Dealing with Our Murderous Heart (Matthew 5:21-26) by Bro. Neil De Arroz

Magandang umaga ho sa lahat. So in 2014, almost 10 years ago, si Viola or Viola Davis, an award-winning actress, she starred as Annalise Keating in a series, ah, hindi ko alam kung may iba pong nakakaalam nito bukod sa wife ko na kasama kong manood. But the character Annalise, is a brilliant attorney dito sa series na ito. She was a professor of defense law teaching future lawyers how to represent a defendant in a lawsuit or criminal prosecution. So in the series, nagtuturo siya nung isang specific na subject na tinatawag doon, na ewan ko kung meron talaga dito, pero ang tawag dun sa series is Criminal Law 100 or tinawag niya yung How To Get Away With Murder. So dun sa series, not only did she teach the subject, but she, together with a handful of her students, uh they have been entangled with several murder plots. And so I think six or seven seasons yun na ganun yung kaniyang setting. And so the story revolved around how they try to find ways to get away with murder. And so in our text this morning, we will not find ways to get away with murder, but instead, we will be confronting murder. This morning, we will be dealing with our murderous heart. So turn with me to our text this morning. This is in Matthew chapter 5 verses 21 to 26. Okay, Matthew chapter 5 21-26 so I’ll read from ESV. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. May the Lord add blessing to the reading of His word.

So again, we are still on our series titled The Kingdom Now And Here After. And since Matthew speaks about the kingdom of God, then the one who is reigning is obviously none other than God Himself. And in the first five chapters, we already got a glimpse of three illustrations or depictions of Christ, who is the second Person of the GodHead. Una, Matthew traced his genealogy, makikita natin yung mahabang genealogy ni Jesus sa simula sa chapter 1. Tracing the lineage of Jesus to the line of David, showing that He is the promised King. Pangalawa, he tells the story of the birth of Christ and how Christ’s Name is called Emmanuel or God with us. Now add to this, the baptism of Christ that confirms that He is the begotten Son of God when dun sa scenario, the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus and then the voice of God the Father speaks acknowledging that Jesus is His begotten Son in whom He is well pleased. And then in chapter five, we also see Christ as the greater Moses, or a teacher of the law, an authoritative teacher of the law, in fact who came not to abolish the law or the prophets, but to fulfill them. So this tells us a very important truth that would come into play in our study of today’s text. In fact, in every text that we are to study, this truth is very important that if Jesus is the one true Teacher, if Jesus is the one true King, and if Jesus is God, then aren’t we supposed to listen to everything that He has to say? Aren’t we to put weight in every command that Jesus gives to us? Aren’t we to obey everything that Jesus commands us to do? So Jesus nagsimula Siyang magturo dito sa chapter 5 about the Beatitudes, yung sinimulan Niya. And that’s Jesus teaches about the Beatitudes, we can then say that we must reflect upon these list of characteristics to see if we, who are proclaiming to be Christians, really live as Christians or as citizens of His kingdom. Then after that, Jesus says that Christians who bear the Beatitudes are to be salt and light of the world na tinuro sa atin in the past few sermons that to be Salt and Light, we are to be Christ-like influences shining for Christ in this fallen world. And then now, to do that, to be Salt and Light, Jesus also teaches us about the law, the very law that He came to fulfill. And now Christ teaches us the law for what it truly is and how we must rightfully obey or follow Him.

So dun sa binasa natin, eto’s simula lang nung mga a few remaining verses nung chapter 5. And so we see in these remaining verses in chapter five, that it discusses about Old Testament teachings. Ngayon sa pag-aaral po natin ng Bible or ng theology, eto yung last few remaining verses ng chapter five na ‘to, eto’y tinatawag na, eto yung six antithesis or sa Tagalog, ito yung mga anim na kabaligtaran. Bakit siya tinawag na kabaligtaran? The reason for this is because Jesus, makikita natin yung wordplay nung Bible dito. Jesus was comparing six statements that the people particularly, the Jewish people, have heard of what the law is to be versus what the law really means. Kaya makikita natin dun sa mga succeeding verses ang ganitong klaseng wordplay.

Several times, makikita nating Jesus saying you have heard that it was said; and then after that He says but I say to you. Now, this does not mean that Jesus is opposing the Old Testament teachings. In fact, kakatapos lang natin nung sermon kung saan sinasabi Niya – He came not to abolish the law or the prophets but He came to fulfill them. So what Jesus was really opposing here are not the Old Testament teachings na totoo naman talaga, but Jesus was opposing the misinterpretations of these laws who are brought about by the teachers of the law who sought to follow the law trusting not in God, but in their own righteousness. So Jesus, again, is not opposing the law. He is not redefining the law, He is not elevating the law in para sa isang makabago at mas mataaas na standard. Essentially, what He is doing and what He’s saying is like this: you misunderstood the law, and this is what it really meant from the beginning.

And so Jesus begins with the first one, nagsimula Siya doon sa ika- anim na utos. Ang sabi Niya – you heard ,you have heard that it was said to those of old-you shall not murder, and whoever murders, will be liable to judgment. Now what was wrong here? Eh kung titignan natin naman sa Exodus at sa Deuteronomy, yun na yun naman ang sinasabi – you shall not murder. And then may instructions naman talaga sa Deuteronomy kung paano, how they will deal with those who will be committing this kind of crime or disobedience sa kanila. But you see, more than the external act of murder, lies the pre-meditation of it. The planning of it that made it possible to begin with. So it started with a heart, and the mind, and after that, it is translated into our hands, into our actual deeds. And so Jesus goes to the root cause of it. The ill intention of people towards other people. Kaya sinabi Niya, it’s not just murder, sinabi Niya – but I say to you, that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment. Angry..ibig sabihin yung galit pa lang, andun na. And then He adds whoever insult his brother will be liable to the council; whoever says you fool will be liable to the hell of fire. So, hindi lang yung actual act of murder na yun. Ang sinasabi ni Jesus, from the very beginning, hindi lang yung mismong akto ang pinagbabawal talaga at ang ayaw ng Panginoon. From the very beginning, yung puso natin ang… it’s our heart that is being dealt with, yung intentions ng ating mga puso’t isipan. When we are angry towards another person, we put a gap between us and that person. Much like the gap that is between us and God because of our defiance in the holy God. So there is a gap between us and the person that we are angry with or we are thinking lowly of, kasi we are..insult daw heh. This gap would throw out the window any hope of good relations with that person, di ba? As long as meron yung gap na yun, yung anger mo na yun or kung whatever ill intention that is. Never kang magkakaroon ng good relations dun sa taong iyon. And so it becomes so easy for us to want the worst that could happen for that person. It’s so easy for us then to neglect the well-being of that particular person. It becomes so easy for us to think lowly and to put insults, to throw insults at that person.. because of that gap that is caused by our anger and hatred. And this is the breeding ground of murder. This is where premeditation begins that leads to the actual deed. And so what Jesus is teaching is that just because we didn’t commit actual murder, it doesn’t mean that we did not fall into the sin of murder. The moment we think of damaging our relations with others, we are already guilty. And that leads to our message this morning, that the true meaning of the law on murder deals with nurturing relationships. Para tanggalin yung gap na yun, at ikaw ay magkaroon ng isang healthy na relationship sa ibang tao.

And we will see how Jesus addresses this first, by identifying the root cause. We’ll look at that in the first point, The Heart Of The Matter. And then the second is by giving actual instructions on how to resolve this issue through reconciliation; that’s through the second point Persistent Reconciler.

So let’s consider the first point The Heart Of The Matter. So again, this is the sixth commandment that we are dealing with for this morning. And the sixth commandment, gaya nga ng sinabi natin kanina, it goes beyond the act of murder. If we look at it on the surface, kasi di ba parang, oh, ang dali-dali nun,uh sixth commandment, wala sa ating nakapatay pa, wala pa sa ating nakakitil pa ng buhay ng kapwa natin, so goods tayo dun! But what Jesus did is look beyond the works of our hands and to see what is within our thoughts. Mga kaibigan, murder is not random; that murder is planned. Kaya di ba may… there are different ways how a person may die, pero there is this specific description about murder. It is planned. It is premeditated. And most often than not, it starts with anger or hatred. Sabi nga ni Daniel Doriani sa book niya of Reformed Expository Commentaries On The Gospel Of Matthew, sabi niya, “If hatred leads to murder, then hatred is culpable too even if it never leads to action.” Ibig sabihin may pananagutan din yung hatred pa lang or anger pa lang if that leads to murder. At ganun din yung sinasabi ni Hesus sa Banal na Kasulatan. But let’s be clear on one thing since we’re actually dealing here with the word anger, and anger and hatred is broad in scripture. So let’s be clear on one thing when we talk about this kind of anger or hatred that we have to stop or deal with, we are actually talking about the the bad or evil kind of anger. This is the human anger that wishes evil on others. Why do I say this? Kasi nakalimutan ko siya sabihin before dun sa previous na sermon ko rin and praise God for a brother who reached out to me na nakalimutan ko raw i-explain itong side na ito explain ‘tong side na ito. But there is righteous anger. In fact, kaya nga sinasabi natin na magsisi tayo sa kasalanan natin kasi the wrath of God is upon those who practice lawlessness. So there is that kind of anger that godly anger that exists within scripture. And kahit hindi na natin tignan yung buong scripture ‘no, tignan lang natin kahit yung life ni Christ nung Siya ay nabuhay. In chapter 21 of Matthew, we will see Jesus and everyone would be familiar with this Jesus. Drives out the the people who made the temple a marketplace… turning the tables, saying that they made it a den of thieves. So Jesus became angry at that point. In Mark in chapter 3, we see Jesus getting angry at hypocrites criticising Him, kasi nagpapagaling Siya dito ng leper during Sabbath and yung mga teachers of the law were then criticising Him..tama ba na nagpapagaling si Hesus sa Sabbath? And so Jesus was angry at this hypocrites. In Mark 9, He grew exasperated with His disciples who were unable to cast a clean spirit dun sa isang bata and the reason why they were not able to cast out ang sabi dito is because of their unbelief. Actually was wala silang faith. Hindi sila nagtiwala dun sa prayer at sa kapangyarihan ng Panginoon to drive out this spirit. So in a way, that’s also the sin of unbelief. But again, Jesus’ anger is perfect. God’s anger is perfect and righteous not like ours. His anger is not on the person themselves but over the sin that the person does, and the person actually enjoying and living in that sin. So this is the anger that wishes no evil upon people. And this is the kind of anger that loves the sinner while it hates the sin. And so this is not the kind of anger that we’re talking about that leads to murder, so kailangan ho tayo maging clear doon. And then aside from anger, Jesus also mentions to other things. Sa verse 22 in other translations sabi, anyone who says to his brother Raca, is answerable to the Sanhedrin. Sa binasa natin kanina, council. As it continues, but anyone who says you fool, will be in danger of the fires of hell. So Raca expresses contempt for someone’s minds, so parang iniisip mo, in other terms, parang sinasabihan mo sila ng (excuse me for the word) “moron” pr “idiot.” Yung fool naman on the other hand, expresses contempt on someone’s heart. Now hindi ito sinasabi ng scriptures, o, mamili ka dun sa dalawa; isa diyan mas malala, dun ka sa lesser evil. Ang sinasabi dito in short um an insult to the heart and mind (magkasama iyon) is like thinking of the person as good for nothing or sa Tagalog, pinag-iisipan mong ay, walang kwenta yung taong ito, kamote. According to the ESV Study Bible, this is closely related to anger. Kahit na hindi ka naman galit talaga, nag-iisip ka lang ng masama, it is closely related to anger. Sabi sa ESV Study Bible, closely related to anger in that it represents a destructive attack on one’s character and identity.

And so brothers and sisters and friends, by virtue of everyone that you see in planet Earth, being created in the image and likeness of God, hindi ba’t removing the word on a man’s life is also a destructive attack on God? Proverbs 14 31 says whoever oppresses a poor man insults his maker. Ang sinuman nang-api sa isang mahirap, hindi lang yung mahirap na yun ang iyong inaapi, iniinsulto mo rin ang lumikha sa kanya. And so the concept, the biblical truth on that passage in Proverbs, syempre hindi lang yun sa mahihirap. Kahit sino ang iyong apihin, ang iyong alipustain, ang iyong maliitin, it’s not just an insult to that person but to his maker, to God. And so it’s a destructive attack on God. It is a destructive attack on the character of God. It is a violation of the sixth commandment. And so therefore, whoever is angry towards a person, we can say that well, actually your anger is not just on that person. Your insult is not just on that person. You are also angry at God. You are also insulting God who created that person. Di ba pag may isang artist na may, yung artist, may ginagawang masterpiece, kunyari pintor or sculptor, or probably kolektor ka ng mga nag-a-assemble ka ng mga..kung k-pop, meron kayong mga merch, di ba, nagkokolekta kayo ng mga merch nyo. So, pag may intentional na taong nandungis, sumira, nan-lapastangan sa iyong koleksiyon, dun sa iyong creation, hindi ba you will get upset? And not just you being upset. Di ba yung attack nung taong iyon, yung paninira nung taong iyon.. it’s not on that object, it’s not a living thing; that person is actually attacking you as the one who owns yung kuna anumang property or creation yon. What more an attack towards a fellow human? What more an attack towards the apex of the creation of God? The Masterpiece of the perfect holy and almighty God, our fellow men.

So the challenge for us is this: assess, assess your murderous heart. All cards on the table, lahat tayo may murderous heart. Lahat tayo nag-isip ng masama towards others. Sa street pa lang heh, I can tell maraming naka-relate dun sa word na “kamote.” So alam nating lahat that at some point in time, we have used that word as a derogative for someone who is not careful in the street. It may be true that that person is not careful but again, it’s going back to our heart. What do we think of that creation of God? Assess your murderous heart, reflect on how you look at others. So, medyo mag-assess tayo. Nagalit ka na ba ngayong linggo? Nagalit ka na ba na kahapon, nagalit ka na ba kanina? So rhetorical sya. Hindi ninyo kailangang sumagot. But, marami tayong pwede i-exhaust na pwede niyong ikinagalit o ikinainis sa isang tao eh. Did your parents or your spouse treat you unfairly and you thought you deserved better so you lashed out? Or hindi ka man nag-lash out, nagdabog ka kaunti, yung mahinang bitiw or hindi ka nagdabog; tumawa ka pero yung isip mo gigil ka, naiinis ka..galit ka dun sa taong yun. Hindi ba nag-submit si wife mo kanina, husbands? So galit kayo ay wife? Or wives, hindi ba nagpakita ng Christlike love si husband Kanina? And you thought you deserved better and so you’re angry at them. Or, nag mala- Jacob ka. Inabuso ka ng boss mong mala-Laban and so dinelay nang dinelay yung sweldo mo. And so in retaliation, nag-vandalise ka, nagnakaw ka. Kasi gumaganti ka eh. You’re angry. Does that justify what you did? Regardless of the kind of treatment that this corrupt world gives us, God does not call us to respond in kind. Sabi nga salt and light of this world na tayo. We are to preserve this corrupt world. So we are not to respond in that kind of response we’re in ang alam lang nung ganung klaseng mga tao, nagrerespond ng ganung klase eh yung wickedness lang; selfishness lang; anger lang. Inalis na tayo dun ng Panginoon. And so, kaibigan, assess your heart and mind. Reflect on how you look at others. In fact, look at Christ. Tignan na lang natin ang Diyos nating si hesukristo. Yes, He became angry, He became angry at sin. He became angry not in the personality of a person, but in the person’s love of sin and practice of sin. But this is mixed with grief. This is mixed with His want for people to turn away from sin. He did not become angry because of personal mistreatment. In fact First Peter chapter 2 verse 23. When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate. When He suffered, He made no threats; instead He entrusted Himself to him who judges justly. And to add to that, Daniel Doriani also mentioned and I quote, this, he is talking about Jesus, “when arrested, mocked, beaten and crucified, He was as quiet as a lamb led to the slaughter. He did not rebuke His tormentors or offer a self-defense. Jesus was silent except to say Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” So kaibigan, kung ikaw ay nalulunod ngayon or naglalagablab, nag-aapoy sa galit, sa inis, sa kapwa mo, know this: you are also angry against God and you are sinning against God. Kaya ang panawagan ko sa iyo kaibigan, magsisi ka sa iyong namumuong galit puso mo. Talikuran mo iyang sin ng anger, ng murderous heart mo. Sincerely ask for forgiveness from God and it shall be given to you on account of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Magsisi ka sa iyong kasalanan. There is forgiveness, there is reconciliation with God because Christ has took our place on that cross, died the penalty of our sins and covered us with His righteousness. Kaya ngayon, we can say Abba, Father, not because of our righteousness, but because of Christ; not in what our hands have done, but in what Christ have done. And as we repent of this, Christ calls us to do the opposite.

Hindi lag repent, repent, repent. May opposite grace na kailangan kang i-cultivate.

And so Christ calls upon us to reconcile. And that is my last point, Persistent Reconcilers. So again, Persistent Reconcilers. Jesus commands His disciples to nurture human relations. Nurture human relation; now there are two scenarios given by Jesus. The first one is within the covenant community. So yung terms niya dito, kapagka ikaw ay Jewish or part ng Israel, alam mo yung ganitong setting. Eto yung setting sa loob ng templo nila. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there, remember that your brother has something against you.

Naalala mong may atraso ka sa iyong brother. Leave your gift there before the altar and go. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Kailangan mong i-pause yung act of worship dahil hindi ka truly nag-wo-worship dahil meron kang dinadala sa iyon konsensiya, sa iyong puso that is unpleasant, that is not pleasing to God. So stop! Drop whatever it is that you are doing for your act of worship and reconcile with your brother. As persistent reconcilers, we should strive to remove any murderous attitude towards one another. And so this goes both ways. If it is good for us to refrain or restrain ourselves from thinking murderous thoughts, from behaving with murderous attitudes, then it is also good for us to help and prevent murderous attitudes of others towards us. Kaya reconcilers tayo. Tulong rin natin yun sa kanila na huwag silang mag-commit ng murder. That is we should love our brothers enough to remove any murderous disposition towards us out of our love. Sa ating mga kapatid, tayo ay magpakita ng magandang pakikitungo sa kanila. I-correct kung meron mang namumuong tension or hidwaan na nagtatanggal ng focus niyo sa pag-worship sa Panginoon. Ayusin niyo muna yun bago kayo humarap sa Panginoon para talaga makapag-worship kayo in spirit and in truth.

Sabi nga sa scripture reading natin kanina, sabi, we should not be like Cain who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. Now, paano natin malalaman na kung tayo nga ay hindi katulad ni Cain? The scripture continues, sabi, we know that we have passed out of death into life which Cain had never done because he is of the evil one. We’ll know that we have passed because we love the brothers. So important mark ng isang Kristiyano ang pagmamahal. Ang pagmamahal natin sa isa’t- isa yung nagco-cause sa ‘ting mag-reconcile and fix our differences para tayong lahat ay makapagsamba sa Panginoon ng buong puso’t buong diwa. Pagmamahal ang namamagitan sa simbahan, hindi po hidwaan.

And then the next one is outside of the context of the Covenant Community naman. So hindi lang tayo magmamahal doon sa, in the church setting. Hindi lang kapwa Kristiyano ang mamahalin natin; pati yung mga hindi Kristiyano. Dun sa example ni Hesus, sabi, we are responsible even for those that are outside of the covenant community, even for non-christians. Sabi, come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going to him, with him to court. So itong setting na ‘to sa kanila, alam nilang setting ito ng isang Gentile. Ganun mag-deal ang Gentile. May court, may judge, may guards, may prison. Hindi ho ganun ang way kapag ikaw ay nasa, isa kang Hudyo, member ka ng Israel. So alam nila na ito ay pag-deal with someone who is non-Israelite, a Gentile. But still it goes the same. Sabi ni Kristo, come to terms quickly; so in short, reconcile pa ren. While you are going to Him with court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put into prison, truly I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. So in other words po, even for those around us who doesn’t share the same faith, and may not at this moment understand our perspective on anger, on reconciliation, on on God, on religion, but still just the same, we must seek to live in peace with them. Sabi nga ni Paul di ba, live peaceably with everyone if possible. And we must do it immediately before things get worse or before it’s too late. Ang illustration nga ho dito ni Hesus, truly I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. Ladies and gentlemen, if we have a debt na kailangan nating bayaran, kailangan natin ng source of income kung saan tayo kukuha nung pambayad natin sa utang. Ngayon, kung tayo ay nakakulong, paano tayo magttrabaho para kumita nung pambayad dun sa utang? So this illustration is an impossibility which Christ tells us, huwag niyo nang hintaying humantong sa ganung klaseng impossibility. At the onset, reconcile. Come terms quickly with your accuser. Don’t wait for the worst. Seek to be reconciled both with a brother and ganun din with a stranger. Because first and foremost, you put yourself in a situation na hindi ka maka-worship whole-heartedly. Bakit? Kasi meron kang, ano heh..hindi malinis yung iyong konsensiya na, ikaw ay walang kaaway. Alam mong merong may sama ng loob sa ‘yo so hindi ka maka-focus sa iyong worship. So ikaw, in a sense ay nagsu-suffer din kapagka hindi mo inalis an sa iyong dibdib at sa iyong isip.

The heart’s condition is more important than any external worship gestures. The heart’s condition is more important. Kaya sabi dito ni Hesus, kung na kahit na nandun ka na sa templo at ready ka nang mag- worship, kung ikaw, yung naisip mo, meron ka pa ring hindi naaayos na gulo o meron pa ring hindi pagkakasundo, iwan mo muna yung offering mo. Ayusin mo muna bago ka mag-worship ulit kasama ng iyong kapatid.

Now after 2009, di ba, pagbili natin ng..tama, after 2009. Pagka tayo ngayon ay bibili ng second hand na sasakyan, syempre sa auto dealer, lahat sila makinis, lahat parang walang sira. Pero, after 2009, ang usual tinatanong natin, ah, kuya, na-Ondoy ba yan? Nalubog ba yan sa baha? Kasi alam natin, syempre, not unless na makakasiguro tayo na gumagana nga yung makina kahit maganda pa yung labas, alam natin na walang kwenta yung sasakyan na yun so, di ba, hindi natin siya bibilhin kung ganun. Just like in our worship. Externally it may be beautiful, it may be pleasing, but God knows what is inside. Just like Cain’s worship, it was not acceptable to God dahil alam ng Panginoon na ang puso ni Cain ay lubog na lubog sa baha ng kaniyang galit at kasalanan. So not unless our conscience is clear that we live peaceably with everyone, our worship is unacceptable to God.

So ano ang challenge sa atin ngayon? The last challenge is this: Set Pride Aside. Yun lang naman yun kaya hindi tayo nakakapag-ayos sa iba eh, may pride pa rin tayo eh. Set pride aside and conflicts before they escalate. Binasa natin kanina sa Second London Baptist about worship. So, ano ang sabi doon? When is the time of worship, when is the time to worship God according dun sa binasa natin kanina? Di ba sabi doon God is to be worshiped everywhere in spirit and in truth as in private families daily, and in secret, each one by himself. So more solemnly, and more importantly in the public assemblies. Sa corporate worship din, lalo na, which are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected or forsaken. Hindi natin dapat fino-forsake ang corporate worship. And so we have a weekly corporate worship, we have daily family worship, we have private worship, hindi lang Sundays. Eh paano yan kung araw- araw kang galit? Paano yan kung araw-araw meron kang pinag-iisipan ng masama? Paano kung yung galit mo parang si Mike Enriquez, hindi ka tinatantanan? Ang tanong sa ‘yo ngayon, kelan ka magwo-worship ng totoo? Pwede mong peki-en, pwede kang mag-lead ng family worship niyo pero deep inside galit ka sa asawa mo kasi un-submissive siya kahapon. O kaya i-family devo mo yung anak niyo pero galit ka sa kaniya kasi hindi siya sumunod, di ba? Pwede kang nagdadasal nang sarili mo sa kuwarto, kita nung asawa mo na nagdadasal ka para may accountability ka. Pero you’re not confessing your sins, repenting your sins, sincerely offering your sins to God, killing your sins. Then, pwede mo siyang peki-en pero really, hindi ka nakakapag-worship nung klase ng worship na tatanggapin ng Panginoon. Men, alam niyo ‘to.. usually, we are to lead our wives and our children in family worship. And so it is a challenge for us na talagang i-control yung ating temper and really be peacemakers dun sa bahay. Kasi if we exercise authority without exercising love, ang hirap and alam ko mostly ng mga parents dito, dahil na-e-experience ko rin yun. Ang hirap mag-lead ng worship pagka hindi malinis yung conscience mo, yung heart mo. Christ’s command, just a reminder, Christ’s command doesn’t tell us to set the importance of worship aside. Hindi ko ho sinasabi na ay hindi pa kami nagkaka-ayos, huwag muna kaming mag-worship, no! We are not neglecting the importance of worship. Worship of God is not losing any of its value. It is just as important. Ang sinasabi lang natin dito, hindi ka lang makaka- worship nang tama kung hindi ayos ang iyong puso, if you have not reconciled with a brother whom you have conflicts with or with your accuser. And so ang nangyayari lang dito, hindi nababawasan yung value ng worship, but you are prolonging the time na hindi ka nakaka- worship ng tama and therefore stacking your sins up.

And so again the challenge, i-set aside mo yung pride mo. Be humble and make sure that you reconcile quickly. Huwag mo nang patagalin. Ayusin mo na. Eh, Neil, siya naman yung nauna eh. Kahit na. Set your pride aside. Ay, hinihintay ko lang naman na ma-realise niya yung pagkakamali niya, patatawarin ko naman siya. Set your pride aside. Eh, kasi parang ako na lang palagi yung nauuna..sorry ako ng sorry..siya naman this time. Hindi. Set your pride aside. Did God wait for you to repent before sending His Son to die for your sins? Hindi di ba Romans 5 verse 8 tells us God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. And so Christ effectively modelled reconciliation for us in this sense. Christ by coming down and taking the form of man and living the perfect life for man’s righteousness and dying for man’s sin, has modelled for us the way to be reconciled with God.

And therefore anyone who repents, kaya natin nasasabi mag-repent ka ng totoo at sincere sa puso mo, patatawarin ka ng Panginoon. Paano mo nasasabi yan Neil? Hindi dahil sa kung ano man yung ginawa mo pero dahil sa ginawa ni Kristo sa krus, tayo ay reconciled kay God because of Christ. Ginawa sa atin ito..ginawa para sa atin ito ng Panginoong Diyos. Ang panawagan sa atin ngayon, gawin din natin ito sa ating kapwa. Set our pride aside and conflicts before they escalate.

Do let me just leave you with this um short story. Promise maiksi lang siya. This is a true story of the Charleston church shooting. So ito ay nangyari noong June 2015. So shootings, alam niyo may namatay na. This is this happened in Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. So ito ay sa South Carolina. So, nine people were killed. Ang pinaka story niya in one sentence ay mayroong isang lalaki about 2 years of age na pumasok, bible study raw kuno pero after nun, namaril siya doon sa loob ng church na iyon. Now this is the catch of the story. Just two days later, two days pa lang, several of the family members of those who died attended the bond-hearing for the shooters. So may hearing na; umattend sila. Some gave victim impact statements and spoke directly to the man who shot their loved ones. Kinausap nila; lumapit sila; imagine after two days, you talked already to the murderer of your loved ones. And one of them, si Nadine Collier said this.. actually lahat sila, ganito yung idea: kinausap nila, nilabas nila yung sakit na hindi na nila makikita yung mahal nila sa buhay pero at the same time, pinatawad nila yung murderer na yon. Two days after the shooting. Si Nadine Collier, sabi niya – I forgive you. I quote..sabi pa niya, you took something very precious from me. I will never talk to her again, referring to her mom who is 70 years of age na kasama dun sa shooting. So sabi niya, you took something precious for me. I will never talk to her again I will never, ever hold her again. And then next she said, but I forgive you and have mercy on your soul. So lahat sila, hindi ko na I-quo-quote, pero lahat sila, ganun ang idea. Naglabas ng sama ng loob..syempre masakit na hindi mo na makikita yung mahal mo sa buhay. But also, they said to that person, I forgive you. The story of Charleston Church stayed in the news for a long time and lumalabas-labas siya nung mga taon na ‘yon.

Kasi napaka-unusual yung pangyayari. It was very counter-intuitive. It was very counter-cultural. Napaka-kakaiba, napaka-radikal yung sitwasyon na ‘yon na after just two days, yung murderer, sinabi mo, pinatatawad mo na. Grabe yung ganung klaseng reaction. So hindi sanay ang mundo sa ganto. Sanay ang mundo sa .. ay, pinatay mo yung kamag-anak ko, death for you as well! No, actually huwag muna quick death; mag-suffer ka muna and then tsaka ka mamatay after. That is the response of the world. But for Christians, for citizens of God’s kingdom, that is, anger is not the way for us. Hindi tayo tinawag ng Panginoon para dito sa ganitong klase ng galit. As Christians who have passed from death to life, who have passed from darkness to light, as heavy as this story is, this is how God calls us to respond. We respond radically not in anger, but in love and reconciliation. We respond in grievance of sin and hope of repentance for all. Kasi ganun din ang ginawa sa atin ng Panginoon kagaya nung kakantahin natin mamaya, ang sabi dun sa bandang huling linya, I love because He loveth me. I live because He lives.

And so the life that we have received from Christ, the love we have received from Christ, the forgiveness we have received from Christ, we show to those around us. Christ’s finished work modelled for us how God addressed our hearts’ condition and sought to reconcile us to Himself. And as Christians called to love our neighbours, this is the standard by which we strive to deal with our murderous hearts. This is the standard by which we nurture relationships and this is the standard by which we preserve life.

Let us all pray. Dear God, our Heavenly Father, we thank You for this time of corporate worship. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to give You back all the glory to worship you in spirit and in truth. As you have called us to do every Lord’s Day, Father, all of these will not be possible if you have not reconciled us to Yourself. If you have not extended forgiveness and love to us by sending Christ, Your only begotten Son to live and die for us. And we hold that forgiveness to be true because we know that our Lord and Savior rose from the dead after three days. And so now, Father, we have hope that even while we await the coming of your kingdom, when Christ returns again, we know that in a sense, Your kingdom is here now as You reign within our hearts. And as we wait faithfully Father, we ask does you strengthen our hearts to love one another. We ask that You soften our hearts in the sense that we will be able to forgive others. To not hold anger towards others, to think of others as ourselves. Dahil Panginoon, ganito rin ang pinakita Mo sa aming pagmamahal; ganito rin ang pinakita Mo sa aming grasya, Panginoon. And as citizens of Your kingdom, as pilgrims in this world, as salt and light of this fallen world, Father we know that to reconcile people to You, ito’y isa sa aming mga tasks; ito ay isa sa mga works that You have prepared us to do for Your glory. And so we pray for not strength of this world, but the strength coming from You by the empowerment of Your Holy Spirit. Father forgive us for all our sins, for all the anger in us, for all the hatred in us, for all the the pride in us. Patawarin Ninyo po kami Panginoon. And if ever we have wronged anyone, if ever we are uh not okay with anyone, Father, tulungan Ninyo po kami na maging humble in heart, that we may fix our relationships with those that are around us. And Father in doing so, may not the glory be to us, but to You and you alone. Father may You be glorified throughout the rest of this Lord’s day and thank You for Your love, mercy and grace in Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.

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