Sermon: Love Your Enemies
Scripture: Matthew 5:43-47
In this week’s lessons, we learn how to love our enemies with the divine love that only God gives us in Christ.
Theme: Christ in You
Now it is important that we do come to this fuller experience of God’s love because it is from such loving conduct that the Gospel of Christ is communicated to the unsaved world. Someone has said that God has really given men five gospels. There is the Gospel according to Matthew, the Gospel according to Mark, the Gospel according to Luke, the Gospel according to John, and the Gospel according to you. How do men come to know God? They come to know Him through Jesus Christ. And how do they come to know Jesus Christ? They come to know Him as they see Him in the Scriptures and in your conduct.
You are the closest some men and women will ever get to the Gospel. And if they do not see His love in you, they will never see it. And yet they can. Some time ago I read a story in one of the books of Dr. H. A. Ironside that illustrates this graphically. Once when Ironside was in Ganado, Arizona, at a Presbyterian Mission Hospital there, he met a poor Navajo woman who had been nursed back to health through the consecrated work of a Christian doctor and the Navajo nurses. She had been cast out by her own people when they thought she was going to die, and she had been found after three or four days of exposure. After nine weeks in the hospital she recovered enough to begin to wonder about the unexpected care she had received. She said to one of the nurses, “I can’t understand it. Why did the doctor do all that for me? He is a white man and I am an Indian. I never heard of anything like this before.”
The Navajo nurse, who was a Christian, said to her, “You know, it is the love of Christ that made him do that.” She said, “Who is this Christ? Tell me more about Him.” The nurse called a missionary to explain the Gospel, and the staff began to pray. Several weeks passed, and then a day came when they were speaking with her and someone said, “Can’t you trust this Savior, turn from the idols you have worshiped, and trust Him as the Son of the living God?” As she pondered her answer the door opened, and the doctor, who happened to be passing by just then, stepped in. The face of the old woman lit up. She said, “If Jesus is anything like the doctor, I can trust Him forever.” And she came to the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior.
Do you see what had reached her? It was love. But it was not man’s love. It was God’s love manifested in a man. God’s love! That is what you and I are to show forth to an ungodly and rebellious world. And we are to do so as sons of our Father and in order that many might come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
From the study, what is an implication or result of experiencing God’s love?
What other results follow from knowing and experiencing God’s love toward you in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Reflection: Is there anyone in your life who may be unreceptive to talking with you about the Gospel, but who may be more open as a result of the kindness you show?
Key Point: How do men come to know God? They come to know Him through Jesus Christ. And how do they come to know Jesus Christ? They come to know Him as they see Him in the Scriptures and in your conduct.
For Further Study: Download for free and listen to James Boice’s message from 1 John, “The Second Contrast: Love and Hate.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)