“(praying)…that you, in the sharing of our common faith, will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” (Phm 6)
How should “every good thing we have in Christ” shape the way we treat people who have wronged us?
The story of Onesimus and the ethical elephant in the room = SLAVERY
What gets in the way of allowing the gospel to repair our relationships?
- Competition junkies
- Prideful addiction to determining blame
Honouring “every good thing we have in Christ”…
- The gospel, not coercion, really frees us to do what is right (14). - to love, grace, mercy, justice
- When relationship restoration between estranged believers is treated by the church as urgent, the cycle of evil in communities is halted (4, 5, 17).
- Real forgiveness requires replacing anger with real reconciliation/ relationship restoration (15). - Requires the humility to perceive the hand of God at work in uncomfortable situations (cf. Gen. 50:20)
- So healing can happen, restitution may be required, but for restoration and not retribution (18-19). - You must be able to translate yourself into the place of a debtor hoping for healing
- As it relates to advancing the gospel, the church must view herself as an outrageously gracious unprivatized community (2, 3). - The work of redemption should not be done in secret