Summary: Ephesians 2:4-7
JUST BE KIND - The Kindness of God
October 27, 2019
Ephesians 2:4-7 (p. 814)
Chapter 8 in Phillip Yancey’s book “Vanishing Grace” begins like this…
A monologue has been floating around in cyberspace, sometimes credited to George Carlin, sometimes to a Columbine High School student, and sometimes to the Dalai Lama. ‘The Paradox of Our Time,’ it turns out, actually originated with Dr. Bob Moorehead, a retired pastor near Seattle.
We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; we have more gadgets but less satisfaction; more medicine, yet less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much; smoke too much; spend too recklessly; laugh too little; drive too fast, get too angry quickly; stay up too late; get up too tired; read too seldom; watch TV too much and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much; love too seldom, and lie too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
One of the things that has been sacrificed to the altar of busyness and our current lifestyles is “kindness.”
We live in a confrontative world…it seems that many times people are looking for an excuse to get mad and leave or criticize…even in the Church world it seems many do things to cover the fact that they are not kind…or stay obscure to avoid the pain of unkind people…neither of these work.
As I was writing this sermon the number 1 topic of discussion on social media was about Ellen Degeneres…a gay comedian talk show host…sitting next to former President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys football game. The question…“Why would a gay liberal TV star be friends with a conservative Republican president?
The premise is…after all, we’re supposed to hate those we disagree with…ostracize them…humiliate them…hurt them! I really like Ellen’s response:
Degeneres said just because she doesn’t agree with someone on everything, doesn’t mean she’s not going to be friends with them. “When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean be kind to the people who think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”
And as you can guess some famous people immediately drew up sides…some praised Ellen…some attacked Ellen…(some put up tweets and then immediately took them down - Reece Witherspoon).
It seems being kind to everyone isn’t everyone’s forte. And supporting someone who promotes kindness to your enemy should be destroyed.
It’s a really good thing for all of us that God, the Father, doesn’t deal with us like that…Listen to our text concerning the kindness of God:
EPHESIANS 2:4-7 (p. 814)
I. GOD’S KINDNESS FLOWS FROM HIS GREAT LOVE
So the first 3 verses of Ephesians 2 paint a picture of someone whose not real lovable.
EPHESIANS 2:1-3 (p. 814)
Dead…sinful…following the ways of the world…influenced by Satan…disobedient. Doing what we want because we feel like it or its what we desire. All of us deserved one thing from God…wrath…punishment.
God doesn’t give us what we deserve because of His great love for us…In mercy He extends to us the gift of life…even in our deadness.
Think about how different God is from the world…How different He is from all of us… “You hate me…therefore I hate you.” “You hurt me…therefore I will hurt you.” “You’re my enemy…I’m gonna be at war with you.”
BUT God has a great love for those who hate Him, hurt Him. He loves those who are His enemies and deserve wrath.
Please let me share that the first and primary attitude of a Christian is love…It’s the first fruit listed produced by God’s Spirit (Gal. 5:26). It’s the way we are identified as disciples according to Jesus. (John 13:35) “All people will know that you’re my disciples by your love for one another.” Not our doctrine…not our zeal about what we believe is politically right…not our works…BUT our love.
Religious people do stuff to feel good about themselves…Christ followers love people so God can be seen.
Listen to what Jesus tells us…
MATTHEW 5:13-16 (p. 677)
It’s important for us to realize the context of Jesus’ words…according to Matt. 5:1…these are words meant for His disciples…not the crowd. It’s a message for those who are part of the Kingdom of Heaven…and different than those who are part of the world or just religious.