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          The Gospels in Harmony            Sermon #121  Posted 4/11/18

Matthew 5:38-42
The Gospels in Harmony  Sermon #121-32118

38  Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
41  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Matthew 5:38-42

    Why does man insist on justifying his actions by the laws of God when they suit his wants and needs?
Remember it is the written law that made sin exceedingly sinful.
Sin in the flesh of men will always demand the use and abuse of what was created for righteousness. Calling on the righteousness of the law for one's benefit is the same as swearing oaths. It is claiming you stand by the laws of God and are due their benefits and protections. Most often their upholding of the law becomes a lie, a false statement of righteousness and they prove to all they are not seeking justice, but vengeance. Vengeance for something they themselves have labeled as unjust or events created by their own hands against themselves, but their pride must blame someone else.
Here are two points we must understand.
1. God's Word is law. There is no compromise in God's Word. The laws of God are not just the Ten Commandments or the Mosaic laws of holiness given to us through the nation of Israel. The Word of God is truth that must be applied and adhered to for righteousness. All of God’s Word is the truth and therefore the only standard to live by. It is the Law given in love.
 2. Using any portion of God's Word to justify ones actions or intents is proclaiming God's Word is law and you stand by it. Even if you do not understand it or intentionally change the true meaning, you are swearing to the righteousness of God's Word.
   God's Word was given to us for His glory. It is not for us to use for personal gain or vengeance. His Word is life to live in; not rules to use when it suits us.
In stating this truth we have discerned the difference between good and evil.
An evil person will use the law for personal gain and or vengeance, while an obedient follower of the Word will live in the Word for God's glory.
   As we begin with our text we must first understand this is not a completely different teaching. An unrelated thought which Jesus felt needed to be addressed.
No, this is in context with the previous teaching about swearing falsely by greater things and making your heart condition for God to be the law you live by.
Jesus reminds His listeners of the laws given to the nation of Israel through Moses during their sojourn to the Promised Land.
38  Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
Matthew 5:38
     The law is quite simple. Equal payment for the loss of life or limb to another.
It is the principal of cutting away all unjust excuses and applying only the facts to the judgment. What you take away from someone you must repay with equal effort of reparation.
     Apply this law to salvation. When you step before the throne of God will you have many excuses to present for your defense of living a life of enmity toward God or will you understand the law of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth? Living in unholiness, unfaithfulness and disobedience now will have its just judgment. Separating yourself from God by your unholiness now will demand your separation from God then! Why? Because it is your sin that Jesus was crucified for. You put Him there and without repentance of that sin you will receive the same penalty of death.
This is the principle of the law. It demands just payment for wrong doing.
When we understand and live by such standards we begin to understand the spiritual judgments of faith and obedience as well as unholiness and enmity toward God.   
39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Matthew 5:39
    Here is the defining line in these verses.
 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil.
There is no evil in the law. The law is just
    This scripture says:---That ye resist not evil:-----
Once again defining key words in scripture can open up the truth.
The words "resist not evil" are often misinterpreted as a commandment for total pacifism. Just let the world have its evil ways with you as you do nothing.
The word”resist” means to set up against or stand firm against, oppose or withstand.
  Now, this in no way implies that we set ourselves up to be used and abused, run over and cheated. It does imply these things will happen because of your stand for righteousness but you are not to fight back for righteousness sake.
Persecution is a given for every disciple, minister and evangelist of the Gospel but resorting to force in an offensive or defensive manner is not living in the humility the Word of God calls us to.
   As we read through our text we must come to the truth of what we as children of God are called live in.
 5  Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6  In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.
7  Be not wise in thine own eyes:
fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
8  It shall be health to thy navel,
and marrow to thy bones.
Proverbs 3:5-8
    Jesus is speaking of the evil that comes from such use and abuse of the law.
He is not condemning the law but defining the law and cutting away the evil that always attempts to pervert what is just.
Evil does not fear God. Evil attempts to use the righteousness of God's Word for its own glory and prosperity. It will always attempt to be greater than God even by using His law to counterfeit righteousness. But we as children of God are filled with a trust in the Lord. We know there is nothing we could ever physically do that will even come close to what God can and will do in our defense.
     We are not called to administer judgment or even build fortresses against the evil that is in this world.  We are not called to rise up against evil in the same manner it comes against us. We are called to walk in faith with our Lord and savior. We are called to live in the Word of God and stand in love for His Word.
Fighting back to prove righteousness brings God down to the weaknesses of man.
It puts the physical winner as being the representative of righteousness.
Departing from evil is, not partaking in the worldly attempts to claim righteousness by lies and deception, pride and arrogance. Departing from evil is avoiding or turning away from such evil as described in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. It is also standing in the strength of God when you are faced with the evil Satan has filled his disciples with. Paul explains this teaching from Jesus in his letter to the Roman church.
17  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:17-21    
     So as we study our text we are enlightened to the truth of walking in faith and obedience. Standing against evil by doing the same thing as them who serve evil is not giving yourself over to God. It is not allowing Him to fulfill His promises toward you. It is taking vengeance into your own hands. It is not Glorifying God in humble faith.
     Allowing evil to have its say against you seals its condemnation. People who not only pervert the Word of God to justify how they choose to live but use the Word of God for their glory are openly condemning themselves before God.
By not rising against them you are allowing them to condemn themselves without being a part in doing so. Blessing them with even more than they demand is giving them reason to see where they stand and where they will be in their self- righteousness. No matter how hard they try to beat you down you will still rise above them in all ways. They may feel they have proven their righteousness by physical means but spiritually they will or should know just what losers they really are.
    I have walked through this scenario many times. I have had people lie about me, accuse me of wrong doing, they stole from me, cheated me, and outright attempted to harm me in any way possible after I had attempted to help them in any way possible over and over again. In the end I simply let them feel they had achieved their just position. They never got the satisfaction of drawing me down to their level and will still have to face God for their evil.
   You see this is not a command to lie down and let Satan have his way. No, it is a command to rise up in peace and be blessed in faith that God will serve just judgment because you glorified Him in love and obedience. What the disciples of Satan think they have gained now will be the death of them later.
The command is to rise above this world in peace and love.  
  9  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Matthew 5:9   
   Now and forever!

 41  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Matthew 5:41-42
 Likewise being compelled to do far more for someone than is necessary is rising above what evil in the world would rebel against in its righteousness.
I can hear it now. "That's not what I agreed too, so I'm not doing another thing!"
Oh but it may be just that one more God glorifying effort that opens the eyes of the lost to see the light of Jesus Christ shining through you.
    Give to him who would ask beyond reason and to him that would borrow with poor intent. We are not to judge the hearts or the intents of men. We are to glorify God with our lives. When someone comes to you asking or borrowing it does not happen by chance. No, the Holy Spirit has placed that person before you for a reason other than taking up your time and relieving you of your properties.
Do not miss the opportunity to be a light in holiness and righteousness with love and patience.
    Is that not what our Lord and savior did for us?  

Once again, we are not to allow the evil in this world to beat us down and hold us down willingly. No, we are to avoid such evil when possible but when evil does come, stand in peace glorifying God instead of fighting back in like manner, glorifying Satan. There will be judgment for everything in due time. Judgment for them who glorify God in faith and love and peace and obedience. As well as judgment against them who demand settlement now according to their view of righteousness.
     Even men who compel and ask and borrow for their own wants and needs will bow before our righteous judge to be condemned for their worldly practices and demands. They use these very scriptures to justify receiving what they want.
Do the scriptures say that they should not be able to ask and borrow and demand more than they should? Surely the scriptures tell the children of God to give without resistance!
Is it not true by the Word of God they should be treated as they please by others?
     You see this is using the Word of God for self righteousness. Claiming truth and adherence to the Word for one’s own benefit. Swearing God's Word, the law of life to be a law for them to use in this life, instead of a law to live for eternal life. Life is in the giving, not the receiving. Peace is in humble righteousness, not in a fight with evil.
    
18  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Romans 12:18-19    
   
 Pastor Steven Freede
Cornerstone Independent Church
3/21/18

 

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