to wait till somebody truly sorry for their sin. Before you forgive them. He said because forgiveness has less to do with a person more to do with you and God. He said you see, regardless of that other person's reaction when you possess bitterness in your heart eat away at your heart like a cancer was destroyed all of you until you get to a place where you can forgive irrespective of their reaction to you. You are still trapped in a prison of bitterness.

Forgiveness has more to do with you and God does you and them. Some of you this morning are holding yourself in a prison of bitterness.

Lamentations 322 a promise to every believer says that God's mercies are new every morning, but you live in a prison of the past. You will not embrace those mercies. Romans 828 tells you that your father is working all things, even the bad things were good in your life but you will believe that you will embrace that you feel like you want to go back and get vengeance you want to hold yourself in the prison of this past and you are thereby forfeiting the mercy and grace and the blessing that God has for you now get out of the prison of past bitterness and into the promises of future blessings because God has a way of overcoming even the worst in your life summarize these verses Christians don't respond evil aggressively passively respond passive aggressively Christians respond to evil get this aggressive rings right down aggressive rings, not passive, not aggressive, not passive aggressive aggressively raising forgiveness and anger into joy. Power of the gospel and what were all about here. You're listening to Senate language and theologian JD Greer any part of today's message, or if you like to download the transcript just got a JD Greer.com and look for the message titled bitterness in our newest resource titled hidden grace and surprising stories that led to a dying church is revitalization journey from the rich beginning of the summit church in Raleigh-Durham through the hard days and ultimately to the revitalization of the church that Jenny doesn't just stop there.no, not at all the while on this journey the past 18 or so years our prayers. The church has changed from God, let us reach lots of people grow humongous to God. Let us bring joint salvation to the city I knew that that seems like a really tiny you distinction in prayer. But for me it was huge. She always wanted just to be very transparent here with our listeners. I got in the ministry wanted to be big I wanted to be about me. I wanted to have a big church in a big platform and God just showed me how idolatrous a lot of my desires ministry work that every time I stood up and would be like.

Thy kingdom come, partially what I meant was my kingdom, it's a journey I'm still on and show them it's not about me is about not about even our churches about him in his name and his glory were just instruments in that process we tell that story to tell that story and seven other stories great stories that are about me and simply members here in this little book. We want to give out were amazed by what got us down here. We want to share that with you. I think it will not just encourage you, I think it will inspire you what you find is that God's stories and testimonies of God's work in other places can help ignite your heart into how he wants to work where you are and so let us let this book be an encouragement to you think stating he mentioned we think this will inspire and encourage you. We'd love to get you a copy today. The titling and hitting eight surprising stories that led to a dying church is revitalization and exclusively available here to our listeners only will send you a copy our way of saying thanks when you donate $25 or more to this ministry and hitting grace is you can read Pastor Cheney's account of what this painful journey look like. But there are also stories from other key areas and how they have been uniquely impacted by her church and he's going to read this resource play is merely finding my listeners today really when you tell me your helping more people deeper into the gospel every day radio when you get the call 86335 for your number again. I 1524.

You can get online.com hi Molly, thanks so much for joining us today and tomorrow we will learn Friday on


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