Going the second mile

Going the second mile

 

In the first century Romans could force the Jews to carry their goods for one mile because it was the law. After the Jews had carried the Roman soldiers goods for a mile they could tell them this is as far as were going and were not going to carry your goods any further. We have an example of this when Jesus was making his way to his crucifixion.

 

Luke 23:26 Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.

 

 It is from this concept that Jesus taught how Christians should be willing to go a second mile.

 

Matthew 5:39 "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.  41 "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

 

 Notice Jesus gives us 3 different examples which teach the Christians to go beyond the first mile or the first step and to continue on to the second mile or the second step.

 

1. Jesus tells us not to resist or oppose an evil person and gives an example. He says if they strike on the right cheek turn to him the other one as well. You have to understand that it was a great insult in the first century to strike someone on the right cheek. Most people would  not tolerate such an insult and they would retaliate. But, Jesus is telling us donít retaliate donít get revenge instead turn your other cheek to them as well.

 

2. The second thing he tells us is that the first mile or first step if would be if someone sues you and takes your tunic or take your money then give them your cloak as well. The giving of your cloak would be the second mile. Again this has in mind not resisting an evil person.

 

3. Jesus says if someone forces you to go one mile then go with him two. In all 3 of these examples Jesus is teaching you and I that we are to go beyond the first mile or the first step. So this morning we are going to be examining several principles in which we are to go the second mile.

 

Bible Study.

 

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

Here we see first mile or first step in Bible study. Paul want Timothy to study God Word so that he can know what it says and be able to use the knowledge to combat false doctrine. Every Christian should be study God Word to learn more about him and wonderful love and to make sure that we are living our lives in an acceptable manner before God. Unfortunately there are many Christians today who donít even go this first mile in Christianity. There are so many churches out there are slowly but surely moving away from the true Word of God. They are starting to base their worship to God based on how they feel and what the think will draw more people. There a great move today of people trying to make the church an entertainment business. Instead of hearing a sermon from the word of God you will hear lesson that thatcome from all kind neat little stories. Now there is nothing wrong with using stories here and there but that not what they are doing. You can sit through a whole service and you might hear 1 or 2 verses from the Bible. This is a sad situation because whenever you and make ourselves the center of worship instead of God then have lost the true meaning of true worship of God and the reason why so many are changing the ways  things are done is because they are not embracing the first mile of Christianity by study the word of God. Some were having this problem in the 1st century.

 

Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

 

There is a great danger in not growing in your knowledge of the Lord.

 

Hebrews 2:1Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.  2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation,

 

A Christian must be willing to go the first mile before they can every hope to make to the second mile. We find the second mile described in:

 

2 Timothy 2:1You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

 

Not only did Paul want Timothy to study the Word of God he wanted him to teach it as well and commit it to other faithful people who would in turn teach to others. This would include him teaching them by word and by example.

 

1 Timothy 4:12  Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

 

That is what we are to do as Christians today. Donít just study Gods Word we need to live it by good examples and by teaching it when have the opportunity.

 

Worship

Lets look as the first mile. Paul tells us,

 

Acts 20:7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.

 

Every Christian should meet of the first day of the week to worship God. We should not at this something that we have to do but as something that we can do. Again, there are a lot of Christians who do not embrace this first mile or first step of Christianity because many will the church services and will only show up once a month or 2 or 3 times a year.

People who attend sporadically like this simply do not have there priorities straight. They only come when they feel need a little religion or maybe they want to see some of their old friends. Again, this was a problem they had in the first century as well.

 

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.   

 

When Christians decide to neglect  the church which Jesus purchased with his own blood we miss out on many wonderful opportunities to worship God and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ. We also miss the opportunity to partake of the Lords Supper and give our means as the word of God commands us to do. We must strive to do these things for the first mile of Christianity if we are even going to come close to the second mile Christianity which is found in.

 

Matthew 6:33  "But seek first the  kingdom of  God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

 

Not only we are to assemble with the saints on the first day of the week we are to challenge ourselves to put Gods kingdom first in every aspect of our live. This would include making to Bible class so that we can learn more about Godís word and he we wants to worship him in spirit and in truth. This means that we will do our best to be involved with the church and the many activities that are available and try to spread the good news to those who are around us. Paul speaks of some Christians who went that second mile in,

 

2 Corinthians 8:3-4   3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing,  4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

 

Notice they gave beyond their ability. You see God does not want Christians to be satisfied with just going part of the way but he wants them to go all the way and give there best just as God gives us his best.

 

Sin

The first mile or first step in regards to sin is found in:

 

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Every Christian should rejoice in the fact that God loved us enough that he has provided a way that we can have our sin forgiven. God knows that we are going to fall short of his glory from time to time (Rom3:23). But thanks to the wonderful grace that he offers us through his son death on the cross once we become a Christian if we want to be forgiven of our sins we simply repent and confess them to God and our sins we will be forgiven and forgotten.

 

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

While this is a wonderful blessing that every Christians has access to some Christians fail to embrace the grace of God. Its like they are to prideful to humble themselves before God because they donít want to admit that they have sinned. Other may fail to repent and confess there sin to God because they are not ready to give up the sin that they are it. We need to realize this is dangerous game to play because sin separates us from God and brings about spiritual death.

 

The second mile that Christians should work toward is found in,

 

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

                                                                                       

Paul is say that you and I should forsake sin since we died to it. The more we grow in the knowledge and grace of our lord the less we are going to sin. You see its easy for Christian to get the mind set that they can just sin every single day without trying to resist the sin. They might say well  I just confess my sin and it will be forgiven so there really no need for me to try resist my temptations when so easy to be forgiven of them. Again, this a dangerous mindset to have and it is not what the Bible teaches.

 

Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!  16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

 

You see if you are not fighting against your temptations everyday you are allowing sin to be your master and it will lead you to spiritual death. Jesus said,

 

Matthew 6:24  " No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

As Christians we need have the attitude that David did he said,

 

Psalm 101:3   3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.

 

Forgiveness

The first step of mile of forgiveness is found in,

 

Luke 17:3 "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  4 "And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him."

 

This first mile is something that some Christians have great difficulty with. If a person does you wrong and just tears you up inside and makes you feel like you have aged 10 years because of the horrible thing they did to you or your loved ones this passage teaches us that if they come to you and repent and ask you for forgiveness you must forgive them and do your best to forget the awful thing they did against you.From a human perspective that can very difficult to do. But, notice that Jesus says that if someone sins against 7 times in one day and comes to us and repents  we must forgive them. Some of us have hard enough time forgiving someone once much less 7 times in one day, however this it what Jesus has commanded us to do and if we love and we want glorify him we need to obey this command no matter how difficult it may be.

 

We must understand that God is not asking us to do something that he is not willing to do. Think about it. You and I are sinners and we deserve the wrath of God. But, God loves us and because of his wonderful Grace he has provided away for us to have our sins removed. Once we have obeyed the gospel call and have been baptized into Christ for the remission of our sins all we have to obtain forgiveness is to repent and confess our sin to God and we will be forgiven no matter how many times we sin. That brings us to the second mile of forgiveness and is found in,

 

Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"  22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

 

You see just as God is willing to forgive us over and over again we are to follow his example and forgive those who sin against us and repent over and over again. There is no limit on how many times we are to forgive someone and Jesus makes it very clear the importance of forgiving others in,

 

Matthew 6:14 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  15 "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

 

 

Love

Our first miles comes from,

 

Matthew 5: 43 " You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'

 

Now this is something that is really easy for just about everybody to do. It is easy to love you neighbor or friend and to hate your enemy. Even non-Christians do this. But, lets continue reading and learn what the second miles is.

 

 44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you 45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward haveyou? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  47 "And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?

 

Here we have another excellent example of how Christians are different than the world. How they are to go above and beyond what most people would be willing to do. You  see it is easy to love your friends and loved ones everyone can do that but not only are Christians to love their neighbors they are to love their enemies. Again, this another one of those concepts that is very difficult for some Christians to embrace but if we are going to be pleasing God we need to try and love our enemies. Again, God is not asking to do something that he is not willing to. Notice he make the sun to rise on the evil and the good and he sends the rain on the just and the unjust and when you think about we have all been the enemy of God at some point in our life because we have all sinned and sin makes you enemy of God. Just God loved us and gave his son we are to reach out and love our enemy.

 

We have looked at several points this  morning and examined how as Christians we must strive to not only to go the first mile in our Christianity but to also go the second mile. God has left us many examples of he went out his way to help up out of our debt of sin and how we should follow his example and always look for ways that we can go out of our way to help those around us and to glorify God.