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Suppose you were to open your mailbox and spot an unusual piece of mail. A glimpse of your name, handwritten in calligraphy, tells you this isn’t just another bill. Pushing aside the junk mail like tares from the wheat, you snatch the envelope and open the gold-lined seal to find –
An invitation ~
It is from a friend, offering you the chance to mend a broken relationship.
“An invitation to forgive?” you may scoff…
“Why would anyone want to get an invitation like that?”
And yet that is exactly the type of invitation the Apostle Paul writes in his letter to Philemon. In a manner that is both brilliant and appealing, Paul urges Philemon to take back his runaway slave, Onesimus. He challenges Philemon to see forgiveness as a privilege; an invitation to be accepted or declined. It was Philemon’s choice to make.
Would he have the character to see past his anger to the benefits this invitation would offer him, or would he hang on to resentment and miss the blessing?
This verse-by-verse Bible Study is written for anyone who has ever struggled with forgiveness or longs to see the reconciliation of broken relationships. It will address and examine the questions involved in the dynamics of forgiveness, such as:
- Can true forgiveness ever be commanded?
- Does loyalty and harmony come by compulsion?
- What is the character of someone who forgives?
- On what basis should we forgive someone who has offended us?
This study will not only shed light on the answers to these questions but also present the rich Biblical principles on which they are based. It is written in an easy-to-read, interactive format, guiding the reader to identify his own invitation to forgive—an invitation ultimately written for all of us.
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