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Greatest Sermon Ever 10: On Forgiveness
Richard Root
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Greatest Sermon Ever 10: On Forgiveness Mar 29, 2020
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Richard Root Matthew 5:43-48 Sunday Morning
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Sermon -Sunday Online -2020/03/29 11am -Richard Root -"Greatest Sermon Ever 10: On Forgiveness" -Matthew 5:43-48

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Sermon Notes

The Sermon on the Mount – 9. On Forgiveness
Matthew 5:43-48
“You have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Matthew 5:43-44)

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is forming a community of people who will follow his way of life.
• The most important characteristic he wants to instill in them is the ethic of loving relationships.
• Jesus’ intent is to confront anything in his kingdom that would threaten loving relationships: anger, fear, deception, divorce. Jesus is creating a new standard for human relationships.

For Jesus’ listeners, the enemy was not an abstraction. They knew exactly who he was talking about: Rome.
• It wouldn’t be unusual for a Roman soldier to take out their frustration by backhanding a Jew.
• They could take anything they wanted from you without asking, or without reason, because to them, they owned everything.
• A Roman soldier could force a Jew to carry their bags. By law, you had to carry for a mile upon command.
To his first listeners, who had been living for 500 years under the oppression of Rome, he says:
“ not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:38-42)

Jesus Teaching on Forgiveness
Jesus tells his disciples, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 5:12)
• There are a lot of things written in the Bible, a lot of commands, but none of them matter if you don’t have love. Without love, the Bible says, you have nothing.
“The whole world will know you are my disciples if you love one another. It’s not by how many miracles you can perform or how great of a preacher you are, but it’s really how you love each other.” (Jn.13:35)
• Jesus is not asking that we conjure up warm fuzzy feelings to those who we don’t like. Love is an action work. It’s more about loyalty, commitment and service than emotion. Jesus command is that we simply love people because God loves them, not because of what we feel about them.
• This challenging season in our world will be a defining moment for the church. It will not be the fancy buildings or the five-star preachers that carry the day, it will be the church communities that courageously, and compassionately find ways to love each other, their communities, even their adversaries.

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