Summary: It is not just about “God and me,” as some less-than-social Christians might assert. In God’s Kingdom, our behavior affects others and their behavior affects us.
We Do Not Live to Ourselves
1. Last week I was talking to Phyllis Roussakis….was going to find a Norwegian joke.
2. A Welshman, Scot and Englishman are walking when they come across a lantern and a genie pops out and grants them one wish each.
The Scot says: “I am a sheep herder, like my dad before me. I want my country to be full of lovely sheep farms.” Whoosh, and so it was.
The Englishman was amazed and says: “I want a wall around England to keep those good for nothing Scots and Welsh out.” Bang, there was a wall around England.
The Welshman says: “Tell me more about this wall.”
The genie says: “It’s 200 feet high, 100 feet thick, it goes all around England, and nothing can get in or out.”
The Welshman says: “Fill it with water.”
3. The bottom line is that our choices affect others.
Romans 14:7, “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.”
4, In addition, some people are so horribly lonely, we need to help them connect. One person blogged, “Today, I was so lonely that I was comforted by the sound of mice running through the walls of my apartment. I left cheese and peanut butter out for them to find so that I could at least have a pet for company.”
Main Idea: It is not just about “God and me,” as some less-than-social Christians might assert. In God’s Kingdom, our behavior affects others and their behavior affects us.
I. Principle One: We Should CARE About What Other People Think (1-2)
Jesus: When asked if he paid the temple tax, he told Peter “However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel…” Matthew 17:27
A. Because God’s approval matters MORE than man’s doe not imply disinterest in what others think.
• This relates even to slaves being concerned about what their masters’ think.
• People who do not care what others think about them have a social problem
B. The Bible speaks to the realities of slavery, but does not ENCOURAGE it
1. I Timothy 1:10, “… the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,..”
2. We need to address what is, not necessarily what should be; Idealists often miss the boat if they want all or nothing
C. If we relate poorly to the lost, they may detest God and His PEOPLE because of us
1. Perhaps a midrash on the LXX of Isaiah 52:5, “On account of you my name is continually blasphemed among the Gentiles.”
2. Romans would intensely ANNIHILATE all Christians if movement considered anti-slavery
3. Some people think poorly of God and the Kingdom because they have come across the hypocrisy or irresponsibility of people professing faith in Jesus…
4. My sister-in-law who recently died…
D. If they are saved, we want to BLESS them as believers
Galatians 6:10, “ So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
1. Familiarity breeds CONTEMPT
2. Equality before the Lord does not imply equality in other AREAS
3. We need to respect those close to us, too. On guy blogged, “Today, I got married. I'm Jewish, and it's traditional to break a glass cup by stepping on it after giving the bride her ring. My brother thought it would be funny to replace the glass cup with a rubber one. I slipped and fell flat on my back.”
D. Do we POSITIVELY impact those around us, or do we even think about that?
II. Principle Two: We Must Recognize That People Who Reject Boundaries Are Not HEALTHY (3-5)
• In our day — especially in millennial culture —taboo to put anyone down or label them as false teachers, but we cannot just accept anything; yet Jesus went on a tirade against the Pharisees, calling them white-washed tombs.
• The truth is we all struggle, but there are some people who go too far, people who have unhealthy attitudes. Paul has no trouble labeling them.
A. They are not spiritually healthy in their teachings because they refuse to be accountable to the WORD (3)
1. Somehow the Bible says what they want it to say;‘ugiaino means healthy and is a medical term
2. Submitting to the Lordship of Jesus requires submitting to the Bible
B. They are not healthy in their THINKING (4a)
1. PRIDE and an attitude of superiority, false spirituality
2. IGNORANT and perhaps ignorant of their ignorance
• Ever hear how George Washington died? Bled people for ailments…