Rev. James Wong
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” ~Matt 5:43-48
1. Becoming Perfect Vs. Being A Perfectionist
It is boring to live with someone who never change to become better. It is unbearable to live with a perfectionist.
2. To Be Perfect is To Love Enemies
This command of Jesus deals with personal relationship
“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:45
3. The Different Levels Of Love
I love my dearest parents (Greek Word: ‘storge’ = family love)
I love my spouse (Greek Word: ‘eros’ = sexual love)
I love my closest friend (Greek word: ‘philia’ = real affection)
God loves the world (Greek Word: ‘agape’ = invincible good will)
Jesus never asked us to love our enemies in the same way as we love our nearest and our dearest. The very word used is different. To love with ’agape’ love is an act of the will, a determination of the mind. Jesus laid this love down as a basis that should govern our relationship with others.
4. The Reason To Love
Love makes a man like God. Man was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and the great characteristic of God is his universal benevolence and unconquerable good will.
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” ~Matthew 5:45a
4. Applying The Law Of Love In Relationships
“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:45b
12 “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”