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Think It Through First Before Responding - Kevin Williams

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    If you open your Bibles with me
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    to Romans 12:17.
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    Romans 12:17
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    If you've ever responded in haste;
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    maybe said something
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    or sent an email or a text;
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    or perhaps posted
    something on social media
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    that you later regretted,
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    this sermon has application.
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    These verses come in a section of Romans
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    that deals with Christian living
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    on how we are to react
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    towards people.
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    And here when people
    treat us in a certain way,
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    how we are to react towards them.
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    So, do you remain seated? Stand?
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    Okay, I'll read Romans 12:17-18
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    and then we'll pray.
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    "Repay no one evil for evil,
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    but give thought to do what is honorable
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    in the sight of all.
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    If possible, so far as it depends on you,
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    live peaceably with all."
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    I'll read that again.
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    "Repay no one evil for evil,
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    but give thought to do what is honorable
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    in the sight of all.
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    If possible, so far as it depends on you,
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    live peaceably with all."
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    Let's pray.
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    Our Father, as we look together
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    at Your Word now,
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    we pray that You would teach us
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    by Your Spirit how to live lives holy,
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    lives set apart for You;
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    to live for Your glory,
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    for Your name's sake.
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    Help us, we ask, in Jesus' name,
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    Amen.
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    Okay, so if someone
    mistreats you as a Christian,
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    or even goes out of their way
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    to harm you,
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    what is your reaction supposed to be?
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    How are we as Christians
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    called to react when someone
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    does something evil towards you?
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    And that is what these
    verses deal with now.
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    The first principle the apostle lays out
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    in regards to this here
    in v. 17 of our text,
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    is repay no one evil for evil.
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    In other words, don't just retaliate
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    and strike back in whatever way.
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    You see, the reason Paul, no doubt,
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    begins with this what
    is a guiding principle,
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    is because the natural instinct
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    when someone treats you
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    in what you perceive to be an evil way;
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    the natural instinct is
    to want to strike back
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    and get even.
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    How dare they treat me in such a way!
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    Now, I want to show you how this is linked
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    to the previous verse there.
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    At the end of the previous verse (v. 16),
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    we are told, "Never be
    wise in your own sight."
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    Or never be wise in your
    own estimation of yourself.
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    That is basically another way of saying,
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    "Do not think more highly of yourself
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    than you ought to."
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    Think about this.
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    When someone has an overinflated opinion
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    of themselves,
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    they are always going
    to be easily offended
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    at the slightest thing
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    and ready to lash out.
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    The instinctive reaction
    is always going to be,
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    "How dare they treat me that way!"
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    And instinctively lash out with vengeance.
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    James 3 from verse 13 puts it this way:
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    "Who is wise and understanding among you?
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    By his good conduct,
    let him show his works
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    in meekness and wisdom.
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    But if you have bitter jealousy
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    and selfish ambition in your hearts,
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    do not boast and be false to the truth.
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    This is not the wisdom that
    comes down from above,
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    but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
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    For where jealousy and
    selfish ambition exist,
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    there will be disorder
    and every vile practice.
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    But the wisdom from above is first pure,
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    then peaceable, gentle, open to reason,
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    full of mercy and good fruits,
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    impartial, and sincere.
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    And a harvest of righteousness
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    is sown in peace by those who make peace."
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    You see, in order to react right,
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    we've got to get our thinking right.
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    If our wisdom, if our thinking
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    is clouded by bitterness and jealousy
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    or selfish ambition -
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    there's nothing wrong, by the way,
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    with ambition in and of itself.
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    Someone can be ambitious
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    for the glory of God.
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    But selfish ambition is the problem.
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    But when you are ambitious
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    in whatever way for the glory of self,
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    well, when all these things
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    are clouding your mind,
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    you're not going to
    react in the right way.
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    So, one of the guiding principles
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    that the apostle began
    with, of course, in chapter 12
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    is do not be conformed to the mindset
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    of this fallen world.
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    So we really have it again here.
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    You see, if our thinking is wrong,
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    we're going to react wrong.
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    If one has an overinflated
    opinion of oneself,
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    then that person is going
    to be easily offended
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    and see everything as a personal attack.
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    And if someone treats you
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    in what you perceive to be an evil way,
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    your instinct is going to be instinctively
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    to lash out in whatever
    way to get revenge.
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    Well, the Christian is
    not to be in that way
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    Paul states there.
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    Think of this in another way.
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    Imagine if the Lord treated us that way.
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    Imagine if His response
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    after we treated Him evil
    was just to lash out.
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    None of us would be here.
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    We'd all be in hell.
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    So, that's the negative part here.
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    What not to do.
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    But then, in the next part of the verse,
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    Paul tells us what to do instead.
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    He says, "But give thought
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    to what is honorable
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    in the sight of all men."
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    You see, this is what we are to do.
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    "Give thought to what is honorable
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    in the sight of all men."
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    The ESV translates this quite beatifully.
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    In case anyone is reading from
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    the old King James,
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    I must point out that that translation
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    renders this verse:
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    "Provide things honest
    in the sight of all men."
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    Which is okay if you're
    living in the 17th century,
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    and you're one of the people
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    that translation was intended for,
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    but it makes absolutely no sense
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    in the way we would use
    the word "provide" today.
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    You see, back in the 17th century,
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    the word "provide" actually meant
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    to take thought beforehand.
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    To think ahead.
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    Hence, why the ESV translates this,
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    "But give thought to do..."
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    You see, the idea here
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    is when someone treats you
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    in what you perceive to
    be in a bad or evil way,
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    don't respond by instantly lashing out
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    in revenge, but take thought.
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    Think it through is the idea.
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    And when it says in the next part
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    that you are to give thought to do
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    what is honorable in the sight of all,
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    again, the ESV really
    gets the idea, I think.
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    The idea is to respond in a way
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    that is good that can be seen by all.
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    That others can see it is good.
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    It's the same words used
    in 2 Corinthians 8:21.
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    Paul says, "For we aim (in our conduct)
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    at what is honorable,
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    not only in the Lord's sight,
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    but also in the sight of men."
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    That is, we aim to be blameless if we can;
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    to act in a just and right manner.
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    Not just before the Lord,
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    although that is the primary,
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    but hopefully we can also
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    react and conduct ourselves in a way
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    that is right in the sight of men.
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    Of course, our first duty is to the Lord.
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    And that must not be
    compromised for the other.
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    But notice it says here
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    "in the sight of all men."
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    That is believers and unbelievers alike.
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    You see, in our actions,
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    in the way we respond,
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    we are to be concerned
    about what others think.
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    In the sight of all men it says.
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    Do good in the sight of all men.
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    We are to be conscious in how we react
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    that the lost world is looking on at us.
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    You see, the teaching of this verse is
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    when someone does what you perceive to be
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    an evil towards you,
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    you are not to respond without
    thinking it through properly,
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    by instantly lashing out.
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    But you are to take thought.
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    How is the lost world going to perceive
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    how I respond to this?
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    You ought to pause. Think.
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    If I respond in this or that certain way,
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    what will they think of Christ
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    and Christianity.
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    Remember this verse is in the context here
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    of thinking of the church as a body.
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    And so, we must ask
    ourselves as Christians,
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    if I react in a certain way,
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    what will people think of the church
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    I am part of?
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    You see, it's the Lord's name
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    we are to be concerned with.
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    If I respond in this way or that way,
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    what effect is it going to have on others?
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    You see, this really is another section
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    about living the gospel.
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    The unbelievers - the
    lost world around you
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    will judge the gospel and Christianity
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    by what they see in us.
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    So we must think it through.
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    How is my response going to affect
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    the perception of Christ and Christianity?
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    You see, you're a Christian now,
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    and so no man lives unto himself.
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    You've got to realize that what you do
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    doesn't just affect you alone.
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    No man lives unto himself.
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    But what you do and say
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    is going to affect what
    others think of Christ
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    and Christianity.
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    In how you behave and your conduct,
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    in how you react to a
    perceived evil against you.
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    And never think in terms of yourself only.
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    But you must think first
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    of what effect will my response
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    have on others.
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    You see, this is what must dictate
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    or govern our response.
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    Think it though.
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    What response would
    give God the most glory?
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    Think about all the times, brethren,
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    you know, you've been hasty.
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    How many times have you and I
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    perceived an evil by someone against us?
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    And so you've said something
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    without properly thinking it through
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    and then regretted it.
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    How many times have people sent a text,
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    an email, or replied to a post
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    on social media?
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    Something on Facebook or whatever.
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    And later thought,
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    "If only I had just waited..."
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    We live in a minefield today
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    with all the technology.
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    You know, there have
    been times in the past
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    when someone has sent me a rather angry
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    or provocative message on WhatsApp.
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    And of course, WhatsApp,
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    when you send someone a message,
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    it gives you the two blue tics to say
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    they've read the message.
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    But then, you find there are people
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    who want to bring back public hanging.
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    And of course, the death
    penalty's still here,
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    but they want it to apply for that
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    because I've not responded in 30 seconds.
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    When in actual fact, what I'm doing
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    is I'm doing what this verse tells me.
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    I'm thinking about what is the best way
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    to respond to their anger.
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    Or, I might be doing something else
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    and it's come up, so I've got to give
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    my attention to that.
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    You know the world doesn't
    revolve around people.
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    You see, I use that by way of example
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    because many times,
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    you will feel under pressure
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    to respond rashly.
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    But you don't want to do that.
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    Make sure you pause.
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    Think it through.
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    Time out.
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    You see, rather than very quickly respond
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    in a way without properly
    thinking it through,
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    you must think,
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    what is likely to be the final effect
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    if I respond like this?
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    Is it better to sit on your fingers
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    and save the text or the email
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    or the call for another day?
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    In which time you might have
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    a completely different
    perspective on things.
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    By then, you might see,
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    well, I've overreacted.
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    Or, more things have come to light.
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    Or, you might be thinking later,
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    what good is this going to do anyway?
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    I remember once, I had a school teacher.
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    He used to say,
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    "Engage brain before mouth."
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    And that's good advice.
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    Properly thinking it through.
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    You know, sometimes you meet people
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    that say, "I always speak my mind."
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    And they're proud of the fact
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    that they say the first thing
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    that comes into their head,
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    no matter how rude
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    without thinking it through.
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    Without thinking about what effect
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    it will have on others.
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    But according to this verse,
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    a Christian should never
    have that attitude;
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    should never be one of those people
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    who says, "I just always speak my mind,"
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    and say the first thing that comes out.
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    Never try and excuse things like that
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    by saying I'm of a certain nationality
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    or a certain family or whatever;
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    a certain background.
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    Never try to excuse sin
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    by some sort of cultural context.
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    When Paul said to the Cretans,
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    those of Crete are always liars,
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    he wasn't saying it's okay for you to lie
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    because you're from Crete.
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    Just like if someone is from -
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    this is the way it is where we live -
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    if someone is from Africa or Spain
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    or Latin America, it doesn't mean
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    it's okay for them to be late.
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    Or if someone comes from the Middle East,
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    it's not okay to have a bad temper.
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    Believe it or not, there
    are professing Christians there
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    who just lash out in anger
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    and then they try and excuse it by saying,
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    "Oh, it's just a cultural thing."
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    You see, cultural sin is sin.
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    That is the way Paul is speaking
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    to those in Crete.
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    He says, "Or is the saying true?"
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    You're different. You're Christians now.
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    And so, you're not to be that stereotype.
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    A Christian should never be those people
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    who say, "I just speak
    my mind all the time
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    without thinking it through."
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    And so, verse 18 continues with this.
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    "If possible, so far as it depends on you,
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    live peaceably with all."
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    Live at peace with all.
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    That is, believers and unbelievers alike.
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    As far as it depends on you.
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    Notice, as far is it depends on you,
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    you are to take the initiative.
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    The Christian is not to
    be the troublemaker.
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    There's much in Proverbs about that.
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    The contentious, argumentative,
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    always picking a fight type of person
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    is not a characteristic of a Christian.
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    There's a lot of Christian
    bloggers out there
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    and so-called discernment ministries
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    that act in a way where
    they're always ready
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    figuratively to punch someone in the face.
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    But again, that's not
    characteristically Christian.
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    But I want you to think about this.
  • 17:52 - 17:56
    In reacting in a way
    that is not going to be
  • 17:56 - 17:58
    a bad witness,
  • 17:58 - 18:01
    and as far as it depends upon you,
  • 18:01 - 18:04
    thinking about it in terms of
  • 18:04 - 18:08
    you taking the initiative to be at peace.
  • 18:08 - 18:10
    First of all, remember,
  • 18:10 - 18:12
    you're not trying to win the argument,
  • 18:12 - 18:14
    but the person.
  • 18:14 - 18:16
    Well, you are trying to win the argument,
  • 18:16 - 18:19
    but it's the person first and foremost.
  • 18:19 - 18:21
    You see, if you just get someone's back up
  • 18:21 - 18:24
    unnecessarily, then you've lost them.
  • 18:24 - 18:29
    You may have won an argument,
  • 18:29 - 18:30
    but they may go home thinking
  • 18:30 - 18:33
    they won the argument too anyway.
  • 18:33 - 18:37
    But secondly, think of this in terms of
  • 18:37 - 18:41
    online disagreements with others.
  • 18:41 - 18:46
    Much of the world lives
    in that sphere today.
  • 18:46 - 18:49
    I remember one time another Christian
  • 18:49 - 18:50
    was arguing with me over
  • 18:50 - 18:54
    some secondary issue that was evidently
  • 18:54 - 18:57
    a first issue to him.
  • 18:57 - 19:01
    But we eventually agreed to disagree.
  • 19:01 - 19:03
    Now, he was doing this via Facebook,
  • 19:03 - 19:05
    so at the end of it, I thanked him
  • 19:05 - 19:08
    for doing it on the private messenger.
  • 19:08 - 19:10
    So only I and he could see.
  • 19:10 - 19:12
    Because if it had been plastered all over
  • 19:12 - 19:15
    my Facebook wall in public -
  • 19:15 - 19:16
    in view of others -
  • 19:16 - 19:20
    then all the unbelievers,
    the non-Christians looking on
  • 19:20 - 19:23
    would not have understood it.
  • 19:23 - 19:25
    It would have been a really bad witness.
  • 19:25 - 19:28
    So even though I disagreed with him,
  • 19:28 - 19:30
    and I thought his manner was a bit harsh,
  • 19:30 - 19:34
    I thanked him for
    still doing it in private.
  • 19:34 - 19:36
    Whereas I remember another person
  • 19:36 - 19:39
    just plastering my Facebook wall,
  • 19:39 - 19:41
    and every time I would delete his dribble
  • 19:41 - 19:44
    because I'm thinking
    this doesn't look good
  • 19:44 - 19:46
    in front of all the unbelievers
    I'm trying to reach here.
  • 19:46 - 19:48
    He'd just post some more.
  • 19:48 - 19:50
    So, in the end, I had to defriend him
  • 19:50 - 19:53
    and take him off.
  • 19:53 - 19:54
    You see, he obviously thought
  • 19:54 - 19:57
    that all the world had to agree with him
  • 19:57 - 20:00
    over some secondary issue.
  • 20:00 - 20:01
    Because he wasn't thinking
  • 20:01 - 20:03
    how is this going to be perceived
  • 20:03 - 20:04
    by unbelievers?
  • 20:04 - 20:07
    What sort of testimony
    is this going to give?
  • 20:07 - 20:09
    He wasn't thinking of the glory of God
  • 20:09 - 20:11
    and those people's souls.
  • 20:11 - 20:13
    All that was before him
  • 20:13 - 20:17
    was personal pride in winning an argument.
  • 20:17 - 20:21
    And he didn't want to be seen to lose.
  • 20:21 - 20:25
    Because he didn't want my friends
  • 20:25 - 20:30
    or my wife's friends who
    he didn't even know -
  • 20:30 - 20:34
    it's ridiculous.
  • 20:34 - 20:37
    If you ever have a
    disagreement with someone
  • 20:37 - 20:38
    in a church meeting,
  • 20:38 - 20:40
    perhaps over some
    theological issue or whatever,
  • 20:40 - 20:43
    don't lash out.
  • 20:43 - 20:44
    Think it through.
  • 20:44 - 20:46
    What are onlookers going to think of this?
  • 20:46 - 20:49
    You know you've always got weaker
  • 20:49 - 20:51
    and newer, less mature Christians.
  • 20:51 - 20:54
    Some people who are
  • 20:54 - 20:56
    walking through the door the first time
  • 20:56 - 20:58
    and see some odd discussion
  • 20:58 - 21:01
    that could be a bad testimony.
  • 21:01 - 21:04
    It's very serious stuff.
  • 21:04 - 21:07
    Supposing you have a disagreement
  • 21:07 - 21:09
    with someone else, and so you have
  • 21:09 - 21:10
    this big squabble, whether it's online
  • 21:10 - 21:12
    or in a church setting,
  • 21:12 - 21:14
    or in a house setting or at work
  • 21:14 - 21:17
    or wherever, but it's in a public setting,
  • 21:17 - 21:19
    and people know you're a Christian.
  • 21:19 - 21:21
    And so the result of it,
  • 21:21 - 21:23
    people are turned off to the gospel
  • 21:23 - 21:25
    and Christianity.
  • 21:25 - 21:27
    And so part of the reason
    they end up in hell
  • 21:27 - 21:29
    is because of your conduct.
  • 21:29 - 21:32
    Not to mention then going around
  • 21:32 - 21:34
    blaspheming the Lord's name.
  • 21:34 - 21:37
    Saying those Christians
    are just like that.
  • 21:37 - 21:40
    You see, as Christians, we don't want
  • 21:40 - 21:43
    to bring shame upon the name of Christ.
  • 21:43 - 21:46
    That should be our concern.
  • 21:46 - 21:50
    But we've got to realize,
  • 21:50 - 21:52
    you cannot do things in isolation
  • 21:52 - 21:53
    as a Christian.
  • 21:53 - 21:55
    You are to, as our Lord said,
  • 21:55 - 21:57
    let your light so shine before men
  • 21:57 - 21:59
    that they may see your good works
  • 21:59 - 22:02
    and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
  • 22:02 - 22:05
    Think of this in every
    aspect of your life.
  • 22:05 - 22:07
    That people are watching you.
  • 22:07 - 22:09
    People are looking on.
  • 22:09 - 22:11
    Now, of course, let me make clear here,
  • 22:11 - 22:14
    you may still do everything right,
  • 22:14 - 22:18
    and you're still going to
    get some false accusations.
  • 22:18 - 22:20
    The Apostle Paul did. Our Lord Jesus did.
  • 22:20 - 22:23
    You think of Joseph in the Old Testament.
  • 22:23 - 22:24
    He was a classic example
  • 22:24 - 22:27
    of someone living out this verse.
  • 22:27 - 22:29
    And yet, he was still thrown in prison
  • 22:29 - 22:35
    for something he didn't do.
  • 22:35 - 22:38
    But he's also an example
    of how to respond.
  • 22:38 - 22:43
    Now, the next thing I want
    to point out here though
  • 22:43 - 22:45
    is Paul does not say
  • 22:45 - 22:50
    be at peace with people at any cost.
  • 22:50 - 22:54
    He doesn't say be at peace
    with people at any cost,
  • 22:54 - 22:58
    but as far as it depends upon you.
  • 22:58 - 23:00
    Remember, the wisdom from above
  • 23:00 - 23:03
    is first pure, then peaceable.
  • 23:03 - 23:06
    It's pure, meaning truth first.
  • 23:06 - 23:10
    You see, you're not to
    be the trouble maker.
  • 23:10 - 23:14
    You're not to be the one
    who initiates the fight.
  • 23:14 - 23:16
    You are to try and be the
    peacemaker if you like
  • 23:16 - 23:18
    in your actions,
  • 23:18 - 23:20
    but there are some people who
  • 23:20 - 23:22
    will go out of their way
  • 23:22 - 23:24
    to be difficult.
  • 23:24 - 23:31
    And there are some people
    you cannot make peace with.
  • 23:31 - 23:35
    With those people you can sleep at night
  • 23:35 - 23:39
    knowing that as far as
    it depended upon you,
  • 23:39 - 23:41
    they could have had peace.
  • 23:41 - 23:45
    But again, this peace is not at any cost.
  • 23:45 - 23:47
    We are told in Scripture for instance
  • 23:47 - 23:49
    that if anyone comes to you
  • 23:49 - 23:50
    preaching another gospel,
  • 23:50 - 23:53
    let him be accursed.
  • 23:53 - 23:55
    It doesn't say just agree with them
  • 23:55 - 23:57
    for the sake of peace.
  • 23:57 - 23:59
    In 2 John, we're told if anyone comes
  • 23:59 - 24:03
    bringing another doctrine
    of the person of Jesus,
  • 24:03 - 24:06
    saying something like He's not fully God
  • 24:06 - 24:08
    or He's not fully man,
  • 24:08 - 24:10
    then don't even give him a greeting.
  • 24:10 - 24:12
    He's not talking about your neighbor
  • 24:12 - 24:13
    that you're trying to witness to,
  • 24:13 - 24:16
    but someone teaching.
  • 24:16 - 24:18
    There is such a thing
  • 24:18 - 24:21
    as church discipline in Scripture
  • 24:21 - 24:24
    for those who profess to be Christians,
  • 24:24 - 24:27
    but continue in unrepentant sin.
  • 24:27 - 24:29
    We are told to avoid the divisive person
  • 24:29 - 24:32
    after one or two warnings.
  • 24:32 - 24:35
    And we are to earnestly
    contend for the faith.
  • 24:35 - 24:40
    Not put it aside for the sake of peace.
  • 24:40 - 24:41
    You know, in regards to a pastor
  • 24:41 - 24:43
    teaching from the pulpit,
  • 24:43 - 24:46
    and other Christians in a general sense,
  • 24:46 - 24:48
    of course, we should be sensitive,
  • 24:48 - 24:49
    but there should never be a case,
  • 24:49 - 24:51
    for instance, where a pastor thinks
  • 24:51 - 24:53
    I can't preach this certain truth
  • 24:53 - 24:55
    because so-and-so will be offended
  • 24:55 - 24:57
    and leave the church.
  • 24:57 - 24:59
    You know, I once had someone come to me
  • 24:59 - 25:02
    very disgruntled over
    the doctrine of Calvinism
  • 25:02 - 25:04
    and the sovereignty of God,
  • 25:04 - 25:08
    and was showing their
    anger and disgust over it.
  • 25:08 - 25:11
    The next time they came into our meeting,
  • 25:11 - 25:13
    and it came up in that sermon -
  • 25:13 - 25:15
    it was just in the text -
  • 25:15 - 25:17
    but he actually got up and walked out
  • 25:17 - 25:19
    in the middle of the sermon.
  • 25:19 - 25:21
    But you see, we're not to skip over
  • 25:21 - 25:23
    parts of the Bible in order to pacify
  • 25:23 - 25:25
    those types of people.
  • 25:25 - 25:27
    We're not to think I can't preach this
  • 25:27 - 25:31
    because so-and-so might leave the church.
  • 25:31 - 25:34
    I'm just the messenger.
  • 25:34 - 25:36
    It's not my message to tamper with.
  • 25:36 - 25:40
    In fact, it's a very
    serious thing to do so.
  • 25:40 - 25:43
    You see, what I'm saying in these examples
  • 25:43 - 25:45
    is in making peace,
  • 25:45 - 25:47
    we should never do it in a way
  • 25:47 - 25:49
    which would deny Christ
  • 25:49 - 25:50
    and our Christian faith.
  • 25:50 - 25:52
    Our Lord Jesus said,
  • 25:52 - 25:53
    "If you deny Me before men,
  • 25:53 - 25:55
    then I will deny you before My Father
  • 25:55 - 25:57
    who is in heaven."
  • 25:57 - 25:59
    So this verse is not saying
  • 25:59 - 26:01
    in order to have peace and an easy life,
  • 26:01 - 26:03
    deny your faith in Christ.
  • 26:03 - 26:05
    Pretend you're not a Christian at times.
  • 26:05 - 26:08
    You know, many people
    have gone to their deaths
  • 26:08 - 26:11
    because they were not willing to deny
  • 26:11 - 26:13
    they were Christians.
  • 26:13 - 26:19
    You see, there are some people
  • 26:19 - 26:20
    who will not have peace with you
  • 26:20 - 26:23
    because you are a Christian.
  • 26:23 - 26:28
    Like in the previous verses here,
  • 26:28 - 26:31
    he's not teaching if people persecute you,
  • 26:31 - 26:33
    then pretend you're not a Christian.
  • 26:33 - 26:38
    You are to be faithful
    in your Christian faith.
  • 26:38 - 26:40
    But as far as it depends upon you,
  • 26:40 - 26:46
    be at peace with all people.
  • 26:46 - 26:50
    A Christian wife married to an unbeliever,
  • 26:50 - 26:52
    can and should go out of her way,
  • 26:52 - 26:54
    as far as it depends upon her
  • 26:54 - 26:57
    to be at peace with her husband.
  • 26:57 - 27:00
    But she cannot deny Christ in that.
  • 27:00 - 27:02
    And the same goes in the workplace.
  • 27:02 - 27:04
    Or anywhere else in life.
  • 27:04 - 27:06
    When you're around unbelievers,
  • 27:06 - 27:10
    you are to go out of
    your way to live at peace,
  • 27:10 - 27:12
    but you don't deny Christ.
  • 27:12 - 27:14
    But as far as it depends upon you,
  • 27:14 - 27:16
    live at peace.
  • 27:16 - 27:19
    And we are not to sin
  • 27:19 - 27:21
    in order to have peace with people.
  • 27:21 - 27:23
    We are to have no fellowship
  • 27:23 - 27:26
    with the unfruitful works of darkness.
  • 27:26 - 27:30
    Lloyd-Jones pointed out something
  • 27:30 - 27:32
    regarding this which was excellent.
  • 27:32 - 27:35
    And that is there are some people
  • 27:35 - 27:38
    who have a tendency
  • 27:38 - 27:39
    to always want to retaliate
  • 27:39 - 27:41
    and strike back, and of course,
  • 27:41 - 27:43
    I've just given application for that.
  • 27:43 - 27:45
    But then of course, there are people
  • 27:45 - 27:47
    at the other end of the spectrum;
  • 27:47 - 27:50
    there are other people
    who will do anything
  • 27:50 - 27:53
    for a peaceful life
  • 27:53 - 27:54
    and just give in to bullies
  • 27:54 - 27:57
    and let people walk all over them.
  • 27:57 - 27:59
    Well, that's not Christian either,
  • 27:59 - 28:00
    he points out.
  • 28:00 - 28:03
    And that is not what
    this is talking about.
  • 28:03 - 28:05
    That sort of thing is just being lethargic
  • 28:05 - 28:06
    and cowardly,
  • 28:06 - 28:09
    or trying to avoid confrontations.
  • 28:09 - 28:12
    You see, this is not being scared
  • 28:12 - 28:14
    and so being willing to do anything
  • 28:14 - 28:21
    for a peaceful life.
  • 28:21 - 28:22
    Let me point out here,
  • 28:22 - 28:25
    in all this, there are sometimes
  • 28:25 - 28:29
    where you have to respond quickly.
  • 28:29 - 28:31
    It may be in defending someone.
  • 28:31 - 28:34
    He's not saying stop,
    pause, think about it,
  • 28:34 - 28:36
    and the person's dead on
    the floor or whatever.
  • 28:36 - 28:40
    Obviously, they're both in the context
  • 28:40 - 28:42
    of the examples I've given
  • 28:42 - 28:44
    when you can respond rationally
  • 28:44 - 28:53
    and there was time to think it through.
  • 28:53 - 28:57
    But you see, not acting in haste
  • 28:57 - 28:59
    and doing something
    you regret is the idea.
  • 28:59 - 29:01
    But thinking it through.
  • 29:01 - 29:03
    What is the best response
  • 29:03 - 29:05
    that's going to glorify God?
  • 29:05 - 29:08
    What is going to be the best testimony?
  • 29:08 - 29:10
    What's going to be the best
  • 29:10 - 29:14
    to win these people to Christ?
  • 29:14 - 29:15
    And you see, ultimately,
  • 29:15 - 29:22
    these verses were the related theme
  • 29:22 - 29:24
    that keeps coming up in Romans 12
  • 29:24 - 29:28
    or a repeated word,
    I should say, is "love."
  • 29:28 - 29:30
    You see this again and again.
  • 29:30 - 29:33
    Love is to dictate how we respond.
  • 29:33 - 29:40
    Love to God first and love to fellow man.
  • 29:40 - 29:42
    As Charles Leiter rightly points out,
  • 29:42 - 29:43
    with instruction like this
  • 29:43 - 29:47
    in the Sermon on the Mount also,
  • 29:47 - 29:51
    these instructions are not to be taken
  • 29:51 - 29:55
    as a to-the-letter law.
  • 29:55 - 29:59
    (Incomplete thought)
  • 29:59 - 30:01
    What I mean is you're not meant to
  • 30:01 - 30:03
    take these words like "rule #15."
  • 30:03 - 30:05
    This is how I should respond exactly
  • 30:05 - 30:07
    and tic that box
  • 30:07 - 30:09
    when it could be the wrong response.
  • 30:09 - 30:12
    But we're given principles here.
  • 30:12 - 30:14
    And the overriding principle is love.
  • 30:14 - 30:17
    How can I best show love to God
  • 30:17 - 30:18
    and love to fellow man
  • 30:18 - 30:21
    in how we respond?
  • 30:21 - 30:23
    You see, these verses,
  • 30:23 - 30:24
    they don't forbid going to
  • 30:24 - 30:27
    a civil magistrate when
    you've been wronged.
  • 30:27 - 30:29
    Paul deals with that in the next chapter.
  • 30:29 - 30:31
    Even the Old Testament law
  • 30:31 - 30:34
    gave principles for civil magistrates.
  • 30:34 - 30:36
    So there's nothing wrong
  • 30:36 - 30:40
    with calling the police
    or whatever authority.
  • 30:40 - 30:43
    But don't lash out.
  • 30:43 - 30:46
    First, pause and think.
  • 30:46 - 30:48
    What is the best way I can respond
  • 30:48 - 30:50
    that can give glory to God?
  • 30:50 - 30:52
    What is going to be the best witness?
  • 30:52 - 30:54
    Think first. Pray about it.
  • 30:54 - 30:57
    Don't take things personally.
  • 30:57 - 31:01
    It may be letting things go
  • 31:01 - 31:03
    is the best response that time.
  • 31:03 - 31:07
    It may be doing some charitable deed
  • 31:07 - 31:08
    is the best response.
  • 31:08 - 31:10
    It may be calling the police
  • 31:10 - 31:12
    and getting them arrested.
  • 31:12 - 31:21
    I remember last time I
    was in the U.S. up north.
  • 31:21 - 31:22
    Well, it was in the middle.
  • 31:22 - 31:30
    Kind of everything's north of Texas.
  • 31:30 - 31:33
    But there was a member of the church there
  • 31:33 - 31:36
    who prior to making a profession in Christ
  • 31:36 - 31:42
    had been in prison for dealing drugs.
  • 31:42 - 31:44
    But after making a profession,
  • 31:44 - 31:47
    he'd gone back to it.
  • 31:47 - 31:51
    Well, the church was now
    praying for his conversion.
  • 31:51 - 31:53
    You know, they were loving him
  • 31:53 - 31:54
    and praying for him.
  • 31:54 - 31:55
    But at the same time,
  • 31:55 - 31:57
    they were also praising God
  • 31:57 - 31:58
    in the same prayers
  • 31:58 - 32:00
    for taking him off the street
  • 32:00 - 32:03
    so he's not harming others
  • 32:03 - 32:04
    with his drug dealing.
  • 32:04 - 32:07
    You see, that is a right balance there.
  • 32:07 - 32:09
    Love and glory to God
  • 32:09 - 32:12
    dictates our response.
  • 32:12 - 32:15
    So we have to pause. Think it through.
  • 32:15 - 32:17
    What is going to bring glory to God?
  • 32:17 - 32:19
    And of course, you can apply this
  • 32:19 - 32:21
    to other areas of life
  • 32:21 - 32:23
    when you're not treated evil.
  • 32:23 - 32:26
    You know when you're choosing what to do.
  • 32:26 - 32:28
    You have many choices.
  • 32:28 - 32:29
    Think it through.
  • 32:29 - 32:31
    What is going to bring more glory to God?
  • 32:31 - 32:34
    When you're volunteering
    to help for things,
  • 32:34 - 32:36
    it's very easy to volunteer, isn't it,
  • 32:36 - 32:37
    to do everything,
  • 32:37 - 32:41
    but sometimes you can take
    things too much on
  • 32:41 - 32:43
    and that can be a bad testimony
  • 32:43 - 32:46
    because you can't follow it through.
  • 32:46 - 32:47
    You think can I properly do this
  • 32:47 - 32:51
    and so forth?
  • 32:51 - 32:56
    So, let's pray.
  • 32:56 - 32:59
    Our Father, we thank You for Your Word
  • 32:59 - 33:00
    and we pray You would help us
  • 33:00 - 33:03
    to apply these principles
  • 33:03 - 33:04
    to our lives;
  • 33:04 - 33:06
    that we would be governed by Scripture,
  • 33:06 - 33:08
    that we would not be
  • 33:08 - 33:11
    unnecessarily a bad testimony.
  • 33:11 - 33:13
    Help us to be about our Father's business,
  • 33:13 - 33:15
    concerned for the name of the Lord
  • 33:15 - 33:18
    in what we say, what we do.
  • 33:18 - 33:20
    In Jesus' name, Amen.
Title:
Think It Through First Before Responding - Kevin Williams
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
33:22

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