Cross: The Answer to the Problem of Evil - Gospel in Life

Cross: The Answer to the Problem of Evil

Tim Keller |  March 13, 1994

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  • Forgiveness
Romans 12:14-13:7
RS 47-6


This sermon explores what it means to overcome evil with good: 1) What does “overcome evil” mean?; 2) How is it done?; and 3) Why is it done in this way?

Romans 12:14–21

The cross encourages us to respond to bad actions with love and kindness, even towards people who dislike us. This idea, which often confuses people, comes from the amazing power of the cross. It gives us the strength to replace evil with good, which is the only sensible response.

1. What is it?

Replacing evil with good means forgiving, being kind, and staying positive, instead of returning hate or seeking revenge. It’s about seeing evil as the real enemy, not the person doing wrong, and working to reduce its power. The picture of pouring hot coals on someone’s head means making them realize the effects of their bad actions, helping create peace, and stopping evil from pulling us in.

2. How is it?

Christians have a unique way of dealing with evil. We believe in the right kind of anger, being humble, and forgiving others. Jesus’ anger towards evil was always driven by love, showing us that hating evil is key to defeating it. We’re taught to balance love with fairness, forgive without revenge, and let go of grudges through forgiveness.

3. Why is it?

Because of God’s mercy, we’re driven to confront evil with goodness. This ability comes from Jesus dying on the cross for us. His sacrifice shows us how serious sin is, why justice is needed, and that God is committed to truth and defeating evil. The cross stands for forgiveness and justice, changes how we see ourselves, and makes responding to harm with kindness not just possible, but necessary.



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