Turning Enemies Into Friends
Topic: Reconciliation Passage: Romans 12:14–12:21
TURNING ENEMIES INTO FRIENDS
THEME: Whenever we are treated harshly or unjustly, our natural instinct is to retaliate; to hit back, get even, give others a taste of their own medicine. But as living and holy sacrifices, we are called by God to live countercultural lives and relate to the actions and emotions of others in a totally and radically different way than the rest of the world does. Consequently, God may use our Christlike reaction/response to the goings on in the world to win others to Christ. In vv. 14-21, Paul laid out a strategy to potentially win over our enemies to Christ. He gave TEN STRATEGIES for turning enemies into friends.
1. BLESS YOUR ENEMY (v. 14)
2. IDENTIFY WITH YOUR ENEMY (v. 15)
3. BE IMPARTIAL TO YOUR ENEMY (v. 16a)
4. BE HUMBLE TOWARD YOUR ENEMY (v. 16b)
5. DON’T GET EVEN WITH YOUR ENEMY (v. 17a)
6. DO RIGHT BY YOUR ENEMY (v. 17b)
7. PURSUE PEACE WITH YOUR ENEMY (v. 18)
8. LET GOD AVENGE YOUR ENEMY (v. 19)
9. MEET THE NEEDS OF YOUR ENEMY (v. 20)
10. DO GOOD TO YOUR ENEMY (v. 21) APPLICATION QUESTIONS James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” These questions are designed to help you apply today’s message to your life. We encourage you to thoughtfully answer these questions and discuss your answers with others. For more information about joining a Grow Group that uses these questions as the basis for weekly discussion, prayer, and accountability, please call the church office at (936) 582-1977.
1. What is your response to the recent events in our country (i.e. police brutality, racial protests)? What thoughts have been going through your mind and what emotions have you been feeling?
2. Read 1 Peter 2:18-23. Why should vengeance have no place in the life of anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ? How should you respond whenever you are treated harshly or unjustly?
3. Read Luke 6:27-36. Is there anyone in your life who you falls into the category of an enemy? How can you apply the words of Jesus in your relationship with them?
4. Read Acts 10:34, 1 Corinthians 12:13, and Galatians 3:28. Are you guilty of prejudice in how you view others or treat others? How is being prejudice a failure to grasp the gospel (cf. Rev. 5:9)?
5. Read Matthew 5:23-24 and 18:15. Are there any unresolved conflicts in your dealings with others? What can you do or say to pursue reconciliation with those people you have something against or who have something against you?
6. Read 2 Samuel 16:5-14. What can you learn from David whenever you experience ruthless attacks attacks from a “Shimei” in your life (cf. 1 Pet. 3:8-17)?
7. Thank God for being merciful and not giving you what you deserved when you were His enemy. Ask Him to forgive you for any prejudice toward others that might be in your heart. Ask Him to grant you the grace to respond to harsh and unfair treatment in a Christlike way and to use your example to help others become followers of Christ. “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.” Abraham Lincoln