Sunday, November 07, 2004

Sermon Notes, November 7, 2004

Opening thoughts:
Expositional preaching is the way at Crossroads Bible Church, where we attend worship services. Dr. Jerry Mitchell has held the Senior Pastor position at Crossroads for 24 years now (stable, I would say), and during our 3 years of attendance he and those filling in for him have emphasized the expositional method of preaching a number of times.

One of the fundamental aspects of expositional preaching is that you have a continuity of scripture from which you preach from. The preacher picks a book of the Bible and preaches from it on Sundays until that book is finished. At Crossroads, we are lucky to get through 4 verses on Sunday and on a number of occasions only one verse was covered, especially during the beatitudes.

We began Matthew at the end of September 2003 and finished with chapter 5 today (keep in mind there are 28 chapters in Matthew). I am uncertain if Dr. Mitchell had foreseen this passage awhile ago and planned for it to be covered this week, but it was a very appropriate for this week, considering the voices on the left are "blaming" evangelicals for the re-election of George W. Bush.

Let me make it very clear, I believe scripture speaks to the believer, the one who has already accepted the ransom paid for him with the blood of Christ. Obviously, the text can have very powerful meaning to non-believers and doubters, but the commandments requiring obedience are directed towards believers.

Considering that, this passage IS directed towards God's chosen people in an effort be the witnesses of His Son. The commandment "love your enemies" is directed towards those who have taken up the responsibility to spread the Gospel, the Good News and who have been baptised both literally and spiritually.

In just the last week, the Church's enemies in America have become more vocal than ever as they attempt to find "reasons why" they were defeated politically and direct their anger and depression towards Christ's Bride. Christians have 2 responsibilities: 1) NOT to believe that WE are responsible for the outcome of the election, even if it turned out the way many of us hoped for, and recognize Whom was responsible. 2) To "drown our enemies in love and good deeds" and pray for those who would persecute us in order to spread the Gospel and grow the Kingdom of God (hey, and the Blogdom of God, too). DO IT!!!

Crossroads Bible Church, Bellevue, Washington
"Love Your Enemies"
Dr. Jerry Mitchell
Matthew 5:43-48
43 You have heard that it was said, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy." But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Hand written notes taken during sermon:
  • Loving our enemies is the greatest of the commandments
  • We should be careful not to be absorbed by the worldly values around us
  • God wants us to be a peculiar & unique people in the World
  • To love your enemy is unnatural; In fact, it is supernatural
  • This is not a verbal love - it is ACTUAL love
  • "I want you to drown your enemies with love and good deeds."
  • And not only good deeds, but prayer, as well
  • This is the way Stephen lived (Acts 7:54-59)
  • At one point Paul was the enemy, Saul
  • Matthew chapter 5 is all about witnessing
  • "Hate the sin, but love the sinner."
  • This is how God expects us to live
  • "It proves you are a son of God if you behave this way."
  • We will never live up to every teaching and commandment of Christ, even though it is our goal, but we have the opportunity to be his witnesses
  • If we love only those who are like us how does that forward God's Kingdom
  • "If you don't love your enemies you are no better than that tax collector or gentiles or Romans or traitors."
  • When you love your enemies & pray for those who persecute you you are as close to perfection as can be, like your Father who loves everyone impartially.
  • APPLICATION: Love everyone equally - even your enemies - to leave an indelible testimony on their hearts.

Referenced passages: