Sunday, May 31, 2015

Jesus on Retaliation and Rights (Part 2)

Matthew 5:38-42
We are all about our rights. If anyone threatens our rights or takes what we think belongs to us, we are inclined to retaliate.  All of us have been wronged, and all of us have wanted to get back at the one responsible.  Has that attitude really helped us?  Is there a better way?
I. The Interpretation of the Lex TalionesMatthew 5:38
The basic function of law is not revenge but consequence and retribution. Lex Taliones limits the level of revenge to equal to loss or injury. The purpose was to provide mercy.
II. Jesus’ Interpretation of the Believer’s Rights 
A. Don’t retaliate for insult - Matthew 5:39
B. Don’t go to court over clothes - Matthew 5:40
Relationships are more valuable than property.
C. Serve with a smile - Matthew 5:41
The easiest thing to hoard is our time. 
Christ is advocating setting boundaries.
Setting Healthy Boundaries - How can we love others and deny ourselves, yet not be taken advantage of or controlled?
  The Bible teaches covenant relationship with two sides of love.
  A boundary is a fence line that denotes or defines where one
  person's space ends and another's begins.  It clarifies, shapes and
  defines who we are and our sphere of control.
  Jesus taught us to meet someone’s needs not take
  responsibility for another’s life.
D. Be graciously benevolent - Matthew 5:42
Benevolence begins by realizing our wealth in relation to others needs.
Few real needs are met in a single contribution.  A commitment to meet a need requires a spirit of giving, not just an act.
III. Overcome Evil With Good  Romans 12:19-21
Three Reasons For Ruling Out All Attempts At Revenge.
1.     Revenge is God’s work  v19
2.     There is better way to respond  v20
There is no grace in revenge.  There is no peace in revenge.  There is no love in revenge. 
3.     God will reward  Proverbs 25:22b

Don’t seek “rights”; seek “opportunity.”

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