Love your Enemies | Luke 6:27-36

YouTube video sermon

Love is not interested in winning fights, true love is interested in winning souls.

Introduction

Luke 6:27-36 ESV “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, (28) bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. (29) To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. (30) Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. (31) And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. (32) “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. (33) And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. (34) And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. (35) But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. (36) Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

  • Today we are talking about loving our enemies…

Show Title Slide

  • Story of Desmond Doss and Hacksaw Ridge
  • This passage right here (Luke 6:27-36) is RADICAL.
    • I mean that in every since of the word! It is radical! It is extreme! It is awesome!
    • You see Jesus just went through a list of blessings and woes… and in it he said some pretty extreme stuff… blessed are you who are poor, jump for joy if people speak evil of you and treat you like dirt, woe to you who are full, woe to you when all people speak well of you…
      • And now He drops THIS on His disciples. A secret weapon, a covert agent… a family, a church, a community of believers that practices this is akin to a nation with nuclear weapons…
        • There is no challenging them, there is no destroying them, there is no rivaling them… they have the end all of be all weapons and they shall not be overcome….
        • That weapon of course is
      • But we are not talking about a bunch of people dancing around a camp fire singing Kumbaya and putting flowers down the barrels of rifles… we are talking about something that only a select few individuals know how to do, LOVE.
        • Let me be clear, the only people who know how to LOVE as the Bible describes love is Christians… that is it.
          • I don’t care how good and kind a person is, if they do not have Christ they are fundamentally incapable of loving.
            • Oh man, I am going to be talking about love today but I am going to be stepping on some toes!
          • If you are not a Christian you can not have love… but don’t take my word for it, take the Bible’s word for it!

1 John 4:7-8 ESV Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (8) Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

  • GOD IS LOVE!
    • If you are a Christian you have God living inside of you, thus you have love living inside of you.
      • If you are not saved, if you are not born again, then you do not know God thus you do not know love!
    • Miriam-Websters dictionary describes love as: FORGET WHAT THE DECTIONARY SAYS! THE BIBLE SAYS GOD IS LOVE! THAT’S THE ONLY DEFINITION THAT MATTERS! GOD IS LOVE.
    • Therefore, when Jesus tells His disciples to love their enemies he is telling them something that they are alone are uniquely able to do. And in so doing, by His death and Resurrection, He gives them the power to change the world! Let’s pray.

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Point One – We were enemies of God

  • Point one this morning: We were once enemies of God.
  • To fully understand… Not even to fully understand… to just even begin to understand the kind of love God want’s us to have for others then we need to understand the kind of love that He has for us.
    • So we are going to start at the end of this passage in Luke instead of the beginning because I want all of us to fully understand who we were in God’s eyes before we were born again, and how He yet still loved us.

Luke 6:35-36 ESV But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. (36) Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

  • The Most High is kind to the ungrateful and to the evil.
    • Hey! That ungrateful and evil person… that was once you, that was once me! We were the degenerate dirty pagan dog sinner! We hated God, WE WERE HIS ENEMY!
      • Unless you were born in a Christian home and saved at a very young age then I can faithfully say that you were once the flagrant enemy of God, you HATED HIM. I did too, yet still He loved us.

Romans 5:8-10 ESV but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. (10) For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

  • Did you see that? While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. While we were God’s enemy we were reconciled by the death of His son!
    • On April 30th, 1945… something world changing happened… anyone know what happened on April 30th 1945?
      • Hitler killed himself!
      • Holed up in a bunker, as the allied forces were closing in, Hitler took a cyanide capsule and shot himself in the head. Shortly thereafter the Nazis surrendered.
    • Great day in History… but imagine if Winston Churchill got a hold of Hitler’s plan to kill himself and intervened.
      • What if Winston Churchill skydived onto Hitler’s bunker, ran down, found Hitler gun and pill in hand and yells “STOP! Don’t do it, don’t kill yourself. Kill me instead, so that you might live!”
    • What kind of story would that be? That is NONSENSE isn’t it? It’s laughable to think of such a crazy scenario.
    • Yet that is exactly what God did for us!
      • But pastor! We are not Nazi’s! Everyone hates Nazi’s… it’s ok to hate Nazi’s right?”
      • What do you guy’s think, is it ok to hate Nazis… Did God hate the Nazi’s?
        • WOOWEE! Here comes some toe stepping, stay with me before you cry out “Blasphemy”.
      • Yes, church, it is Ok to hate Nazis… in fact, God hated the Nazis… and He hated you and me too before we were born again.
    • You know what church… man I can’t believe I am going to say this from the pulpit… but I am just going to preach the Word ok…
      • You know what Christianese phrase I really dislike… I loath it when people say “God loves the sinner but hates the sin”…
        • You know why I loath that phrase so much, because it cheapens God’s love, it makes it sound like God does not hate sinners… Stay with me don’t check out yet…
        • Let me give you a couple verses that proves that what I am saying is true, you can look them up yourselves, I encourage you to if you are struggling hearing this today…

Psalms 5:4-6 ESV For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. (5) The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. (6) You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

Psalms 11:5 ESV The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

  • So I loath it when people say “God loves the sinner but hates the sin”, even though I know they mean well by saying it… it is an oversimplification of the truth that leads to misunderstanding and a cheapening of God’s love.
    • Because we know that in fact God hates the sinner, but we also know that in fact God loves the sinner… John 3:16, Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:10 and many other verses prove that God loves the sinner.
      • So a much more powerful phrase, a much more honest and biblically sound phrase (though probably less well received) is this “God hates the sinner and hates their sin… but even still God love the sinner enough to die for them”.

Romans 5:6-8 ESV For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– (8) but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

  • The reason the Winston Churchill example is so odd is because of verse 7 here: One will scarcely even die for a righteous person.
    • The idea of the Winston Churchill dying for someone is Ludacris in itself. But maybe he would be willing to die to save Martin Luther King Junior, or if he was alive, Maybe he would take the bullet for Abraham Lincoln. Maybe we could understand him dying for people like that, in fact we would think of him as much more of a hero…
    • BUT TO DIE FOR SOMEONE AS WICKED AS HITLER! THAT’S CRAZY!
      • No friends, that’s love. That’s the kind of love Jesus is talking about in Luke 6, the Godly self-sacrificial love.
      • Jesus didn’t die for a bunch of people He liked, He died for a bunch of people He hated, that’s how much He loves the world, that even though He hated us He died for us.
        • Don’t you understand that before Christ we were all little Hitler’s in God’s eyes.
        • That’s what’s so crazy, that’s what so radical and extreme about the death of Jesus Christ. That He gave Himself for us while we were His enemies!

1 John 4:7-11 ESV Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (8) Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (9) In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. (10) In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Point Two – We have Enemies

  • Point two this morning: We have enemies.
  • We have enemies, and that’s ok. It’s normal, it’s an expected part of being a Christian.

Luke 6:27-28 ESV “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, (28) bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.

  • “Love your enemies”… so yes, we have enemies… this verse doesn’t even make sense if we don’t have enemies!
    • Of course we have enemies, Christ said we would!
    • Just a couple of weeks ago we preached a sermon about people persecuting us and speaking evil of us for Christ sake, in fact that was what Jesus was teaching on just before this… And look what he says in the book of John:

John 15:18-19 ESV “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. (19) If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

  • Of course the world is going to hate us… because the world LOVES sin, they identify with their sin, their sin defines them… and Christians HATE sin and we seek to cast out and destroy sin, and we seek to free people from the chains of sin.
    • What they love we hate, what we love they hate… OF COURSE WE ARE GOING TO HAVE ENEMIES.

Matthew 10:16-22 ESV “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (17) Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, (18) and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. (19) When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. (20) For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (21) Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, (22) and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

  • Why do I share this with you?
    • Because sometimes in the modern American church there is this idea that we need to be friends with everyone, that we should not be anyone’s enemy and we should not have anyone consider us an enemy.
      • Like… Can’t we just all get along? NO!

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ESV (14) Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (15) What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? (16) What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (17) Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, (18) and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

  • Yes we have enemies, and we should be separate from them.
    • But even so, even as we separate ourselves from sin, even as the world hates us, even as they drag us down and beat us up and spurn our name as evil…
    • Even so, there is one thing we must do to our enemies…

Point Three – We Must Love Our Enemies!

Luke 6:27 ESV “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

  • This is our secret weapon. To love our enemies. It is the unbeatable nuclear armament that trumps all the devil has to throw at us.
    • In the world they fight hate with hate, they fight guns with guns, they fight murder with murder… but not with God, with God we love those who hate us, we fight hate with love and love never fails amen‽
  • You see I have one goal in this life… just one. In the shortest and simplest form my goal in life is this: Make God Happy.
    • And I believe that the best way to make God happy is to pursue and help fulfil His will. His will is that none should perish and all should come to repentance. So I want to see people saved.
      • And God gave us the example of how to save people. You want to know how you save people? You die! You die to yourself so that others might live. LOVE NEVER FAILS.

Luke 6:28-30 ESV bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.

  • When cursed, love blesses. Love want’s the best for someone. The honest to goodness best, regardless of how that person treats them, or curses them, love want’s the best, and the best blessing we can pray for someone is a blessing that leads to salvation.
    • So next time someone yells at you in traffic “You penny liking, dog sniffing, son of a crumb!” respond to them “I am so sorry, I pray that God would bless you, and reveal Himself to you, and give you His peace”.
      • True story, when I was in Seattle last year I was in a Seattle parking garage, Pastor Matt was driving. We were stopped in a large line of cars and this car comes up next to us trying to get into line. It was our first time in this garage and we were in the wrong line and had to change our parking ticket and it was taking time. This lady in the SUV leans out and starts yelling and cussing at us.
      • Now Matt is taller than me, bigger than me, and balder than me… in Short, Matt is much more intimidating then me… he could have gotten out of his car, stood broad shouldered, and put this lady in her place but instead he rolled down his window and said “I am so sorry, it’s our first time here, I love you”… she looked at him sideways “Uh… uh… it’s ok, take your time, I know how confusing it is”.
      • Love never fails y’all.
    • Luke 6:29a ESV To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also…
      • When hit, Love does not retaliate. Love doesn’t want to win a fight, love want’s to win a soul.
        • When I was 18 I was in the best shape of my life. I was training to be a cage fighter, I LOVED to fight in the sport, it was such a rush!
          • One day there was a weed festival called Hempfest or something in Seattle, so me and my buddies went out to evangelize.
          • We were praying for people, singing worship songs, and handing out gospel tracts… nothing crazy, no big signs or angry sermons or anything, we were really there to just love people and teach them about the gospel.
          • But there was a magician there, and he HATED us, he kept interrupting us, and snarling at us, and talking bad about us. Finally he walked up to me, the biggest one there, and said “Why the BLEEP are you here”
          • I looked at him and said “I am here because I love you” He said “What the BLEEP did you just say to me?”
          • I said “I love you”.
          • He cocked backed his hand and hit me square in the jar with the biggest haymaker he could through.
          • Now, I could have blocked the haymaker, they are very easy to block and see coming, and I could have beaten the ever living tar out of this dude (And I would have enjoyed it) but I didn’t, I took the punch on my jaw…
          • I turned back to him and simply said “I said I love you”.
          • To which he turned white and ran away as fast as I have ever seen a grown man run. Dude ended up getting arrested because a bystander called the cops, but I didn’t pursue charges. I want him to remember the day love was stronger than his fists. I recon he will remember it for the rest of his life.

Luke 6:29b-31 ESV …and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. (30) Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. (31) And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

  • When robbed of it’s overcoat, love offer’s it’s suit coat as well. Love never turns away from any genuine case of need. When robbed, it does not even necessarily demand it’s property back. It’s focus is not on itself, but on the enemy who wronged it.
    • When I was pastoring in North Carolina I remember getting gas at the gas station across from our church. I was wearing my favorite suit coat, it was a gift from my sister, it was a purple paisley velvet coat, it was AMAZING. As I was standing in line to pay and a stranger behind me said “Dude, that coat is Amazing” I said “Thanks, it was a gift from my sister” he said “Can I have it”… the holy Spirit quickened me and reminded me of this verse…
    • Yeah man, sure, here you go. By the way that my church over there, would love to see you sometime.
      • He never came to church, but I bet he never forgot that dude who gave him that coat either.

Ultimately church, this message is an extension of the one from two weeks ago. Yes we have enemies, yes they hate us. But let them hate us for Christ and nothing but Christ. If people are going to hate me I want them to hate the Christ in me, not the Christian Louis Shields in me!

Conclusion

Luke 6:32-36 ESV “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. (33) And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. (34) And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. (35) But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. (36) Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

PRAY INTENTLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ENEMIES TO HELP THEM LOVE AND FORGIVE