The True Marks of a Christian:The Transformed Life Part II Romans 12:14-19
Romans 12:9-21 is like a Laundry List for living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Pre-Romans 12 “Marks of a True Christian” Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were addedunto them (the initial 120 believers) about three thousand souls.
Acts 2:47 • Praising God, and having favour with all the people. • And the Lord added to the church (ekklesia) daily such as should be saved.
Paul wrote to… • Romans 16:1–5 • 1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: • 4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. • 5Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
Romans 12:14 Let’s Define Persecute • Bless them which persecute you: • bless, and curse not.
Persecute 1 : to harass in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically : to cause to suffer because of belief 2 : to annoy with persistent or urgent approaches
Chet BittermanMartyr On January 19, 1981, a group of terrorists called "M-19" broke into the S.I.L. residence in Bogotá, Columbia, and kidnapped Wycliffe translator Chet Bitterman. The communiqué from the terrorists read, "Chet Bitterman will be executed unless the Summer Institute of Linguistics and all its members leave Columbia by 6:00 PM February 19." Wycliffe did not budge. Brenda Bitterman and her two little children waited 48 days. On March 7 the terrorists shot Chet Bitterman through the heart and left his body on a bus in Bogota. More than one hundred Wycliffe members in Columbia were given the choice of a new field. None left. And two hundred candidates volunteered to take Chet Bitterman's place. And…
Romans 12:14 • Bless them which persecute you: • bless, and curse not.
Whose dumping sand in your hair? How are you responding to them? Application
The Foundation of Paul’s Instruction Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5-7
Matthew 5:43 Jesus is correcting what the Jews had been taught. • Ye have heardthat it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.
Matthew 5:44 • But I say unto you, • Love your enemies, • bless them that curse you, • do good to them that hate you, and • pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Romans 12:14 What does it mean to “bless them?” • Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
“Bless Them” • Man to God • Praise and thank God for them • Petition God on their behalf • Man to Man • To invoke God’s blessing upon their lives or God’s intervention to accomplish His will
Application • What is the greatest blessing you have received is your life? • Forgiveness • A Second Chance • Eternal Life • Mercy and Grace • All of the Above
Question If God expects us to bless our enemies how do we feel justified in not ________ to other Christians in the body of Christ?
Romans 12:14b To wish anyone evil or ruin; it is just the opposite of to “speak well of” • Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Commentary • Because of the general tone of religious freedom in America, we don’t experience true persecution. • Instead, our temptations to curse are more likely to be in reaction to hostility that does us no life-threatening harm but causes us inconvenience or embarrassment. JM
Application Cursing Without Words
James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Romans 12:15 This is the complete opposite of indifference toward others. • Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Indifferent Jesus wasn’t indifferent toward anyone. • marked by a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern for something : apathetic • indifferent to suffering and poverty • Merriam-Webster
Indifference in the House of God. What does indifference look like in the body of Christ?
If its not “indifference” Then “jealously” normally keeps us from rejoicing with those who rejoice.
Romans 12:15 Weep with those who weep.
John 11:35Jesus wept. 1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
More Marks of a True Christians Romans 12:16 • Be of the same mind one toward another. • Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. • Be not wise in your own conceits.
Romans 12:16 Who are you not living in harmony with? Is it you or them? Number One • Be of the same mind one toward another. • Live in harmony one toward another. • Be in agreement one with another.
Romans 12:18 What is the difference in application between verse 16a and verse 18? • If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Romans 12:17 What did Jesus say? • Recompense to no man evil for evil. • Repay
Turn to Matthew 5:38-42
What did Jesus Do? 1 Peter 2:21-23
NT Principle The principle of non-retaliation for personal injury permeates the entire New Testament.
Romans 12:19 What are we saying when we step in in order to avenge for ourselves? • Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Our Actions Communicate Our lack of faith/trust in God’s ability to take care of us (or our children).
Question Who do you need to do business with today?