This sermon was based on Romans 7:1-6.
Released From the Law
1Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
4Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
- Conflict is very common, both in the wider world and in our own lives.
- Unresolved conflict can really get you down.
- In Matthew 5:8, Jesus calls us to be peacemakers.
- There is a five step process to resolving conflict.
1. MAKE THE FIRST MOVE
- Often after a conflict we wait for the other person to make the first move.
- Being a peacemaker means that whether you are the offender or the offended, you should make the first move towards reconciliation.
- The Bible actually tells us that this is so important that we should even prioritise it over coming to church (see Matthew 5:23-24).
2. BEGIN WITH WHAT’S MY FAULT
- It’s often easier to see the faults of somebody else than your own faults. In Matthew 7 Jesus described this as picking the speck out of their eye when you have a log in your own eye.
- Often the main source of conflict isn’t other people but what’s going on in our own hearts.
- One of the best phrases when resolving conflict is, “I’m sorry, I was only thinking of myself.”
3. LISTEN TO THEIR PERSPECTIVE
- James tells us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. The first two of these things are the key to the third.
- We should seek to understand before being understood.
- We can often be so eager to get our point across that we don’t take time to listen to the other person’s.
4. SPEAK THE TRUTH TACTFULLY
- Often people say they ‘tell it like it is’. This is called being rude.
- Truth should be wrapped up in love or it won’t be received.
- Forgiveness is a choice to release someone from the debt created by a wrong.
- It doesn’t mean denying the wrong, its hurt or forgetting it happened.
- It shouldn’t be dependant on an apology.
- Forgiveness is not trust.
- Forgiveness is not ceasing to feel the pain.
- Forgiveness is not reconciliation.