The Apostle Paul begins today’s text with: “Truth I am speaking in Christ.” He anguishes over his message as he begins to address the spiritual condition of his fellow countrymen. What he says is very true, very tragic and also very difficult to understand. (That is understand as in accepting the words. The words themselves are pretty blunt.)
In fact, Paul anticipates a question from his listeners. Is God unjust? Or unfair?
(Romans 9:14–16 ESV) 14What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
And sometimes, instead of hearing the clear words in the text, instead of reading the bold print, we read between the lines and try to defend God and spend our time explaining how God is not unfair or unjust.
But in this attempt to “apologize” for the teaching on God’s choices as Sovereign Lord, what we actually do is obscure the text. We try to answer questions that are not answerable, and we blur our vision of God’s great plan.
The covenants, both old and new, are based on God’s promise.
(Romans 4:13–16 ESV) 13For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. 16That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.
(Romans 9:8 ESV) 8This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.
Allowing God to love us to the fullest extent of his love.
In some ways this has been a “How to Let God Love Us” series.
God commands us to love him.
God commands us to love our neighbors.
God commands us to love our enemies.
And echoing Christ the Apostle John exhorts us to love one another.
Why? Why all the commands? I know that God is God but why so bossy?
So he can perfect his love in our lives, so we can truly live through Christ and receive the love of God to its fullest extent.
God does know what we need, and what we need is to be completely filled and transformed by his great love.
*This is how he started the “Save the Humans Project” on Earth.
“For God so loved …”
How great is this love of God’s?
Great enough and powerful enough and all-consuming enough to quash even our greatest fears … WHEN we allow God to perfect this love in our lives!
The opening line of this week’s text. “I say to you who hear, Love your enemies.”
Not a message for everyone. “To you who hear …”
Christ is speaking to only those who hear, who actually listen to his words. And what are the words? Another command. More biblical instruction as to how we handle our personal relationships. Bible doctrine concerning our attitude toward and treatment of our enemies.
Oh, and by the way, another command, not a suggestion.
Want to live and act like God? Want to live the life of a son of God? Want to receive great reward from the Most High? Love your enemies.
Who would have thought that honoring and obeying God would take a direct route through how we treat the people who contend against us?
BILLBOARD TRUTHS: I have found these truths continuing to bubble to the surface through this entire Love God, Love Your Neighbor series.