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August 4, 2022 4:00 am
If you think living the Christian life comes naturally been added for very long today on Truth for Life were to find out why following Jesus requires a love that defies logic. It's a huge challenge, but it's also precisely what our world needs. Alastair Greg is teaching today from Luke chapter 6 were in verses 27 through 36. So here Jesus goes again and he takes conventional human wisdom, and he turns it completely on its head and fight in Matthew.
He records the fact that Jesus actually establishes the antithesis by saying to the people you have Herod that it was said, you should love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
That's the standard approach. Everybody understands that you like people we are supposed to like and you hate people. You're alive day you get the enemies then you get the neighbors love them, Jesus says you've heard that that's what's been said but I want to tell you something you got to love your enemies, let me says turn this completely the other way to seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.
I the Lord. So what is it say anything about hating your enemies know what I the love of which Jesus speaks here redefines the boundaries does not allow the follower of Jesus to determine who is going to love does not allow us to do the odds for no more shut the door trick we can do that not of where the followers of Christ. We cannot simply isolate the little group of people that fits within our comfort zone and say no way to love these people but anybody was Vince without the circle. We don't have to really worry about him. I don't know Jesus as you can do that.
Let me tell you when you need to do. You need to love your enemies, and do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who will treat you. So the distinctions of race, nationality, political affiliation, age, sex, background, etc. are blown away.
In the words of Jesus here what and what is it what is called to display as I said the family likeness, we miss the point and I almost missed this point in my study this week. I almost missed the point. If we view what Jesus is saying here simply in terms of a prescription for moral behavior. We miss the point.
If we view it simply as a prescription for moral behavior. You said, but it is not a prescription for Marley yes it does what you mean. I mean this that it is relatively understandable for people who name the name of Christ to go out and it kind of, and in a kind of painstaking formal legalistic sentence given a go. I have just cause I love your enemies well I gotta give it a go this week prescription number one love your enemies, number two, someone curses you made a very ugly sign. Do you you're trying it on 480 Omega #bag of all God bless that lovely sinner over there in the blue Ford pickup truck. If he goes as far as shot out the window and tells us that we are a very bad lace from somewhere. Then we do not reply incoming I will grit our teeth and and will do it now I the reason the remaking the hash of it that we are is because that is exactly what were trying to do and I was here tomorrow. Prescription will have a go at when I getting simply this, the teaching of Jesus here is a call to his followers. First of all to accept this inversion of the accepted view of things to believe if you like, that he who is the doctor has prescribed the directly correct medicine for the Aleman and that what Jesus is saying is absolutely true. And it's absolutely right. And once we have borrowed beneath the truthfulness on the rightness audit, then we are to act accordingly. I don't if I make a distinction clear. Here's the rub for in this way, the reason why many of us if we are brutally honest balk at the very clarity of this command is unequivocal injunction is an account of our unbelief and our unbelief is sin, so that in our minds.
First of all, we remain unbelieving in relationship to this matter of loving our enemies are not believers we may sort of pay lip service to it but we are not believers. We don't believe it. We don't bow underneath the weight of it and without believing it. Then we go out and try and do it and it's hollow. You see, because the Bible is very clear politics and same principle and drives at home with great effect when in Romans 12 to he says do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your money's so until my mind is renewed my actions may simply be an indication of slavishly and that I may not actually be loving my enemies. I may simply be going through a routine in order is at work to build the check off Luke 627 and following go about how to go about and had a good that is. But I never bowed beneath. And that's why I say to you if you sometimes look at business and wonder if I'm a Christian at all, because if you love those who love you, what reward is that in the bottom if you gave to those who can pay you back with interest. Wonder why it is that banks do it all the time. If your abuse and you respond in love to say what's going on here. Now it's going to be when the Christian church is prepared to live with the inventive set of world values that we will make an impact on the culture is you have stupidly been for 25 or 30 years trying to champion a political cause and fix it in Washington says fix it in your own heart. Would you fix yourselves fix your church think your snobbery. Thanks your grudges. Thanks your animosity notes. Do you honestly think you change the world by political machinations doing what my word says I'll show you how to make an impact on the culture says Jesus love your enemies, do good to those who hate your guts. Bless those who curse you and pray for those who will treat you doing I would be a revolution in a culture without any question until without any question itself because first of all, that's what we do tomorrow morning.
It would involve a significant number of telephone calls out of here that would close down frivolous lawsuits which are all about vengeance and revenge which are all about imbibing the world's mentality which is you know what, I'll stick it to you for that I will get you for that.
What we sing we say that were saying that time is everything. This is all we have. This is all we possess and we must have and we must keep when we say you know what is a significant loss. I love you not because I feel affection for you. I feel no affection for you know, because I think you're distinctly likable. I don't even like you at all.
I don't feel 1 ounce of anything for you except animosity but I love you because I last of the mind of Christ, my Savior may dwell in me from day to day, and by his love and power controlling all I do and say. And may the love of Jesus fill me as the waters fill the sea and him exulting self abasing. This is victory is that an inverse of the world order him exulting self abasing.
The world order is self exulting everybody else abasing, why read this and I sometimes wonder I'm a Christian. A total someone strikes you on the cheek. Jesus dilemma just illustrated someone punches you on the job, turned her and the other summit tincture cloak don't stop them from taking your jacket gift everyone asks you, and anyone takes what belongs to you.
Don't demand it back and do to others as you would have them do to you. That's the royal law or the golden rule, as we know it. Jesus is calling his followers to display something that is radically counterculture radically different from the principle upon which Roman society and village life was built. What was the principal the principle was patronage is a principal with which we are not unfamiliar as one of the great patrons of the arts just died a man in his 90s is on the New York Times last week. I've already forgotten his name, it didn't mean anything to me when I read it, but it was interesting for me to read again about the nature of patronage and how this man because of his wealth was able to take young aspiring artists and buy into their lives and experience. As a result of him becoming a benefactor and all of Roman society was built on that the benefactor provided the resources held the people to account on the strength of the pie that he bought his way in and the same and village life. Somebody was in usury to somebody else would provide him with some Jesus is saying this I don't want you to live in that community bearing the principles of that community.
This is what I want you to do. I want you to essentially form a community that is marked by a refusal to treat others, even those who hate exclude, revile and defame you as though they where your enemies. I want you to live in a community marked by a refusal to treat others as though they were your enemies is abortion counter to the creative handiwork of God.
Without question, our abortionists are enemies.
In one sense, yes.
What then shall we do continue to do what we do. You want to have a go at it.
Jesus way is homosexuality a perversion in his practice doesn't undermine all that God is established in terms of the creative order in terms of the nature of productivity and reproduction. Absolutely. Is that an enemy to everything wholesome and true and pure and right without question so that you retrieve the enemy. The way we been doing it are doing with my dry. Jesus by large church has been no clue what kind of impact we would make a culture if we were prepared to take clearly the call of Christ to a cultural mandate that is so radically different from everything we live by.
We are like our neighbors. We file for divorce on the same basis would pursue lawsuits on the same frivolous basis. We give so we can get back if someone strikes you blow we nail them case they come back again and so on out with Jesus and were our activity in life is not to be driven by having somebody stand in the entranceway is aware dry house constantly shouting who goes there friend flow versus full reply. I hate to get out of here. Please friend come in, or lovely one I made for a nice cool Natalia. If we if you want to go on really serving our community about what they think about church I'm pretty well guarantee you that they think we've got somebody stand in the door doing just that for friend, Jesus says how about this now. It's not just an attitude it's an action is revealed in our actions. We cannot weasel out of it by saying well you know I don't do anybody any harm you have this conversation below somebody will eventually say you know one of two things is how the auto the go well you know charity begins at home with you that from all media say it again.
Charity begins at home.
How accurate were talking about loving your enemies what is that fit into snow. I don't know if you think it fits in, but I always like to say charity begins at home and then the other one. Someone will interject and go you know I don't do anybody any harm. While they good for you rightly talk here about something very positive when I thought about passivity when I thought about what you don't do it on about what you do and that is do you love your enemies on.
I don't do that. But of course that was say I don't do anybody any harm is not enough to refrain from his ability says Jesus our deeds and our words are to display the love of Christ, do good to those who hate you, bless the ones that swear at you and curse you out. Pray for those who abuse you and that he illustrates it from taking a punch losing a quote learning to give what is the principle that Jesus is making here is simply this, that when we receive an injury, as we inevitably will. We must not instinctively seek revenge. Indeed he says we must be ready to take another injury, if necessary, because the fact of the method.
It is, it is more than likely that a person will come back and have another go at once. I don't misunderstand me when I see what I'm about to say here is another place in which class literalism will prevent us from truly understanding and applying the Bible I mean by that is the distinction we mentioned before, between taking the Bible literally, which is taking the literal sense and meaning and application of what is being conveyed and taking the Bible literalistic way which of course would be to do it a disservice. So, for example, is that I am the door. Literalistic way. Jesus is a Dorian or literal, you know, 8 x 2 door assembly that I would be literalistic. They literally would be within the framework of metaphor and simile with Jesus is using reason I say that here is because when you get to John chapter 18 and I'll leave this for your homework where Jesus is struck by one of the officials in the Temple court. Jesus doesn't actually do what he says to do here in Luke chapter 6 the Temple official strikes on the face, we would expect we would read and having been struck on the face. Jesus turn around so he could be struck on the face again know he said that the guy I really think you're doing what he violating his own teaching. Absolutely no lights is really suggesting here that if something makes off with your with your out-of-court you go running after we got a jacket as well, seeing as we say or in contemporary terms you come back to driving a car is gone you will find I got my waist are here maybe in this 11 as well. However, the car you want to do that as well because it is a new person is in the teaching of Christ.
This is as is NASA absolutely rights the principle is clear.
Indeed, literalistic me what you would have as a result of applying this would be a good a group of pious paupers all sitting around with swollen faces, and another group of people you know fatcats all sit around with stuff and clothes and everything and just cussing like crazy. You know, and if you say there where we got away is supposed to be now all that would be stupidity. That's when you get a resource for people to study the Bible to get in home Bible study groups and and it just goes totally self. Jesus is not calling his followers to something week form of complacency which confirms evildoers in their weakness. The context is that of personal relationships and he said it is normal for people who when reviled to revile in return. It is normal for people to respond like to like forced to force vengeance the vengeance it is normal for people to deprive others of what they need, and having given to others to extract as much interest in usury for them as they can and he says I don't want my followers to be living like that tall. It is not. I say to you again.
A form of weak sentimentalism is a strong self-determined God motivated love which seeks to do what's best for the enemy again across literalism would allow a murderer to come and take your wife away wouldn't. If you apply this exactly someone came in struck you on the cheek and then and then you just stay there until he beat you into a bloodied pope and into eternity. Seven. Jesus is Nelson Galinsky. Again, I'm a rapper with this lot is to foster no crying in others, or to expose our loved ones to disaster. Or perhaps today coupled with selfless love and this is a great sentence.
I wish I could think of one sentence like this once before I die, coupled with selfless love is the wisdom which applies love. Christ never told me not to restrain the murderer's hand not to check the thief and Robert not to oppose the tyrant or to foster shiftless in his dishonesty and greed by my gifts, but he did tell me to love my enemies with a love that knows no bounds, except love itself that brings us into verse 31, and what we refer to as the Golden rule due to others as you would have them do to you I was going to have to understand what that means and rescue it from the people who trotted out with regularity and then display it in a way that will cause many who are at our enemies, perhaps to become the friends of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just about the verse, Jesus is calling us to live radical lifestyles were we love even our enemies. You never know when that might lead them to become friends with God listening to Truth for Life Alastair big returns in just a minute. The teaching you here in Truth for Life is brought to you each day because of a team of listeners who give consistently to cover the cost associated with distributing Alistair's teaching.
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Each month we offer two books and today were recommending a book titled read this first. A simple guide to getting the most from the Bible when you think about reading the Bible what you think should be the first step will the author of read this first says we should begin with prayer. He explains that because the Bible is God's word. We should start our times of Bible study by asking God to help us understand what were reading were told in Proverbs 2 that if we ask God to illuminate the Bible for us. He will the book, read this first will get you started with prayer and then give you step-by-step guidance to help you get the most from your time in God's word, request the book, read this first when you sign up to become a true partner. You can also request the book with a one-time donation of Truth for Life.org/donate now, here's Alastair. Close with prayer. Father, I thank you for the Bible. Thank you that it is such a challenging book. It searches into our lives. It is uncomfortable. It's sharp as a two-edged sword. Forgive is Lord for being hearers of the word and not doers. Also, forgive me for paying lip service to the idea of loving my enemies.
The only safeguard is to have my mind renewed my will brought into subjection to your truth, what I believe you have great purposes for Parkside church if we as a company of people are prepared to take these issues seriously and if were not, and perhaps will stand on the sidelines and watch as others know the privilege of seeing unbelieving people become committed followers of Jesus Christ save us from that, we pray were jealous to have a part in your kingdom plan. So then establish within us. The principal's of your king and may grace and mercy and peace from the triune God PR portion now and forevermore.
Then about the Bible is clear.
We live in a broken world.
So how do we keep our spiritual bearings in a world that is trying to dethrone God.
Find out tomorrow Bible teaching of Alastair big is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living