Dying With Christ Means Dying To All Violent Tactics

The word “violence” could be defined as the aggressive imposition of your will on another person. The flesh or “outward man” usually resorts to violent means in order to get his way. We violate others in some way in order to get what we want.

Violence intimidates, threatens, coerces, retaliates, uses the silent treatment, pouts, attacks thru words, slanders or criticizes, judges, injures or kills.

The outward man (2 Cor 4:16) has its set of values, goals, needs and opinions. When someone comes along and threatens any of those in some manner, we self-protect by resorting to violence. The outward man uses violence as control techniques to get his way. When his control is threatened, he resorts to violence to stay in control.

Taking up the cross means dying to the outward man and his deeds and tactics. It means giving up control, being willing to be vulnerable like a sheep among wolves.

In John 18 and Matthew 26:52, those coming to arrest Jesus were threatening Peter’s goals, security, and values. What they were doing was threatening to Peter, extremely unfair to Jesus and wrong. In the way of the flesh, Peter resorted to violence to correct this wrong and put down the threat. He cut off the high priest’s servant’s ear. Jesus told Peter to put away his sword and told him we have to drink the cup, another way of telling Peter we have to take up the cross in this kind of situation. In Matthew 26:52, Jesus told Peter that he who takes up the sword of violence will die by that sword. Jesus healed the servant’s ear. God is a healer and never violent. Christ and Him crucified is the all encompassing litmus test of the character of God. Any god you see in the Bible acting contrary to that principle is not Jesus’ Father in Heaven.

In Philemon 8-14, Paul refuses to bully, pull rank or intimidate Philemon in order to get him to do what Paul wanted. Paul exhorted Philemon thru love.

God, Jesus and the believer should never ever resort to violence. We identify and act out only of the inner man always with grace, mercy, forgiveness, and agape (unconditional) love. This is the lifestyle of the cross. This is the way of the cross. We must die to all violent tactics.

Travis Bryan III

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