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Dealing with Others (LHCOC)

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Dealing with Others

Romans 12:9-21


1.                   A few weeks ago I posted an article in the bulletin entitled: Meet the Tater Family.

a.                   Some people never seem motivated to participate, but are just content to watch while others do the work. --They’re called "Speck Taters".

b.                  Some people never do anything to help, but are gifted at finding fault with the way others do the work. --They’re called "Comment Taters".

c.                   Some people are very bossy and like to tell others what to do, but don’t want to soil their own hands. --They’re called "Dick Taters".

d.                  Some people are always looking to cause problems by asking others to agree with them. It is too hot or too cold, too sour or too sweet. --They’re called "Agie Taters".

e.                   There are those who say they will help, but somehow just never get around to actually doing the promised help. --They’re called "Hezzie Taters".

f.                   Some people can put up a front and pretend to be someone they are not. --They’re called "Emma Taters".

g.                  Then there are those who love others and do what they say they will. They are always prepared to stop whatever they are doing and lend a helping hand. They bring real sunshine into the lives of others. --They’re called "Sweet Taters".

h.                  And the article concluded with the question, “What kind of ‘tater’ are you”?

2.                   It is possible that while I read you thought of someone person who may fit the description of a “commentator,” or a “spectator.”  I believe we would all agree that some people are easier to deal with than others. 

3.                   In our lesson today we want to turn to the book of Romans chapter 12 and look at a few passages where the apostle Paul shows us how we are to deal with others.

a.                   In the book of Romans, the first 11 chapters discuss what God did for the world by providing salvation through Jesus Christ, and in the last 5 chapters, the apostle Paul discusses what we should do for God because of what He did for us.

b.                  Beginning in chapter 12, Paul begs the brethren to live acceptable lives to God (vv.1-2), and then he encourages the brethren to use the gifts given to them by God (vv.3-8).

c.                   In our text today (vv.9-21), Paul sets forth some guidelines to follow as we deal specifically with those round about us.


I.                        HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR FRIENDS

A.                Love and honor them (v.10).

1.                  “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.”

                                                                        a.                   [kindly affectionate] Philo (brotherly love) / storgos (Loving affection of a parent) - hence, kindly affectionate.

                                                                       b.                   [giving preference] to esteem more highly, to set on a pedestal.

2.                  We must put others up on a pedestal and honor them:

                                                                        a.                   "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself " - Philippians 2:3.

                                                                       b.                   "Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” - 1 Peter 5:5.

3.                  *We must love and honor our friends by treating them like family and honoring them like a child.

B.                 Show them your zeal and joy (vv.11–12a).

1.                  “Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.”

                                                                        a.                   Paul is saying, “don’t be lazy in your spiritual affairs, but be on fire (fervent - lit. to a boiling point) as you serve the Lord” (v.11).

                                                                       b.                   Joy is contagious!  (Cf. Mt.5:16)

2.                  *We must show our friends that we are excited about being a Christian.

C.                 Share with them (v.13).

1.                  “Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”

                                                                        a.                   “Help your friends with their needs, and open your home to them.”

                                                                       b.                   The early church was eager to share with other Christians (Acts 2:44-46).

2.                  *We must not be selfish when dealing with brethren.

D.                Mourn and weep with them (v.15).

1.                  “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”

2.                  Sometimes the best thing we can do is be there for our friends (Job 2:11-13).

3.                  Jesus was a man of compassion (Jn.11:35)

4.                  *Man or woman, we must be emotionally connected with our friends.

E.                 Live in harmony with them (v.16).

1.                  “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.”

                                                                        a.                   This verse is in connection with verse 3, “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.”

                                                                       b.                   Paul devoted a whole chapter to being wise in your own opinion (Rom.14).

2.                  Jesus told a parable to show that we are not to be conceited (Lk.14:7-14).

3.                  *We must realize that as Christians, we are all part of God’s plan, and we must work in harmony in order to be successful workers.

II.                        HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR FOES

A.                Be patient (v.12b)

1.                  “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.”

                                                                        a.                   “Be joyous as a servant of Christ, be patient when you are rubbed the wrong way (tribulation – to be pressed into distress)…

                                                                       b.                   pray about your situation on a continuous basis.”

2.                  Jesus is our perfect example (1 Pet.2:18-25).

3.                  *Even when we are rubbed the wrong way, we should be patient and pray for our foes.

B.                 Bless them when they persecute you (v.14).

1.                  “Bless those who persecute (lit. run after - have it out for you) you; bless and do not curse.”

                                                                        a.                   I believe Paul knew the readers would do a double take, so it is almost like he is saying, “bless those who have it out for you, that’s right praise them and do not curse them.”

                                                                       b.                   Paul did not say to mock the person, but to pray that they will be able to overcome the hostility they hold toward you.

2.                  “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Prov.16:25).

3.                  *We must let those who have it out for us know that we are praying that they may be blessed.

C.                 Do not seek revenge (v.17).

1.                  “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.”

                                                                        a.                   When someone does you or your family wrong, you want to “make things right.”

                                                                       b.                   While this may be a natural instinct, it is not supported under the law of Christ.

2.                  Remember when Jesus was betrayed in the garden by Judas, Peter was ready to fight to his death and began by cutting of the soldiers ear?  Jesus told Peter to put his sword away.

                                                                        a.                   Peter would later write, “not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Pet.3:9).

                                                                       b.                   Paul said, “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thess.5:15).

3.                  *We must have good intentions for those who do us wrong.

D.                Let God repay them for the evil done to you (v.19).

1.                  “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

2.                  It is so easy to want to take matters into our own hands. 

                                                                        a.                   If someone deserves punishment, it will come to them eventually.

                                                                       b.                   As the saying goes, “what goes around comes around.”

                                                                        c.                   Chapter 13 discusses the role of the government; part of that role is to punish those who do wrong.

3.                  *Don’t take matters into your own hands, but let the Lord handle it.

E.                 Kill them with kindness (v.20).

1.                  “Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’”

2.                  Ray Stedman tells about a boy who was in the army. He was a Christian and had formed the habit of praying beside his bed before he went to sleep. He kept up this practice in the army, but he became an object of mockery and ridicule to the entire barracks. One night he knelt to pray after a long, weary march. As he was praying, one of his tormentors took off his muddy boots and threw them at the boy, one at a time, hitting him on each side of his head. The Christian said nothing about it, and just took the boots and put them beside the bed and continued to pray. But the next morning, when the other man woke up, he found his boots sitting beside his bed, all shined and polished. Love won. That led, after a time, to that man becoming a Christian.

3.                  *We must not only tolerate mean people, but help them with their spiritual and physical needs.

F.                  Do not play their game (v.21).

1.                  “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

                                                                        a.                   Some people like to instigate trouble. 

                                                                       b.                   Some people will try to test you just so they can point their finger at you, or get you in trouble.

2.                  *We must not be lured in to Satan’s devices, we are better than he is.


1.                   General rule #1 – Avoid what is wrong and cling to what is good (v.9).

a.                   Let love be without hypocrisy.

b.                  Abhor what is evil.

c.                   Cling to what is good.

2.                   General rule #2 – Be a peace maker (v.18).

a.                   “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

b.                  We can make peace if we try.

3.                   If we are in Christ, we have peace.  If we are not in Christ, we are enemies with God.

a.                   Are you in Christ?  If so, do you have peace?

b.                  You can!!!

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