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Summary: Retaliation is so easy to do and such a natural reaction to insult and injury. But Christ shows us how to be supernatural in our response to hurt to show the real love and power of Christ in our lives. Being changed doesn’t just mean on the outside, but

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Principles of Peacemaking

Griffith Baptist Church – 10/28/07

A.M. Service

Text: Matthew 5:38-42

Purpose: We should not think of retaliation but of peace for the cause of Christ.

The Introduction

When he was an attorney, Abraham Lincoln was once approached by a man who passionately insisted on bringing a suit for $2.50 against an impoverished debtor. Lincoln tried to discourage him, but the man was bent on revenge. When he saw that the man would not be put off, Lincoln agreed to take the case and asked for a legal fee of $10, which the plaintiff paid. Lincoln then gave half of the money to the defendant, who willingly confessed to the debt and paid the $2.50! But even more amazing than Lincoln’s ingenuous settlement was the fact that the irate plaintiff was satisfied with it. --Brown Book of Anecdotes

Christ began his sermon with ”9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:9-12)

A. The Law provided for retaliation (Ex. 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21)

1. Lex Talionis = law of retaliation (retribution, legalized vengeance

2. This was under the direction of judges

3. It was tit for tat, eye for eye, tooth for tooth

4. It had deteriorated over time and people were tempted to get more than even

B. Exceptions:

1. We should never take any teaching to extremes

2. When your life or others lives are in danger

3. Government retribution (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-14)

C. There are times when resistance is necessary:

1. Jesus resisted evil in chasing the moneychangers from the temple (Matt. 21:12; John 2:15)

2. We are to resist the devil (Jms. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:9)

3. Paul opposed Peter over compromise (Gal. 2:11)

4. Immorality in the congregation (1st Cor. 5:13)

5. The Matthew 18 principle of confrontation (Matt. 18:15-17)

D. These problems can hit us in several areas:

1. Personal attacks – 39 (1st Pt. 3:13-17)

2. Legal attacks – 40 (1st Cor. 6:7)

3. Inconveniences – 41 (ex. Matt. 27:32)

4. Financial, material – 42 (Jms. 2:15-16; 1st Jn. 3:16-18)

E. Christ is saying, do not repel one outrage by inflicting another

F. Leave revenge for God – Rom. 12:19

G. Being a peacemaker does not guarantee us escape from the meanness of others.

1. It makes us distinct

a. Matthew 5:9 – Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

b. 1 Peter 2:9 - 9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

2. It helps us conquer anger and bitterness – Eph. 4:26-32

3. It makes us overcomers (Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good – Rom. 12:21)

4. It pleases God.


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