This Week's Gospel Sermons
March 6 - 11, 2011 Gospel Meeting At Jackson Drive.
Speaker: Jerry Curry
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March 27, 2011
When “I” Do Right
Being righteous(from Old English, rihtwīs, literally, right-wise or right manner) is something that God requires of those who are His. Doing right is doing His will. Few kings of Judah understood this concept. Asa is one example: “Asa did good and right in the sight of the LORD his God” (2Chronicles 14:2). The apostles, Peter and John, certainly understood the concept of doing “right.” Hear how they answered the Council after being warned to stop teaching: “But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge” (Acts 4:19). Peter in one of his letters later wrote of those who left the “right” way: “But these … forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (2Peter 2:12-15). Many times, we may think we know the “right” way ourselves without depending upon God’s definition of “right.” What a mistake! “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).
Righteousness sometimes bring consequences which seem to be unpropitious. Scripture is clear in stating that sometimes bad things indeed happen to those who are righteous. When Paul preached truth, obviously the “right” thing, some of the Jews contradicted and blasphemed. “But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming” (Acts 13:45). Peter observed that even those who had been friends will question and malign our doing the “right” thing. “In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you” (1Peter 4:4). Sometime all we can remember or dwell on are the bad things that can happen when we do “right.”
We should always remember that good things happen when Christians do right, too. If we try our best to do “right,” we may find ourselves thinking like Elijah: “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” (1Kings 19:10). But, just like in Elijah’s day, God has His people—people who do “right.” Without righteous people doing that which is right, it would be like the days of Noah; it would be like living in Sodom and Gomorrah. How often do we thank God for all of the “right” people in the world? Probably not often enough. Paul often thanked God for the righteous. “For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers” (Ephesians 1:15-16). Also important—how often do we ask God to help us be one of the “right” people in this world? There are so many good things which happen when we do right.
When “I” do right, I will be blessed,of course. The blessings are not just blessings of “now,” but blessings eternally. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11,12). “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:14).
When “I” do right, others will be affected.If we do “wrong” things, people will be affected, too, but we need to be concerned about others and our influence upon them. “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4). “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor” (Romans 12:10).
When “I” do right, others will be motivated to give thanks.We already noted how Paul was motivated to give thanks for Christians in Ephesus (Ephesians 1:15,16). How marvelous it is to know that I might be an encouragement to others! How wonderful to know that there are those who pray for me as I do for them! “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.” (Romans 1:8). “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:3-6). “Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2Corinthians 9:13-15).
When “I” do right, others will do right, too.It is sometimes an example that brings out the best in us; others will be provoked to do right, too. See the power of “right” with the Christians of Achaia and Macedonia. (2Corinthians 8:1‑8). See the result: “for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them.” (2Corinthians 9:2).
When “I” do right, God is glorified.Jesus taught us this: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16).
When “I” do right, others rejoice. Read John’s proclamations in his letters. “I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father.” (2John 4). “For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” (3John 3,4).
It makes a difference whether or not you do right. Being a Christian is certainly doing “right”—Christ “fulfilled all righteousness.” Becoming a Christian is certainly doing “right.” It makes a difference whether or not you are a Christian—both to you and others. All have to answer a question then—“Am I right?”
—S. Scott Richardson