Please find our sermons below:

Overcoming Evil with Good

Romans 12:9-21, Proverbs 25:11-22, Andrew Love, October 29, 2017

Sermon Notes:


  • Continuing a theme from last week:
    • v13 - Distributing to the saints
    • v14 - The attitude of love
  • Taking up a theme of blessing your enemies
    • Many think that Christians are
      judgmental, hard, narrow and look down on others
    • Scripture says we are to love our enemies and bless those who persecute us
    • We will stand up but not act in the way the world acts
    • We do not respond when people say terrible things about us
  • v17-21
    • Example of Spurgeon and his neighbour's dog
      • This story captures the spirit of the passage
    • v17 - repay no evil
    • v18 - live at peace
    • v19 - no retribution or revenge
    • v20 - show love to your enemy
    • v21 - do not become by evil
  • Overview:
    • No revenge
    • Be at peace with all men
    • Overcoming evil with good

No revenge (v17)

  • An Old Testament Scripture: an eye for any eye
    • A Jewish Judicial Punishment ...
    • But people were applying this personally and taking revenge
    • Consider Jesus word's
  • People think it is more manly for people to respond with violence
    • We are called to be soldiers of love: with weapons of meekness, gentleness and love
    • Control your temper and respond with grace is a far more difficult battle
    • Lev 19:18 - no personal revenge
  • Revenge never does a good thing
    • Example of personal revenge in the Old Testament (and its consequences)
    • Remember a bee
    • The New Testament cites examples of those Christians who would be persecuted
    • 1 Pet 2:23, 3:19
    • 1 Thess 5:15
    • Some circumstances can be very difficult ...
      • Examples
      • There should be appropriate civil/criminal justice
      • ... but there should not be a call for personal revenge
    • Quote from Thomas Fuller
  • God does judge all unrepentant people
    • Beloved, do not avenge yourselves (v19)
    • God will not be mocked
    • Prov 20:22
    • We are not to defend ourselves but leave room for God to defend us
    • On the last day all wrongs will be righted
    • Example of David
  • Let us never be involved in revenge

Be at peace with all men (v18)

  • Some people like a quarrel and fight
    • Some people would seek to draw you into their conflict
    • Quote from Ray Steadman
    • Do not get involved in the strife of others
  • Actively pursue peace
    • Example of Christian Soldier
    • We can build bridges, extend a loving hand, show people kindness
    • Quote from John McArthur
    • Prov 12:20
    • 1 Pet 3:11
    • Prov 15:1
    • Prov 25:15
    • Fire does not quench fire
  • "Blessed are the peacemakers, these shall be called the children of God" - Jesus Christ

Overcoming evil with good

  • Not just to avoid evil but be good
  • Prov 25:21-22 cf v20
  • How much mercy have we received?
    • Have we received an abundance of mercy?
      • Should we not show mercy?
    • Should we not walk as Christ walked?
    • Should we not live as Christ lived?
  • Heaping coals
    • Some say it is to shame others
    • Some say it is for judgment - e.g. John Piper (cf Ps 140:9-10)
    • Not clear what the right interpretation is
    • God is calling us to overcome evil with God and never to have a revengeful spirit
    • Example of Sailors and the dear man
  • What happens when evil begins to master us?
    • The regret we have for harsh words
    • The heaviness of a bitter heart
    • The pain we can suffer for inflicting pain on others
  • What honour we gain when we return a curse with a blessing

Closing Remarks

  • An outworking of v1-2
  • Col - "put on the bond of love"
  • We need the love of God to enable us

About Andrew Love: Pastor at Tabor Church

Sermon Passage:

Romans 12:9-21

9Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (KJV)

Proverbs 25:11-22

11A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. 12As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear. 13As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters. 14Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain. 15By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone. 16Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it. 17Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee. 18A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow. 19Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint. 20As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart. 21If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee. (KJV)

Other sermons:
Earlier: Same day: Later:
« The Radical Christian Life None My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me? »

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