Matthew 5:43-48: "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Here it is clear that the love of the neighbor, which God requires, is a holy, spiritual love. It is also clear that the law is indeed of Divine origin. For who had ever thought of loving enemies?! In opposition to the Pharisees' interpretation of the demand to "love the neighbor as yourself,” Jesus explains the term neighbor and shows that it is so broad as to include our enemies! We are even to love those who hate us, speak evil against us and persecute us! With whomever God in His providence places in your path, we have but one calling: Love him. That is the law of God’s kingdom, the perfect law of love. That is a profound calling. To love even that neighbor who is our enemy is a love that can only be one-sided. Yet that is our calling, to walk in the love of Christ, also in relation to the neighbor who is our enemy. For did not God love us while we were yet enemies with Him?
But then let us also understand, to show love towards such a neighbor is to speak to him of the glorious God of righteousness and truth. We must speak the truth in love, showing patience, meekness, mercy, and all kindness; but in firmness declaring and demonstrating from the Scriptures that salvation is only through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. We do so, recognizing the glorious possibility that even among our enemies, there may be an elect brother or sister.
- Date: 7-October
Steven R. Key (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: September 1986
Pastorates: Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI - 1986; Randolph, WI - 1991; Hull, IA - 2000; Loveland, CO - March 2010Website: https://sites.google.com/site/lovelandprctest1/home
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