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The Golden Rule

June 10, 2018 Speaker: Dr. Rick Gregory Series: Luke

Topic: The Christian Walk Verse: Luke 6:27–6:36

 “The Golden Rule”

Luke 6:27-36

 

Theme: Love empowered by the Holy Spirit is seen by a believer supernaturally loving those unworthy of it.

 

 

I. The Obligations to Love – 6:27-28 

A. Allow Your Affections to Show Love – v. 27a

  • Jesus chooses to contrast those who know His favor to those who are in a place of judgment – the wicked who have no knowledge of His righteousness.
  • “But I say to you who hear …” – this is a reference to those who have been illumined by the Spirit of God to hear what Jesus is actually saying – “hear” [ἀκούω - Pres. Act. Part.] – refers to one whose faculty of hearing is working – that is, they are listening and heeding what is being said.
  • Hence He is talking to those who believe in Him and are able to comprehend the things of God’s Spirit.
  • He immediately provides another major evidence of being a genuine believer:
  1. First, was the sensitivity to your need caused by sin – the outlook that confesses you have no merit, are grieved by sin, and craving the righteousness of God that is available only by God’s grace through Jesus Christ.
  2. Now, those who have known that are able to demonstrate the authenticity of their relationship with God by means of the way that they supernaturally love – 1 John 4:7-8
  • He says “Love your enemies …” – [ἀγαπᾶτε] – a Pres. Act. Imperative – a love that places the needs of its object ahead of one’s own.
  • This is a command that demonstrates that their concern, their affections, ought to consider how they are able to meet the great need of their enemies as their priority – that need being one of salvation.
  • The greatest problem that the enemies of the Gospel have is not their treatment of us, but their alienation from God.
  • Hostility is the natural response to those who hate you – as people mistreat us, our flesh naturally desires to avenge ourselves – the vengefully retaliate in kind.
  • Yet, when you “love your enemies” – you do something that is “unnatural” and thus becomes a verifying evidence of the transformation that God brings to the sinner who is saved from sin. 

B. Allow Your Actions to Show Love – v. 27b

  • Moving from our sentiments of a greater concern for the lost than for ourselves, we see that we don’t love in word only but in deed and truth – cp. 1 John 3:18
  • Thus, Jesus says: “do good to those who hate you.”
  • This word “good” [καλῶς] – describes something that is inherently good, not superficially. 
  • Thus, it describes doing something that is unmistakably good – to the definite benefit of one who hates.
  • It is in this way that we “overcome evil with good” – cp. Romans 12:21.

C. Allow Your Attitude to Show Love – v. 28a

  • Instead of cursing those who curse us, believers are to “Bless those who curse you.” – that is, to seek to “call down God’s gracious power” on their behalf. 
  • This is a way that a believer can demonstrate the supernatural love that they have for their enemies – to refuse to have this vindictive spirit that lashes out in like manner.
  • Essentially, it is the way by which we leave room for God to deal with a person in the way that he determines is appropriate – cp. Romans 12:14-18
  • This does not mean that we ought not to warn them of the impending judgment of God upon evildoers.
  • It simply means that we are not to call down wrath upon them – essentially damning them because of their hostilities toward us.
  • We are to seek to call down God’s grace upon them so that they might be delivered from the snare of the devil – who has held them captive to do his will.

D. Allow Your Aspiration to Show Love – v. 28b

  • Finally, we are to demonstrate our great aspiration for their salvation by praying for them – “pray for those who mistreat you.”
  • There is a sense whereby we intercede on their behalf before God, asking the Lord to spare them and save them – cp. Luke 23:34.
  • It is as we demonstrate this love in response to the bitter, hostile, abusive, slanderous treatment by sinners that we do all that we can to display the genuineness of our love for God.
  • As we do so, we compound their culpability before God – since if they can maintain their hostility in the face of such supernatural displays of the love of God, their judgment is intensified – cp. Romans 12:19-20!

Application:

  • What is demonstrated when you love an enemy?
  • Is there anyone in your life that is hard to love? What can you do to demonstrate truth biblical love toward that person?
  • What is the difference in your life between loving in word, and loving in deed and truth? 
  • Can you give an example of how praying for an “enemy” has resulted in a change in your relationship with them?

More in Luke

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What Makes Great Faith?

August 5, 2018

Wise Men and Fools

July 29, 2018

Fruit Inspection (Part 2)