In Romans 12 onwards Paul is shifting his focus to the church.
How can we as a redeemed community make an impact on the world in which we live.
Romans 12 tells us that a world changing redeemed community will be:
• Totally committed to the cause of the Kingdom
• Committed to personal life change
• Committed to using our gifts in service
• A community that genuinely loves.

Genuine love will be expressed
1. Through family Vs 10
2. In our practical spirituality Vs 11-13
3. In our relationships with those who hurt us Vs 14-21

3. Genuine love is best seen in our relationships with those who hurt us Vs. 14-21

vs. 14 “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse”

Paul is not downplaying evil here.
He first acknowledges that people will do things to hurt us.
Living in a broken world, means we WILL GET treated badly at times.
Is it fair? No!
Is it right? No!
But does it happen? Yes!
Paul is calling us to a higher way of living.
The way of Christ: “love”.
Genuine love responds to hurt with blessing.
“Bless” = “to speak well of”, “to cause to prosper”, “to seek the well-being of”
“persecute” = “to pursue in a hostile manner” “to be a servant of fear”

Where does such a response come from?

Vs. 15-16 Such a response can only come from a heart that seeks the best for others in an attitude of humilty.
Pride seeks my own welfare, my own way, my own well-being.
Pride says “I deserve better than this”
Humility seeks the well-being of others.
Humility says “How can I do better for you?”

Vs. 17-21 Paul now returns to the Godly response to hurt.
The natural response is to seek revenge … to make a person pay.
“I deserve better than that! How DARE you treat ME like that!”

Vs. 17-18 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil”
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with EVERYONE”

We are to be different from the world around us.
The human reaction is to seek pay back … to get revenge … to stab people in the back/gossip about them/destroy their reputation/get even/ have a bad attitude towards the.

“No” says Paul!
“That is not how Jesus lived!”

God is the judge, not us.
Our role is to love … not judge
Our role is to respond to wrong how Jesus did.
How did Jesus respond to wrong?
Luke 23:32-34 “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”

Jesus responded with forgiveness.
The loving response to hurt is to FORGIVE.

What does it mean to forgive?