Jesus has created a new covenant community of forgiven forgivers.
- Matt shared a story about grace and cake. Grace is delicious and we desire it but it is often hard for us to understand. What has helped you come to know and experience God's grace?
- Read Colossians 3:12. Before telling us what to do, Paul reminds us of who we are - our new identity in Christ (chosen, holy, beloved). Why does Paul do this? What does it mean to you to be chosen, holy, beloved and how does this impact how you live?
- In Colossians 3:13 Paul described the Christian community as one where we bear with one another and forgive one another. What does it mean to 'bear with' each other? When have you had to 'bear with' a difficult person? When are you a difficult person?
- How can you diagnose whether you have a 'skinned knee' or a 'broken bone' when it comes to relational harm? When is the offense something to simply move past and when is confrontation and asking for more help from others needed?
- We said that forgiveness is NOT minimizing or condoning sin. It's the opposite of that! How does setting our minds on Christ on the cross - crying out, 'Father forgive them' help us understand the gravity of sin and forgiveness?
- What are other ways we get confused about what forgiveness is?
- In practice, confronting and forgiving sin often means speaking a word of judgment - 'you did this and it was wrong' followed by a word of forgiveness, 'and I release desire for personal vengeance.' Why is it so tempting to either minimize sin OR seek vengeance on our own terms?
- How do God's mercy and justice relate? Does forgiveness remove all human consequences for sin? Discuss.
- The only place we see God's mercy and God's justice intersect perfectly is the cross of Jesus. We see God's mercy for sin and God's wrath on sin there. In light of a God of justice AND mercy, what does it mean to 'do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God?' (Micah 6:8).
- Matt shared a quote from Rachael Denhollander, when asked what it means to forgive Dr. Larry Nassar. Rachael is one of hundreds abused by Nassar. Please share how this quote speaks to you:
- It means that I trust in God’s justice and I release bitterness and anger and a desire for personal vengeance. It does not mean that I minimize or mitigate or excuse what he has done. It does not mean that I pursue justice on earth any less zealously. It simply means that I release personal vengeance against him, and I trust God’s justice, whether he chooses to mete that out purely eternally, or both in heaven and on earth.