Seeking God First: A Study on the Sermon of the Mount
How to Really Love your Enemies Matthew 5:38-48
July 8, 2018
Pastor John Lloyd
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world. This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.
Today’s Passage: Matthew 5:38-48 and Romans 12:18-19. These passages will look at the fifth and sixth example of how Jesus wants us to fulfill His plan for us as we live as kingdom disciples.
Big Idea: Being a follower of Christ means loving and serving both friends and enemies as Jesus does.
Loving your enemies means:
I. Resist the need for self-defense and retaliation.
Matthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. Mt. 5:3
The Jewish law of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”
Limited revenge to the exact equivalent one eye for one eye and one tooth for one tooth. Before that it was unlimited, so that if a man knocked out one of your teeth, you could knock as many of his teeth as you could of his.
The Jewish law limited revenge, Jesus abolished it. Lloyd Jones
“Retaliation always loses, even when it seems to win. E. Stanley Jones
Matthew 5:40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.
Matthew 5:41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. (Leviticus 19:18, I Thess. 5:15)
Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (I Peter 2:21 & 23)
“Our view of others and treatment of them must never be based upon what they have done, it must be based upon our view and their condition before God.” D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Galatians 2:20, 2 Corinthians 5:20)
Prayer: Lord move my servanthood to include both friends and enemies. People who have been good to me and people who have not been so good to me. I cannot do this without depending on you Lord. You loved me while I was at enmity towards you.
II. Serving with generosity to both enemies and friends.
Matthew 5:41. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. 42 No more tit-for-tat stuff. (The Message). (Acts 3:6)
Treat your enemy as a friend and in the end he will be your friend; or, if he is not, you will become a far finer man in the process.” E. Stanley Jones
Proverbs 24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, (Psalm 37:21, I Thess. 4:11-12)
It’s natural to want ill for our enemy… but God has called us to want the best for them. This is an example of our righteousness exceeding the righteousness of the Pharisees and Scribes. They loved their friends and hated their enemies. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
I Corinthians 4:12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. Philippians 2:5 & 2:7)
Don’t let someone else’s actions determine how you shall act. E. Jones
III. Live graciously to both enemies and friends.
Matthew 5:43-48 (The Message)
· Respond with prayer when someone is giving you a hard time.
“God I am having a hard time loving this person, I need your help.”
Matt. 5:44 I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer. ™ Exodus 23:4-5
Our prayer will be that God’s grace may bring our enemies to see their sins and their wrong, to repent, and thus to obtain God’s pardon. Only the agape which Jesus puts into our hearts as his disciples is able to produce such prayer. Lenski
· Respond with tangible ways of helping both enemies and friends.
Romans 12:20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Matthew 5:45-47)
· Keep your heart free from bitterness by forgiving them.
Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
· Own it when you fall short, press on towards loving like Jesus loved.
Mt.5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect. (Phil.3:14, I John 1:9)
Prayer: Lord, please make me dissatisfied with loving less than the way Jesus loves. May every person, both friend and foe, draw the love of Jesus out of me.