Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sprinkle - Fight (10) Love One Another

Preston Sprinkle explains in his book called Fight how Love one another is the heart of the Sermon on the Mount.

The Sermon, rather, is the “definitive charter for the life of the new covenant community,” 1 and through it Jesus seeks to sculpt counter-cultural masterpieces—citizens of the great King—to embody a different society and disclose a different God. We should expect these instructions to jar our thinking , challenge our desires, and contradict normality—the way we usually do things around here. If you’re “of the world,” the Sermon will seem outlandish and impractical.

For early Christians, enemy-love was the hallmark of what it meant to believe in Jesus. Oh, how things have changed.

Jesus’s life is peppered with violent attacks, yet He never responds with violence . He embraces suffering, not because He is weak, not because He can’t do anything about it, but because suffering is the God-ordained pathway to resurrection glory. For Jesus and for us.

In a world drowning in violence, Jesus never acts violently. Though evil runs rampant , Jesus never confronts it, nor does He allow His followers to confront it, with violence. Never.

When people around the globe think that American Christians are pro-war, enamored with violence, and fascinated with military might, something is terribly wrong . No one in the first century would have made the same conclusion regarding Jesus and His followers. Whether or not such behavior will lead to chaos, ruin our religious freedom, or allow enemies to rule our country is not our concern.

Our faith is in the King of all creation, who suffered, died, was raised from the dead, and now reigns from on high and seats us with Him at the right hand of the Father. Our life, future, security, freedom, suffering, and destiny —they’re all in His hands. The reign of God on earth—Jesus’s kingdom— does not need military might, thick borders, superior weapons, or economic prosperity for its advancement. What God started two thousand years ago through His crucified Son will triumph, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Fight Chapter 6).

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