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Jesus' Call to Silence #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2022 7:00 am

Jesus' Call to Silence #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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January 25, 2022 7:00 am

When you encounter mockers who don't accept a word you have to say about the Gospel, at what point do you move on to more fertile possibilities- That's the question Pastor Don Green will address today on The Truth Pulpit.--https---www.thetruthpulpit.com-Click the icon below to listen.

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One commentator said this, Matthew chapter 7 verse 6 is apparently unrelated to the preceding or following context. It is inserted here for no special reason.

That is silliness. When you encounter mockers who don't accept a word you have to say about the gospel, at what point do you just move on to more fertile possibilities? That's the question Pastor Don Green will address today on the Truth Pulpit.

Hi, I'm Bill Wright and we are continuing our series, The Art of Discernment. We've been looking closely at our Lord's Sermon on the Mount and now we come to a fascinating passage in Matthew chapter 7 verse 6. Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces. Well, how does that fit into the earlier portions of the passage?

For that answer and more, let's join Pastor Don Green now in the Truth Pulpit. Matthew chapter 7 verse 1, Jesus said, Do not judge so that you will not be judged, for in the way you judge you will be judged, and by your standard of measure it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, and behold the log is in your own eye, you hypocrite?

First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. Now, these five verses are what we've been teaching from, for those of you that are visiting or new with us. In those five verses, Jesus warned us that there was a coming future accountability for his disciples, where they would stand before God and give an account for their lives. This is waiting each one of us here who are believers in Christ. There is a day coming where God will judge us, where he will reward us according to our faithfulness, and we will give an account to him of our lives. We're in no danger of being sent to hell at that time, as we've made clear, because Christ has covered our sins. Our sins have been paid for, they have been erased, they have been fully redeemed and covered.

But that does not mean that we will not have some kind of accountability before God in the lives that we lived as Christians. What did you do? What are you doing with your life as a believer in Christ? What are you doing to serve the kingdom? How are you serving in faithfulness to God?

Those are things that we are going to give an account for one day. In that passage, those first five verses are calling us to do this. It is warning us and helping us to understand, in light of that future accountability that we all will have before God, it is imperative and essential for us to examine our own lives before we think to critique the lives of others.

The reality of the fear of God should so weigh upon us that our primary focus, our first priority, is to deal with our own sins rather than rushing out to point out the sins of others. And that's the point of those five verses. Jesus is giving us guidance about the way that we think and the way that we interact with other men as we go through this life on earth. That's his point in the first five verses. Now, beloved, we're going to pivot into today's verse, verse 6, and here's what I want you to see by way of introduction. You need to understand that Jesus still has that same great theme of directing the way that his disciples deal with others around them as we go into verse 6. That's his overarching theme, but now in verse 6 he is going to address a different matter within that greater context.

And so let's look at verse 6 again when he says, Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces. Now, you just read that for the first time. You just read that in the course of your yearly Bible reading plan and read through it. It's not going to be immediately obvious to you what the connection is between those two. And you might just say, well, I don't know how that fits.

How does that build? How does that follow from what he had just previously said? Now, it will surprise you to find that there are published Bible commentators.

You can pay $40, $50 for their commentaries, and you will find them saying something like this. Some teachers will tell you that verse 6 does not fit with the context at all. One commentator said this in a prominent scholarly commentary series. He said, and I quote, Matthew chapter 7 verse 6 is apparently unrelated to the preceding or following context. It is inserted here for no special reason, but only as another saying of Jesus. End quote. That is a direct quote from a published Bible commentator who has a lot of lettered degrees after his name.

Now, what can we say to that in deference to the esteemed doctor who will remain nameless? What do we say to the idea that God's word and God as the Spirit was inspiring his word just dropped in a saying of Jesus that's unrelated to anything before or anything after? What do we say to that approach to biblical interpretation? Well, with all due respect, that is total foolishness.

That is silliness. That is irresponsible for a man to speak of God's word that way. Are we to think, are we to think as we read through God's word, as we read through the Sermon on the Mount, that Jesus just threw words into the air when he was the most gifted teacher ever on the face of the earth? Are we to think that the Holy Spirit, that blessed third person of the Godhead, who inspired the Word of God and made sure that the human authors wrote down exactly what God intended, are we to think that the Holy Spirit was just randomly putting words together in a way that had no meaningful connection one to the other?

This is insanity. This is the mark of a failed handling of God's word. That cannot possibly be the explanation that this is just a random insertion of words that had nothing to do with the prior or following context.

That's nonsense. But it leaves us with the question, why did Jesus say this? And why did he say it here? Why did he say this immediately after warning us about our future accountability and calculating grace into the way that we deal with others? Well, let me just give you an overview, statement, and then we'll unpack it in the moments to come.

Here's the context. Here's what Jesus is saying. This is the overall thing, how verses 1 through 5 connect with verse 6. He says, While you are being on your guard against being too judgmental in your dealings, he says, here's the pivot point, do not give precious truth to people who will abuse it. While you are guarding against being judgmental, don't give precious truth to people who will abuse it. Stated differently, while you are walking through life in a humble way before men, do not be so foolish and naive as to treat everybody equally and to give truth to people who are simply going to treat it as though it were common refuse on the street.

Don't do that. Remember that the truth that has been given to you as a believer, remember that the salvation that Christ has bestowed upon you is something of great, precious, exceeding value. And as a result of that, you make sure that it is handled with care. You know, think about it, in light of the season in which we're living, we can treat all kinds of things with extraordinary care as we mail gifts across the country or we deal with human, material, temporal things that are destined to perish with the using.

We'll treat them with great care and respect and make sure they don't get broken or the packaging doesn't get torn or whatever the case may be. Well, if we're going to treat things of earthly passing significance with that kind of care, shouldn't there be an attitude in our mind of treating with even greater care the eternal gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ? That as we speak about the things of salvation, as we think about the worth of our Lord Jesus, shouldn't we have in our minds this should be handled with care and not treated as though it were something common? That's the point that Jesus is making for us here today. So in verse 6, let's read it together one more time. Just to set it clearly in our minds, Jesus says, Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces. Now, Jesus here is using a metaphor. He is comparing men, which is his real point, to a metaphor, an illustration of animals, because sometimes men act like animals. And Jesus is reminding us of this fact, and that when you are dealing with men who behave like animals, you need to have in your mind how it is that you deal with truth before them. Now, when we talk about dogs in a biblical context, you should not think about dogs in the Bible in the way that you think about, for some of you, your domesticated household pets.

You know, and you've got the dogs that you like and give you comfort and give you companionship and all of that, and you like having them around? That's not what Jesus is talking about here. Dogs in biblical times were ugly scavengers. They were half wild animals that were known for their association with filth. They were dirty animals, not what you think about.

You say, Oh, I have a dog. Today, it was something different back then. These were repulsive, half wild scavenger beasts of which Jesus spoke. And one better commentator said, Dogs are generally associated in Scripture with ideas of reproach, contempt, or loathing. Pigs or swine were no better. They were unclean animals to Jews. They were also wild beasts capable of savage action.

And Jesus joins together two different pictures to make a point about how it is that we are to deal with men in the world around us. These two animals together give a picture of what is vicious, what is unclean, and what is abominable. And these animals, my friends, these animals did not have the capacity to recognize valuable things. They treated valuable things with the same savagery that they did things of filth. So that if you threw valuable pearls into the midst of the pig feed, they would think it was common food and treat it just like they did anything else, snorting it up. But when they saw it wasn't, they would trample the pearls and attack the one who gave it to them for playing such a despicable trick on them, to give them what looked like food but then turned out not to be. And so these were animals with no discernment.

These were animals of despicable conduct, savage, not worthy of giving before them things that were of value. And here's Jesus' point in what he's saying here. There are men in the world who treat the gospel like that. When it comes to the gospel, there are men who treat the gospel like that. They do not recognize the value of what is being presented to them. They turn and attack the one who gives it to them, or they mock the content, they mock the scriptures, they throw filth on that which is of great value. Look at verse 6 with me again, Jesus says, Do not give what is holy to dogs. Do not throw your pearls before swine.

See the contrast? That which is holy before a scavenger. That which is of great value, a pearl given to pigs.

Those two things don't belong together. And what Jesus is saying here, remembering that pearls were precious and of great value. And in this context, as Jesus is soon going to speed into telling people that there is a narrow way to heaven, in or through the narrow gate, wide is the gate that leads to destruction, as Jesus is about to move into those things later in Matthew chapter 7, he is talking about the truths of the gospel and the kingdom of God.

Let me remind you, just lest we forget here, that there's a broader context to the overall thing. Matthew chapter 5 verse 3, Jesus is speaking about the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. In chapter 7 verse 21, he says, Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of heaven. And book-ending, if I can use that as a verb, book-ending the whole Sermon on the Mount with this concept of the kingdom of heaven. So he's talking about the great worth and the surpassing value of the kingdom of heaven, and how his disciples respond to it in the midst of this overall sermon.

Listen, beloved, and I'm about to get animated. The things of God and the things of Scripture and the things of the kingdom of heaven are precious, holy, and they are of great value. And they should be treated that way. They should be treated with respect. They should be treated with honor. They should be treated with deference and a sense of holy fear. There are nativity sets that are out there that bring Joseph and Mary into the modern world.

I saw a picture of one online, and I'm really angry about it. I'm really upset about it because it shows Joseph being a hipster guy with a cell phone and taking a selfie of himself with Mary and the baby in the background. Mary dressed in inappropriate clothing. And this is supposed to be a cool way to contextualize the gospel and bring it up to date.

And it's supposed to be kind of funny, hip, and cool at the same time. If I could find that nativity scene someplace, I would be delighted to grab the table on which it was sitting and turn it upside down, because that is not how you treat the holy things of God. Jesus described the truths of the gospel and the kingdom of God as a pearl of great price. In Matthew chapter 13, verses 45 to 46, he said, The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. That was so valuable that you give up everything in order to possess it.

In an utter denial of self, you take the value of that, you sell all that you have in order to get that one thing. It's kind of a picture of what we do when we come to Christ. We abandon all.

We leave everything behind. We sacrifice every single priority and preference and desire for recognition, leave it all behind so that we can receive Christ in simple, humble, unadorned faith. Now, beloved, think with me, and I'm speaking knowing that you're a sympathetic audience with what I have to say.

I'm not rebuking you and what we have to say. We're talking about people that are outside the walls that view the gospel and treat it differently. You and I need to stop and think for a moment about the great value of our message. This is that which no earthly price can be set upon, the value of the gospel. What do we proclaim when we proclaim Christ to sinners? We proclaim to them that there is a promise of eternal life and a promise of full forgiveness of all of their sins through faith in Jesus Christ.

We tell them that a holy God will forgive all of their sins if they will come to Christ. We tell them about this blessed Son of God, the second person of the Godhead, who in great humility left the glories of heaven in order to walk on this earth, that he lived a perfect life, a sinless life, and did so so that he might offer that life as a ransom for guilty sinners who would one day believe in him. And the matchless holiness of Christ and the matchless glory of his condescension and his humiliation in coming to earth, the matchless way in which he performed miracles and spoke words of life to those who heard, and in great humility and self-denial offered that life as a ransom for many, that this great Christ did not come to be served by his creation, but came to serve and give his life a ransom for many. Beloved, there is no value that you can attach to that. We sing in the hymn, if the whole realm of nature were mine, that would be a present far too small to give in response to such great love, such great magnanimity, such benevolence at the hands of the one who made us. There is just such a surpassing value to this that the hymn writer rightly says, love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my all.

That's how valuable it is. It's so valuable that those of us who are truly in Christ have, in a very real sense, given up our life for it. We have sacrificed our life, our ambitions, our desires, and said that is more valuable than everything else. Lord Jesus, I receive you. I give my life to you.

I submit to you. You are now Lord and Master over all. That's what true conversion looks like. Not these watered down things of whispering a prayer in a moment of emotional influence under a hymn that's been played 15 times, and then going on and living as if nothing had happened. That's not true salvation. That's not Christianity.

That's some false imitation. We're talking about the real thing here today. And the real thing is greatly valuable. It is infinitely valuable. The real gospel, the real Christ, is that which stands between you and eternal destruction in hell as the judgment for your sins, and that which would bring eternal blessing and peace and forgiveness and reconciliation to a holy God to your life. What price would you put on the difference between those two eternal destinations?

Well, it's infinite, and it should be treated with value. You see, we testify as Christians. We testify to everyone who will listen the words of Romans 5-8. God demonstrates His own love toward us, and that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Here we were in our guilt, our rebellion, our indifference, manifesting our guilt in different ways. Some people manifest their guilt and sinfulness just through utter indifference, through a mocking kind of dismissal without engaging the facts. Others are openly hostile.

Others devote their lives like Bill Nye has to just mocking everything that is precious. Others living in the brokenness of sin and drunkenness and other matters of debauchery. All united by a common theme that they are in sin, that sin has taken them captive, that Satan has taken them captive, and they are in darkness and they are hurtling toward eternal judgment. And here we are as Christians who were once like them, now saved by grace, and we come and we say we have the message that can deliver you from all of that, that can break the power of Satan in your life, that can break the power of sin in your life, that can reconcile you to a majestic God. And here's the thing, beloved, in light of that great surpassing value, here's what you must see, is that those sacred truths are of infinite value. And because, listen to me, because we love the Christ who has done this for us, we realize the great value of the Savior who came and gave His life for us. He loved me and gave Himself up for me. And we are so enraptured with the honor that is due to His name.

We are so full of gratitude toward the wonder of what He has done to save us when we could not save ourselves. We attach the highest value possible to that. When we realize that, we realize there should be something that starts to click in your mind that says those things should never be treated with contempt. Those things should never be treated as common. Those things should never be mocked.

Those things should never be assaulted. And yet we know all too well, don't we, that there are plenty of men in the world, some in our circle of life, who revel in doing just that, who love to blaspheme the name of Christ, who love to mock the Scriptures. From time to time, we're going to encounter people like that, and we need to know how to respond to them.

Jesus tells us here in verse 6 exactly how we respond to them. We'll find out what Christ's prescription is for responding to incorrigible mockers next time on The Truth Pulpit as Pastor Don Green concludes our series, The Art of Discernment. Don will pass along three practical and helpful suggestions, so you won't want to miss a moment.

Right now, though, Don's back in studio with news of a great resource. I want to let you know that we have a number of topical series available for download or CD requests at our website, thetruthpulpit.com. Over the years, I've tried to address controversial matters that confuse Christians, issues like the place of Roman Catholicism, anxiety, transgenderism, homosexuality, and the charismatic movement. You'll find series on those topics and so many more at our free offers link at thetruthpulpit.com. I invite you to take advantage of them all. And as we say goodbye for now, I commend you to Christ and the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among those who are sanctified. God bless you. Just visit our website at thetruthpulpit.com to get the resource Don just mentioned. Once again, that's thetruthpulpit.com. I'm Bill Wright, and we'll see you next time on The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-17 22:02:05 / 2023-06-17 22:11:14 / 9

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