Gospel-Empowered Forgiveness: Use the Letter of Philemon to Disciple those with an Unforgiving Spirit (Pt. 2)
Anger and bitterness over hurts and slights tend to grow in our hearts when they’re left unchecked. Many of us have made the mistake of simply ignoring these sinful attitudes and hoping they fade over time, but God has a radically different approach to anger and bitterness.
The apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:31-32 teaches a more active and aggressive approach when he says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger.” And what are we to do instead? He says, “Forgive one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Every Christian needs to revisit the biblical teaching of forgiveness from time to time, and the small New Testament book of Philemon serves as an excellent biblical case study. It’s a timely reminder to each of us to follow Christ’s example of forgiveness to the people around us.
The Delight in the Word radio program is currently going through Philemon on Moody Radio Cleveland. The first two programs address the posture of heart the gospel produces in us (vv. 1-7), while the final two teach what the practice of biblical forgiveness looks like (vv. 8-25). Here are those four programs.