Is Reconciliation Possible? The Power of the Gospel to Transform Relationships
September 6, 2020
A Chapter a Day
- Sunday, September 6, Jude
- Monday, September 7, Matthew 1
- Tuesday, September 8, Matthew 2
- Wednesday, September 9, Matthew 3
- Thursday, September 10, Matthew 4
- Friday, September 11, Matthew 5
- Saturday, September 12, Matthew 6
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Based on Philemon
→ “the of friendly relations” (dictionary.com)
→ “to reestablish proper friendly interpersonal relations after these have been disrupted or broken” (Greek-English Lexicon)
1 Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our beloved fellow worker 2 and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (vv. 1-3, ESV)
- God often calls and uses people of means to the gospel and to the church.
- “Philemon was a wealthy slave-holding Christian who lived in the city of Colossae, about 100 miles (161 km) inland from Ephesus” (ESV Study Bible, p. 2353). He came to faith in Christ through Paul’s earlier ministry in Ephesus (A.D. 52-55).
4 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, 6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. 7 For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. (vv. 4-7, ESV)
- Like Philemon, all genuine disciples have in the Lord Jesus and for other believers.
8 Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, 9 yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— 10 I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. 11 (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. (vv. 8-16, ESV)
- Like Paul, the best spiritual leaders should typically lead by rather than by .
- Genuine reconciliation cannot be ; it requires the consent and cooperation of both parties.
- Personal, spiritual through the gospel of Jesus Christ makes reconciliation possible.
6. Genuine reconciliation often requires us to go before we can go .
- Genuine reconciliation occurs when we one another differently — through the lens of the gospel.
17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.
21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you. (vv. 17-22, ESV)
- Genuine reconciliation often requires the assistance of a — a third party.
9. Genuine reconciliation is always .
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (Philemon 23-25, ESV)
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19, ESV)
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:18, ESV)