SELF EXAMINATION NO 2

Matthew 7:1-11

INTRODUCTION

1.    When parliament splits, and votes on an issue, and it is passed - the cry goes up "The ayes have it!"

2.    Have you ever thought, that in this Scripture, in a rather different sense, that is what Jesus is saying - "the eyes have it!!"

3.    There is nothing in this world that is more potent in re-directing attention from your own misdemeanors, than to examine someone else's!

4.    “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye, and fail to notice the plank in your own?” (Matthew 7:3 Philip’s translation)    

5.    It's a bit like politicians, they're always attacking one another, until something horrendous surfaces about the attacker! Talk about the kettle calling the pot black!!! What joy they get out of attacking one another, until they themselves are under attack! Then they cry out like a yelping animal!

 

SELF DEFENCE

1.    Well, after all, who attacks themselves!! There's plenty of other people to do that!! Our energy can be better used in self-defence, and well, they say "the best means of defence is attack!" Do they not?

2.    That is the world's way of doing things - not the Christians - Jesus gives us a whole new rule-book!

3.    The Church, in many places is splitting apart with internal wrangles and squabbles - because they are following the devil's rulebook, instead of the Lord's!! They are operating on the world's standards, instead of those set by Christian love and integrity!

4.    Talk about Nero fiddling while Rome burned!!

 

RETURNING LIKE FOR LIKE

1.    The world says, "If someone hurts you, you hurt them back!"

Whilst the Bible says, "Do not render evil for evil!"

 

2.    The world says, "Get to the top at all costs - no matter who you climb over to get there."

The Bible says, "In honour preferring one another!"

 

3.    The world says, "That person hates you! You owe it to yourself to hate them back! They are your enemy!"

     The Bible says, "Love your enemies!"

 

 

 

 

OUR WITNESS TO THE WORLD                 

1.    We live in an age, whenever Christians can't even love each other!!

What hope then for a world lost in sin and degradation?

If they fail to see Christ's love in you and me - what hope have they?

2.    I think of a group of Christians who had a stand up row in the street, with raised voices – AT AN OPEN-AIR MEETING IF YOU PLEASE!

Perhaps some of the people who witnessed it, will never be Christians, and will go to a lost eternity because of the display of worthless Christianity which they saw!

It happened at an open-air meeting in Northern Ireland. It actually ended up with one Christian hitting another, and knocking him to the ground!!

They will answer before God for the harm which they have done to His Kingdom!

3.    "Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me!" How the devil must laugh!!

4.    The mark of the Christian should be "See how they love one another!"

 

SELF EXAMINATION

1.Matthew Henry  says, It is as strange that a man can be in a sinful, miserable condition, and not be aware of it, as that a man should have a beam in his eye, and not consider it; but the god of this world blinds their minds. Here is a good rule for reprovers; first reform thyself.”

2.    The Bible says, "Therefore let a man examine himself!"

3.    I know someone, and whatever happens - it's NEVER HIS fault!

4.    I remember that old pop song,

"Oh Lord it's hard to be humble, when you're perfect in every way!"

It probably should be introduced into our song book, for those who suffer from that affliction, to wallow in!!

5.    Sixty -nine times in the Bible it says, "LOVE ONE ANOTHER!"

6.    It at no point gives any reason or excuse  for not so doing!

7.    Christianity is a complete package - it must be accepted as a whole!

8.    There is no small print or escape clauses!

WE EITHER ACCEPT CHRIST AS SAVIOUR AND LORD - OR WE SHOW BY OUR ACTIONS THAT WE DON'T - THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND – NOT ANY ‘NO-MAN'S LAND’ IN BETWEEN. IT IS CUT AND DRIED - BLACK AND WHITE!

 

 

BIBLICAL TEACHING

We have no right to complain about high churchmen and others, refusing to accept the Biblical directive on other things - if in another way, we are doing the same thing ourselves.

A big row continues to brew in the worldwide Episcopalian Church over gay and lesbian priests!

                    Here is a news report from the BBC, I downloaded about it from the Internet a while ago.

 

             Challenging Christian views

             Bishop Spong refutes those who say gay priests cannot set a moral  example.

 

             The church in the United States has gone further in

             accepting gays and in particular gay priests than

             anywhere else in the world. The BBC's religious

             affairs correspondent Emily Buchanan has been to

             the diocese of Newark near New York.

 

             Newark is at the vanguard in the Anglican Communion in

             accepting, even encouraging homosexual priests - there

             are 30 of them in the diocese.

 

             It is a policy started by Bishop Jack Spong, who is

             probably the most liberal and controversial of any

             Anglican leader.

 

             Bishop Jack Spong revels in  challenging traditional Christian views.

             He refutes those who say that gay priests can not set a moral

                  example  to a congregation.

 

 

            In New Jersey Canon Elizabeth Kaeton makes history.

 

             She is the first openly lesbian priest to take a service

             here - part of a campaign to introduce more

             congregations to the idea of homosexuality in the priesthood.

 

                               Bishop Spong  says that it is evil for the church to

              support discrimination and argues  that the words   

              of the Bible should not  be used to prop up people's  prejudices.

 

             But in New Jersey the shock of having a lesbian priest

             has mostly subsided.

             Canon Elizabeth Kaeton hopes that soon congregations

             in the Church of England will come to accept gay

             priests, just as so many are now prepared to accept

             women's ordination.

 

"The Bible" said the Bishop, "should not be used to prop up people's prejudices!"

"It is evil for the Church to support discrimination."

 

CONCLUSION

a)                  As Bible believing Christians, we are horrified at such blatant hypocrisy - such perversion of the truths of God.

b)                 We wonder how it is possible for anyone to believe that the Bible teaches the exact opposite of what it categorically states.

c)                  Then we remember that the devil is indeed the "FATHER OF LIES," and the Bible clearly warns that in the last days, such teaching would prevail; that people would prefer to believe a lie rather than the truth!

d)                 I think J B Philip's translation of 2 Thes 2:10-12, is a powerful and severe warning to such people. It says,

To those doomed to perish, he (the devil) will come with evil's undiluted power to deceive, for they have refused to love the truth which could have saved them. God sends upon them therefore, the full force of evil's delusion, so that they put their faith in an utter fraud and meet the inevitable judgement of all who have refused to believe the truth and have made evil their pleasure.

e)                  Again in J B Philip’s rendering of Matt 18:7

“In the nature of things there must be pitfalls, yet alas for the man who is responsible for them.”

f)                   Paul to the Romans warns of this,

Ro 14:12-13 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.”

g)    How many backsliders have we met, in pubs and elsewhere, who have laid the blame for their backsliding squarely on the shoulders of a Christian, and their words or actions.

h)    How many others there are, who have said, “Well if that is a Christian, I don’t want to be one.” Let us make no mistake , God will hold us responsible for our actions and words, and how they affect others!!

i)      Maybe there’s something that needs to be put right with the Lord just now - or perhaps even put right with another Christian!

j)      Let us not be afraid to look deep within ourselves, asking God to illuminate those things which need attention, and let us have the spiritual courage to put them right!

 

The Salvation Army Song Book

 

SONG                                   TUNE

335                                        833

Chorus 77

Chorus  Blessed be the Name of the Lord

Chorus  To be like Jesus .... all I ask, to be like Him

786                                        456

If I have wounded any soul today