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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Church Harmony

Although this is not directly music related I did here a sermon on the radio this morning which really spoke to me and I thought I would share it.  I was listening to 830am and Chip Ingram was discussing the issue of brotherly love and harmony among the Church. The message was entitled "Stop the Violence Part 2."

The verse he used for his lesson was Matthew 5:20 - 23

"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.'  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell."
What a powerful and sobering passage and it is even more powerful in full context of the chapter.  I encourage you to read the whole passage.  In the above verses, Christ compares murder with harboring resentment toward a brother.  In the first verse Christ says "anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement."  Here, anger is translated or means  "a smoldering type of anger or bitterness that is routed in vengeance." Christ is comparing anger to murder!  Folks this is a very serious issue for believers.  We cannot harbor anger against a fellow believer. If it means you have to apologize or beg forgiveness or forgive someone then do it today!  Get your life right.

The word "Raca" in this verse is a difficult word to translate but according to Biblical scholars it means to despise with arrogant contempt.  Mr. Ingram goes on to say this type of anger is where you put someone down and say cutting and cynical things to them. The intent here is to cut them to the heart with words.

You know I had a personal experience with this topic not long ago.  I had wronged a brother who I used to work for and I suffered tremendously with dreams and guilt.  Finally after I had a dream about reconciliation with him I talked to him and told him how sorry I was and that I shouldn't have done and said the things I said.  It was tough, but the relief and joy I felt afterward was something difficult to put into words.

Please if you have offended a brother, go today and resolve it before the judgment of God resolves it for you!

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