Text: Matthew 5: 38-42
Memory Verse: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also Matthew 5:39
MISINTERPRETATION OF THE LAW OF RETRIBUTION: Exodus 21:22-25, Lev 24:19-22, Deu 19:15-21
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” This was given to the judges in Israel to maintain justice, law, and order in the nation. The main intent of this Mosaic legislation was to control excesses and restrain crime. The punishment was made to fit the crime and not be excess. This law given was to be administered in the proper courts of law, and it worked far more equitably than the system of fines. The system of fines allows rich men to offend with comparative impunity but this law was a great check on the criminal tendencies of the poor and the rich alike.
The Pharisees and scribes ignored the fact that this law was for the judges only. They made it a matter for personal application. They removed the law from its context and setting and gave license to their followers to revenge and retaliate. We must remember that even the Old Testament did not give this enactment to the individual, but rather to the judges.
The vengeful spirit is contrary to the Spirit of Christ. Christ demands that our personal relationships be ruled by the spirit of love and not by the rule of law.
MANIFESTATION OF A LIFE WITHOUT RETALIATION: Rom 12:17-21, 1 Thess 5:15, 1 Pet 3:9-12
“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil.” It is necessary to “rightly divide the word of truth” here. Just as this verse is not given to individuals to take laws into their hands, so also it is not given to regulate the relationships between citizens and the government, children and their parents, learners and their teacher, disciples and their masters.
Also we need to understand that from the life of Christ, our perfect Example, to “turn the other cheek” is not to be interpreted or observed literally. Let us also note that “resist not evil” does not mean that we are to deliberately expose ourselves to danger.
In Christ’s teaching, “that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also”. He was directing us to be dead to self and not seek to retaliate or revenge whatever persecutors or neighbours do.
HOME CELL STUDY
RETURN TO GOD
If thou return to the Almighty, thou shall be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Job 22:23
Many people have wandered away from God. They are close to religion but very far from God. The real reason why many suffer and are being afflicted today is that they are far from God. They do not have any strong relationship with God. Some of them even go to churches but are lost spiritually. When a heart is not renewed, any word of God he hears simply makes him to be a religious sinner. The condition of the heart matters a lot. You cannot return to God when you have not fixed your heart right. The man was structured in such a way that his survival depends on God. Those that think they can do without God only end up making themselves experimental centers for the devil. Without God, our lives are meaningless. Things can only go worse outside of Jesus. Looking for quick, easy money outside Jesus is toiling a path of destruction. Serving God does not mean suffering. This is a deception of the devil that we need to correct. It is one of the best things you can do for God. Righteousness exalts a nation. Your prosperity depends on the value you placed on God’s word
QUESTION: How can we return to God?