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The Total Difference (8 of 8)
Series: THE "BEATTITUDES"
There is a cereal on the market called "TOTAL." Its advertising slogan is a contrast between TOTAL and other cereals, which of course shows their own product as superior ... it ends with: "It's the TOTAL difference."
The whole aim of advertisers in comparing products is to emphasize the "TOTAL" difference between their product and others: i.e. one product will say how their medication should last 8 hours, while their competitor's product lasts only 4-6 hours. Another will stress that they have 1,000 milligrams of pain relief while their competitor has only 500. Car companies will share their total difference with other vehicles of the same or greater sticker prices ... and on and on it goes.
What they are striving to do is to show the TOTAL difference, with the goal of bringing you their way to their product.
Just what is the TOTAL DIFFERENCE between Christianity and this world? Does being a Christian mean something different? If it does, what is it?
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that we are to be different from this world, a TOTAL difference in values, morals, lifestyle, and perspective. We are called to a three-fold ministry of PRESERVATION (Salt); REVELATION (Light); and DEMONSTRATION (Good Deeds). Our lives should reflect Jesus Christ, a TOTAL DIFFERENCE in the way the world lives.
I. PERSECUTION! 5:10-12
A. Righteousness 5:10-11
1. When a real Christian shows up on this planet, the world gets real uncomfortable.
a. When our values really reflect God's kingdom, we look "different" from this world.
b. Notice that the blessing spoken of here is connected to when we are persecuted because of righteousness, not because of something else.
2. There are Christians who have been persecuted, but not always for the reason of righteousness.
3. Christ's righteousness acts as important protection from the values of this ...
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