Wise and Harmless
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16 • Definitions: • Wise = thoughtful, discreet • Foolish = dull or stupid, absurd • Judgment = perception, by implication intelligence • Harmless = innocent, simple • Psalms 119:66 “Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.”
How to Be Wise Wise as serpents Subtle, crafty Prov. 30:18-19 - their way on a rock Learn to use all our resources Psalms 119:98 “You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me.” Proverbs 9:10 - “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”
How to Be Wise Know Some Things Prov. 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Avoid Sin - “For the wages of sin is death” Rom.6:23 Respect for the Bible. Need to keep growing
How to Be Wise Pick out the Important Things Matthew 23:23-24 23. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier[ matters] of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”
Others sin and Do not leave the Sin What Do we do ? Wise and Harmless Hate the sin Eph. 5:11 “have no fellowship” Jude 23 “hating even the garment” Love The Person Do not ignore, coddle or condone sin Separate the Sinner from the Sin
Love the Sinner - hate the Sin God loved the World - John 3:16 Hates the sin - Ps. 119:104 “hate every false way” Use Good JUDGMENT in dealing with Sinners Wise = not approve of their sin Harmless = attitude that God displayed Approach with humble attitude Gal 6:1 “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
The Discipline Of Children What Do we do ? Wise and Harmless World teaches that it is not good to spank a child Proverbs 13:24 NKJV “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” Proverbs 19:18 KJV “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” Proverbs 29:15 KJV “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”
Teaching one who Disagrees with us What Do we do ? Wise and Harmless Some disagreed with Jesus 1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;” Be ready to give an answer = defense
Truth Needs to be taught John 14:6 “the way, the truth and the life.” John 8:24 “if you do not believe that I am He” Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing” Teach the truth with wisdom Christ and Him crucified - 1 Cor. 2:1-2 “whole counsel of God” Acts 20:27 In discussing truth with people Never get angry Use good judgment with those who disagree
The truth is Challenged or Ignored What Do we do ? Wise and Harmless Should defend God’s Truth Jude 3 - contend for the faith Error not tolerated - Gal. 2:5 Motivation is not: Love for Argument - Gal. 5:14-15 Desire for personal victory Reason: we know without truth people are lost !
Our Conduct will be: • Firm and sure but not dogmatic and overbearing • Aggressive with truth but not mean-spirited • Overcome error with truth - • Objection is the Saving of a Soul • It is not our aim to win an argument • When opportunity arises teach to the best of our ability • The Increase is God’s Business • 1 Cor. 3:6 “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”
We are despised when We have done right What Do we do ? Wise and Harmless People can defame our motives, hate our message, lie about what we said or did, threaten us Matt. 5:11-12 “… for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” Christ was persecuted Apostles and early Christians were persecuted
What can we do? • Elijah prayed - he wanted to die - 1 Kings 19:1-4 • Jeremiah kept on writing - Jeremiah 36:27-32 • John had doubts in prison - Matt. 11:2-6 • Jesus prayed - “Father forgive them” Luke 23:34 • Peter and apostles rejoiced - Acts 5:40-42 • Paul and Silas sang praises - Acts 16:25 • Hebrews suffered joyfully - Heb. 10:32-34
Face the Hard Trials of Life What Do we do ? Wise and Harmless John 16:33 “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Death Sickness Accidents or mishaps Lose possessions / health Lose friends
God will Help Us 1 Pet. 5:6-7 6. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Cor. 10:13
God will Help Us 2 Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. ESV
Trust God and Remember Our Reward Psalms 118:8-9 8.“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. 9. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”
Trust God and Remember Our Reward Hebrews 13:5-6 5. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Trust God and Remember Our Reward James 1:2-4 2. ¶ My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Romans 8:35-39 35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36. As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Wise As serpents and Harmless As doves “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16
Good Judgment Jesus went about doing GOOD ! Acts 10:34 Jesus was wise and harmless “Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.” Psalms 119:66
Wise and Harmless
Sermon by Arthur Pigman Evans Church of Christ 515 Gibbs Road Evans, Ga. 30809 706-855-1249 firstname.lastname@example.org www.evansgachurchofchrist.org Sunday Evening December 2, 2012