Life and Death @ the Center

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  • Bless people ‘wastefully’For every judgment we make, let there be a thousand acts of kindnessConfront in love‘Cover up’ the sins of others
  • Life and Death @ the Center

    1. 1. Life & Death @ The Center
    2. 2. The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, ―You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.‖ (Genesis 2:15-17)
    3. 3. What is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Why was its fruit forbidden?
    4. 4. But the serpent said to the woman, ―You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.‖
    5. 5. ―There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?‖ James 4:12
    6. 6. Some critical verses! • John 8:15 – Jesus Himself judged nobody! • 1Cor 4:3 – Paul didn‘t even judge himself • James 4:12 – we are not to judge our neighbour • 1Cor 5:12-13 - we are especially forbidden to criticise those outside the church
    7. 7. ―Love is ascribing worth to others at cost to self. Judgment is ascribing worth to self at cost to others.‖ Gregory Boyd
    8. 8. Effects? Death • Judgment defines us; spirituality is primarily a matter of ‗avoiding sin‘ (death of love) • Faith becomes performance with lots of hiding (death of authenticity)
    9. 9. Malaysia‘s Most Sinful (or what we cannot help feeling superior to) • Homosexuals (and LGBTQ persons) • Bankrupts / Financial Failures • Sex Offenders • Drug Addicts • Communists
    10. 10. Malaysia‘s Lesser Sins (or what we don‘t mind tolerating) • Gluttony • Greed / Acquisitiveness • Anger • Arrogance / Pride • Ethnic / Cultural Bigotry • Social (and Ecological) Apathy • Economic Inequality
    11. 11. Effects? Death • We separate ‗lowly‘ from ‗very bad‘ sins (death of honesty and humility) • We experience God as a judge (death of relationship with God)
    12. 12. How can we say No to this forbidden fruit?
    13. 13. #1 Have the heart of God
    14. 14. GOD is LOVE 1John 4:16
    15. 15. The Lord, the Lord A God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, Abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6)
    16. 16. The LORD will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim, he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon— to do his work, his strange work, and perform his task, his alien task. (Isaiah 28:21)
    17. 17. Although God causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; For he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone (Lamentations 3:32)
    18. 18. The Pattern of God‘s Judgment • Clearly and specifically fore-warned • Characterised by patience and reluctance • Happens only after repeated warnings and chances to repent! • Involves rescuing / preserving a righteous remnant • Is un-characteristic of Him; it‘s His ‗strange work‘; God doesn’t enjoy judgment (Isa 28:21, Eze 18:23)
    19. 19. And the LORD God said, ―The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.‖
    20. 20. #2 Confront with restraint and love (Reject hypocrisy!) (bearing in mind 1Cor 5:12-13!)
    21. 21. ―Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. ―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, ‗Let me take the speck out of your eye,‘ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother‘s eye.‖ Matthew 7:1-5
    22. 22. #3 ―Cover over‖ the sins of others
    23. 23. ―But Joseph said to his brothers, ‗Don‘t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me,but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don‘t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.‘ And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. Genesis 50: 19-21
    24. 24. What must we do? • Love ‗recklessly‘ (with abandon), judge very cautiously! • If we must judge/confront, we must ensure: – We have removed our ‗planks‘ – We do so authentically and within strong covenantal relationships • ‗Cover up‘ the sins of others with the love of God (1Pet 4:8)
    25. 25. ―Above all, put on love…‖ Colossians 3:14

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