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Mar 14, 2021

Love Your Enemies-Mat 5:43-48

Love Your Enemies-Mat 5:43-48

Passage: Matthew 5:43-48

Speaker: Pastor Stephen Palm

Series: Matthew: The King and His Kingdom

Category: Expository Book Study

As chapter 5 ends we are met with the 6th antithesis in Jesus teaching, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (v. 44). But is this virtue possible in a world that cancels any opposing viewpoint? What about those who openly ridicule us and mock us for our faith? The answer is yes. Jesus' words from the cross provide a foundation as sons of the living God, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Lk. 23:34). Loving our enemies is not a matter of our personal feelings towards them, but a matter of our will. In the next chapter Jesus models for us through prayer that we can accomplish God’s will on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10). Only when we have an attitude to pray without ceasing (1st Thess. 5:17) can we love the wicked who grow prosperous before us. This seems impossible because our natural direction is to focus on those who love us, but there is no reward in that. Jesus’ point is that sinners love other sinners, so we must be different. We must love friend and foe alike. The trial our enemies will put us through in this life will cause us to pray and depend on the perfecting work of the Holy Spirit to mature us so that we can be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (v. 48).