Befriending Grace – Gospel in Life

Befriending Grace

Tim Keller |  January 27, 2002

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  • Fruit of the Spirit
Ephesians 4:29-5:2; John 15:12-15
RS 145-03

Ephesians 4:29–5:2; John 15:12–15

This section delves into the difference between having a heart that’s been transformed by God and one that just follows moral rules. Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount teaches us that our goodness needs to be greater than that of religious leaders. The New Testament focuses on the “fruit of the Spirit” – that includes kindness – which is the result of a heart that’s been changed by God.

1. What kindness is not

We’ll look at the idea of forgiveness – it’s often misunderstood and seen as less important than kindness. Media often struggle to depict people who are extremely good. Even these “really good people” can sometimes seem unrealistic or not human. We’ll compare ideas from Nietzsche, Jesus, and Paul about what morality really means. We’ll also look at the difference between just being nice because it’s your nature or because you’re following rules, and true kindness that comes from a humble and confident heart that’s been changed by God.

2. What kindness is

True kindness that comes from God involves grace that is practical, builds friendships, and has vision. It puts others first and helps to build honest, mutually supportive relationships. It requires humility, openness, and confidence. It also means recognizing the potential in everyone and understanding the power of forgiveness.

3. How you can get kindness

In Ephesians 4:29-32, we are guided to treat others in a way that benefits them, showing kindness and compassion while avoiding anger, bad talk, and bitterness. Jesus, through his humility and confidence shown in his crucifixion, sets the perfect example of this kind of kindness. When we realize that we have flaws that needed Jesus’ sacrifice, but also that we are cherished enough for him to willingly make that sacrifice, it gives us the power to live a life of love, showing kindness and compassion to others.



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