This message was part of the ‘For Such a Time as This’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Gorton in late 2017. The full series included the following sermons:
This sermon was based on Matthew 5:43-48.
Loving your Enemies
43″You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is 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. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'”
What is Jesus Saying?
- Is Jesus really saying we have to be kind to people we dislike? Yes he is.
- Did he do it himself? Yes he did. When the soldiers hammered nails through his
hands he asked his Father to forgive them – and to forgive the people who had
given the orders for it to be done.
How can we overcome attitudes/habits we have had most of our lives?
- God loved us – even when we were his enemies –
Romans 5:10 We were God’s enemies – but he still sent his son, Jesus, to bless us.
So you see that Jesus doesn’t just say to love our enemies – he did it!
- He works in our hearts to change us – Ezekiel 36:26
- Then he fills us with the Holy Spirit, who gives us the strength to live differently.
- Ephesians 3:16 Loving our enemies is hard but Proverbs 25:22 tells us how powerful it is.