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Have We No Rights?

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
September 5, 2021 8:00 am

Have We No Rights?

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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September 5, 2021 8:00 am

The desire to insist on our rights lies deep in the heart of man, and we live in a day when people are especially aware of those rights. But what are our rights as believers? Join Dr. James Boice on The Bible Study Hour as he explores Jesus’ teaching on the rights of the believer.

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In Jesus day, a man could not be sued for his cloak because he owned only one he wore it as a covering by day and slept under it for warmth by night get Jesus taught that the Christian is not only to give up his cloak. If aspect to give up his tunic as well. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. We live in an era when people are keenly aware of their rights. In fact, they demand them. Yet Jesus presented a very different standard in his sermon on the Mount for holding onto what is ours join Dr. Boyce as he reveals Jesus startling criterion concerning the rights of the believer. We live in a day when most people are intensely conscious of their rights in such a climate, it's not unusual for a believer in Jesus Christ to be asking what are my rights as a Christian, do I have a right to success or wealth to a home or a family to a good name to be respected. Perhaps you've asked these questions also wore others like them. Do you have rights. The verses from the sermon on the mount which we come today answer these questions directly.

They say striking as it may seem that there are no rights for Christians. Jesus said, you've heard that it has been said and I for an eye and a tooth for tooth, but I say unto you, that ye resist not evil but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek burned in the other. Also in many men will sue the at the lawn take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also went, whosoever shall compel the to go a mile, go with him to give to him that ask if they end from him that would borrow of the turn not thou away.

These verses teach that a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ has no right to retaliation. No right to things no right to his own time and no right to his money. In other words, he holds all of his possessions in trust from the Lord. He's obliged to use them as Jesus did to help others.

Several years ago. In the course of my reading, I came across a little book by Mabel Williamson, a former missionary under the China inland Mission that forcibly develops the steam it's called. Have we know right it's full of stories that illustrate how difficult the point that were talking about is for most Christians. One story is the account of an address by another CIM missionary in which he tells of the difficulties he had in learning this lesson China you know, we began the great deal of difference between eating bitterness. I was a Chinese idiom for suffering. Hardship and eating the loss. I was in idiom for suffering the infringement of one's rights. Eating bitterness is easy enough to go out with the preaching band walk 20 or 30 miles to the place where your to work helped set up the tent, puckered the town with posters and spend several weeks in a strenuous campaign of meetings and visitation. Why, that's a thrill.

Your bid may be made of a couple of planks laid on sawhorses and you may have to eat boiled rice greens and bean curd three times a day, but that's just the beauty of it quite good for anyone to go back to the simple life a little healthy bitterness is good for anybody. I came to China, he continued. I was already bitterness and like it takes a little while to get your pallet and your digestion used to Chinese food. Of course, but I was no harder than I had expected. Another thing, however, another thing that I had never thought about came up to make trouble, I had to eat loss.

I found that I couldn't stand up for my rights that I couldn't even have any rights. I found that I had to give them up.

Everyone that was the hardest thing of all, that comment by a veteran missionary to China rings true is what Christ was teaching what is more, the lesson involved is a lesson that must be learned by every Christian. The apostle Paul learned it for he wrote to the Corinthians that we no right to eat and to drink that we no right to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles and as the brethren of the Lord and Cephas or Wyoming and Barnabas have we no right to forbear working. That is, take a vacation. Nevertheless, we have not used this right but beer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Though I am free from all men yet have I made myself servant on the wall that I might gain more Paul willingly gave up his natural human rights for the sake of the gospel both difficult. Jesus teaches that we his followers are to do the same on the first right that Jesus teaches were to forgo is the right of retaliation is the first of four rights listed here, although the list is not comprehensive and is not intended to be, it is sufficient to indicate the type of character that God requires of us. Jesus said resist not evil but whosoever shall smite the on by right cheek, turned him the other also is hard teaching of course, the tendency to insist on our own rights lies deep in the heart of man, and it's nowhere more apparent than in the natural human instinct for retaliation.

We believe in fair play and so strong is our sense of it that we naturally tend to justify retaliation is evening the score or giving the other man what he deserves. Jesus says that this is not the way a Christian is to live instead of insisting on our rights. We are to yield them up, particularly, are imagined right to retaliation in order that the preaching of the gospel might not be hindered. All will be abused will often be persecuted. But we are not to fight back. In fact, were to do is called well so learn this lesson teaches dearly beloved is is avenge not yourselves, but rather give place underground for its written, vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him if he first give him drink her in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good pressure saying to me, Dr. boys, that sounds good on paper but it cannot be done, not in the kind of world we live in those words are meant for heaven. Listen, that is nonsense. It can be done. It is being done and what's more, if you are not doing it. You are not living the kind of special Christ like life that God has set before you. Let me give you an illustration of someone who is doing it long ago we talked on this program with the black evangelist Tom Skinner was converted to Christ while he was leader of the largest of the toughest teenage gang in New York City. Harlem lords his conversion was so real that he left the gang. The next day turning from a life of fighting and violence to preach the gospel was an immediate victory over crime and cruelty, and soon there was a victory over hate and bigotry also several weeks after his conversion, he was playing a football game in which as his assignment on one play. He blocked the defensive end. While his own halfback scored a touchdown as he got up from the ground to head back to the huddle boy that had blocked jumped in front of him in a rage and slammed him in the stomach as he bent over from the blow. He hacked them across the back. Then when he fell.

He kicked him well.

Skinner said that under normal circumstances, the old Tom Skinner would've jumped up from the ground and pulverized the white boy and he could've done it to. But instead he got up from the ground and found himself looking him in the face and saying you know because of Jesus Christ. I love you anyway. Later Skinner said that even surprised himself, but he knew that what the Bible had promised was true. He was a new creature in Christ was no longer necessary for him to operate on the old level of tit-for-tat hate for hate or retaliation. Moreover, when the game was over and the opposing end.

It had some time to think about it. He came to Tom Skinner and said Tom you've done more to mock prejudice out of me by telling me that you love me and you would've done if you'd suck my jaw in do not say that the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be followed if you are a Christian, they can be if Christ lives in you. What is more, they must be followed. If you are serious about them. Why not begin by yielding to Christ's words about retaliation. I want to go on. But before I do I want to deal with an objection that someone may be raising maybe saying all what you say is well and good, but isn't it true that there are situations in which the standard need not be followed. In fact, didn't Jesus even refused to turn his face himself when he was struck by the high priest and didn't he say if I have spoken evil bear witness of the evil, but if well why slightest doubt me for the first answer that question is that although Jesus said if I have spoken evil bear witness of the evil, but if well why slightest doubt me. He didn't turn around and punch the high priest in the nose even to stated that way is ludicrous. I chose the wide gulf that exists between our reactions and the conduct of Jesus for we would want to retaliate as part of the answer. The full answer, however, is that the situation here are involved. The law Christ was being tried by law, and he insisted rightly that the Jewish maxims about not striking an accused person be enforced. New Testament values law as does the Bible from beginning to end.

None of these statements suggest that the Christian is to forgo the protection that the law affords them. In fact, is to be thankful for it and to pray for the authorities. On the other hand, where the law is not involved there.

The Christian is to forgo his rights and to refuse retaliation. In other words, his conduct is to be like that of Jesus who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth to when he was reviled, reviled not again when he suffered, he threatened not but committed himself to him. The judges righteously who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live under righteousness to this high standard. All believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have been called other other examples in this section of Matthew's gospel. The next verse talks about things any man sue the lawn take away thy coat, let them invite cloak also was a Jewish law that limited the things for which a man could be sued man would have many undergarments which were lightened would correspond with suitor address in our time, but he would have only one cloak, the heavier outer garment that corresponds to a coat by Jewish law recognize that this carbon was necessary for man's well-being.

Hence, although we could be sued for his suit. He couldn't be sued for that which alone would keep him warm in winter or protect them from the chill of the night air. If he slept outside on the ground. Naturally, all of the poor and the rich among Christ listeners knew this law so Jesus said that they were not to be unwilling to spare their coat was actually saying that even if the law protected them.

They were still not to live by the rights to their possessions. What does that mean for us. Well refers to our property. At least for Holmes automobiles close food and other things and it tells us that these things are not ours to hold and to guard jealously instead, we must recognize that all we have comes from the Lord and is to be used in the best possible way to his glory.

The third example, Jesus gives his right to our time, Bree said, and whosoever shall compel the to go 1 mile, go with him to. This is a picture of which we know very little today for comes from the experiences of those who lived in an occupied country in such a situation, a member of the Concord nation might at any moment be compelled to serve the conquering power even if it meant the neglect of things that he considered important for which time was pressing to give one example. This was what happened to Simon of Sirena when he was pressed into service in Jerusalem to bear the cross of Jesus. Jesus said that if a woman should come down the road and compel one of his disciples to go a mile with him in order to bear some burden. Well he was, not to do it grudgingly and with obvious resentment. Instead, he was to go to miles with cheerfulness and good grace to us means that we are not to be resentful when people call us on the telephone and take up valuable time just because they don't have anything better to do. We are not to be surly when we are given added work, the office or are saddled with someone else's work were sent out for coffee when were in the middle of something we think important stead were to do it cheerfully and as unto the Lord finally were to see that we have no rights to our money. Jesus said, give to him that I asked if the and from him that would borrow of the turn now not away.

All I know we work for our money.

We seem to work doubly hard today because the government and the state takes so much away in taxes yet were never to say well what is mine is mine. The other fellow work.

I did it were to respond to his need and where to do so cheerfully is not speaking of the professional beggar. Of course I need to say that. Speaking of the kind that will spend all that you give him a drink.

Speaking of genuine need, but nevertheless it does teach that we are to meet that need. Actually the instruction is exactly the same as that given us by John who wrote to those of his day, but whosoever hath this world's good, and see if his brother have need, shut up up his compassions from them out well with the love of God in him my little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but indeed and in truth, perhaps, since there are few things that reveal the true depth of our Christianity is clearly as our attitude toward money but me ask you a personal question. What is your attitude toward all that I've been saying. Are you still dealing with the questions of your right. Send your wrongs or are you learning to live the kind of life lived for us by the Lord Jesus. One Bible teacher is written on the subject since the day that Adam took the fruit of the tree of knowledge and is been engaged in deciding what is good and what is evil. Natural man is worked out his own standards of right and wrong, justice and injustice. Send striven to live by them. Of course, as Christians were different, but what way are we different since we were converted a new sense of righteousness has been developed in us the result that we too are quite rightly occupied with the question of good and evil, but we realize that for us the starting point is a different one.

Christ is for us the tree of life. We begin with a matter of ethical right and wrong. We do not start from that other tree we begin with him. The whole question for us is one of life, nothing has done greater damage to our Christian testimony, then our trying to be right and demanding right of others. We become preoccupied with what is what is not right. We ask ourselves, have we been justly or unjustly treated and we think busts to vindicate our actions.

That is not our standard question for us is one of cross bearing. You asked me is it right for someone to strike my cheek.

I answer, of course not. But the question is you only want to be right as Christians, our standard of living could never be right or wrong, but the cross the principal of the cross is our principle of conduct right or wrong is the principle of the Gentiles and tax collectors.

My life is to be governed by the principle of the cross and of the perfection of the father.

If you are a Christian learn soon.

This great's ritual lesson. Do not stand on your rights.

The 2nd mile is only typical of the third and the fourth. The cloak is only typical of all our possessions, our time is not our own. When Jesus died for us on the cross. He did not do it to defend our rights or his. It was grace that took them there now as his children, we are called to the same life of self sacrifice and Christlike service and know our father, we thank you for this great and high calling. We confess that we are too much interested in our own rights.

We know also that there is a better way and that we are called to it. Help us to yield ourselves up to the Lord Jesus Christ and through his power in us do what we cannot do for ourselves.

We pray in Jesus name, amen. Listening to the Bible study our featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyd, David's cursing of his enemies in the Old Testament has always been a problem for the Christian Jesus teaches us to turn the other cheek and not seek revenge held in or the Psalms of David to be understood in light of our Christian sensibilities. Find out in today's free CD offer entitled and evil and for evil man is free CD offer is just our way of saying thanks call us at 1-800-488-1888 will be sure to send you a copy of an evil land for evil man that number again is 1-800-488-1888 the believer holds all his possessions as a trust from the Lord with an understanding that we are to give to him that asks well on behalf of everyone here at the Bible study our I humbly ask for your help in keeping Dr. voices messages on the air and on the Internet for this and future generations. You can make a donation online at the Bible study. Our daughter work.

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Join Dr. James Boyce next time about Bible study our as he examines Jesus perspective on love and loving our enemies from the sermon on the Mount. That's next time one Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically

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