Wise as Serpents and Harmless As Doves Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Is Jesus commanding two-facedness? Context shows Jesus was preparing His disciples.
Wise as Serpents and Harmless As Doves – :1 He gave them miraculous power over evil, over disease. – :5-15 He told them how to conduct themselves – :16a He warns them of the conditions they would face “sheep in the midst of wolves.” – :16b They were to steel their minds but keep compassion in their hearts
Wise as Serpents and Harmless As Doves Other examples of the same teaching – 2Timothy 2:24-26 “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
Wise as Serpents and Harmless As Doves – 2Timothy 4:1-2 “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” – 1Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;”
Be Wise by Becoming a Fool 1Corinthians 3:18 “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.” How does becoming a fool help a Christian? – Merriam Webster Dictionary, “Fool: one who lacks judgment.” – Hebrews 5:14 “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” How can we do this while being foolish?
Be Wise by Becoming a Fool Context shows a CONTRAST not a CONTRADICTION. – 1Corinthians 1:18a “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Be Wise by Becoming a Fool – 1Corinthians 1:26-31 “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the L ORD.”
Be Wise by Becoming a Fool A PhD is not necessary to know God. – More common people heard Jesus than the highly educated self-reliant individuals too proud to humble themselves (Mark 12:37).
Become a Slave to be Set Free Galations 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Ephesians 6:6 “not with eyeservice, as men- pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,” Freedom & Slavery don’t usually harmonize, but we are all slaves to something-either sin or righteousness
Become a Slave to be Set Free Romans 6:16 “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin…or…righteousness?”
Become a Slave to be Set Free – Slaves to sin and the devil. 1Kings 21:25-26 “But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the L ORD, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up. 26 And he behaved very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the L ORD had cast out before the children of Israel.” 2Peter 2:17-19 false teachers are “slaves to corruption” and their followers are “brought into bondage” and become “entangled” in the pollutions of the world.
Become a Slave to be Set Free Proverbs 5:22 “His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, And he is caught in the cords of his sin.” – Slaves to righteousness and to God. (Romans 1:1) Paul “a bondservant of Jesus Christ” and in (James 1:1) James “a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ”. (Colossians 1:7, 4:7) Epaphras and Tychicus “fellow servant(s)”.
Become a Slave to be Set Free Romans 6:16 in its entirety – “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin…or…righteousness?”
Become a Slave to be Set Free Romans 6:16 in its entirety – “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?” Sin leads to death, righteousness leads to eternal life (Matthew 25:46).
Mourn to Be Happy Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.” Luke 6:21 “Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh.” Ecclesiastes 7:2 “Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting”
Mourn to Be Happy It’s not wrong to be happy Psalm 149:5 “Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds.” Sorrowing is necessary sometimes. – (1Corinthians 5), Paul harshly rebuked a church in sin – 2Corinthians 7:11, Results: “For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” – Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Mourn to Be Happy True happiness can only be found after the painful realization of sin brings repentance.
Save Your Life by Losing It Matthew 16:25 “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Kill yourself to save your life? – 1Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Save Your Life by Losing It Let the Bible explain itself. – Matthew 16:13-14 Jesus asked what people were saying about Him. – :15-17 Peter answered rightly. – :18-20 Jesus went on to explain Peter’s role – :21-23 Peter’s priorities not right. – :24-27 Jesus explained the cost of being a disciple.
Save Your Life by Losing It Jesus showed that being a true follower means making a complete surrender of self for Christ.
Save Your Life by Losing It – Accept Jesus – Confess Him, even under pressure (John 12:42-43). – Serve Jesus by putting Him first, John 12:24-26 “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” – Losing your life for Christ is actually not a loss at all, 2Timothy 2:11-13 “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”
Conclusion Not obeying Christ, even though you believe in who He is, is a contradiction (Romans 10:9, Acts 2:38) If you are a Christian and are living a life of contradiction in your walk outside the assembly, confess your sin and asking forgiveness God’s word does not contradict itself. It is absolute truth, preparing us for every possible scenario of temptation and challenge. – Believe & obey that truth today.