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TITLE: The Easy Burden of Peace . TEXT: Matthew 5:43-48 THEME: When Christ is first in our lives our conflicts become secondary. “What evil drives people to kill without any sense of remorse of compassion? .

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title the easy burden of peace
TITLE: The Easy Burden of Peace
  • TEXT: Matthew 5:43-48
  • THEME: When Christ is first in our lives our conflicts become secondary.
what evil drives people to kill without any sense of remorse of compassion
“What evil drives people to kill without any sense of remorse of compassion?

The answer seems to be rooted in human nature- for how else can we explain such frequent atrocities.

matthew 5 43 45
Matthew 5:43-45

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.?

i that you may be children of the father 43 451
I. That you may be children of the Father. (43-45)

A. Human nature teaches us to hate your enemy.

leviticus 13 18
Leviticus 13:18

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”

two things we must do to justify mass murder
Two things we must do to justify mass murder.

1. Dehumanize: We must somehow make the person we are killing seem less that human

.

lloyd billingsly the generation that knew not joseph stalin
Lloyd Billingsly, “The Generation that knew not Joseph (Stalin)”

The way that Lenin and Stalin could justify violating the taboo against killing was to make the cause of creating a new world order supersede the killing taboo. People who opposed the cause, they argued, were against improving the world and were in the way of the utopia Lenin and Stalin sought to create.

dostoevsky
Dostoevsky

“Whoever has experienced the power, the unrestrained ability to humiliate another human being ... automatically loses power over his own sensations. Tyranny is a habit, it has its own organic life, and it develops finally into a disease. The habit can kill and coarsen the very best man to the level of a beast."

two things we must do to justify mass murder1
Two things we must do to justify mass murder.

1. Dehumanize: We must somehow make the person we are killing seem less that human

2. Demonize: Not only is the person not human is the essence of evil.

i that you may be children of the father 43 452
I. That you may be children of the Father. (43-45)

A. Human nature teaches us to hate your enemy.

B. Jesus teaches us to love and prayer for your enemy.

agape
“Agape.”
  • Agape love is a love of the will;
agape1
“Agape.”
  • Agape love is a love of the will;
  • it loves that which is otherwise unlovable;
agape2
“Agape.”
  • Agape love is a love of the will;
  • it loves that which is otherwise unlovable;
  • it is more driven by volition than emotion;
agape3
“Agape.”
  • Agape love is a love of the will;
  • it loves that which is otherwise unlovable;
  • it is more driven by volition than emotion;
  • it is the kind of love that describes the nature of God
agape4
“Agape.”
  • Agape love is a love of the will;
  • it loves that which is otherwise unlovable;
  • it is more driven by volition than emotion;
  • it is the kind of love that describes the nature of God
  • the kind of love with which we are to love God.
agape5
“Agape.”
  • Agape love is a love of the will;
  • it loves that which is otherwise unlovable;
  • it is more driven by volition than emotion;
  • it is the kind of love that describes the nature of God
  • the kind of love with which we are to love God.
  • It seeks the best for the object loved.
in matthew 5 38 40
In Matthew 5:38-40

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.”

james 4
James 4

“1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.

james 41
James 4

3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

i that you may be children of the father 43 453
I. That you may be children of the Father. (43-45)

A. Human nature teaches us to hate your enemy.

B. Jesus teaches us to love and prayer for your enemy.

C. Jesus way places us in God’s family. Jesus is calling us to live divine lives.

romans 13
Romans 13

“8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

slide29

"Self-defense is engaging the issues of political, economic, and religious injustice and bringing them to public discourse," he said. "Christians must do anything they can to make the Muslims understand our shared humanity. This is what Jesus means when he said that we should turn the other cheek."

matthew 5 46 47
Matthew 5:46-47

“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”

ii to get an eternal reward 46 471
II. To get an eternal reward. (46-47)

A. No reward for loving loveable people

romans 5 12
Romans 5:12

“But God demonstrates His love toward in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

ii to get an eternal reward 46 472
II. To get an eternal reward. (46-47)

A. No reward for loving loveable people

B. Even the most evil do that. Why should we love even our enemies?

iii it characterises the perfection of the father 48
III. It characterises the perfection of the Father. (48).
  • A. Perfect can be compared to holiness.
matthew 5 48
Matthew 5:48

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  • Perfect can be compared to holiness.
leviticus 19 2
Leviticus 19:2

“Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”

i peter 1 15
I Peter 1:15
  • “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
  • 16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
iii it characterises the perfection of the father 481
III. It characterises the perfection of the Father. (48).

A. Perfect can be compared to holiness.

B. Perfection is a characteristic of God.

romans 4 3 8
Romans 4:3-8

What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

romans 4 3 81
Romans 4:3-8

7 “Blessed are those

whose transgressions are forgiven,

whose sins are covered.

8 Blessed is the one

whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”

application
APPLICATION:
  • Don’t follow you natural instincts regarding how we treat our enemy.
application1
APPLICATION:
  • If our love for God is our first and only obsession then all other things we might fight for are secondary
application2
APPLICATION:
  • If our enemy is without God we should feel compassion in that He has no hope. He may get what he fights for but in the end he has nothing- you, on the other hand, have an eternal reward.
application3
APPLICATION:
  • You cannot do it on your own- you need God’s divine enabling.
forgiveness often feels like an unnatural act
Forgiveness often feels like an unnatural act

Forgiveness, like every other aspect of following Jesus, involves a long journey. As we consistently receive Jesus' forgiveness for our sins, it will soften our hearts towards those who have wounded us. Then, as we continue to trust and grow in Christ, slowly, by God's grace, we'll find more freedom to forgive than we ever imagined.