3 min read
Loving our Enemies                                                   6/9/24

Matthew 5:43-48 nkjv

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

⭐  This is a command of God.  

➢         When Jesus spoke these words, it was during a time when there was plenty of hate going on in the world.     

➢   Romans vs Jews > Jews vs Gentiles > Pharisees vs Sadducees > Rich vs Poor > etc, 

💥   Important in a world of hate and diversity. 

  • It’s what God’s people will do. v44) that you may be the children of God
  • It’s what God does.  v44)  He makes it rain.
  • How God makes a difference. v44)  He makes it rain. 
  • We are no better than the people we don’t like. v46) what reward?
  • We do nothing more than those that don’t have God. v47) tax collectors)

💥   Our problem is trying to FEEL love for our enemies.

  • We believe before we love our enemies, we’ve got to feel like we love them.  
    • This is not true!

⭐         Where do these verses say anything about having to feel something before we do acts of love and kindness toward our enemies?

  • We can’t get passed this issue
  • We don’t know how or can’t, so we give up and don’t even try.

⭐  Basically four main words for loving others:

  • Agape Agape, which means selfless love.  It is when we do not expect anything in return.  It's 

to love one completely and without any strings attached. > Rooted and based in giving; an expression of going the extra mile with not strings attached.  > CHARITY<  

  • Eros  From unconditional love, there is Eros, Greek’s god of love and fertility, also known as romantic love.  To have Eros is to have sentiments, desires and physical affection. >  Full of emotions and feelings.   Root is passion and emotional response. lustful


  • Philia     As one is in a romantic relationship, it is important to have Philia in your life.  Philia is the type of love you feel for your friends, the platonic love, where there is no sexual attraction. 

  • Storge:  Storge is the love between a parent and child, which helps shape how the child grows up seeing the world, reacting to the world and feeling about the world.  

Strong attachment and feelings for things > pets > bowling balls > guns > dresses > jewelry etc.

💥        The “love” Jesus tells His followers to have is the Agape.  A love not rooted in emotions but actions and deeds.  “Treat people right”  Do what is right, regardless of what you feel.

💥     How can we love our enemies?  Bless those that curse us? Do good to those that hate, abuse and spite us?  Continue to do good to those that do bad to us in return?  Pray for those we don’t like much less want to love? 

I.     ⭐    We can’t do it alone.   

  • We must be born again. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. New Creations.  Old pride broken.
  • Filled with the Holy Spirit.  Galatians 5:16-17; 25 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk with the Spirit.

➢     To be more than just religious. (Old vs New) In Christ. v43) You have heard it said,,,,,     We do what is right.  The sun to rise and rain to come. v45)➢     The power to be the sons and daughters of God. v45)   That you may be the children➢     The ability to be perfect, in moments, as God is perfect. v48) be perfect      ****)God says to love others like He loves us!  That means we can never love too much! (****

II.      ⭐   We must be children of God. v45)

  • Being a child of God isn’t part time. 

    • Or only behaving like Christians when people treat us right in return and don’t talk bad about us.

Being a Christian is a full time job and then MORE.   ⇨  We don’t put our eight hours in and then go home and wait for tomorrow.We belong to God.   It’s what God’s children do.  He empowers them to do.Be filled with the Holy Spirit.    He makes it rain.   It’s right to do. There is a time for punishment and accountability but not cruelty.     If your enemy hungers, feed him……thirsts, give him drink.

Do what is right.   Follow what you are commanded to do, not what you feel.  (soldiers)Go the extra mile.  FOR GOD!  Not others.   I wouldn’t do it.  God would.

III.     Do what is right regardless of how we feel, because we are children of God.

****)  Billy Graham "Before one can know what is right and wrong, he must first align himself with God. Only then is one in a position to do right".  (****

****) Faith is not the freedom to do what we want but to do what is right. (****

To fulfill this commandment…  Things to think about:

1.     Do not hate people!

2.     Don’t wish harm on others

3.     Do what is right, not what you want.

4.     Go the extra mile.  Give to the unthankful, expecting nothing in return.  See what that will do in your relationship with God.

5.     Pray instead of talking about others.

6.      Speak to people, greet people.