Presentation on theme: "Attitudes and actions that garner God’s blessings."— Presentation transcript:
Attitudes and actions that garner God’s blessings
What is this series about? An examination of 21 attitudes and behaviors identified in the New Testament as “blessed” A look at Christian conduct and characteristics that will enrich our lives with lasting joy A look at the condition of those who lack these qualities
Outline (Matthew 5:11-12) “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great” “for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” The cursed life
Insulted and slandered for doing right (Luke 6:22) Slander: to make a false or damaging statement about someone; verbal persecution; defamation of character Is included in 6 different N.T. lists of sins (Matt. 15:19; Rom. 1:30; 2 Cor. 12:20; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:9; 1 Pet. 2:1) N.T examples of slander against God’s people Jesus was accused of breaking the Sabbath multiple times Jesus was accused of satanic power (Matt. 12:24) False witnesses against Stephen (Acts 6:11-14) Saints accused of rebellion against Rome (Acts 17:5-7) Paul accused of defiling the temple (Acts 21:27-30) A person who is slandered for doing right is in pretty good company!
Insulted and slandered for doing right (Matt. 5:11) Example: a 2 nd -century debate between a Christian and a pagan… “Those who hate us so vehemently are unable to give a reason for their hatred” (Lactantius, circa AD 304) More recent accusations from other religious groups “you think you are the only ones going to heaven” (see Acts 10:34-35, compare Calvinist predestination and J.W.’s 144,000) “you believe in water salvation” (see 1 Pet. 3:21…compare “holy water” of Catholics) And from liberal brethren… “you are orphan haters…mean ol’ antis!” (see James 1:27) “you are a bunch of Pharisaical legalists” (see 2 John 9) Jesus was a rock of offense (1 Pet. 2:8) to the wicked. If we follow Him, we too will suffer by those who are offended by righteousness.
“For your reward in heaven is great” Better to be insulted by men and praised by God than the other way around! “I will not let you hear insults from the nations anymore, nor will you bear disgrace from the peoples any longer, nor will you cause your nation to stumble any longer,” declares the Lord G OD.” (Ezek. 36:15) “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:10) Those who live the beatitudes will find insults in this life, but the compliments of heaven in the next!
“for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:12) Joseph charged with attempted rape (Gen. 39:11-20) “They slandered me without ceasing” (Ps. 35:15) Elijah called “troubler of Israel” (1 Kings 18:17) Nehemiah falsely accused by Sanballat (Neh. 6) Daniel charged with crime (Dan. 6:12-13) We are in pretty good company when slandered for doing what is right!
Responding to slander and insults Remember Jesus (Mt. 26:59-68)…hold your tongue! (Jms. 3:8-12) Live above reproach so that slander is not believable (1 Pet. 2:12) Give blessings in exchange for insults (1 Pet. 3:9) Keep your conscience clean (1 Pet. 3:16-17) Try to be reconciled (1 Cor. 4:11-13) Remember Moses who chose ill-treatment with a view toward the reward (Heb. 11:24-26) “When facing persecution of various kinds we are tempted to whine, complain, indulge in self-pity, or even to retaliate with vengeance. But our Lord did not do any of these things, for all these things are the response of the natural, worldly individual” (Bro. Thomas Seals, 2007)
The cursed life: Luke 6:26 “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way” Jerusalem’s people rejected true prophets (Matt. 23:37) Jewish priests killed Jesus, just as their fathers killed prophets (Acts 7:51-54) Is that the company you wish to keep?
Summary “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed” (1 Pet. 3:14) Accept slander, insults, and other ill-treatment as an expected result of following Christ If you suffer for doing right, count yourself blessed Blessed are you when people insult you…for your reward in heaven is great!
Believe in Jesus Christ (John 14:1; Acts 16:30-34) That He died for your sins and was resurrected (1 Cor. 15:3-4) Repent of your past sins (Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9) Commit yourself to holy conduct (Acts 26:30; Titus 2:11-12) Confess your faith (Matthew 10:32) Declare your belief that Jesus is God’s Son (Acts 8:37) Receive Baptism (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12) Baptism puts you into Christ (Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:27) Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16) Baptism saves you (1 Peter 3:21) Be faithful until death (Revelation 2:10) Trust His grace and obey His commands (Hebrews 5:9) Or face the retribution due to those who do not obey 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Romans 2:8; John 3:36
Pray without ceasing…Practice what Jesus preached…Prepare for our next assembly