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Being a Moral Church

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Applying Kingdom Ethics to ourselves and to our church.

Text: Luke 3:10-14
Date: 07/18/2021, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 28

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After a jolting address and warning of eschatological judgment, John the Baptist tells his audience to "bear fruit in keeping with repentance". Fearing that their sins have condemned them, members of the crowd ask John to describe these crucial fruits of true repentance. In response, John offers several simple examples of righteous behavior that should naturally flow from a redeemed heart. But we will emphasize that these examples are just the "tip of the iceberg" of the ethical standards of the Kingdom of Heaven. After carefully studying the examples John gives, we will consider the nature and source of Kingdom Ethics and their relationship to our concept of morality. Finally, we will apply Kingdom Ethics to our own lives and church, understanding that the redeemed heart has a burning desire to abide by those ethics, and ultimately come to understand what it means to be a truly moral church.

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I. Introduction, Matt. 22:37-40.
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 3:10-14.
A. Context, Luke 3:7-9.
B. Fruits of a redeemed soul.
1. The reaction of the crowd, vs. 10.
a. The scope of the response.
b. The request for application.
2. Share generously with your neighbor, vs. 11.
a. The specific principle.
i. Sharing clothing.
ii. Sharing sustenance.
b. The underlying principle.
i. What John the Baptist IS NOT saying.
ii. What John the Baptist IS saying, Matt. 22:37-40, Luke 3:8.
iii. The example of the germinal church, Acts 2:42-45.
3. Not abusing positions of authority, vs. 12-14.
a. The command to tax-gatherers, vs. 12-13.
i. Identifying the group, vs. 12.
ii. A call to ethical standards, vs. 13.
b. The command to soldiers, vs. 14.
i. Identifying the group, vs. 14a.
ii. A call to ethical standards, vs. 14b.
• Do not extort money by threats.
• Do not extort money by false accusation.
• Be content with your wages.
c. The underlying principles.
i. Not abusing power, 1Th. 4:9.
ii. The implicit inverse, Col. 3:23.
III. Application
A. Abrogating a critical responsibility.
B. Understanding Kingdom Ethics.
C. Being a moral church.
1. Avoiding the aberrations.
2. Learning from John the Baptist, Acts 4:32-35.
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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