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January 25, 2022 7:00 am
One commentator said this in Matthew chapter 7 verse six is apparently unrelated to the preceding or following context is inserted here for no special reason. That is silliness.
When you encounter markers 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 Greene will address today on the truth pulpit. I am Bill Wright and we are continuing our series. The art of discernment, looking closely at our Lord's sermon on the Mount, and now we come to a fascinating passage in Matthew chapter 7 verse six. Do not give what is holy to dogs. I do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces. How does that fit into the earlier portions of the passage for that answer, and more. Let's join Pastor Don Greene now in the truth.
Pulpit Matthew chapter 7 verse one 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 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 of what we've been teaching from for those of you that are visiting her new with this. 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 were in no danger of being sent to hell. At that time as we made clear because Christ has covered our sins are 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. That passage those first five verses are calling us to do this is warning us in 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. That's the point of those five verses Jesus is giving us guidance about the way that we think in the way that we interact with other men. As we go through this life on earth at this point in the first five verses now 11 were going to pivot into today's verse, verse six, 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 six. That's his overarching theme, but now in verse six he is going to address a different matter within that greater context and so let's look at verse six 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.
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 six 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 six is apparently unrelated to the preceding or following context is inserted here for no special reason but only as another saying of Jesus." That is a direct quote from a published Bible commentator who has a lot of letter degrees after his name now what can we say to that, in deference to the esteemed Dr. who will remain nameless. What we say to the idea that that God's word and God is the spirit was inspiring his word just dropped in a saying of Jesus.
It's unrelated to anything before anything after what 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 that Jesus just rewards 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 following context.
That's nonsense, but it leaves us with 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 will unpack it in the moments come. Here's the context here's what Jesus is saying this is the overall thing. How verses one through five. Connect with verse six 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 judge mental 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 na´ve 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 is 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 were living we we can treat all kinds of things with extraordinary care as we mail gifts across the country are we deal with human material temporal things that are destined to perish with the using will treat them with great care and respect and make sure they don't get broken under the packaging doesn't get torn or whatever the case may be, well, if were going to treat things of earthly passing significance.
With that kind of care. Should there be an attitude in our mind treating with even greater care. The, 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 as though it were something common. That's the point that Jesus is making for us here today. So in verse six. 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 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 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 the 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 in 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 not what you think about Seo. I have a dog today. It was something different back then.
These were these were these were repulsive, half wild scavenger beasts of which Jesus spoke 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 in 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 if you threw valuable pearls into the midst of the pig feed they would think it was common food and treated just like they did anything else snorting it up, but when they sought wasn't they would trample the pearls and attack the one who gave it to them for playing such a 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 not worthy of giving before them things that were of value in. Here's Jesus's point and what he 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 mocked the Scriptures they they throw filth on that which is of great value with verse six with me again Jesus says do not give what is holy to dogs not throw your pearls before swine.
See the contrast that which is holy before scavenger that which is of great value, a pearl given to pigs. Those two things don't belong together. What Jesus is saying here remembering the pearls were precious and of great value, and in this context is Jesus is soon going to to speed into telling people that there is a narrow way to heaven. Enter through the narrow gate wide is the gate that leads to destruction is Jesus is about to move into those things later in Matthew chapter 7 is talking about the truth of the gospel and the kingdom of God. Let me remind you just lest we forget here that there is a broader context of the overall thing. Matthew chapter 5 verse three 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.
The booking book ending. If I can use that as a verb, book ending the whole sermon on the mail with this concept of the kingdom of heaven's was talking about the great worth in the surpassing value of the kingdom of heaven and how his disciples respond to it in the midst of this overall sermon. The thing listen beloved. 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 are that that bring the the 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 taken a selfie of himself with Mary and the baby in the background.
Mary dressed in inappropriate clothing and this is this is supposed to be a cool way to contextualize the gospel and bring it up to date and 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 he was sitting and turn it upside down because that is not how you treat the holy things of God.
Jesus described the truth of the gospel in the kingdom of God is 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 another denial of self you take the value of that you sell all that you have in order to get that one thing is 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 in 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. 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 were talking about people that are outside the walls.
Do the gospel and treated differently. You and I need to stop and think for a moment about the great value of our message.
This is this is 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 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 to integrate humility left the glories of heaven in order to walk on this earth, but he lived a perfect life is 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 that in the matchless holiness of Christ in 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 in great humility and self-denial offered that life is a ransom for many. That this great Christ not come to be served by his creation became to serve and give his life a ransom for many. Blood there is.
There is no value that you can attach to that we sing in the him if it that the whole realm of nature were mine.
That would be a presence far too small to give.
In response to such great love such great magnet amenity. 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 so valuable that those of us who are truly in Christ have have been a very real sense given up our life forward.
We have sacrificed our life or ambitions or 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. Overall, that's what true conversion looks like. Not these watered-down things of whispering a prayer in a moment of emotional influence under him. This been played 15 times and then going on in living as if nothing had happened.
That's not true salvation.
That's not Christianity that some false imitation were 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 is a 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. It's infinite and should be treated with value. You see, we testify as Christians, we testify to everyone who will listen the words of Romans 58 God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us here. We were in our guilt or rebellion or indifference manifesting or 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 do just mocking everything that is precious others living in the brokenness of sin and drunkenness, and other matters of debauchery.
All all united by a common theme that that they are in send 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, we come in. We say we have the message that can deliver you from all of that they can break say that can break the power Satan in your life that can break the power of sin in your life that can reconcile you to to a majestic God. And here's the thing, beloved, in light of in light of that great surpassing value. Here's what you must see is that those sacred crews 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 and we are we are so enraptured with the honor that is due to his name. We are so full of gratitude toward the wonder of what is done to save us when we could not save ourselves. We attached the highest value possible to that when we realize that we realize there should be something that starts to click in your mind says those things should never be treated with contempt. Those things should never be treated as common those things should never be mock. Those things should never be assaulted and yet we know all too well. Don't wait. There are plenty of men in the world, some in our circle of life who are who who who revel in doing just that, who love to blaspheme the name of Christ, who love to mock the Scriptures from time to time going to encounter people like that. We need to know how to respond to Jesus tells us here in verse six exactly how we respond to will find out what Christ's prescription is for responding to incorrigible markers next time on the truth pulpit as pastor Don Greene 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 requested our website. The truth pulpit.com. Over the years I've tried to address controversial matters that confuse Christians issues like the place of Roman Catholicism, anxiety, transgender-ism, homosexuality and the charismatic movement. You'll find series on those topics and so many more at our free offers link at the truth. Pulpit.com. I invite you to take advantage of them all, as we say goodbye for now. I commend you to Christ in 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 the truth.
Pulpit.com to get the resource.
Don just mentioned. Once again, that's the truth. Pulpit.com ideal rights and will see you next time on the truth pulpit