Taking The High Road

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We’ve been talking for the past few weeks about how messy ministry can be. The reason why it’s messy is because your are dealing with sinful people who don’t always do things right.
I believe one of the greatest gifts that any one of us poses is the gift of forgiveness. The ability to absolve someone of wrong doing and free them from the shackles of your mind.
Jesus modeled forgiveness for us on the cross by paying for our sins and then while hanging on the cross said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
So what do you do when you find yourself in a messy situation with a brother or sister in the church.
Some choose to leave or find another church, which just leaves a wake of unresolved problems behind you.
This doesn’t work because the church is not a build but a group of people with interpersonal relationships.
Very view people Take the High Road of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
I was thinking about the phrase that all of us have heard about the church. “The church is just full of Hypocrites.”
We, as the church, sometimes dismiss this phrase as an over-exaggeration saying that no one is perfect. Because truly no one is perfect.
Jesus defines hypocrisy as preaching one thing and doing something else, or setting up standards for others that you are not willing to submit too.
Matthew 23:1–3 ESV
1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.
But I don’t think that sinless perfection is what people are looking for. What if people are just wanting to see someone practicing what they preach?
So if the church preaches love and forgiveness, and redemption; there should be love and forgiveness, and redemption from the church body.
People are going to mess up. Christians are not going to handle themselves the way the should. Brothers and Sisters sometimes hurt each others feelings.
Sometimes there are bad business practices between brothers and sisters.
The hypocrisy becomes apparent when we preach one thing and then conduct ourselves completely different.
If in fact, the Bible is our final authority for all life and practice, that has to apply to all situations that come up in the Church.
So how do we conduct ourselves and make sure we practice what we preach? Paul lays this out in .
Scripture Teaching
Scripture Teaching
1 Corinthians 6:1–2 ESV
1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?
1 Cor 6
Paul has just told them in chapter 5 to judge themselves internally on some of the most sinful acts.
Now he’s getting them to understand how we function with the world system around us.

Learn to work out your problems with the wisdom of God’s Word.

We have the wisdom of the scriptures (Example: King Solomon.)
Solomon was given greater wisdom from God then any man ()
1 Kings 4:29–30 ESV
29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, 30 so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.
1 Kings 4:
1 Kings 4:34 ESV
34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.
1 Kings 4:
King Solomon wrote that wisdom down for us in the wisdom books of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
Not to mention his life experiences in 1 Kings, and 2 Chronicles.
We have the wisdom of God in his Word and judge thereby.
Psalm 19:7 ESV
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
1 Corinthians 6:5 ESV
5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers,
1 Corinthians 6:4–5 ESV
4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers,
1 cor 6:
We have a relationship of love, forgiveness, and redemption for our brothers and sisters that the world doesn't have.
1 Corinthians 6:6–7 ESV
6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?
1 Cor 6:6
If you get to the point of lawsuit you have already failed no matter who wins, because you were unable to work it out through love, forgiveness, and redemption.
Our relationship with each other is everlasting and greater than anything temporal on this earth.
The love of God demands that we suffer for one another. Take the loss and redeem your brother.
We have a greater purpose of life in the kingdom that drives our decisions.

God’s Authority in the World.

We have the authority of Jesus Christ to loose and bind things in Heaven ().
Matthew 18:18–19 ESV
18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
We are joint heirs with Christ and will rule and reign with him.
If a person chooses not to listen or submit to the ruling of the high court of Christ through the Church then you will be subjected to the lesser court of the world.
The Worldly court system also has some things from God.
They also have authority from God.
Romans 13:1 ESV
1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Rom 13:1
They have a command to control the evil of the world.
Romans 13:3 ESV
3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
They don't bear the sword in vain. (They will inflict punishment).
Romans 13:4 ESV
4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
Rom 13:
When David was given the option of punishment for his sin he appealed to the high court of God knowing that God would have great mercy for him. ().
2 Samuel 24:14 ESV
14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.”
David knew that in the hands of the Lord he would find love, forgiveness, and redemption.

God’s Final Judgment

1 Cor
1 Corinthians 6:9–10 ESV
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Our righteousness is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV
11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 1:30 ESV
30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
1 Cor 6:1
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
In Christ we find love, forgiveness, and redemption.
Wash your brother in the same water of forgiveness that Jesus used to wash you.
Christ was willing to suffer the wrong and be defrauded so that you could be washed and righteous.
Many times people have a hard time forgiving because they have never experienced forgiveness.
Ephesians 4:32 ESV
32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Some Closing Thoughts
Learn to work out your problems with the wisdom of God’s Word.
Your kingdom relationships are more valuable than any earthly possessions.
Wash your brother in the same water of forgiveness that Jesus used to wash you.
Call to Repentance
Have you ever experienced the love, forgiveness, and redemption from the Lord?
Have you ever been washed, sanctified, justified in the name of Jesus?
The place to start mending your broken relationships begins with your relationship with God.
The wisdom of God’s word says,
1 John 1:9 ESV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John
Have you washed your brother in the same water of forgiveness that Jesus used to wash you?
I know we’re not perfect but we can’t be hypocrites. Let’s practice what we preach through love, forgiveness, and redemption.
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