This year our church family is focusing on “Building up our relationships with one another.” These last few weeks we have been teaching through Matthew 5, “Sermon on the Mount.” In our passage on Sunday we were reminded of 6 practical areas of our relationships with one another while we are living in Jesus’ heavenly kingdom on earth, and below is a quick outline to help us apply those truths to our lives
Relational Area (Anger): How can I be proactive in seeking reconciliation?
Gospel: When we do this we this we are uprooting anger in our soul and replacing it with the gospel. We are not giving anger a foothold in our soul, or our church family. We are putting anger to death through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are walking by faith that we are created in the image of God and our relationships with one another are important.
Reflection: What if we didn’t reconcile? Can you imagine how awkward it would be in our church family if this never happens?
Relational Area (Lust): Where have you made excuses for sexual lust? Is it possible you are just waiting for Jesus to magically change your heart over night?
Gospel: When we do this we this we are uprooting lust in our soul and replacing it with the gospel. We are not giving lust a foothold in our soul. We are putting lust to death through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are walking by faith that we are all created in the image of God and sexuality is a gift from God to be enjoyed in marriage.
Reflection: Do you believe Jesus can transform your sexual thoughts?
Relational Area (Marriage): Do you treasure the gift of marriage? I know marriage is difficult. I know there are challenges, but do you treat it as a treasure to be guarded.
Gospel: When we are committed to seeing the glorious gift of marriage we are living by faith in Jesus. We are closing the door to divorce by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are walking by faith that God knew what He was doing when this man and woman became husband and wife.
Reflection: What if we honored the gift of marriage?
Relational Area (Honesty): Do you speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4)? It isn’t shredding people with truth and then capping it off with, “I am just being honest.”
Gospel: When we stop emotionally manipulating one another with lies we are living by faith that God is good and God is in control of our relationships. We are trusting by the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus is bigger than our circumstances. We are walking by faith that we have a God who works all things to our good and His glory.
Reflection: What if we had those types of relationships with one another? What if we had the type of security in Christ that we could say, “Yes” or “No” without the anxiety of you liking me more or less?
Relational Area (Retaliation): Are we forgiving one another? Are we storing up bitterness toward one another because one time we didn’t get invited to a party?
Gospel: When we stop giving into retaliation we are trusting God is just, and His judgment has been perfectly executed at the cross. We are living by faith through the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus knows of our pain and cares about our pain. We are walking by faith that we have a God who will one day put an end to injustice all over the world and make all things new.
Reflection: Does that mean Christians shouldn’t speak out against injustice? No! We aren’t doormats. We fight against oppression. We seek justice. We speak up and say, “That is wrong!” I am not going to let you walk over me. I am not going to let you take advantage of me, because it isn’t helping either one of us, but any time you want to apologize, repent, turn from sin, walk in obedience, I am ready. I will receive you. I will embrace you.
Relational Area (Love your enemy): Do you trust all the injustices of the world are seen by God and will be held accountable?
Gospel: When we love our enemies we are reminding ourselves of the gospel. We are living by faith that all of humanity was tainted by sin. We are walking by faith through the power of the Holy Spirit that all injustice was absorbed at the cross, or will one day be absorbed in hell for those who refuse to repent.
Reflection: Do you see how “loving your enemy” really brings all of the passage together? We get angry at one another. We lie to one another. We use one another sexually. We retaliate against one another, and it is all a broken distortion of what God created.