Get Even or Get Righteous
This is an interaction with the sermon from last Sunday by Pastor David Powell. Click here to listen or watch the sermon.
The sermon idea was “Christ’s Kingdom righteousness calls for personal grace and civil justice.”
See it Clearly
Pastor David made the following key points in his message:
- Respond to evil with good.
- OT law that required “an eye for an eye” establishes a payment to suit the crime and just penalties, but this does not supersede our need to be gracious in our response to evil.
- Respond to civil punishment with respect.
- Authorities are put in place by God and we are to respect the authorities and submit. Romans 13:1-7 establishes this well.
- Respond to people seeking help with assistance.
- Be helpful and honor God in how we assist those in need.
Understand it Truly
Respond to evil with good
This concept should resonate with every believer because this is exactly how God dealt with us. God responded to our evil actions with good. Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners and when we were still enemies he reconciled us to God by his death (Rom 5:6-11). Romans 12:14-21 describes how Christians are to respond to persecution and evil and it does not involve any retaliation!
Respond to civil punishment with respect
To resist the authorities regarding their right to pass judgment is to resist God himself (Rom 13:2). Paul states that the authorities are servants of God and they are his avengers who carry out his wrath! Paying taxes and respecting their authority is a key Christian principle. We owe them taxes and respect and we owe God our devotion and praise.
Respond to people seeking help with assistance
Do we ignore the poor and needy around us or do we thoughtfully consider how to be helpful? Avoiding evil is one thing as we have discussed above, but God also calls us to actively do good. James challenges us with the word that we are sinning if we fail to do what we know would be the right and good thing to do in any situation (James 4:17)! Am I too worried about someone abusing my gift in the case of the homeless? Get over it or maybe give a more discerning gift…ever thought of gift cards to McDonald’s?
Value it Appropriately
This concept is valuable to my understanding of God and the Christian life because I need to learn to take risks and to stop defending my rights. Christ gave up his rights for his bride. Am I willing to give up my rights for the lost and the poor and those who rely on me? Am I willing to suffer at the hands of another in order to win them? Is it really that important that I maintain all my stuff and things or is it OK to take losses for the sake of the Kingdom?
Feel it Fully
How does this message impact my soul? Do I feel any personal impact or do I see anything that God is calling for me to do in response to the message? Perhaps I need to pray and seek his guidance with regard to a relationship where I am currently defending myself or in my attitude toward the needy. Maybe I need to pray about a mild disrespect I have for government and “unfair laws” and for “unfair taxes” and such. Am I respecting the authorities that God has established?
Do it Joyfully
How and when am I going to take action on what God has laid on my heart in this message? Come up with a plan to actually take action. Do not let the thorns crowd out this word from God. let us joyfully surrender all to our king.
Share it Compassionately
Who do I know that would be especially blessed by this message or who should I invite to church next week?
Soli Deo Gloria!