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Sermons about Retaliation
If we are committed followers of Christ we have to love our enemies; do good o all who hate us; bless those who curse us and pray for those who mistreat us. This is NOT optional. This is how we are different from the world. This is striving to be like Christ.
Being able to understand God's Word requires a correct understanding of who God is. Contrary to what the Pharisees and Religious leaders of Jesus' day believed and taught, God is not a cosmic policeman looking to punish every offense at the first opportunity. God is a Father, and His Law must be understood and interpreted in that light. In this sermon, Pastor Josh shows that in order to love we must be sons of our Father, but in order to be sons of our Father, we must first understand who our Father is.
The Christian should never retaliate to injustices inflicted upon Him, but should always leave vengeance in the hands of God. But how does one realistically do this? Jesus teaches that the waters of a believer's soul should run deep with other concerns besides personal justice.
Forgiveness Against All Odds
As we look to the second half of this section of the Sermon on the Mount, we hear Christ calling us to honesty, to meekness, and to love. Christ teaches us about the taking of oaths, about personal vengeance, and about loving our enemies.
Both the idea of and desire for love is hardwired into our human fabric. Everybody wants its, fewer want to give it, every person needs it. Love is is in the heart of man. This is so because man is created in God’s image, and love is foundational to the nature of God. (1 John 4:16) “God is love”; (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world” (John 17:24) “loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 13:34-35) “world will know you by your love for one another” 1 John 3 “by this you assure your heart before God … that you love your brother” Eph. 5 “Be imitators of God and walk in love” Eph 5 “husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church” 1 John “how can anyone love God, whom he has not seen, if he does not love his brother, whom he has seen” Love is foundational the nature of God, the eternal relationship of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), the grounds of God’s redeeming work, the foundation of man’s relationship to God and to one another, one of the chief testimonies of the church to the world, and the one of the chief marks of regeneration. Heaven will be a place of the eternal experience of perfect love. It is not surprising, then, that love is the very foundation of the Law. If you want to boil all of God’s revelation about how man is to know Him, relate to Him, and relate to one another it is this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your strength, with all your soul … love your neighbor as yourself, on these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets.” True righteousness can be boiled down to the matter of: LOVE. But for now there is the reality of sin. You have the command to love God and neighbor in a world that is hostile to God and neighbor. Yet, it is precisely against this backdrop that God has designed His love and the love of those who know Him should shine most brightly. It is not that the Jews rejected love, they had just redefined to their censorious and self-centered agenda. It is this attitude that the Lord is addressing.