Beginning in 4:17 to the end of the chapter, Paul addresses a number of significant factors in our imitation of Jesus, in the lifestyle appropriate to Christians who desire to reflect the Lordship of Jesus, the gifting of grace, and the values of God for his people. After briefly summarizing in principle the major concepts of the first three chapters, he moves to the how of Christianity. If chapters 1-3 give us the theological roots--identifying who we are, the last three chapters are focused in practice and how we should live.
A number of significant lessons could be drawn from the end of chapter 4, but one of the greatest challenges for most Christians is how we handle our anger. This is designed to be a practical lesson.
I. Anger defined: unrealistic expectations unmet.
Virtually all have such expectations from childhood, our past, our unique viewpoints, etc.
II. Anger handled:
III. Anger resolved:
Contrast forgiveness and reconciliation.
Forgiveness is not reconciliation. They are two different things.
Forgiveness is the release of my right to be hurt. I can look through, look past the event. Consider Joseph in Gen. 50 as an example.
Reconciliation is the reestablishment of relationship.
Apply this to relationship with God. God can extend forgiveness but that does not guarantee reconciliation. Forgiveness can be unilateral, but reconciliation requires two parties. God wants us to accept the forgiveness, for therein is genuine reconciliation.
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