Is Retaliation Ever Right?

Ultimately I am responding to Jesus, not to the person in front of me.  The person wronging me may not deserve a response to grace, but the Jesus who bled and died for me does.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 120

Christ Did First, We Should Now

We make our wives beautiful by extending to them the grace of the cross.  This “washes them with the word” and helps form in them Christ-like character.  Christ did it for us, first; we do it for our wives second.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 118

Grace vs. Retaliation

Christ loved the church by receiving her hurtful blows and offering only love in response.  His grace toward the church did not find, but made, the church beautiful.  This produced in the church a love for Him that could never have been produced through retaliation.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 118

Aggressively Graceful

The gospel does not tell us to be passive toward others in their faults.  It tells us to be aggressively graceful.  We overcome evil with good.  “Overcome” is a warrior’s term.  Paul is saying, “Go to war with evil, and defeat it soundly with grace.”  Jesus overcame evil in us through the grace of the cross.  We will overcome evil in others by being to them as Jesus was to us.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 117

Evil Is Destroyed By Extravagant Grace

The person who receives your kindness in response to their sin is shocked into awareness.  Your kindness to them makes them see the absurdity of their selfish and helps awaken them to the blessings of relationship.

Only then, Paul says, will you overcome evil.  You can’t overcome evil in someone by paying them back.  You’ll only perpetuate it.  Your retaliation will produce more anger in them, and, in turn, more evil, if not toward you, toward someone else.  You destroy the evil in someone by showing them extravagant grace.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 116

When We Tasted That, Our Hearts Were Transformed

When we are wronged, a little divine tuning fork rings in our hearts telling us that the balance of justice in the universe is off.  We feel nigh unto deity when we are righting the wrong.  We think when we restore the balance of justice, everyone will start behaving properly again.

That is a lie.  Is that how God changed us, by punishing us for our sins?  No.  God changed us by pouring out undeserved kindness on us.  When we tasted that, our hearts were transformed.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 115

As We Stand

As we stand amazed at what God has done for us in the cross of Christ, we find it hard to stay angry at one another.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 115