This broadcaster has 814 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
January 12, 2021 12:00 am
Christian ought to be worth something. A handshake on the matter at a verbal commitment from a believer ought to be worth the same as a 10 page contract. Paul is in a culture that is saturated by stealing and lying and cheating fact it was so pervasive that he would write to the Ephesian believers is a little shocking to write this to believers, put away falsehood and all the truth and deal the apostles taught the first century Christians to be obedient to pray for their Roman rulers unless the law required disobedience to God. They were to live according to God's standard in a truly dark culture demonstrating their commitment to the Lord by being good citizens today were also called to submit to authorities graciously obey the law and shine our light in the world. In other words, we are to live up to the name we where Christian welcome to wisdom for the heart. Stephen Devi has a message for you today called living up to your name.
When the Emperor Trajan open that policy meant that everybody was a nozzle in 8070 so many wild animals and human gladiators slaves gladiators have a romantic term for slave get out there. You die anyway so many die at the opening of the Coliseum historians say the sands of the arena were literally saturated with blood. Later, Emperor help gladiator games and lasted four months straight sellout crowds every single day and in the thousand gladiators died.
Christians absence from the bloodlust was well known that one Roman politician complained to a church leader and I quote you do not go to our shows. You take no part in our processions or our parades. You shrink in horror from our sacred gladiatorial games that I learned how dear you. Do you think you're more righteous than us. Do you think you're better than you think. By your absence.
You mean to imply anything to us other than the fact that you are accusing us of being wrong, but I can Roman here in America don't dare insinuate that someone is doing something wrong but listening without inviting hostility and anger. This growing sector of Christiana Roy was gathering early on storm clouds of resentment and hostility and economic turmoil. Anger, hatred, Emperor Nero would soon cover Christians with tar and tightened polls and light them on fire to serve as lighting for his garden whenever so vengeful.
He attempted to wipe Christianity off the face of the earth. He demanded every church leader imprisoned in every scrap of Scripture burn like one historian said of that time that the dungeons were so filled with elders and deacons. There was no room for criminal know what would the spirit of God say to those Christians then and with the apostles now say something like tap into the power of God.
You have a wonderful life or hang on and eventually your community is going to come around and be reasonable and appreciate your moral stand in your two fictions what you believe is right and wrong and eventually vindicate who you are just yes it is true that time does vindicate some things today that Roman Empire is dead church is fully alive today. Parents name their sons Paul and their dogs. Nero got a chuckle over that.
That's not the apostles told the church to do was mount an insurrection complain, argue ultimately disobey any and every law, because by the way, you are a citizen of their empire and Nero is the puppet of the devil in me not to preach. I think instead they wrote the startling instruction.
Titus chapter 3 if you want to turn their verse one where he he's talking to these believers in their coming out of a culture. Stories of the Cretans are always on the verge of revolting and he says to them in this text for them to be subject to rulers to authorities to be obedient to be kidding. In other words, unless these rulers try to make you personally disobey God.
You obey the laws to another way of saying the Christian is not above the law and by the way we read this and we've had nearly 2000 years of instruction. The churches develop thoroughly our relationship in the city of man heading for the city of God and how that tension exists, and we've placed on it often. But these Christians are just getting started or just getting the news way be subject to rulers to authorities.
The obedient were not New Testament principle is to this day, even in our country. We are not suffering, not being persecuted by the way you think you are just study a little church history, but we live under the law, just as the Romans and Ephesians and Colossians and that congregation in Ephesus, pastored by Timothy. The churches on the island of Crete where Titus was the leading elder establishing elders in his congregation even even the little laws means that you know you should mention speed limit. I said, there's a reason why did nobody not convicting meeting city codes for your building project. Your business, you drive until the restaurant has a sign on the on the wall is white and has a great 99.5, always in the 90 970. What that means but I went to one unit. It was 92.5 driving that it might be. Those are codes and laws you need to pray about getting your car inspected you might pray while your cars inspected like I do miracle you need to pray about paying minimum wages to your employees pray about getting your license renewed John thinking about praying that because last week I discovered them in the state. I was at the bank and show Mike drivers license and I stood there waiting and I just got a study that typically only look at it right. I stood there and I noticed was the picture of that old man old is the emphasis and then looked at the writing and I realize it made mistake. I got it renewed last year to last for 10 and they wrote there were no ladies 2016 I had one year to go back and stand in line at DMV for seven days until I get it again. Can you believe that be subject to rulers. Maybe I'll just not get it renewed. By the way, and hope I never get pulled over because I never be subject to rulers and to the DMV by the way, this is this is more whatever the laws are that you find irritating. This is more than sort of teeth clenching jaw grinding obedience if I have to I guess I will in fact turn to first Timothy chapter 2, he adds to it which I think even further mystifies the first century believers says this the adds to this concept. First of all that is as a priority, then I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings made on behalf of all believers away of all men thinking of all 14 and the way way I can see praying about them, but giving thanks for them, Timothy I want you to thank God for your authorities only to thank God for those laws over to the things God for the king and pray for them. Ultimately, for their salvation. This is one of the most remarkable distinctives about Christianity is our attitude toward those in authority. You think there's a that's what I would write verse three between the lines. Nero society is is just pray.
This time it does not wait for the next you know that you have been prophetically written away. In the meantime were going to ignore pulling away societies depraved sexual norms are out the window. The Emperor's bisexuals married publicly, a man and a woman adultery, idolatry, abortion, prostitution and drug addiction all those I could have dealt with but we don't have enough time. All of those were taking place under the protection of all if there was anybody who have no desire to thank God for any of it. There was ever a church to be let off the hook in terms of submitting it would be Paul in these early Christian by the way, I hear rumblings from church leaders about revolting because it got so bad. Study churches to study the implications of these texts, and others. What happened rather than mount an insurrection to unseat Nero rather than try to coerce culture to be a little bit more morally upright, they just simply began to live up to their name the began to live sexually pure lives and in the lives in faithful monogamy.
They just began to raise children. Raising girls would been very unique. Most families would leave them abandoned them because they couldn't carry on the illegal estate and in one particular city center is called historian Spalding and look to the records and 600 families only two of them raised more than one daughter. Yet these families and I think Paul Sanchez, our pastor with five girls, that is unique. God bless God help the church just begins showing marital harmony and commitment. Church begins to show honor and respect where wherever they can and they submit to the authority of those over them, ultimately submitting to the authority and the verdict of those authorities. The call for their they do not fight their way out of the arena. I stand there remarkable how wonder, their blood was the seed of the church see their living up to the name of their leader, who also submitted to them for his authorities calling for his death as he died for the so how do we treat our authorities treat your parents you treat your professors your homework into another way of saying showing respect for the you treat your elders, pastors about your supervisor. All Stephen you don't know my supervisor all the wicked man will make it woman that like Nero maybe with your attitude toward the town Council and the city codes I'm sipping on my toes or I don't pastor to build a home, put up a handrail on his front porch. Because the code required it, and as soon as the inspector came and gave certificate and left. He took down the hammer. What are we trying to get away with. I know of one pastoral share briefly historian's church. They pay quite a price for this issue as they submitted with a good spirit to antagonism the large church that inserts for quite a while read the pastor's account of little more research because it was so unusual was indeed all true relief until all they'd found in California hundred and 30 acre hill or mountain but bought it quite expensive just off a major frequent after months of designing their church facilities things are complicated. The neighbors came and complained that that church was built on top of the mountain rule in their view of counsel sided with the neighbors. The church at the completely redesigned project to be built on the side of the mountain, but I could tell you stories of tens of thousands of dollars. We had to put into shrubbery just to keep the lights from your cars from hitting Windows neighbors house. So after months, they began to build an endangered bird, known as the California black tailed gnatcatcher was discovered the nest on that nonfactor parable in the church was then allowed to build only on 25 acres. The other 105 acres had to be dedicated to those birds in the church was told that heavy construction couldn't take place on the mountain during the gnatcatcher breeding season which lasted seven months between February and August. Eventually the noise of heavy construction could ruin their romantic church willingly waited until the end of breeding season, but in the interim, inspectors, and scour the laminate found the Bush called the coastal sage once again.
The church was forbidden to build, wherever that Bush group then is there digging a pottery shard was found by construction workers and up blackened rock they believed was started by fire from centuries ago to protect that property covered with special soil. Finally, the buildings were completed within the parking lot created even more problems. Government officials cited quote light pollution" from so many parking lot lights with same issues by the they demanded that the church light poles be lowered from the normal 20 feet to 3 feet in the pastor finally did counter tongue-in-cheek. It was fine so long as your cars are only 6 inches high. This news release was like a nightmare in the church was delayed delayed delayed more than 10 years because of these issues and when it was all said and done it cost the church $18 billion more than they plan what you do submit and understand there's a reason for antagonism and pray to me quickly cover another commitment effectively make to our community. We promise to pay taxes and every debt in a timely manner, fulfilling verbal, legal and financial vents we go through this fairly quickly. Taxes are a difficult issue. Obviously our American history. It's been quite contentious. First real threat to government force revenue in American history took place in 1794 public the whiskey rebellion. Minnelli, primarily in Pennsylvania farmers were pretty upset about the whiskey being taxed and so they burn down the tax collectors all know Christians among them to Congress put down the revolt by military force.
Taxes were repeated issue of conflict, even to the Civil War where they finally decided that anybody making over $800.
3% of the government to help pay the bills didn't really work all that well then, in 1862 Congress created the Internal Revenue Service and that of course solve everything. One thing has remained constant with Benjamin Franklin famously quoted in 1789. Nothing is certain, except death and taxes. So what you do, we might be tempted to think that since a Christian again is a citizen of heaven he gets a free pass back.
I guess I've heard church leaders talking about is perhaps time to stop paying tax.
If anybody has a right to a loophole it would been the apostle Paul. If it any church have the right to say forget it would be these believers, and yet in Romans chapter 13, he says, and you also pay taxes just here those early Christians saying rats, whatever that is. In Greek the command.
You also pay taxes. Why write that because you're wondering rendered to all, what is due them tax to whom tax is due talking about believers paying taxes to Roman Nero is on the throne. Christians are not exempt.
What that means is in a couple weeks. Get your W-2 in the mail. You don't need to go right in your prayer in a list praying about paying my taxes would you pray with me, as the Lord give me wisdom and direction left the fleece tonight.
It's wet. I will pay if it's dry, I'll do it again.
Getting no here is paying taxes is not an option but let me give you the higher perspective, beloved, could anyone today be more absolutely unique and distinctive in their testimony. Then the lighting in honoring God by paying every single sentence that is to different is that goes for every financial commitment as well. A Christians word order be worth something. A handshake audit on a matter of verbal commitment from a believer ought to be worth the same as a 10 page contract. Paul is in a culture that is saturated by stealing and lying and cheating fact it was so pervasive that he would write to the Ephesian believers is a little shocking to write this to believers but he says in Ephesians 4 away falsehood and put away. As we talked about last words of the clothing.
This must come back on the put away falsehood and tell the truth and steel no longer stop stealing word for steel is the Greek word klepto, which gives our work. Kleptomaniacs stop stealing stuff will take stuff home from work. Don't find John accounts don't take what is not your $16 million is stolen from retailers by their employee listen $16 million is stolen from retailers by their employees. Every single day to attend billion dollar problem in unbelieving cultures known for lying and stealing and cheating and violating contracts, dodging, fudging the apostle Paul says, was one of the most compelling ways to live up to your name to demonstrate the gospel to your community is to just tell the truth and pay your taxes and keep your hands in your own pockets.
One wears me illustrated this kind of commitment to honesty and integrity when he retold an event that Took Pl. in New York in 1805 number of Indian chiefs tribes and warriors were convened at Buffalo Creek New York to hear the gospel message delivered by missionary by the name of Mr. Kram, the Boston missionary society. He preached the gospel and when it was over, one of the Chiefs named red jacket stood and responded. He said this quote is translation. We are told that you have been preaching to the people in the same town. These people are our neighbors. We are acquainted with them all. We will wait a little while and see what affect your preaching has upon them. If we find it does them good makes them honest and less likely to cheat us. We will consider again what you have said. What difference does your name tag mean is it is it one of those cheap you know little paper nametags you put on maybe a job interview or reunion is is is something you put on on on on Sunday, but it tends to peel off the pressure of Monday.
Go public with our Christianity us ordinary people demonstrating a remarkable commitment to pray for those to submit to those graciously in authority over us to pay her taxes to keep our word to graciously follow.
In so doing demonstrate on nine characteristics of a different life changed life to live up to our name Christian. Subject to those in authority for us is part of what it means to live as a Christian, there may be areas of authority over you and frankly you wish that agency or department didn't even exist, but they do. Being subject to authority is part of how we live up to our name living up to your name is the title of the message you just heard here on wisdom for the heart. Our teacher Stephen Davey is working through a series called going public as he explores what it means to live for Jesus in our current culture were always thankful when you take the time to introduce yourself and share your thoughts and comments about our ministry and let us know how God's using the teaching you hear to strengthen your walk with him. Our address is wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627 if you'd like to send Stephen a note or maybe support our ministry financially. You can use that address again.
It's wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627. Join us tomorrow for more with