The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany

 Sermon Text: Romans 12:14-21

 Other Readings: Genesis 45:3-15 and Luke 6:27-38


 

  1. What can it look like to “bless” our persecutors? Confer Luke 6:28.
     
  2. God is love. But sometimes people stress God’s love so much that they overlook his other attributes. God is love, but according to Romans 12:19, God is also ____________.
     
  3. In our First Reading, three times Joseph said to his brothers who sold him into slavery, “God sent me [to Egypt]” (vv. 5,7,8). How can that perspective help us when we might be tempted to repay evil for evil (Romans 12:17) or are close to being overcome by evil (Romans 12:21)?
     
  4. Verse 20 is a quote of Proverbs 25:21,22. What do you think it means when it says that by showing kindness to an enemy you will “heap burning coals on his head”?
     
  5. Think of someone in your life whom you either have a hard time getting along with or who could be considered a real enemy. Say a prayer to God on their behalf.
     

  1. Jesus encourages us to pray to God on their behalf. When we ask God to show them kindness and favor (especially in a spiritual sense), we are blessing our enemies.
     
  2. God is also just. God will punish the evildoer who does not repent and dies in unbelief.
     
  3. Even when God allows evil into our lives, he can still overcome it and somehow even use us or the situation to accomplish some good.
     
  4. Most commentators think that the best explanation is that it means to make someone embarrassed about the way they (mis)treated you. When a person blushes with embarrassment, their cheeks become red and warm, similar to burning coals.
     
  5. God bless you as you live out the mercy he has shown you. May he use you to help ease the tension or even to draw your adversary closer to his Son Jesus Christ, making that person your brother or sister in the faith.