3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: verse by verse through Acts

[2] Well this morning we’re going to talk about what it really means to turn the other cheek. Jesus taught us that we’re supposed to love our enemies. Jesus taught us that we’re not supposed to seek revenge on those who mistreat us. We’re not supposed to return evil for evil. We’re suppose to love our enemies even when they wrong us.

Now this isn’t the easiest thing to do. When someone hurts us, we want them to feel our pain. When someone wrongs us we want justice. When someone mistreats us we want them to stop. So we often take matters into our own hands and many times seek revenge. But Jesus tells us to love our enemies.

Now let’s understand this. Jesus doesn’t expect us to allow others to mistreat us. We aren’t supposed to be someone’s doormat. We aren’t supposed to let people push us around. And when someone hurts you, or steals from you or mistreats you there are ways to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

As a matter of fact, the Bible teaches us how to confront those who sin against us, how to discipline those who sin against others, how the government should watch over the poor and the oppressed, and how we should make laws that protect people from those who would seek us harm. So there are ways to deal with the injustices of life.

But the overriding principle that Jesus gives us is to love our enemies. And you know what, if [3] we are going to be the church in this world, we must not only understand this, but we must put this into practice every day. We must all learn how to turn the other cheek.

So let’s go Acts chapter sixteen and see how Paul and Silas dealt with the injustice of being unlawfully imprisoned there in Philippi. [4] Let’s learn about turning the other cheek when wronged. Remember, the Lord led them to this city to do ministry. They’d led several people to the Lord and had even delivered a slave-girl from demonic possession. Well, her masters were upset with them for that so they had Paul and Silas brutally and unjustly imprisoned as an act of revenge. While in prison Paul led his jailer to the Lord along with his entire family. But after that the jailer had to take Paul and Silas back to jail in the morning.

But when the jailer got there, he received some incredible news. The judges had a change of heart and Paul and Silas could go free!

[Read Acts 16:35-37.]

Now we don’t really know why the next morning the judges decided to release Paul and Silas. Maybe they just wanted to make an example out of them, maybe they realized they had been too harsh and hasty, who knows. But it seems they just wanted the whole incident to just go away.

But Paul said, “No way!” You see, Paul was a Roman citizen who had rights. And those civil and legal rights had been violated when he was beaten and imprisoned without a trial. He wanted the judges to free them themselves instead of sending them out secretly.

Now, what happened to turning the other cheek? What happened to loving your enemy? Well, Paul obviously knew how to love his enemies since he saved the jailer’s life the night before. But he did seem to want some justice for what had happened to him.

He probably wanted the judges to publicly free them so that their name and their ministry’s reputation would be restored. It might also make it easier on the new church there in Philippi if things were resolved well between the Christians and the government. So he simply asked that the judges who unlawfully put them there would free them publicly.

[Read Acts 16:38-40.]

The judges come to the jail, they free Paul and Silas themselves, and within a few days Paul and Silas continue their missionary travels without incident. They didn’t seek revenge on the officials. They turned the other cheek and went their own way.

Now what if this happened today? If someone is unlawfully imprisoned today they get themselves a team of the best lawyers and sue everybody they can for millions and millions of dollars. As a matter of fact, when anything wrong happens to someone, they sue.

[Lady burned by McDonalds coffee, ($800,000), story.]

Now if someone is wronged, the responsible party should pay restitution. Hospital bills, lost wages, property damages, etc. That’s actually a biblical approach to injustice as found in the Old Testament Levitical laws. But getting rich on someone else’s mistake is often a self-serving form of revenge that is simply ungodly. We’re supposed to turn the other cheek when wronged.

And do you know why? [5] Well first of all, because Jesus said to. Jesus teaches very explicitly to turn the other cheek; To love your enemies.

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