Do I Have to Turn the Cheek?!

We had a wonderful Lord’s Day! Check out some of the pictures, as well as some resources below. Don’t forget, Sunday school is this Sunday at 9:15!

The King Who Turned His Cheek
When we remember that Jesus is Lord of Lords, it shocks us that Christ willingly gave up His life in sacrifice to save us. Even more shocking – Jesus asks us to “turn the other cheek” also! To be sure, just because Jesus taught to go the extra mile and give up your tunic does not mean that Jesus taught pacifism, nor does it mean that there is no recourse for an abused wife. It can even help a Christian think about buying firearms or other forms of self-protection.

Instead, we should understand that “turning the other cheek” is part of Jesus’ teaching to “be perfect as Your heavenly Father is perfect.” When Christ tells us to lay down our lives – even for our enemies – that does not mean becoming a doormat that everyone walks all over. This is a part of the holiness Jesus calls for. As Dr. Joel Beeke reminds us, “Holiness, then, is not merely obeying a list of rules, but a lifestyle of being increasingly conformed to Jesus Christ in a life of obedience. Such holiness must impact all our thoughts, words, and actions.” That includes how we treat our enemies!

If you want to go to a real Black belt level on this discussion, we have two resources for you. First, consider Dr. David VanDrunen’s “Bearing Sword in the State, Turning Cheek in the Church: A Reformed Two-Kingdoms Interpretation of Matthew 5:38–42” in Themelios Vol 34 No 3. The second is a small booklet available in PDF, Geerhardus Vos’ The Teaching Of Jesus Concerning the Kingdom of God. Happy reading!

About blund

Brian J. Lund is minister of Word & Sacrament at Zion Evangelical & Reformed Church. You can follow him at his website or @BrianJLund.
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