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How Are We To Love Our Enemies?

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by whirlwind, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. whirlwind

    whirlwind New Member

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    Mark 12:30-31 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.


    Matthew 5:43-45 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.​

    Easier said than done. :blink: How can we truly "love our enemies?"


    First...notice the difference in....love thy neighbors as thyself. A neighbour is someone close by, a countryman. What or who are our enemies for those we aren't told to love as thyself. Our enemies are those that are...."Hateful, hostile, an adversary, enemy, foe...especially Satan."


    Our Father tells us through John, an elder/apostle, as He addresses "the elect lady," who is the church/Israel.


    11 John 1:4-5 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after His commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.​

    THIS IS LOVE....That says a great deal. As we are to love even our enemies....we do that by following His commandments. Does that mean we must love them as in really, really, really liking a person? NO....we are to treat others by His commandments...that is the love we are to show.
     
  2. whirlwind

    whirlwind New Member

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    Our brothers and neighbors are not our enemies. There is a vast difference. We are to love our brothers as ourself...not our enemies!

    Leviticus 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

    Deuteronomy 19:10-12 That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee. But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities: ​

    The Lord loves but...the Lord also hates the wicked and violent....

    Psalm 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence His soul hateth.

    Psalm 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: He preserveth the souls of His saints; He delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

    Malachi 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.​

    It is written....

    Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.​

    When He tells us to "love our enemies" it is impossible to love someone attempting to blow you up, to love someone that kidnaps and harms our child, someone that rapes, tortures....and on and on and on. That is evil, that is wickedness and we are not expected to love them as we do ourselves.

    When Christ said to "love one another" He was speaking to His elect. Again, brothers and neighbors...not evil, wicked people.

    John 13:33-35 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.​

    John 15:10-12 IF YE KEEP My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

    1 John 3:14-15 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. ​

    So...what is meant by loving our enemies? First, an enemy can be an enemy in understanding or teaching His word. Or...an enemy can be a violent, terrible, wicked, evil person that is intent on doing harm. Do we love them? Yes...but not as we love a brother or neighbor...as ourself. Our enemies are loved, as instructed in [11 John 1:4-5], by walking after His commandments. As He said..."this is love." That is all the love we are required to allot to our enemies.
     
  3. Butch5

    Butch5 Butch5

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    How exactly are we to love them then? Aren't we to do good to them?
     
  4. whirlwind

    whirlwind New Member

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    11 John 1:4-5 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after His commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.​

    He tells us how to love even our enemies and do them good. "This is love"....to walk after His commandments.


    Matthew 22:36-40 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." ​


    The second part of the commandments are.....'You shall not murder.' 'You shall not commit adultery.' 'You shall not steal.' 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.' 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'

    That is the love that is required for brothers, neighbors and even enemies. It is not expected of us to "love" enemies as we love our precious friends and family.
     
  5. RobinD69

    RobinD69 New Member

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    Share the truth with them.
     
  6. Butch5

    Butch5 Butch5

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    Are we not to mimic our teacher? Didn't He love them enough to die for them?
     
  7. whirlwind

    whirlwind New Member

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    John 15:12-14 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.


    Who did He die for? He commands us to love one another as He loves us. If we do then we are His friends and His friends follow His commandments. Does the world do that? Did He die for all in the world or for those that are His friends?
     
  8. Butch5

    Butch5 Butch5

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    Well, it seems to me that He died for His enemies as well as His friends.


    John 3:16 ( KJV )
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


    Romans 5:10 ( KJV )
    For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

    If Christ died for His enemies shouldn't we also?
     
  9. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly New Member

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    Ephesians 3:14-19 When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.


    [font="'trebuchet ms"]It is possible by the power of Father's love working in us and this is done by completely trusting Christ who has made us acceptable to Father without a single fault.[/font]
     
  10. whirlwind

    whirlwind New Member

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    The operative word is...."were" enemies. He didn't die for those that remain His enemies but those that repent. That is what this life is all about.
     
  11. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly New Member

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    I would be very interested in the scriptures that support you statement "He didn't die for those that remain His enemies but those that repent".
     
  12. Irish

    Irish New Member

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    This might help:

    From John 17,

    [sup]8[/sup]For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

    [sup]9[/sup]I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    [sup]16[/sup]They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

    [sup]17[/sup]Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

    [sup]18[/sup]As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

    [sup]19[/sup]And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

    [sup]20[/sup]Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;








    Irish
     
  13. Butch5

    Butch5 Butch5

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    I think you are missing the point. They were enemies when Christ died for them, so He died for His enemies. If some become friends that does not negate the fact that He died for His enemies. He died for all mankind and not all of mankind are His friends so by necessity He must have also died for His enemies.


    How? How does Jesus praying for the apostles bear on His dying for the world?
     
  14. fivesense

    fivesense New Member

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    Hi, I have found this conscription insurmountable. When I am face with an opponent who is intent on sinking my ship, typically a co-worker seeking to cover his misdeeds or wanting advancement at my expense, random thoughts of retribution come to my mind. Knowing I cannot be a jerk in equal measure to my enemy, I start to entertain evil proceedings against him, in the event he succeeds in somehow ruining me or my standing with others. It always has been this way and continues to be a source of anguish to my soul to this day. However...
    Invariably, God has always shown up to be my Rescuer and Upholder in times of injustice against me. In fact, when I first understood that He would always prevail against my enemies for me, i.e., getting them terminated or reassigned to another department, I took pleasure in refraining from getting even or preparing for battle, knowing I would be able to relish in their being vanquished without my even lifting a finger in defense.
    A short time later, after taking pleasure in knowlege of His defense, and musing over the "just desserts" of my enemies, I was deeply convicted that their terror and loss was because of me in one way or another, and His making a way for me in the presence of mine enemies was not an issue to be gloating over, but to mourn. I was smitten with the degree of glee and revenge that operating in my soul and it crushed me.
    I still have these thoughts of ill and evil when people align themselve against me for no reason, but the fear of God's repraisal in their lives disturbs me now, instead of provoking glee. It is humbling and deflating to know His heart and to be unable to cast off the natural man, and to intercede for those who may suffer at my expense. Yet, I will have no peace in the matter till I get to that place, away from the flesh and into the Spirit of God.

    fivesense
     
  15. Butch5

    Butch5 Butch5

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    That was wonderful, to see one who wholly trusts in God and has learned not to gloat is a sign of maturity. Thank you for posting this.
     
  16. thurt

    thurt New Member

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    How to love our enemies? Matthew 5:43-45 ...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;

    By doing what the rest of the verse states - bless them, do good to them, and pray for them. When we're persistent - when we get to the point when we say those prayers and really mean them, then Yahweh changes our hearts towards them. In the physical, we may not return to a close relationship with them - seeing them all the time, etc. but our hearts will be changed. He will have removed our unforgiveness, bitterness, etc.

    When it's accomplished, it really helps our communion with Him.
     
  17. jerryjohnson

    jerryjohnson New Member

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    Satan and his group are our enemy. Are you going to apply this Scripture to them also?
     
  18. fivesense

    fivesense New Member

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    I love it. I absolutely love it. The enemy tries to creep in and disrupt that change of heart - a miracle to say the least- and feel and think poisonous junk towards those who offend. But just shrugging it off doesn't work either. Being a lover and a benefactor in the face of one who tried to destroy you, that's the way of righteousness. Christ Jesus suffered more at the hands of others than we ever will in a thousand lifetimes, and if we are going to be conformed to His image one day, then let's get outfitted now.

    In reply to another post, about Satan and his hoard being included in all this, I would venture to say that the love of God transcends anything we can know. Regardless, the love of the Creator for His creation (the Adversary included along with principalities, sovereignties, and spiritual authorities), is what propels the plan of God. We can only exhibit portions of that love transendent, never completely, and then only by power of the Holy Spirit. Even then it is not of us, it is of God through us. I pray that we become more and more generous to those who offend, so that we may become mature sons of God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.AV 1Jn 4:16

    fivesense
     
  19. bling

    bling New Member

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    The Good Samaritan is an example:
    The Jews and the Samaritans hated each other.
     
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