Post Conference Stress Disorder; Justice vs. Grace; John 15:18; Matt 18:21-35

Class Outline:

Post Conference Stress Disorder; Justice vs. Grace; John 15:18; Matt 18:21-35 


John 15:18 "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.


There are many reasons for the hatred that the world system, its institutions, and the people involved hate Jesus Christ and His positive believers whom He calls His disciples.


Christ’s mind and ways are different than theirs:


ISA 55:6 Seek the Lord while He may be found;

Call upon Him while He is near.


ISA 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way,

And the unrighteous man his thoughts;

And let him return to the Lord,

And He will have compassion on him;

And to our God,

For He will abundantly pardon.


ISA 55:8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

Neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord.


ISA 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways,

And My thoughts than your thoughts.


These ways, in the plural, will be explored over the next several weeks. In other words, we will count the ways.


One of those ways I want to study this morning is the justice vs. grace principle. The reason I chose this was for its post conference poignancy as well as the fact that God literally put it in my lap.


When I take a break from studying and teaching full time, I like to just read. I usually chose a book and read as much as I can. I chose a book that I had started months ago on another break, a book that someone in the congregation had given to me, however, the first time I didn’t get too far. This past week I got deep into the book and I didn’t realize its impact on this morning until yesterday. God takes care of everything.


By Wednesday, just two full days after the completion of what several people said was the best conference they had ever been to, I heard of attacks on several people either in the congregation or not in, but very close to me. These were not attacks on enemies, but friends and loved ones, and directly after what I think was a critical step in our realization of our future impact.


I personally think that the KOD took more notice of us after last weekend. Whether that’s true or not, what is important here is that we discern the sign of the times, and I don’t mean end times, I mean this week.


Matt 16:3

Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?


For the religious Jews being addressed here by our Lord Jesus the sign that they are not discerning are all pointing towards Him as the promised Messiah.


One of the signs for abnormal attacks is their frequency. There are just a lot of them at once in what seems to be random patterns, but when examined they are not. In each attack [minor and major] that I have noticed, and there may be more, I estimate that the person getting attacked is getting hit right in their area of potential fear or weakness. The KOD isn’t stupid by any means. They watch and wait for the more opportune moments. They catalog potential areas of fear that we all have and hit that place at the best time.


Fear is the opposite of love, but not everyone is at advanced stages of spiritual growth and even if you were there will still be areas that have more of a potential to produce fear than others.


Examples: providing for your family, mastering the details of situations, being left alone, not being good enough, being overlooked for promotion, losing health or any other form of prosperity, danger to your child, losing your reputation or being found out, etc.


All of us have weaknesses and as the KOD watches you 247 they are easy to discover.


Why after a very successful conference?


A believer has a good chance of letting his guard down and letting his alertness waiver after a significant victory.


You can easily rejoice in the victories of the spiritual life and live in the past instead of living in today. It’s common, but it’s also a time of attack.


Some attacks may seem small and inconsequential, but no attack should be taken lightly. Like a small crack in the foundation of a house can grow, so can an attack that is not dealt with properly.


Attacks cause pressure, which if not dealt with through grace, causes mental attitude sins which in turn causes stress.


The small crack in the foundation could be one mental attitude sin that is not dealt with and so it festers and as it festers it causes more MAS’s and without the check of grace reversionism can result.


A believer in this condition can be a lethal weapon for satan and the KOD and often they don’t even know it. Being under stress, uncorrected by confession and recovery, they have already hurt themselves, but with their tongue, through gossip, slander, and maligning they become offensive weapons for the KOD.


So I return to the concept of justice vs. grace. These might not sound like opposites, but in many cases they are.


For example: Count of Monte Cristo and Les Miserable’s [Javert].


Justice: reward or penalty as deserved; the use of authority and power to uphold what is right, just, or lawful. [Webster’s]


The administration of justice is done by a judge. One hopes for a righteous judge.


Grace: all that God is free to do for man on the basis of the cross. It allows imperfect creatures to execute a perfect plan.


Our God is a God of justice and operates in grace so how can the words come to mean something so opposite? Actually, the key to that question is who the judge is.


If you witness a believer fail and you demand that penance be paid you are operating in justice. If you judge a believer, you are operating in justice. If you gossip [true accusation], slander [false accusation], or malign [character assassination] another believer you are operating in justice. If you harbor mental attitude sins towards any person you are operating under justice. If you operate in self-pity you are operating in justice.


You say that justice is good and it is. A criminal gets justice and in turn so does the victim. The symbol in the courtroom are the justice scales, which are balanced showing fairness and she wearing a blindfold shows blind justice based on the law and not bias.


If a murderer is found guilty but is then acquitted there would be an uproar - think of the indignant victims of his crime. But that my friends is what grace is. It is completely unnatural and unfair!


In justice a person gets what they deserve. Grace is completely unfair! The world and its ruler hate grace.


Unfortunately so do many Christians…


John 8:44

"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.


So, a good question would be, “Does God deal with you in justice?”


God “dealt” with you in justice.


Before the fall our contact with God was based on love that had the foundation of perfection. After the fall our relationship with God changed from love to justice. Justice now became our contact with God.


In the NASB justice is mentioned 129 times in the OT and 9 times in the NT. Of the other cognates such as judgment, etc. most of the NT references by far refer to the GWTJ.


Justice seems more prevalent in the OT. Certainly the Mosaic Law was a justice based Law - reward or penalty as deserved; the use of authority and power to uphold what is right, just, or lawful.


Deut 28:58 "If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, the Lord your God,


Deut 28:59 then the Lord will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses.


The Jews were told what they could eat as clean and what they could not as unclean. A dramatic vision is given to Peter soon after the Church begins showing him and us that all things are now clean. Justice [deciding clean and unclean] is now grace.


Israel could approach the temple only in a certain order. The high priest was at the front and the female Gentile was way at the back. In the Church no distinction like this is made.


If the order was broken then Deut 25:59 was the result.


People, even Christians, desire others to pay for their mistakes in this manner. But have they ever thought of the fact that such passages are not found in the NT and if so, have they asked why?


The justice demanded of the Mosaic Law was abolished by Christ through the cross, EPH 2:15.


EPH 2:15

by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,


HEB 7:28

For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.


Since justice was accomplished at the cross the believer must operate in grace towards himself and others and never justice.


Matt 18:21 Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"


Peter assumes that his brother will sin against him and not the other way around. The Rabbis taught that forgiving someone three times was sufficient and so Peter is trying to display his superior justice.


Matt 18:22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven [unlimited because justice will be accomplished on the cross].


If we condemn a brother we bring out the worst in him, but if we create an atmosphere of love and forgiveness we assist God in bringing out the best in him.


Ps 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation,

And Thy right hand upholds me;

And Thy gentleness makes me great.


We have no right to condemn now that justice has been accomplished at the cross and this may be motivation enough, but to also figure in that I can assist my brother becomes even more motivation.


Matt 18:23 "For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a certain king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves [lord slave relationship].


Matt 18:24 "And when he had begun to settle them, there was brought to him one who owed him ten thousand talents [tens of millions of dollars = more than any person could reasonably owe therefore this is a type for the sins of the whole world].


Matt 18:25 "But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.


Matt 18:26 "The slave therefore falling down, prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will repay you everything.' [people don’t do this with God, that is reading too much into the parable ]


Matt 18:27 "And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.


Matt 18:28 "But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii [reasonable debt]; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.'


Matt 18:29 "So his fellow slave fell down and began to entreat him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you.' [same entreaty as he made]


Matt 18:30 "He was unwilling however, but went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed.


According to the law this man had every right to do this, in other words, according to the law [Jewish and Roman], this man was justified in throwing this man in prison, but this parable is spiritual and not natural.


Matt 18:31 "So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.


Matt 18:32 "Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you entreated me.


Matt 18:33 'Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you?'


Matt 18:34 "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.


Matt 18:35 "So shall My heavenly Father also do to you [divine discipline], if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."


The act of justice concerning all things - reward or penalty - was accomplished at the cross. The believer must leave all justice there.


I want you all to take this challenge in order to see just how out of whack your system of thinking is when dealing with others.


ISA 42:4

"He will not be disheartened or crushed,

Until He has established justice in the earth;

And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law."


That is a new law.


ROM 8:1-2

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.