Beatitudes #2 (Luke 6:31-42)

* Test All Things by the Word *

Praise the Lord. Father God, we rejoice in your presence tonight. We thank you for a MAJOR victory in the spiritual realm in our home today. You are glorious and full of wonder, O God, and never cease to amaze us with your loving kindness.

OlePappy - Thank You Father, For those gathered here. Lord Give us all and understanding of Your blessed Word tonight. Open our minds to the rich meaning of Jesus through the words we receive here in Jesus name. AMEN

satan we declare you defeated and command you to leave this place, and all your demons, too, before during and after the study in Jesus Name we declare your plans null and void

Athie - Amen. Thank you Father for a good day in you.

Father we consecrate and dedicate this room to your glory, energize the connectivity, and help us focus on your Word.

OlePappy - satan, I bind you and rebuke you and cast you out of this place in the name of Jesus

Jesus, source of life and salvation, light of men, we give you praise and thanksgiving for all you are and do for us. Holy Spirit we look to you as Teacher, Comforter, Convictor and Guide. Guide us into all truth. Enlarge our spirits to receive spiritual food. Help us grow, learn and obey in Jesus Name AMEN

Well, we had a good old time last week because YOU (if you were here) taught. We'll do it some tonight to. Last time we began talking about the Sermon on the Plain, as this is called, and had quite a lively discussion on it! We are continuing with the same passage tonight. Remember this is a sermon by Jesus, and what He says to do is not optional. The question is - how can I apply these things to my own life? Again, YOU be the teacher - what do these verses mean to you?

Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

What does this verse mean to you? What does this REALLY mean? How do you put this into practice at home? Do you yell at the kids/your parents/your spouse or roommate? Is that how you want to be treated?

Z - to treat others...in word, thought and action as you would like to be treated..with the utmost respect, with love,compassion, forgiveness, ....
nanciwi - To me it means I should love and show love to others as I would like to have love shown to me - not to judge others but to look at myself first - and when we do fall short...have the courage to apologize and ask for forgiveness
Pete - be prepared that what you do to someone else, will happen to you...

Right Pete, it goes back to the verse before it - give and it shall be given to you - good or bad. Does this mean if you don't want people to call you names, that you should never call anybody names? This IS impossible in the flesh without the help of God. Human nature is contrary to God's Word, but when we are born again, we receive a recreated human spirit that IS able to do what God says.

Spidey - how can human nature be contrary to gods word, he created us right? Human nature is not something that you produce, it is already in us.
Pete - Spidey, you're exactly right, that's the bad side, but that also accounts for the good side ;-)
Blessed - God created us with free choice spidey that's why we mess up we make the choices.

Ah spidey, glad you asked that. Human beings WERE created spiritually alive - remember Adam and Eve in the garden? They walked and talked with God daily. God gave them ONE commandment - necessary for them to have free will - and told them if they broke it they would surely die. Well they broke it, but did they die? Not physically, not right away anyway, but SPIRITUALLY they died. Know how I know that?

Because right away, they were afraid of God and hid from Him - they no longer had the spiritual capacity to know and talk to God. It was dead. And this is the "human nature" we inherit from Adam - and it's broken. When we are "born again", born from above, saved, born of the spirit - all these mean the same thing, we receive a NEW spirit that is alive, that can commune with God, that can follow the Word, and keep the Golden Rule among others. Let's look at the next verse...

Luke 6:32-34 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' lend to `sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full.

Jesus is really getting personal here, "stepping on our toes" so to speak. If our lifestyles are no different from that of sinners, what marks us as Christians?

alex - to love a sinner shows real love......we can love one another but to show compassion to a sinner is a good example to set........don't forget we all sin daily - never think you are better than anyone else....that's vain indeed

OK, so Jesus is saying here, if your love and actions are not different from a "sinner", what good is that?

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

This is tough! love you enemies, no way! I want to crack their heads, right? How do you love your enemies, do good to them, lend without being paid back?

alex - love your enemies enough to plant a seed and show them the love of Christ
Amazing Grace - I can handle my enemies, its the ones that pretend to be your friend that I have a problem with
Pete - yeah, that's when it really hurts...

Here it goes, our lives must bear witness that there IS a difference! When we LOVE our enemies, we are being like God, who is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. This is also a sign of our Sonship - evidence that we have been adopted into God's family - we take on the character of our Father.

leen - If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty give him to drink.
alex - feed him the Word and a drink of the Spiritual water
Exodus :oř - I am in ministry in our church and there was a particular woman that loooooved to talk about me behind my back...I was getting pretty harsh in my spirit towards her...one day at church God told me to go and give her a hug and to tell her that I loved her....I did....even though I did not feel like it....and I haven't had any problems with her since! *S*
leen - I had some fellow students in college that would treat me rather badly. Times would come when they needed some help. My natural self would think "let them fend for themselves." But the Lord would say, " Do not repay evil with evil.If your enemy is hungry feed him." And I would help, and I would feel blessed afterwards because I walked with the Lord.

Praise the Lord Exodus and leen, God does bless us when we obey this verse, no matter how hard it seems at the time.

Z - He doesn't expect us to be perfect...He created us..He knows us...guides us...little by little so that it becomes "natural"

The word translated love here is agape. Now Greek has 3 words for love: eros, phileo, and agape. In English we have one all purpose word for love, and we use it for everything from "I love pizza" to "I love God", and we usually mean different things by those two statements.

Well, in Greek, there are three words for love to differentiate between these kinds of love, but know that in our English Bibles, they are all translated "love", so sometimes it's hard to know what a passage means.

Eros is the level of love that involves sexual attraction - it is 100% selfish and concerned with self-gratification. This is the kind of love our society promotes - being sexual predators over our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is NOT the word used for love here in "Love your enemies"! Eros was the Greek god of love, and this is where we get our word erotic.

Phileo is brotherly love, friendship, a 50/50 kind of thing, "I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine". It is a relationship based on mutual interests and affection. It's where we get such words as philanthropy - love of man, giving to charity, Philadelphia = city of brotherly love.

This is better than eros, because at least you are thinking about other's needs to some extent. But as Jesus says, how is this different from the love that sinners display? It is NOT the word used for love here either!

Sherry - Is it wrong OT to want to be appreciated back?

No Sherry, that's phileo, and friendship is good. Just not the best, which is agape, the God-kind of love, 100% unconditional, flowing out to us whether we deserve it or not. It is the love that prompted God to give us all things freely to enjoy, whether we thank Him or not. It is the love that causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. Agape has no English equivalent that I know of.

Agape is the love that compelled Jesus to the Cross to die in our place. It is the love that brought the Holy Spirit to earth to be our Counselor, Comforter, Convicter of sin, Teacher and Guide. THIS is the kind of love that God requires of us. But how is that possible? To love my enemies - let's be honest! We don't want to!

TEACHER - God loved me when I was the sorriest person on earth
Exodus :oř - It is the battle with the flesh OT

TRUE family love (which isn't always the case) as the love of a mother for her child, is very close - of the same sacrificial type as agape.

TEACHER - We don't love there deeds they do to us but we love there soul.....(don't you think))))
alex - forgive them.......this is the way you achieve peace of mind

The key is that agape is a matter of the will, not emotions, a matter of the spirit and not the flesh. You see, eros and phileo are emotional loves - we love because it pleases us, makes us feel good, "rings our chimes", if you will.

But agape is NOT emotion-based love. It begins with God who spreads HIS love abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. We then, in turn are enabled to love those we previously (in the flesh) found unloveable - yes, even our enemies. And yes, even ourselves! Glory!

So we can WILL to love others who despitefully use us. We can let the love of God flow. We can refrain from reacting in anger to offenses, and leave the matter with God. We can love, love, love, love, and keep on loving on into eternity.

Another way to say it, is that the SOURCE of this love is NOT our emotions - but God - and can flow through us regardless of how we FEEL. Good feelings do come eventually, but it is not feeling based - so can flow with this love even when we do NOT feel like it - as towards our enemies.

alex - God is Love!
Leslie - OT-like forgiving people who hurt us...we consciously choose to forgive them because we love them...
TEACHER - The word said that God COMMENDED his love toward us.............This word means forever without restraint

We NEVER have to let hate grip us and imprison us again. We can love even those who have physically and emotionally abused us - because Christ first loved us. I challenge you, set your heart to love your enemy - and watch God work to bring peace and healing to you AND the enemy, in Jesus Name AMEN!

leen - My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. I John 3:18

More about this later. Now back to YOU - tell me what this verse means: Luke 6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. How is God merciful to us? Mercy is compassion shown toward an offender or an enemy, a disposition to forgive or forbear, and act of kindness or compassion, a blessing. Mercy is also clemency, leniency, letting go of a penalty for a wrong deed.

Exodus :oř - God is merciful by still loving us even though we say "later" to his voice

When God forgives us, He forgets - the Word says He casts our sins in the sea of forgetfulness, to be remembered no more. As far as the east is from the west, He removes our transgressions from us. The only thing written in the Lamb's Book of Life is just your Name and "Son of God" Glory!!!!!!!! Wow!!!!!! No sin, all cancelled out - if we've asked for forgiveness, it's given absolutely and unconditionally.

Sins are only recorded for the sinner who will not repent. They will have to appear before the Great White Throne, and the books will be opened, and ALL will be revealed.

But believers - appear before the Bema - the Judgement Seat of Christ, not to be condemned for their sins, but be REWARDED for their faithfulness. Hallelujah. I'm getting goose bumps. There is therefore NOW NO condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.

How has God been merciful to YOU?

leen - He had forgiven all.
Exodus :oř - God had be so merciful to me when I carried resentment in my heart towards this one individual who was gossiping bout me.....but when he was strong in his voice and told me to hug her and to say that I loved her....It changed the whole potentially bad outcome of the situation

If you are having trouble with this type of unconditional love, quit beating yourself up about it. NONE of us are there yet either - but this is what we strive for, to be like Jesus! We all like to be loved in return - and that's not a bad thing.

alex - example - if someone assaults you forgive them.....you see them on the street the next day do you forget what they did.....if you do you are opening yourself up to attack again....see my point?

alex, in a situation like that, you need to make a decision whether to take them to the law or not, based not only on your own personal safety, but the safety of others. When I say "forget" I mean remove the offense and the hurt from your own heart.

alex - yes....I thought that's what you meant :-)

Luke 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. What exactly does this mean?

Amazing Grace - exactly what it says
alex - only God judges and condemns....always forgive if someone sins against you

Jesus did not relieve us of the need for discerning between right and wrong, but he condemned unjust and critical judging of others. Don't judge someone for something that you are guilty of.

Have you ever met anyone with a "critical spirit"? No matter what you did, it was wrong? They had a "negative attitude"? Man, what a downer!

Exodus :oř - yes!
Amazing Grace - I have , I have
Athie - Yes, those with a critical spirit are never wrong in their own eyes

The Pharisees in Jesus day were always trying to catch somebody doing something wrong. They were on the "lookout" for sin, you might say! That's why they were always criticizing Jesus. They had a standard they themselves couldn't follow, but buddy, if they caught YOU in a fault, watch out!

eternally secure - I guess we could say, they never see themselves as they really are.
Amazing Grace - OT like today's churches (some)
alex - man couldn't live by the law and neither could they

A judgmental or critical spirit is often a camouflage for hidden sin. Accusing, casting blame and placing guilt is a substitute for confessing and purging sin in their own lives.

I worked in welfare for a number of years and learned a lot about human behavior. One thing that I learned was that when someone is unjustly accusing you of something, that says a LOT about their own shortcomings!

Don't condemn, because there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus for those who believe in Him. How will the world accept this truth, if you are always measuring out condemnation? Most "sinners" know full well what they are doing wrong. What they DON'T know is how to do it right. If we are always condemning their wrong behavior, and making them feel worse, how will we ever introduce them to freedom in Jesus? BY LOVING them unconditionally.

Christian Lady - I know someone like that, I'm sad to say that she's very close to me, and its sure hard to have a good relationship with her because of it.... The question in my mind is...would it be better to stay away from this person?

Man, this is HARD! To ignore, put up with, overlook, forgive when they are unkind or even abusive to you. We need more of God's grace than ever before. CL, that's something you need to pray about. Consider this, you might be the only one who will stick with her during these hard times, the only one through unconditional love who can get her to really get to know Jesus.

"Forgive and you will be forgiven". What if you don't forgive, what happens? YOU WILL NOT BE FORGIVEN PERIOD! OUCH you mean it isn't optional? Jesus said it wasn't. Do we ever need His love (agape) and grace to be able to forgive!

alex - if you don't forgive God doesn't like it and it will weigh your soul down because you didn't forgive - how about those that cant forgive themselves.....many of them around
Leslie - alex, very good point...from what point does the forgiveness begin?
Athie - If you do not forgive you are the one to suffer. Unforgiveness blocks out blessings

That's tough alex, because for some it's a lot easier to forgive others than themselves. But as we get closer to the Lord and receive more of His love, self-acceptance and love do come - as we are able to handle it.

We try to categorize sin, don't we? That such and such is worse than another sin. ALL sin separates us from God, and all can and will be forgiven IF we confess them to God. However, if you harbor unforgiveness in your heart, YOU WILL DAMN YOUR SOUL. Sorry to be so blunt, but unforgiveness is a serious matter.

Now realize that the OTHER person won't always accept your forgiveness, or wants to put conditions on it or wants to demand it be done a certain way. You are NOT responsible for their reaction - all you are responsible for is forgiving them and leaving the results to God.

alex - if you don't think someone can be forgiven its like saying that Christ wasn't able to forgive sin
Esther old testament - That's true unforgiveness blocks blessings and keeps you from praising God
Amazing Grace - I meant sin is sin in the eyes of God right?
alex - God hates sin........no doubt

ANY sin will separate you from God if it's not confessed, but God does seem to hate some sins worse than others - some are called abominations, such as witchcraft and rebellion. Some sins tend to be harder to overcome, and open you more to satanic oppression and control, such as witchcraft.

Esther old testament - Along with unforgiveness comes bitterness its twin
Amazing Grace - Okay that's what I was wondering , then how do you tell or witness to a person, that the sin, is considered an abomination

The same way as any other sin - by loving them. Realize too that satan has sent blinding spirits to keep them from Christ, and you may need to do spiritual warfare over those spirits to get through.

How can you tell if that's needed? If they aren't "hearing you", if there seems to be a filter, veil, or blinds between you as you speak. You don't have to shout, demons have excellent hearing, just  turn around or take a short walk - so you won't scare the one you're trying to witness to off - and say, blinding spirits and bind you and rebuke you in Jesus Name. Quit interfering! I mean, sinners don't take kindly to ya binding spirits or stuff, they'll think you're nuts!

billie - do you need to speak out loud for demons to hear you?

Yes billie, because they can NOT read your mind, thank God!

Esther old testament - I don't think you have to talk out loud you can bind the demons just whispering. its not how loud we are but when we do speak is there some power and authority behind what we are saying

Right Esther, you don't have to shout! But if you are too loud, the one you're witnessing to might hear you and take offense.

Abbey - What does "bind the demons" mean?

Like tying them up spiritually abbey so they can't control or blind the one you're witnessing to.

alex - demons know who the boss is - always rebuke in Christ's name and they will flee.....they don't have a choice
Amazing Grace - OT, but you know you also come under attack from attacking evil too! If I'm saying that right

Yes AG, but if you keep resisting the devil and his attempts to harm you, he will leave. The Bible says in I Peter to first cast all your cares on the Lord, then resist the devil and he WILL flee from you.

OK. let's move on. Just remember that if you sin ask for forgiveness right away. If someone hurts or offends you, forgive them right away whether they apologize or not. That way, you keep yourself clean inside and free from bitterness, as someone mentioned.

eternally secure - OT does confessing come in here? I was thinking of 1 John 1 7 If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.

Are we not all sinners? Until we receive Jesus, yes. Afterwards, no! A sinner is one who habitually disobeys God and does not have the ability NOT to sin. After we are born again, we have the ability NOT to sin if we yield to the Spirit and obey the Word. We may sin occasionally, but not habitually.

Luke 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Ok, teachers, what does this verse mean?

alex - men cant give what God can.......their measures are earthly
Amazing Grace - OT what ever you give and how ever you give it will be given back the same way

Is this just good stuff? If you give money, attention, smiles, love, goods and forgiveness, that's what you'll receive in good measure. But what if you give hatred, frowns, unforgiveness, and withhold money and goods from the needy. What will you receive then? I really would hate to have bad things returned running over, wouldn't you???

I point this out, because we usually look at this from the positive viewpoint, but the negative applies also. So it is always a good idea to give GOOD things so you will receive GOOD things in return, right?

billie - The same back, except its not that simple. David asked in the psalms , why do the wicked flourish. Is it that we don't always see the blessings or maybe we don't get it all back in this life at all?
alex - God gives eternal things that men cant
eternally secure - is that really the reason to give?
billie - Is Jesus giving us an example or a hard and fast rule?

It's not so much a REASON to give as a LAW of giving ... also known as the Law of Sowing and Reaping ... what ever you give out comes back to you.

eternally secure - Yes, like "cast they bread upon the waters, and after many days it shall return to thee".

There is a season of sowing and a season of reaping (harvest). As you know, if you plant a tomato seed today, you don't get red tomatoes tomorrow! So keep on sowing and when your harvest starts to come in, it will then be continuous.

It's what you SOW that comes back to you, not necessarily from the same person you gave it to though. It's like sowing seeds in a garden. If you plan corn, you'll get corn. If you plant weeds, you'll get weeds.

Luke 6:39-40 He also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.

What do you think this means?

alex - a blind man cannot lead the blind (spiritually speaking)

If you are following someone who knows the Word and shares it freely with you, then you will grow and prosper. But what if your teacher is spiritually blind? Can that person lead you into the truth? When you are fully trained by your teacher, will you not be like that teacher? If your teacher is stupid, you will be too.

So it's really important not to follow every teaching that "comes down the pike". Know who your teacher is - be sure he/she is teaching the Word and encouraging you to test his/her teachings by the Word. The Pharisees thought that spiritually they and only they could "see" the truth, but they were leading their students down the same pig path they were following.

Esther old testament - how would you know if a person is spiritually blind?
alex - test the fruit.....exactly OT :-)

Jesus is referring to himself as the GOOD teacher not the blind one. You need to be reading the Word and meditating on it yourself, else how will you be able to test anyone's teachings by it?

alex - if the tree produces fruit than it is a good tree.......if not.......
eternally secure - we are exhorted to test the spirits

You know, there's a lot of people who fill pews every Sunday (or Saturday), who take for granted that their pastor is teaching the whole truth and nothing but the truth ... Well, maybe, maybe not. I was a real brat when I was younger. I would question everything! But it gave me a good foundation, and good practice in testing by the Word. So, I don't mind honest questions - I enjoy them in fact. That's how people learn.

Esther old testament - God's going to hold us accountable for knowing the truth

VERY good point, Esther! God will hold each of us accountable for how and what we have learned, and whether it was the WORD or a cheap, easy substitute!

billie - I think we'd still come up with different versions of our Christian faith except for the fundamentals about Christ and redemption
Amazing Grace - Why cant we have more truth churches and truth people?? Why are these folks so afraid of the truth, that's what I don't understand, and they claim to be Christian
eternally secure - the only thing that can bring Christians together is the death of Christ

Billie, that's true, but I wonder, and this is for me too, are we all listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches - or do we just take the first handy explanation and run with it? In other words, getting a mental understanding, but not a spiritual one?

alex - the truth isn't popular.......that's why many avoid it.....

Ok, one more verse for y'all to ponder...

Luke 6:41-42 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, `Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

Amazing Grace - Billie, I know lots of folks, that refuse to hear the truth, cuz they want to sit on their pews and not change, so they get these pseudo-preachers that fit into their comfortable little cubby holes and stay the same forever
alex - repent of your own sins before you think you can help anyone else.....
Esther old testament - We always can find fault in others but can't see the same thing in us.

Ah, the famous "plank" scripture! Who said Jesus didn't have a sense of humor? This is usually taught to mean that we are NEVER to judge or discern the bad in anyone. But notice what it says "THEN you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye". Not that we are not to discern when our brother has a difficulty and help him remove it - but to get rid of the 2 by 4 in our own eye first!

billie - he's talking to his disciples here so it's believers looking for sin or faults in other believers

We usually put other's faults under a microscope - and want to look at our faults through a telescope!

alex - and how do you remove the speck?
billie - Do we ever really get rid if the 2x4?
Esther old testament - That's why it is important to ask the Lord to show us ourselves and the junk in us - alex first we have to know that we have a speck before we can remove it
Amazing Grace - How do I get rid of the 12x20?

When we help our brother remove his speck, we are not to be judgmental, but do it very tenderly and gently, sandwiched in love. For example, suppose you are an alcoholic (not that you are, just an example), OK? Unless and until you conquer your drinking problem, what right do you have to try to straighten out someone else with a drinking problem? But once you have gotten the victory over that, who better to help a brother or sister get free too?

Saber - I think it might be more important to understand that everyone has the speck - all of us
alex - OT - I mean how do you remove it from your eye first...........repent and ask forgiveness is what I think
eternally secure - Love covereth a multitude of transgressions

Right alex - yes. Sometimes we first have to ask the Lord to reveal it to us - we all have "blind spots" that we tend to overlook.

eternally secure - If we understand that we have a speck, we then are tolerant of others - we would also understand that if God loves me, He must also love that other person.
Abbey - But what about 2 Timothy 4:2?

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. This verse primarily refers to the duties of a pastor, one of which is to rebuke and correct sin.

Father God bless those who have gathered here tonight to learn your Word. Implant it deep into our hearts and help us be doers of the Word, and not hearers only. Remind us of your agape love for our enemies, and give us a spirit of forgiveness always. In Jesus Name AMEN

OlePappy - Father, I ask that You abide with each of this week. Lord Guide our path, direct us through the Holy Spirit. Thank You for giving us increased knowledge about You will for us in Jesus name, Your will be done. AMEN

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned!
And put it into practice!

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Original Lesson 10/26/98
Revised: May 02, 2001.