Sunday, April 23, 2017

Love Your Enemies

“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” (Matthew 5:44). Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, to individuals.   The disciples of Jesus can do this only in the recognition that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” and that “when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son” (Romans 5:8,10).

“Love your enemies” was not spoken to the state or to the nation.  Government (national, state, county, municipal) is the servant (Romans 13:4) of God “for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good” (1 Peter 2:14).  A wise and dutiful government will protect its citizens from those who would harm them, even to the degree of executing them, incarcerating them, or closing their borders to them.   God gives government so people can live “quiet and peaceful lives” (1 Tim. 2:2).

While Christians are called to pray (1 Tim. 2:1) and vote and exhort government to fulfill its duty, the Christian is in contrast called to show compassion, mercy, and love to the neighbor in need, even when that neighbor is a personal enemy or the enemy of the state.  This will be a reflection of God’s love (John 3:16).  “God so loved the world.”  Come to Peace Lutheran Church.  Sunday service time is 9:00 a.m.  Lenten Service is on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.