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         The Gospels in Harmony               Sermon #122  Posted 4/15/18

Matthew 5:43-48
The Gospels in Harmony  Sermon #122-32718

 

43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44  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;
45  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.
46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:43-48
   
    I would like to continue in Matthew through these next few verses to keep the flow of the recording of the Words of Jesus by Matthew.
Much of these same verses are also recorded in Luke but not with the same flow. They seem to be more of a collection of truths recorded by Luke instead of a recording of a teaching given directly from Jesus. They do not contradict each other however I believe our study would benefit from the flow of Jesus' teaching as the main course with Luke's recording injectively applied as corroborating evidence.
43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Matthew 5:43
     Neighbor is defined as a friend, someone known to you. According to the Jews it was any member of the Hebrew nation and commonwealth.
Understanding this definition we see that the word enemy would encompass the exact opposite. Someone unknown by location or culture, even by race or religion.
    So right away we are able to eliminate a misnomer.
An enemy did not have to be someone who rose up against you. An enemy was anyone who was not a Hebrew by blood or a Jew by confession. In other words, nationality, made everyone separate from Israel unless they had renounced their pagan beliefs and committed themselves to Jewish law.
49  One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49
    The law implied hatred as separation from sin in the spirit. But flesh sees sin as flesh. According to Jewish law anyone outside of the Jewish nation and/or faith was a heathen, a pagan, a gentile or even a dog. It implied such to be enemies of God and therefore enemies of the Jewish nation. By casting them as enemies they were fulfilling the law by separating themselves from sin. The law of the flesh sees the flesh as sin but the Law of the spirit sees the spirit in the flesh and knows sin comes from the spirit of a man to the flesh.
    All men are born in sin. It was the law given to the nation of Israel by God that separated them unto Him. But the law did not abolish sin. It named and defined and pointed out sin for all men. But because the Hebrews were given the Law they were assuming themselves to be sinless because of the law. They were inherently sinless and everyone else was inherently sin filled and therefore an enemy.
    You see, we have a limited and often wrong understanding of the definition of enemy as it is being used by Jesus in these verses. To the Jews an enemy was anyone outside of the Jewish nation by birth and or outside of the Jewish faith and religion by law.
    Therefore when we get to the next verse:
44  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;
Matthew 5:44
When we read about what our enemies do to us because of our faith we understand these verses are about spiritual hatred and not physical hatred. They are also about loving people because they are loved by God. Be holy because God is holy.  The flesh follows the spirit in ones heart. God has created every person but it is because of sin entering all men through disbelief and disobedience that all men are separated from Him, until they come to repentance of the sin they are born into and confess with their mouths the Lord Jesus Christ. Then and only then are they saved and joined with all other believers as a child of God. Yes, a brother in Christ!
   We are not talking about enemies because of geographical differences or economical strife or military power or any other difference that causes men to be at odds. We are talking about them who do not believe in God through faith in Jesus Christ and them who do because they know God by His Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ. It is because many do not know the one and only God and Father of all creation that they will be filled with hatred and anger and are so prepared to physically prove their disbelief and ignorance of peace and joy and fellowship in Christ Jesus.
     Think about this. It is the lack of knowledge of the peace and joy in the love of God that demands destruction of all who do know the truth. It is spiritual enmity against God that creates physical conflict with them who are obedient disciples and servants of God. This is the true meaning of enemy as Jesus is teaching us in these verses of scripture. Physical conflict is due to spiritual separation.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies,
Matthew 5:44
     As God so loved the world so shall we. It is because of His love that Jesus came and offered Himself for our sin. Even when we were all living in hatred of God's love for us, He gave Himself for us. Even when we were all spiritual enemies of God, He gave His life in love for all who were obedient servants to Satan by the sin we were born into.
     It is the love of God that conquers sin. It is the love of God that destroys enmity and strife and makes all men brothers in Christ by the presence of the Holy Spirit in them through faith and obedience to God's Word.
      I have known many people who are ready and willing to speak the worst of and for others because they themselves feel they must degrade someone to prove their own righteousness. They must point out and point at every error or accuse others of error in their lives, to make themselves look good or even justify their indignation and actions against someone else. It is blatant proof of their ignorance of the love of the true God and their false salvation if they claim to be saved.
     Cursing someone is speaking the worst to become reality for someone. It's not using words which are considered profane; as in swearing at someone.
It is swearing oaths against someone. It is swearing an oath against God by swearing an oath against His creation.
Jesus says to us in His teaching:
-----bless them that curse you,-----
Matthew 5:44
      The greatest blessing you can give to someone is the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Bless them with the blessing you have received by faith. Bless them with the truth of God's Word, God's promises and God's love.
 4  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:4
The definition of being mournful is being filled with sorrow for all who do not know the love of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Spiritual hatred toward God is demonstrated by hatred toward other men. Loving your enemy, is loving God's enemy.  The soul that weeps for the lost is the soul that loves his enemy.
The soul that weeps for the lost will rise to bless them with the truth of God's love for them.
-----do good to them that hate you,
Matthew 5:44
     The more they serve Satan to tear you down and away from the love of God, the more you are to rise to lift them from the depths of sin and damnation. Raising a hand in defense is not the same as raising a hand against your enemy. Hatred is the pursuing of harm by following the spirit of one’s heart. Vengeance is lowering oneself to act in a way that makes you feel justified. Jesus teaches by His own actions that one does not need to stand in harm’s way but an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is being no better and certainly no example of holiness before an enemy of God.
   ----- pray for them which despitefully use you,
Matthew 5:44
      As I have stated Satan loves to point out all of your weakness and errors. He loves to cast the appearance of shame upon God by pointing out your weaknesses in the flesh. And how does he do this? He works through his disciples; most of who claim religiosity and therefore claim their authority to hate anyone even to the point of killing them; spiritually and physically. They despitefully use the children of God to serve Satan in attempting to gain revenge against God.
------- and persecute you;
Matthew 5:44
      Love them who would even press you to flee harm. We must surely understand that we are not to love the actions or even the words they use against us but we are to be so distraught in spirit for their lost condition that we would through all and any persecution be ready and willing to bless our enemies with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For there is no greater love for man then the gift of knowledge of the truth in God's Word.
      Loving your enemy is the desperate desire for all men to be saved from eternal damnation. It is loving God's creation as God loves us. When a soul is saved and ushered into the blessing of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit is gien to us as proof of our redemption, we cannot keep from desiring all men to now that love. Anyone who is not overcome with the desire to teach and preach and live for Jesus Christ openly and boldly needs to get on there knees and pour themselves out to Jesus. If you are truly saved knowing and spreading the Gospel to all men, who do not know God through faith in Jesus Christ, will be your first and foremost thought each and every day of the rest of your earthly existence.
     This really is a defining point in proof of salvation. Having no problem with keeping your salvation or your love for Jesus Christ to yourself,  requires a serious look at what salvation really is and if you are really saved. A true disciple will not be able to keep Christ to himself. He will be a minister; a teacher of the Gospel and an evangelist; a proclaimer of the Gospel to the world.
   45  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.
Matthew 5:45
     God's love for all men was proven through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.
That gift was given for all men even though all men are born into sin and are in enmity with God. They are God's enemy because all men are born as slaves and servants of Satan. But God gave His living Word as the light of truth that if any man would believe in Him, he would be saved. God's promises through Jesus Christ are for all men, but only the penitent and faithful will be blessed in and through His Word as children of God.
46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Matthew 5:46-47  
     So if you only confess Jesus to other people who confess Jesus how have you loved your enemy? Where is your heart felt desire to see all men saved who are servants of Satan, all who are lost in sin and all who despise the name of God because of their ignorance? Where is your overpowering need to step out in faith for the glory of God? Oh, my dear friends it is so common today for so called Christians to join once or twice a week and claim their love for Jesus yet keep Him locked behind their lips everywhere else they go the rest of the week.  It is so common to speak freely of Jesus to others who claim to be saved but with no one who does not.
48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:48
Giving your life for others to know and have life, is being perfect because that is exactly what God did in and through His Son, Jesus Christ. Giving anything less is living for yourself and for Satan.
Why are there so many people today who do not know the love of God?
Because there are so many people who claim they do, yet will not prove it.
There are so many make believe Christians who do not have the love of God in them and prove it by not caring about anyone else's salvation.
    Once again, God gave all of His love to all His enemies, by giving His living Word for them.
48  Be ye therefore perfect,-----
Matthew 5:48
    Are you really saved?
Are you really a disciple, minister and evangelist of the Gospel?
Do you live in and for the Love of Jesus?
Are you perfect in the sight of God?
Do you mourn for the lost?

 

 

Pastor Steven Freede
Cornerstone Independent Church
3/27/18

 

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