Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 10
December 2, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

<398> Thesis: Are you still listening? Introduction: Throughout the biblical record we are faced with a reality that G. K. Chesterton surfaced when he said, "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." Even the most stellar examples of men who are, generally, held up to be "heroes of the faith" generally have "qualifications" applied to their heroics. The apostle Paul himself said "Be ye followers of me as I also am of Christ", but he not only had to say "as I also am of Christ", he also had to be as clear as he could be that the issue was not his lifestyle, but his practice of one primary principle: pressing (Philippians 3:13-15). In other words, it is a basic fact of life that there are no "heroes" which we can follow outside of the basic issue of attempting to make more progress than we have already made. Why is this? Why, when one surveys "Christendom", do we find only flawed human beings? And, even more to the point is this question: Why, when we look for "heroes" do we often select people who are not even "believers"? [Opposing the dump site by following Ghandi's example; evangelicals using people who function within theological systems which flatly deny justification by faith as "examples"; etc.] Part of the reason is to be found in the opening words of Luke 6:27: Jesus' statement that He was really only talking to a select group of people within the great crowds who were flocking around Him to get out of Him what they wanted (6:17-19). This morning we are going to investigate the significance of these words as a way to better understand ourselves and each other.