The Book of Luke, The Sermon on the Mount Ė Love Your Enemies Ė Lesson 77
In Luke 6 Godís children are commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ to Love their enemies.
And this love is not to be a passive love, but on the contrary it is to be an active love.
You are not to be neutral toward your enemies but you are to actively love them.
You are not to ignore your enemies hoping that they will go away.
You are to actively engage your enemy, those who despitefully use you.
You are to do good to them which hate you.
You are to bless them that curse you.
You are to pray for them which despitefully use you.
You are to offer yourself for additional abuse by offering the other cheek to be struck.
You are to give your coat to the one who took your cloak.
Jesus Christ gives additional instruction and edification concerning this in:
Luke 6:35-36, 35But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 36Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
The Lord Jesus Christ here declares that the children of the Highest are called the children of the Highest when they do what the Father does.
In the Christian walk it is to be like father, like son.
That principle is clearly demonstrated by examining the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to Phillip in John 14:9, he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;
By loving his enemies Jesus revealed the father and we by loving our enemies are to do likewise.
Loving your enemies will bring glory to the father.
Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount that the father is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
And His children are to do likewise.
The Father is merciful. His children are to be merciful.
Doesnít every child of the Highest know that his father is kind and merciful because every child has personal experience of that kindness and mercy in his life.
And therefore Godís children are to emulate their father.
God predestines his children to be conformed to the image of his son, Jesus Christ, and therefore his children are to be kind, and merciful even to enemies.
Godís children are to deal with men as God has dealt with them.
Peter, being a good Jew, liked to have set standards by which to live and he therefore asked the Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Donít you suppose that Peter thought he was being pretty liberal when he proposed that seven times would be a good standard?
Most of us would get tired of forgiving sooner than seven times but the Lord set an astounding standard for Peter and for us when he said to forgive 70 times 7 or 490 times.
In other words we are to keep forgiving as our father keeps forgiving.
When God stops forgiving you, you can also stop forgiving your brother.
John wrote that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.
Note that there is no limitation on Godís part in the number of times that he forgives.
The cleansing fountain is always available for the repentant Christian.
If God had a limit to his forgiveness donít you suppose your limit would have been reached long ago?
To reinforce this teaching whereby the child is to be like the father, Jesus related the following story in:
Matthew 18:23-34, Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst (asked) me: 33Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
We see in this story that God deals with us in the future in the same manner that we choose to deal with others.
The principle is that what we put in motion as to how we deal with others will return to us in kind.
It is the old saying, what goes around, comes around.
The longer you live the more examples you can site.
This is not an easy principle to grasp, but the Lord Jesus taught that the way we treat others determines how God will treat us.
In the ďLordís PrayerĒ Jesus taught that we are to ask God:
Matt. 6:12, And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors
And he explains what this means by further instruction in:
Matt. 6:14-15, For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Donít ask God to forgive your sins if you harbor grudges against another and refuse to forgive others.
You are wasting Godís time and your time.
God deals with you and with me in the same way that you and I deal with others.
When we deal with men in mercy, God deals with us according to mercy.
When we demand our rights, that is, justice, then God gives us justice also.
Do you really want justice, do you really want what you deserve?
If you truly know what you deserve, according to the scriptures, you will only want Godís mercy.
So, Jesus taught that God deals with us in the same way we deal with others, including our enemies: