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Protected by Love (Kenneth Copeland)

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Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.

– Matthew 5:44-45

Love your enemies…turn the other cheek…to most people that sounds like a pretty weak way to handle somebody who’s causing them trouble. But, the truth is, it’s the most powerful way there is. It’s the way Jesus did it– and His way never fails.

Do you remember when Jesus went back to Nazareth and the religious folks were angry with Him and wanted to push Him off a cliff? What happened? He just walked right past them, and no one could lay a finger on Him. Another time they decided to stone Him, and He didn’t retaliate that time either. He just walked off. No one could touch Him.

When Jesus walked through that crowd, He wasn’t afraid. He knew they couldn’t hurt Him because He was walking in the love of God.

When Jesus said to turn the other cheek, He didn’t mean for you to stand there and have your brains beaten out. He meant for you to stand there in love and in faith believing that the protecting power of God that accompanies that love would keep you safe. He meant for a man to swing at you and not be able to hit you!

The story of Nicky Cruz as recorded in David Wilkerson’s book, The Cross and the Switchblade, is a perfect example of that. Nicky was reputed to be the most ruthless gang leader of his time. Yet, when David Wilkerson stood in front of him, telling him about Jesus, Nicky was totally unable to hurt him. He thrust his knife at David several times. But every time he did, David just said, “Nicky, you can cut me into a thousand pieces and every piece will still say, ‘I love you and God loves you.'” Because of love, Nicky couldn’t get his knife close enough to David to hurt him. A supernatural force always stopped it short.

“But I don’t have that kind of love!”

Yes, you do. Romans 5:5 tells us that the love of God is shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit. All you have to do is make the decision to be motivated by that love rather than your own human feelings.

My friend, love never fails! You don’t have to be afraid of failure anymore. In fact, you don’t have to be afraid of anything. If you’re walking in the love of God, you’re living the most powerful kind of life there is.

Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:38-48

Romans 1.17

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For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Three books of the New Testament quote Habukkuk 2.4, the just shall live by faith. Romans, Galatians and Hebrews. Romans tells us what the just are, Galatians tells us how to live, and Hebrews explains what faith is. It is clear that the just shall live by faith are the single most important six words in the whole Bible.

Six words all one syllable long and they have changed the world. Without those six words, we would be living in hell on earth right now. It is those words that took the gospel to the world in Paul’s generation and established a church that changed the world, that released us from the world of legalism and wickedness.

Then when the church had fallen for the lies of the devil and was bound in politics, in powerless legalism and useless tradition, these six words grabbed the heart of Martin Luther and brought revival to a generation that is still flooding the church today. Without the Reformation, there would be no Methodists, no Pentecostals, no charismatics and no Word of Faith! These six words have changed your life!

Now it is time for these six words to change your life on a personal level. You are the just. Now the word just is a totally redundant word in the Bible. The word righteous means exactly the same thing. The righteous shall live by faith. You are righteous because of what Jesus has done.

This is what Paul is saying: the gospel is the power of God for salvation because in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed.

Righteousness is no longer something we have to achieve by works, it is something we have to receive by faith.

The gospel is this: Jesus Christ lived a perfectly righteous life. He then offered that righteous life up as an offering for you, taking your sin so you could be made righteous (2 Cor. 5.21). The moment you put your faith in Jesus, you were made righteous. The righteous are bold, the righteous abound in blessings, the righteous enjoy fullness of joy, the righteous pray and their prayers are answered and heard by the Lord. And you are righteous the moment you put your faith in the gospel!

The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. The Greek says ek pistis eis pistis, which is best translated out of faith into faith.

The gospel reveals the righteousness of God out of faith into faith. What does this mean?

A lot of people have a lot of theories, but my opinion is this: the righteousness of God comes out of the faith of God and into our faith.

God believed that we would be righteousness, and His faith sent Jesus into our world, living a righteous perfect life and offering that life as a sacrifice. Then as we believe the gospel, the righteousness goes into our faith. The moment we believe the gospel righteousness goes into our faith and transforms our spirit. We are transformed so remarkably and totally the only correct term is that we are born again.

To be born again means the same as to be made righteous. We were spiritually dead and spiritually sinful. Then we are born again to spiritual life and spiritual righteousness.

Before Jesus walked the earth, there was no one righteous, no not one.

Then, out of faith the righteousness of God moved from heaven into earth through the conception and birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a perfect life, a righteous life, and offered that life up for us on a cross, becoming sin so we could become righteous.

Then, when anyone at all puts their faith in Jesus Christ that righteousness comes into that faith and transforms that person so that they are born again as a righteous man.

Wow! Now you are righteous, how do you live? You live by the same faith that made you righteous.

Stop living by works. Stop living by circumstances. Stop living by experience. Stop living by gifting. Live by faith. Live by the Word of God and confidence that Jesus Christ has redeemed you.

If sickness comes into your body, don’t live by sickness. Live by faith in your redemption by Christ. Live well.

If you are bound by sin, don’t live by experience and how you lived today. Live by faith – faith in the fact that Jesus became that sin and you became righteous with His righteousness.

If you are in debt, don’t live by debt. Live by faith that Jesus became poor so you could be rich.

You are the righteous – so live by faith.

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