Posts Tagged ‘ Persecution ’

VerseD: 1 Peter 3:13

Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?

1 Peter 3:13, ESV

We expect persecution and mocking if we follow Christ, but the worst they can do is kill us. If we die, we join Christ in glory.

VerseD: Romans 5:3-5

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:3‭-‬5, ESV

God wants us to rely on Him, that we could do more than we know. Growing stronger in Christ conforms us ever more to His likeness, and our hope and love grows.

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 5:38-48

I have started a small group series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am sharing my notes in case anyone else wants to use them with their group. [Reminder that these are only notes!]

Sermon on the Mount – Part 8

Matthew 5:1-2:
Jesus wants to teach the crowds: Who are they? Jewish disciples: People who understand the
Scriptures (at least to a point). Notice from 7:28 the crowds still came along, but this teaching is for His disciples.

What does “blessed” mean?
Based on the first twelve verses, blessed means realizing our own wretchedness and need for a Savior. In other words, it is becoming/being a Christian.

What was discussed last time?

  • Making oaths – lying, cursing, doing things for God
  • What was one oath we discussed?
    • “I swear, if you …”

Matthew 5:38:

What is Jesus saying?

  • Once again (as seen in earlier passages), “an archaic saying”
    • Said of old means: The Old Testament, specifically the Torah, more specifically Exodus 21:23-25; Leviticus 24:19-20; Deuteronomy 19:21
  • Retribution by Law: The same price of what was taken

Matthew 5:39-42:

What is Jesus saying?
Did Jesus abolish this law?
[Not exactly, but He is also saying “Out-give, out-forgive, over-love others … especially when they mistreat you!”]

  • So, we have to take abuse?
    • Sometimes, yes! [5:10-12]
    • Sometimes, no. Acts 16:16-39 (as well as Acts 21-22)
  • Rely on the Holy Spirit
    • It is not always easy. When in doubt, the sake of the Gospel is more important than our rights.
  • “But it might mean …!” Yep. It might.
    • We might be disadvantaged, mistreated, abused, arrested, maligned, disavowed
    • 2 Corinthians 4:7-11; Romans 5:2-6; James 1:2-8
  • Consider the example of an ancient saint dealing with an ancient antichrist:
    • A ruler who:
      • destroyed the Temple
      • commanded people to worship him and his statue
      • killed people who disobeyed and refused to worship
    • Daniel, who faithfully served such a tyrant (and series of tyrants, Nebuchadnezzar and two more after), yet even when punished was still loved by his rulers.

In fact …

Matthew 5:43-48: (Leviticus 19:18)

Notice what is Jesus saying in v. 43:
Did Jesus “you have read” or “it is written”?
NO! He said “You have heard that it was said ..” – This is an example of how people added to Scripture

  • We see Jesus saying that God shows His grace on all people (v. 45)
  • Are we better than the world? (vv. 46-47)
  • We are to love our enemies!
    • If you saw the Antichrist suffering or hungry, would you help him?
      Romans 12:14-21 (Proverbs 25:21-22)
  • Our example: v. 48 – Be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.
    • WHAT?!
    • “For God so loved the world …”
    • “Be completely mature, completely upright …”

Be completely satisfied in the Holy Spirit. As Jesus and the Father are one and united also with the Holy Spirit, we, too, can find our contentment in Him.

VerseD: Psalm 34:19

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Psalm 34:19, ESV

God promises life is hard, especially for those of us who call on His name and proclaim His truth to a world that shuns Him.

But our faithful boldness may help convince them.

VerseD: Romans 12:12

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 12:12, ESV

Show others the joy found in Christ in all circumstances, even being lovingly patient when attacked for our faith, praying continually.

This is one of the ways others see the Gospel.

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 5:10-12

I have started a small group series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am sharing my notes in case anyone else wants to use them with their group.

Sermon on the Mount – The Beatitudes: Part 3

Matthew 5:1-2:
Jesus wants to teach the crowds: Who are they? Jewish disciples: People who understand the
Scriptures (at least to a point). Notice from 7:28 the crowds still came along, but this teaching is for His disciples.

What does “blessed” mean? How do you understand it?
The word “blessed” appears 306 times in the ESV Bible (in 288 verses; 302x in 287 vv. in KJV)
Happy (definitely deeper than this), Revered, Content, Worshiped, Made holy, Fortunate, Well-off

Matthew 5:3-12: The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:10-12:
The first several verses tell us it is blessed (brings joy, contentment, peace) to find salvation in Christ

  • We realize our wretchedness (v. 3)
  • We lament our sinful rebellion against God (v. 4)
  • We realize our need for help and salvation (v. 5)
  • We see a growing desire for God’s Word & presence (v. 6)
  • We realize our fallen neighbors need the same mercy we receive from God (v. 7)
  • We let God renew our hearts and minds to seek His goodness for others (v. 8)
  • We desire to bring others to the peace of God (v. 9)

What then happens in the life of the Christian?
Now we read:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Matthew 5:10-12, ESV

v. 10-11: Firstly, notice the first phrase to be repeated: “theirs is the kingdom of heaven?” (from v. 3)
• We mourn their sin as we mourn our own. It is no longer “me vs. the world” but “Here am I, send
me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
• We are letting God change us – Romans 12:1-2

When we allow God to change the way we see, think about, and interact with our world, it becomes
easier to live out these qualities and not act like the world.

What is righteousness?

(Doing/believing/teaching what is right – by GOD’S STANDARD)

[READ 2 Timothy 2:22-26]

  • Respect – This world has a lack of true respect for others, to the point even children are sing parents. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)
  • Racism – “We evolved into different races.” No respect for the other people, even though there is only 1 human race (with different ethnicities and cultures, sure. See Acts 17:26)
  • Marriage – “Anyone can love who they want. Love is love.” (Matthew 19:4-6)
  • Gender – (Matthew 19:4)
  • Drugs
  • Abortion
  • Climate Change – (Technically true. The creation is cursed due to human sin – Genesis 3)
  • Truth – “Follow your truth” “What is truth?” (Pilate, John 18:38)

[READ 2 Timothy 2:22-27]

Taking a stand for truth (The Gospel and God’s standard) forces the world to face their sins. Do we like being told we’re wrong?

Seeing their sin results in lashing out: verbally, physically, emotionally
• 2 Timothy 2:8-12; 1 Peter 4:12-19 (Romans 1:16-17)

So, we show compassion. What does compassion mean? (Feeling with others, joining in their experience. “I was you. I, too, rejected God and sinned.”)

So, then, what does it mean to be blessed, I light of these 10-12 verses?
To join in Christ’s passion: His suffering, His sacrifice, His love, His grace. It seems Jesus speaks of
those who find contentment in life as they are made holy.

What does it look like to live out this blessing?

Jude 17-25

VerseD: John 16:33

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33, ESV

With all that can happen in this world, we can expect persecution and problems. But out hope and strength is in Christ, who defeated the grave and the devil.

VerseD: Isaiah 43:2

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

Isaiah 43:2, ESV

God can save us from anything, but He protects and leads us especially through the persecutions of this world and from the flames of eternal torment.

Trust in the Son.

VerseD: Matthew 5:44

“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”

Matthew 5:44, ESV

Retaliation belongs to the Lord. We should do as Jesus did when He walked this earth: pray for others and be willing to be hurt and even killed for them that they may see His faithfulness and love.

VerseD: 1 Peter 4:16

Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.
1 Peter 4:16, ESV

Following Christ will lead to other people mistreating, mocking, or doing worse to us. We remember that this is how they treated Jesus our Lord, so we thank God that we are joined with Him in His plan of redemption of this world.