June 4, 2017 — Sermon Recap

Marks of True Christian Discipleship

Jeremy Bell
June 4, 2017
Luke 6:27-36
Sermon Audio

Main Theme: Christ’s disciples are those whose hearts have been transformed by gospel mercy, and they will demonstrate that mercy towards others.

 “Love Your Enemies”

  • The heart of this text is that Christ’s disciples are so changed by their rebirth in Christ that they’ll love not just their family or their friends, but that they’ll love even their enemies.
  • Who is my enemy? Given how broad and how wide is this call to love our enemies, I think the term “enemy” refers to those who oppose you in the way of Christlikeness.  It can encapsulate a range from those who very severely oppose you to those who more mildly mistreat you.

Radical Marks of the Disciple of Christ

  • Love your enemy (Verse 27)
    • This refers to the active presence of practical love for those who oppose you.
  • Do good to those who hate you (Verse 27)
    • To do something good for those who hate you  opposes the natural inclination of the flesh.
  • When cursed, bless them (Verse 28)
  • When abused, pray for them (Verse 28)
  • When struck on the cheek, offer the other (Verse 29a)
    • In Jesus’s example, revenge is excluded – it’s not optional.
  • When stolen from, offer more – (Verse 29b)
    • Illustration: Jean Valjean and Bishop Bienvenue
  • Give to those who beg from you – (Verse 30)
    • Being prepared to respond to others with mercy
    • The point is not to position ourselves to enable sinful patterns to continue as much as trust God to be at work in others as we walk in mercy towards them
  • Don’t demand your things back from a thief – (Verse 30)
    • This speaks to an absence of retribution for wrong.
    • Jesus calls us to self-denial that is generous and may win over the one who is hostile towards us.
  • Do to others as you would have them do to you – (Verse 31)
    • A form of Leviticus 19:18 in OT law
    • Love your neighbor as yourself
    • This is more than a call to avoid unfair treatment towards your neighbor, but rather to give generous consideration towards your neighbors, just as you would like them to treat you
  • 3 Illustrations of Love that Goes Beyond: True Christian love not only cares for friends, but for enemies, for those who won’t return the good that’s given, and those who fail to repay a loan of some kind.  – (Verse 32-34)
  • Verse 35 is a summary statement: Love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.  God is kind to the ungrateful and evil.
  • So you also, be merciful, even as your Father is merciful – (Verse 36)
    • Disciples bear a family resemblance. We will look like our Father who delights to show mercy.

How is this kind of love possible?

  • Those who have the law of God on their heart, who have been regenerated by the Spirit’s power, have the inclination and ability to obey God in these ways.
  • When we live in this world with an upside down kingdom perspective, we can rejoice, because
    • “Your reward will be great” (v.35)
    • “You will be sons of the Most High” (v.35)

People will know that we are children of the Most High God by the way we respond to our enemies (v.35).

Questions for Discussion / Application:

  1. How did Jesus Himself model the teaching he gives here in this passage — to love our enemies?
  2. What does it mean to love our enemies?
  3. How do the commands in this passage apply in the workplace, the community, the church, the family?
  4. In what ways does the flesh hinder us from doing as Jesus commands here?
  5. What role does dependence on the Holy Spirit play in our seeking to obey Jesus’ words here?
  6. What would applying this passage look like in your own life?