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: Matthew 5:33-37 ~ 33“Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ 34“But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36“Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37“But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.

God had not forbidden the taking of an oath, but had cautioned the one who makes a vow to keep his word.

There were two abuses of the oath, the frivolous and the deceptive.

: Matthew 5:38-42 ~ 38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40“If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41“Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42“Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

Jesus reminded His listeners that this was never intended as a proof-text for revenge, but as a principle of justice. Deuteronomy 19, this is an administration principle of justice, given as a guideline for the judges who arbitrate a dispute or a claim. The very purpose of this system was to avoid personal revenge and vigilante law.

The first comes out of a direct personal insult.

The second comes from the law courts. Your outer garment was his blanket, so what a man had every right to keep, he was to willingly give up in order to maintain harmony and unity.

The third illustration comes from the context of an occupied territory, under the military rule of Rome. A spirit of cooperation is evidenced rather than one of begrudging service and rebellion. Union ALPA

Christian charity cheerfully responds to the needs of others..

We should actually buy him a breakfast.

If one will not work he should not eat (2 Th 3:10). I

A church should always have a few odd jobs to do around the building, and if a man is willing to work, he should be paid on the spot before he goes his way.

In the Old Testament the poor were provided for by gleaning from the fields. Welfare which does all the work for the needy robs them of their dignity and incentive (Proverbs 16:26).

While the Bible instructs us not to retaliate, I do not believe that it teaches pacifism.

I see a difference between what is called self-defense and revenge. It is revenge that the Bible condemns.

We are not to be those who demand our rights - so often marriage is conducted on this level. The husband and the wife think only of their rights, but Paul speaks only of responsibilities; Christians are those who have surrendered all their rights to the Savior.

There is a great deal of difference between standing up for our rights and standing up for what is right. Slavery

: Matthew 5:43-47 ~ 43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so 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?

Here is a statement which finds no support in the Scriptures at all. The narrowness and sectarianism of Judaism looked only within the ranks of their own to find their neighbor. It was no accident that the lawyer asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29). This was a crucial question to the Jews.

Mankind is our neighbor

The Jews could easily proof-text their hatred of the Gentiles. After all, God ordered Israel to kill; God brought death and destruction to the Egyptians. Should not the Jew show love toward his fellow-Jews (the upstanding ones) and hate toward the rest?

The Old Testament instructed the Israelites to show kindness toward the foreigner, and even to their enemies (Exodus 23:4,5; Return ox/donkey - Proverbs 25:21-22 food)

It was not enough to cease from retaliation. Christianity goes even further than this—we are to return good for evil. This is the distinctiveness of true believers.

In any group of people they will tend to respond warmly to their own kind. If we are to reflect Him, we must be indiscriminate in our acts of goodness also.

Narrowness is often one of the criticisms against Christians. Oftentimes this criticism is justified. According to God’s Word, it has no place among Christians. Mormons & JW

: Matthew 5:48 ~ “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Legalism is an attitude which equates righteousness with external compliance with a code of conduct. This code may be correct or incorrect. Our conduct may or may not measure up to the standard. The reasons why it is so devastating are:

1 it ignores or underestimates the role of inner attitude and motivation;

2 it focuses upon self-effort rather than on divine enablement;

3 it encourages pride rather than humble dependence upon God;

4- it tends to ‘use’ the Scriptures to reinforce our own preconceived ideas and preferences;

5- it tends to conceive of our acceptance with God as performance oriented;

6 it arouses the flesh and incites us to sin, rather than the avoidance of sin;

7 it tends to impose one’s personal convictions on others, and to condemn them if they fail to live up to our rules.

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