Victory Through Surrender

Bible Book: Matthew  5 : 1-5
Subject: Surrender; Victory; Christian Living
[Editor's Note: I express gratitude to Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey for transcribing this sermon for inclusion on SermonCity]

Meekness is not cowardice. Jesus was “meek and lowly” (Matthew 11:29). Jesus was not a coward. He faced the cross unflinchingly. He prayed and fasted forty days and forty nights. He encountered wild beasts in the wilderness. He took a whip in hand to drive out the money changers from the Temple.

Christian=Christ + IAN – I Am Nothing

The meekest man of ordinary men was Moses. This general led the children of Israel from Egypt to the borders of Canaan. He finally let God get control of his life.

Moses spent the first 40 years of his life in Pharaoh’s court learning to be somebody.

Moses spent the next 40 years of his life in the desert learning to be nobody.

Moses spent the last 40 years of his life learning what God could do with somebody who learned the first two things. He started out as a prince, then he became a pauper, then he became a prophet. He was meek not weak. Meekness is the ability to be under control, or strength under control.

In Bible days and in some places in America we put a saddle on the back of a horse, and put a bit in their mouth to pull a plow or a wagon. When a horse is made meek, although broken, still has the same speed, fire, proclivity, but has a new master. God doesn’t cripple you but He wants to channel you. When God created you, He put in you certain instincts, temper, ambitions and desires. Bridled re-channeled it anger to righteous indignation. “Be angry, and sin not.” He does not intend for you to become placid milquetoast.

Ambition is not wrong, but pure ambition is best. If you desire to be great become a servant. True greatness comes by serving and by loving. The same tongue not to slander, scold or gripe.

The result of true meekness is victory through surrender. Matthew chapter 5 records the Beatitudes in our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount. For example, in Matthew 5:5 we find meekness and in Matthew 5:38-39 meekness is illustrated.

Three ways to find out if you are meek: your relation to authority; your reaction to abuse; and your response to adversity.

I. Your Relation to Authority

Jesus speaks about contemporary philosophy in His day, when He says, “you have heard, but I say unto you.” Is your relationship to authority correct? James 1:21-22 says, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

How do you receive the Word?

A. We receive the Word with a repentant spirit.

The word “filthiness” comes from a Greek word meaning “wax in the ear”. Those with wax in their ear can’t hear what God is saying. This refers to wax in the spiritual ear.

B. We receive the Word with a receptive spirit.

Two Greek words can be translated “receive”, namely lambano, which means to receive like grasping, taking or snatching; and the Greek word dekomai means “to receive like welcoming a guest into your house.” James says, “Welcome the Word.” Lord, speak, I want to hear.

C. We receive the Word with a responsive spirit.

In James 1:22 we read, “doers of the word and not hearers only.” This speaks of self-deception. “Which is able to save your soul.” The word translated “soul” is psyche. Do you want to keep from being a “double minded” man? When you hear and do not obey the Word of God, it harms you. An impression without expression leads to depression. The danger is that we can get it in a notebook or in the margin or our Bible, but not in our life. Some Christians are like a sponge, they sit, soak, sour, and then stink. Get the saddle, bridle and bit on you and you are ready to go.

II. Your Reaction to Abuse

Has somebody done you wrong? We read in Matthew 5:38-41, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”

The Bible teaches our responsibility to defend our country, our loved ones and our own lives. We find in Matthew 5:38-41, the law of retaliation. If someone thinks that you have so wronged them that you deserve a slap on the face which is an insult, turn the other cheek, also let him insult you twice. The phrase “sue thee at law” refers to the courtroom. If he asks for your coat, give your cloak also. If he asks you to go one mile go two. It is human nature to get them back.

III. Your Response to Adversities

We read in Matthew 5:44-48, “But I say unto you, 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: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

The word translated “perfect” is the Greek word teleos, which means complete. The sun rises on the evil and the good and the rain falls on the just and the unjust.

If you were God and there was a farmer who cursed you, hated you, ridiculed your name, blasphemed your son, would you let it rain on his crops? Think of somebody whose really done you wrong. If you were God and could do anything you wanted to do, what would you do? “The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance” as we read in Romans 2:4b. In Lamentations 3:22a we read, “It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed.”

The reward of true meekness is that “they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5b).

God’s legacy, inheritance, blessings are trustworthy. In 1 Corinthians 3:21-23 we read, “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; / Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; / And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.” Paul also writes in 2 Corinthians 6:10, “As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”

The devil can’t take our inheritance away and can’t bribe us to take it away because we have everything. We find victory through surrender. We are not crippled but controlled. Paul writes in Romans 6:13, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”

“Yield yourselves. . . as instruments of righteousness”.

[As the mighty meek], we will literally inherit the earth. Saints will rule with Him.

We read in Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

Every branch will bend low with God’s fruit and it will all belong to God’s people.

Adrian Rogers, “Victory Through Surrender” Matthew 5:1-5 [Dr. Adrian P. Rogers (1931-2005), pastor emeritus, Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee] (Memphis, Tennessee, Love Worth Finding radio broadcast, 08/26/88, WCRV Collierville/Memphis)