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The Effects of God's Grace, an expository message from Matthew 5:44-45, provides three applications of common grace to our lives.
We need to make some applications here before moving forward. Jesus wrote this passage to give us further insight into life so that we can gain further knowledge to properly respond in this world.
We are not only to kindly treat our enemy, but like God discover opportunities to treat them nicely despite what they have or are meanly trying to do to us. The Lord is trying to shape not only our actions but attitudes with this further explanation in Matthew 5:44-45.
For example, we can give humane treatment to those in prison or to prisoners of war. We can positively look at kind treatment as a great way of life. We have the privilege to reflect God’s kindness by being kind even to evil people.
It is a shame that the church jumps from one extreme to another. At first it focused on evangelism but at a different period, it shifts to social works. Back and forth the pendulum swings allowing society and our reactions guide us rather than the scriptures.
Can we not see that though the Lord has provided us common grace, He has also given special grace through the cross. That is why Jesus was there speaking in the first place. He was soon to offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. And so we must be kind and follow up kind works with the preaching of the Gospel.
Do we have false motives then? Of course not. Does God? No.
These good works are meant to be genuine kind works because we have pity on each human being. Each person whether male or female is made in the image of God. But it is a total rejection of the cross if we be kind and yet do not preach the gospel. God does portray these good works to all but He also sent Christ and evangelists, did He not?
Although the Lord has treated the good and evil alike, this does not mean evil and good are the same. Jesus actually used different terms to clarify their difference. We must hate evil and love good. But though we hate evil, we still can be kind to evil people as God is.
“I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds” (Jeremiah 17:10).
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988