How Should Christians Treat Unbelievers?

Episode 110 Show Notes 

How Should Christians Treat Unbelievers?

From the Show

The Bible seems to talk about unbelievers as if they don’t do anything good. How do you explain this?

I had a conversation, years ago, with the chief rabbi of Los Angeles…we had a wonderful discussion, and one of the points that he made was this: he says, “You know, as a rabbi, I have to say the biggest difference between Christianity and Judaism, from my point of view is Jesus says that even if you've lust in your heart, you've committed adultery. That just makes no sense to a Jewish person.” I said, "Really? tell me more about it." He says, “The rabbis always teach that it is only outward actions that are sins, and Jesus makes it impossible for anyone to follow the law.”

I said, "Rabbi, that's the point." He's just pointing out that none of us really does. And that's why we need him to save us. I think that that's a typical assumption that people in our culture, in any culture have, that deeds are deeds. But Christianity isn't first and foremost about deeds, it's about who we are, inwardly. What we do outwardly [is] important, but good deeds come from a heart that's changed from selfishness to faith in Christ and love of neighbor. — Michael Horton​​​​​ 

Questions in this Episode

1. The Bible seems to talk about unbelievers as if they don’t do anything good, I’m thinking of Romans 3 for example. But I know people who are not Christians who are good people. They are good neighbors and seem to be overall kind people. How do you explain this?

2. How should the Gospel influence the way I treat my children? I’m worried that if I show too much grace they won’t learn discipline and self-control. Where is the balance?

3. Were people in the Old Testament saved by works? Or were they saved by grace too? Is this what the Bible means in the Gospel of John where it says, "The law came through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ"?

4. I have heard it said that the holier you are the more you will feel like you fall short. If this is true how do you avoid falling into despair over sin?

5. When the Holy Spirit was poured out in Acts, what changed in history? How is this different from the Spirit coming upon Old Testament judges?​

Resources

What Happened at Pentecost and Why It Matters Now

Parenting in the Power of the Gospel

Let Love Drive Your Decisions

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