Calvary Baptist Church
May 15, 2022 Sunday Morning Service
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  • Blessed Be Your Name
  • Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  • Empty Me
  • Self Persecution

    How many people have you encountered that have lead themselves into the position of being persecuted so they may feel worthy of their endeavor?
    What exactly is persecution?
    PERSECUTION Mistreatment of a person or group on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, race, religion, or beliefs. During the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial periods, Jews and Christians experienced harsh treatment from Greeks, Romans, and sometimes even each other because of their beliefs and practices.
    What is righteousness?
    The English word “righteousness” refers to the quality of being righteous or in the right and is cognate to “just,” “justness,” and “justice.” In biblical usage, “righteousness” possesses ethical, forensic, salvific, and socioreligious connotations, depending on the context. Generally speaking, in relation to God, “righteousness” can refer to a divine attribute or to a divine activity, while in relation to human subjects, “righteousness” primarily denotes a legal and social status or a moral state.
    After an understanding of what exactly persecution and righteousness is defined, God provides immediate examples between those who proclaim their self-righteousness against those who have been called righteous by God.

    Attitudes during persecution

    Stott recommends looking at our attitudes during persecution. How often do we want to rise up and forget the prior beatitudes when all of those things come together and we are being persecuted against?
    First, our intentions are carnal in that we desire to seek vengeance against those who hurt us.
    We must understand that in order to be persecuted for righteousness we must be willing to bear our cross the full journey.
    Many of us in this country believe that we are being targeted for our beliefs and therefore cry out persecution. This very well may be the case in some individual circumstances and we would be disillusioned if we believe our enemy would stop and allow peace before Jesus returns for His bride.
    Many of us carry around a prevention measure against persecution. We clam up and don’t say things in areas where we may lose respect from our co-workers.
    Some of our persecution prevention measures include our self proclaimed rights at not being persecuted. We instead block out all conversation that would possibly bring knowledge of Jesus to the world in order that our own lives may be safe and guarded.

    What does a true apostle and disciple of Christ look like before, during, and after persecution?

    Acts 5:17 NASB95
    But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy.
    Acts 5:18 NASB95
    They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail.
    Acts 5:19 NASB95
    But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said,
    Acts 5:20 NASB95
    “Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.”
    Acts 5:21 NASB95
    Upon hearing this, they entered into the temple about daybreak and began to teach. Now when the high priest and his associates came, they called the Council together, even all the Senate of the sons of Israel, and sent orders to the prison house for them to be brought.
    Acts 5:22 NASB95
    But the officers who came did not find them in the prison; and they returned and reported back,
    Acts 5:23 NASB95
    saying, “We found the prison house locked quite securely and the guards standing at the doors; but when we had opened up, we found no one inside.”
    Acts 5:24 NASB95
    Now when the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them as to what would come of this.
    Acts 5:25 NASB95
    But someone came and reported to them, “The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”
    Acts 5:26 NASB95
    Then the captain went along with the officers and proceeded to bring them back without violence (for they were afraid of the people, that they might be stoned).
    Acts 5:27 NASB95
    When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them,
    Acts 5:28 NASB95
    saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
    Acts 5:29 NASB95
    But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
    Acts 5:30 NASB95
    “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.
    Acts 5:31 NASB95
    “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
    Acts 5:32 NASB95
    “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
    Acts 5:33 NASB95
    But when they heard this, they were cut to the quick and intended to kill them.
    Acts 5:34 NASB95
    But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time.
    Acts 5:35 NASB95
    And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men.
    Acts 5:36 NASB95
    “For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing.
    Acts 5:37 NASB95
    “After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered.
    Acts 5:38 NASB95
    “So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown;
    Acts 5:39 NASB95
    but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”
    Acts 5:40 NASB95
    They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them.
    Acts 5:41 NASB95
    So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.
    Acts 5:42 NASB95
    And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

    Attitudes before persecution

    The apostles who were flogged for the teaching of Jesus did not go looking for the persecution they received. Instead, they were looking to please God and obey His command to teach the world about Jesus.
    Before they could teach the world about Jesus, they had to receive Christ and get to know him. Only after they were able to reconcile with others and their brothers and sisters were they able to go into the world and proclaim the name of Christ.
    Just prior to this episode we see the confrontation within the believing community with Ananias and Sapphira. Apostles allowed the Holy Spirit to guide their speaking, being unafraid of confronting those who were needing correction, teaching, and rebuking but done in love.

    Attitudes During Persecution

    Stott claims we are not to sit around in pity for ourselves because we believe we are being persecuted. Instead we should remember the episodes of our Lord and Savior and remember that God is fashioning us into the likeness of His Son.
    During the walk to Golgatha, Jesus was spit on, rejected, beat, tortured, and nailed to wood and it was done, from the perspective of others as a method of restoring righteousness in their community.
    However, God used the self-righteous actions of man through persecution to achieve salvation for us all if we believe in His Son Jesus Christ.
    The attitude of Christ during His persecution was a silent lamb before the slaughter.
    Often, you may take the attitude of vengeance or protection at all costs against persecution. Being persecuted for what you believe, how you look, what language you speak, and how you respond to the world will never be considered safe and easy.

    Attitudes After Persecution

    Shying away after receiving a flogging was not what the apostles did. Neither did they plot revenge against those who wrongly accused them. They did not hire the assassins of the time to seek out what they would not do themselves.
    What did they do? The apostles continued preaching the name of Jesus to the world. They believed in God and knew that ultimately it was for God’s kingdom they had purpose in preaching.
    Where does your glory lie in your persecution? Are you reflecting the nature of Christ as the humble obedient Son of God of whom God is fashioning you into or are you looking for the opportunities for self-righteousness.
    Many people have what the world would say is a “Christ complex” where they would seek out persecution just so they bring about recognition for their cause.
    It is not for you to judge the intentions but just as Gamaliel declared, Acts 5:39
    Acts 5:39 NASB95
    but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”
    It is difficult for us to understand the ways of God. But, what we can do is search the Scriptures for the attitudes and methods of obedience the apostles took in proclaiming Christ. Look to the prophets who were told to only say the things of man so that pleasant sounding prophecies were spoken and see that they proclaimed the words of God instead.
    Matthew 5:10 NASB95
    “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    For the first time a believer utters their belief in Christ and humbles themselves, their reward is the same as the grown Christian who understands persecution, how to act in the face of adversity, and who responds in humility just as Christ did and the apostles.
    One of the strongest convictions for the truth of the gospels is the commitment of the apostles in being persecuted for their belief.
    They remained committed to serving God through preaching the name of Jesus.
    All except Judas and John were killed for this proclamation. Often under terms of suffering in the manner of beheading Acts 12:2, upside down crucifixion (Peter), and other forms of torture and death.
    Why did they go through this? Ask yourselves if you would be willing to have the same attitude and go through the same persecution. Or, has the rights you have claimed for yourself given you a false perspective of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus?
    Stott, John. The Beatitudes : Developing Spiritual Character. Westmont: InterVarsity Press, 2020. Accessed May 15, 2022. ProQuest Ebook Central.

    Church’s response during Persecution

    2 Timothy 3:1–5 NASB95
    But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
    2 Timothy 4:3 NASB95
    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
    We’ll close with the attitude of Paul, once a self-righteous zealot persecuting Christians to being thrown in prison for his belief. While in prison, his attitude was that of one who rejoiced for his persecution.
    Search your heart during all confrontations, pray for guidance and the words of the Holy Spirit and rejoice when you have the opportunity to share the name of Jesus with someone no matter the outcome.
    Philippians 4:4 NASB95
    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
      • Acts 5:17NASB95

      • Acts 5:18NASB95

      • Acts 5:19NASB95

      • Acts 5:20NASB95

      • Acts 5:21NASB95

      • Acts 5:22NASB95

      • Acts 5:23NASB95

      • Acts 5:24NASB95

      • Acts 5:25NASB95

      • Acts 5:26NASB95

      • Acts 5:27NASB95

      • Acts 5:28NASB95

      • Acts 5:29NASB95

      • Acts 5:30NASB95

      • Acts 5:31NASB95

      • Acts 5:32NASB95

      • Acts 5:33NASB95

      • Acts 5:34NASB95

      • Acts 5:35NASB95

      • Acts 5:36NASB95

      • Acts 5:37NASB95

      • Acts 5:38NASB95

      • Acts 5:39NASB95

      • Acts 5:40NASB95

      • Acts 5:41NASB95

      • Acts 5:42NASB95

      • Acts 5:39NASB95

      • Matthew 5:10NASB95

      • 2 Timothy 3:1–5NASB95

      • 2 Timothy 4:3NASB95

      • Philippians 4:4NASB95

      • Philippians 4:4NASB95

  • Everlasting God
  • How Deep The Father's Love For Us
  • Indescribable
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        Prayer Meeting

        July 7, 2021 - 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
        Prayer Meeting
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        Praise Team Practice

        April 28, 2021 - 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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        Praise Team Practice

        April 20, 2022 - 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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        Praise Team Practice

        April 20, 2022 - 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

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