Heaping Burning Coals – Asbury University
Shapemaximize playTriangle
Watch The College Tour
Contact Us

Heaping Burning Coals

July 3, 2023

Heaping Burning Coals

Clemens Russell ’78

Ro 12:17-20 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

The ultimate goal in returning good for evil in order to heap burning coals upon someone’s head is to either bring them to Christ or bring them back to Christ. Heaping burning coals is not about God’s judgment. It is about bringing guilt and shame upon those who are sinning. It is about being Christ to those who need Him. We are called to bear the Fruit of the Spirit. Part of bearing the fruit of the Spirit, in fact most of what we bear as the Fruit of the Spirit, are traits to help others and not ourselves. Humility is mandatory if we are to reflect to those around us the love of Christ and Christ himself. If we become angry and easily offended instead of caring first and foremost for the needs of others then we are in disobedience to the word of God. We may outwardly appear Christ-like, but it is what’s in our heart and in our mind that truly indicates whether we have totally surrendered to Him and are filled with His Spirit or are simply playing selfish games. Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. And what is in our hearts comes out not only in our actions towards others, but most definitely in our thoughts and attitudes. The only way we can truly reflect the love of Christ is to die to self and to commit our lives to live for Him. It is our unswerving and unwavering love for Christ that enables us to have that same unswerving and unwavering love for our family, our friends and our enemies. We must allow Christ to do a deep work within our hearts. He takes away what we want and puts in our hearts what He wants. What he wants is for us to be holy. What He wants is for us to share His salvation to all and to encourage the restoration of his wandering children to Himself. He also wants to use us to help His children to grow and mature so that they may be salt and light on this earth. We are God’s instruments in accomplishing these tasks only when we ourselves are completely and fully yielded to the power and presence of the Spirit. Then we will truly be able to love as I Corinthians 13 tells us to love and to bear the fruit of the Spirit that Galatians 5 teaches us to bear. We will be able to put off the sins of the flesh and clothe ourselves with the righteousness of Christ as Colossians 3 encourages us to do. We must be to others what Christ has been to us, a humble, loving and sacrificial servant. This is accomplished only when we die to self and consecrate our lives completely to our Lord and Savior. Then we can live in true holiness through the resulting presence and power of the Holy Spirit.