New Life Family Church
Wednesday November 3, 2021 WED
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  • Goodness Of God
  • Made Up Mind
  • Matthew 5:10–12 NASB95
    10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    Last Week:

    For the last 2 weeks we studied a more general topic than the persecution spoken of in our text.
    We talked about suffering.
    While all persecution is suffering, not all suffering is persecution (unless you are paranoid!).
    Concerning Persecution, this beatitude explodes several myths:
    1. The myth that Christianity is a means of deliverance from suffering.
    As we become more like Jesus, we should expect to be treated like Jesus!
    Matthew 10:24–27 NASB95
    24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household! 26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.
    A politician mis-used this remark a few weeks ago.
    John 15:20–25 NASB95
    20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. 22 “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 “He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. 25 “But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
    2. The myth that God loves his children too much to allow them to suffer at the hands of unbelievers.
    God does indeed love us, but that does not mean we will be insulated from the pain of persecution.
    Matthew 10:19–23 NASB95
    19 “But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. 20 “For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. 21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. 23 “But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.
    Acts 9:15–16 NASB95
    15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
    Acts 14:19–22 NASB95
    19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. 20 But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”
    3. The myth that those who suffer persecution are being chastised for their sin.
    But remember: the persecuted are also the pure in heart! Often it is precisely because of one’s success in manifesting the characteristics contained in the other beatitudes that provokes persecution.
    John 3:19–21 NASB95
    19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
    Job 24:13–17 NASB95
    13 “Others have been with those who rebel against the light; They do not want to know its ways Nor abide in its paths. 14 “The murderer arises at dawn; He kills the poor and the needy, And at night he is as a thief. 15 “The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, Saying, ‘No eye will see me.’ And he disguises his face. 16 “In the dark they dig into houses, They shut themselves up by day; They do not know the light. 17 “For the morning is the same to him as thick darkness, For he is familiar with the terrors of thick darkness.
    4. The myth that suffering is always the sign of God’s displeasure or anger.
    Job was not suffering due to God’s displeasure, but rather because God held him up be fore satan as a righteous man.
    5. The myth that suffering can separate us from the love of Christ. But see Romans 8:35.
    Romans 8:35–39 NASB95
    35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    6. The myth that suffering or persecution at the hands of the unbeliever is a sign of the latter’s victory. See Rev. 12:11.
    Revelation 12:10–11 NASB95
    10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
    7. The myth that suffering is selective, restricted to a few special saints. Says Stott:
    “The condition of being despised and rejected, slandered and persecuted, is as much a normal mark of Christian discipleship as being pure in heart or merciful. Every Christian is to be a peacemaker, and every Christian is to expect opposition. Those who hunger for righteousness will suffer for the righteousness they crave.”
    People may speak highly of these virtues, but they often despise the person in whom they appear.
    “The only homage that wickedness can pay to righteousness,” noted Spurgeon, “is to persecute it.”
    Several other things to note:
    Jesus does not pronounce as blessed those who suffer for any reason whatsoever.
    The beatitude applies to those who suffer for the sake of righteousness.
    See esp. 1 Pt. 2:18–21.
    1 Peter 2:18–21 NASB95
    18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,
    In this passage we are told that to keep our mouths shut and patiently endure when suffering for some sin we have committed is no great virtue (Peter’s words are: “what credit is there …”).
    But to restrain ourselves from retaliation and self-vindication when we are unjustly wronged is especially pleasing to the Lord.
    Some suffering and persecution is deserved and therefore disgraceful.
    But we have actually been “called” (1 Pt. 2:21) to endure unjust, undeserved persecution.
    Again, Peter encourages you to “keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong” (3:16–17).
    1 Peter 3:13–17 NASB95
    13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.
    In 1 Peter 4:12 we are told that we should “not be surprised at the fiery ordeal” of persecution and suffering that comes upon us, and that for 3 reasons.
    1 Peter 4:12–19 NASB95
    12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
    (1) The suffering of persecution plays an essential role in our sanctification.
    It is, says Peter, “for our testing” (4:12). Suffering is critical to the formation of Christian character: it hones, refines, purges, and purifies us, as well as compels us to rely more wholeheartedly on the all-sufficiency of God’s grace.
    James 1:2–4 NASB95
    2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
    James 1:12 NASB95
    12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
    James 5:7–11 NASB95
    7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. 8 You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9 Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. 10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
    (2) Suffering now will only serve to intensify the joy of our glorification (“to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation,” 4:13).
    (3)Finally, there is a special, unique anointing of the Spirit on Christians who suffer for Christ’s sake and bear his reproach. Indeed,
    “if you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (4:14).
    The word “glory” here has the definite article, lit. “the glory,” thus pointing (most likely) to the “glory” of v. 13, the “glory” of Christ to be revealed fully at his second coming. The point is this: to suffer reproach for Christ is to enter into the experience of that glory in advance of its ultimate and consummate display at the end of the age!
    Note also in 1 Peter 4:15–16 that, again, some suffering is shameful, namely, the suffering that comes from sinning (v. 15).
    However, as John Brown says, “there are (also) sufferings to which Christians may be exposed, merely because they are Christians, merely because they profess the faith, obey the laws, observe the institutions of Christ; and that such sufferings, however disgraceful in their own nature, and in the estimation of men, are no proper ground of shame to those who meet with them; but, on the contrary, should be subjects of giving glory and thanksgiving to God” (Expository Discourses on 1 Peter [Banner of Truth], 400).
    If you wish to avoid persecution in the world, here is what you must do:
    mimic the world’s standards,
    never criticize its values,
    keep quiet about the gospel,
    laugh at its sordid humor,
    smile and keep silent when God’s name is mocked and reviled and used in vain,
    and be ashamed of Jesus Christ.
    Note also that Jesus broadens persecution to include insults and verbal attacks. For us, in our day, this is often the only form of persecution we experience.
    Notice that in v. 10 it is “for the sake of righteousness,”
    but in v. 11 it is “on account of Me,” i.e., Jesus.
    Two things to conclude from this:
    (a) The world not only does not care for these qualities, it cares even less for the person in whom they are found.
    (b) “This confirms that the righteousness of life that is in view is in imitation of Jesus. Simultaneously, it so identifies the disciple of Jesus with the practice of Jesus’ righteousness that there is no place for professed allegiance to Jesus that is not full of righteousness” (Carson, 28).
    Observe carefully how Jesus says we are to respond to such persecution:
    “Rejoice and be glad!”
    We are not to retaliate like an unbeliever would.
    We are not to sulk like a child.
    We are not to lick our wounds in self-pity like a beaten dog.
    We are not simply to grin and bear it like a Stoic.
    Still less are we to pretend that pain feels good.
    But even more: we are not only not to retaliate, we must not even resent it.
    Rather, we are to rejoice and be glad! But how can a sane person do that?
    First, by reflecting on the fact that such pain is minimal when compared with the eternal agonies of hell.
    Romans 8:18 NASB95
    18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
    Matthew 5:29–30 NASB95
    29 “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
    Second, by remembering John 15:21 (“But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me”).
    To claim exemption from persecution is to renounce one’s association with Jesus. If you think you are above and beyond persecution, you are above and beyond Jesus.
    Third, recall Acts 5:40–42.
    Acts 5:40–41 NASB95
    40 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. 41 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.
    Fourth, recall Romans 5:3–5.
    Romans 5:3–5 NASB95
    3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
    Fifth, recall Romans 8:16–17 (suffering is a sign of our adoption as sons).
    Romans 8:16–17 NASB95
    16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
    Sixth, consider 1 Peter 4:12ff. Persecution is not only essential for our sanctification, it also intensifies our glory at Christ’s return!
    Already read and discussed.
    Seventh, we are promised reward in heaven (Mt. 5:12). See 2 Cor. 4:16–18.
    Says Piper: “One way of rejoicing in suffering comes from fixing our minds firmly on the greatness of the reward that will come to us in the resurrection. The effect of this kind of focus is to make our present pain seem small by comparison to what is coming” (Desiring God, 234).
    Draw strength in the time of suffering by remembering Jesus.
    · Are you poor? “Foxes have holes and the birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
    · Are you opposed? “Against the holy child Jesus … both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles … were gathered together.”
    · Do your enemies claim to be religious? Remember who crucified the Son of God!
    · Are you suffering reproach? “They bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, and said, ‘Hail, king of the Jews.’ ”
    · Are you slandered? Jesus was accused of doing miracles by the power of Satan.
    · Are you used and despised? They beat and spat upon the King of glory.
    · Do your friends betray you? Remember Judas!
    · Have you lost possessions? They cast lots for Jesus’ robe.
    · Do you suffer unjustly? Pilate said, “I find no fault in this man.”
    From: Storms, S. (2016). Biblical Studies: The Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:10–12). Edmond, OK: Sam Storms.
      • Matthew 5:10–12NLT

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        July 1, 2020 - 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
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        September 2, 2020 - 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
        Wednesday 7:30 pm

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