In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he calls believers to "love your enemies" (Matthew 5:43-48). David Murray looks at this theme of loving your enemies as it is found in the Old Testament, as it was taught by the Pharisees, as Jesus taught it, and what this means for us.

2013. 12 pages.

Love Your Enemies Marks of a Healthy Church 9

(Transcription of audio file started at 00:45 and stopped at 48:07.

Headings added by Christian Library.)

Reading of Matthew 5:43-48.

A couple of weeks ago we began to look at charity, or love, as one of the marks of a healthy church. We looked at loving one another and loving within the church. We looked at ten love challenges which, hard though they may have sounded verbally, I am sure you found even harder practically. Well, if that was hard, I am going to ask you to do something even harder today. God is going to ask us to do something even harder today. The hardest challenge of all. And that is to love our enemies.

If you think about it, there are many organizations, clubs and institutions in which people love one another. It might be a political organization; it might be a sports club; it might be a gathering of people for hobbies; it might be a company or a business. You can find many human gatherings where there is tremendous goodwill and good practice towards one another. And that is really what Jesus is saying here. He is saying, “Yes, I want you to love one another, for sure. I want you to be like everyone else at least. But I want you to go even further.” You will notice he says, for example:

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so?

Matthew 5:46-47, KJV.

He is saying that if we only love one another, we are really just like the world. We are really no different to even (as we will see) the worst in the world, here described as the publicans. So He is saying, “I am asking you and I am challenging you to be different to the world and to show forth the greatest distinctive of all in the Christian Church, which is to love your enemies.”

Let’s just briefly look at what leads up to this. This is the sixth contrast that Jesus gives us in Matthew 5. He is contrasting the false righteousness of the Pharisees with the true righteousness of God. It all begins in verse 20:

I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:20, KJV.

Then He gives six examples of the Pharisees false righteousness and how God’s righteousness far exceeds it. So this is the sixth of these contrasts. He is contrasting the Pharisees’ love with God’s love. It is quite similar to the fifth contrast, but the fifth contrast is being stated negatively. He is saying, “Here is what not to do when you are provoked. Here is what not to do when you are attacked.” You see that, for example, in Matthew 5:38-42: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil…” So it is stated more negatively. Here we are being told what to do positively when an enemy attacks us, offends us or provokes us. So the positive is stated side by side to the negative. He goes really from passive non-retaliation to active love. And that is the love I would like to look at today.

I want to do it in four phases. First of all, I want to look at the Old Testament’s teaching on love for our enemies. Secondly, I want to look at the Pharisees’ teaching about love for our enemies. Thirdly, I want to look at God’s love for His enemies. Fourthly, we look at what this means for our love for our enemies.

The Old Testament Teaching on Loving Your Enemies🔗

Let’s look first of all at what the Old Testament teaches about loving our enemies. We are doing that because this whole chapter is really saying to the Pharisees, “The Old Testament taught this, but you are teaching this. This is God’s truth, and here are your lies.” So what was the truth from the Old Testament that they were corrupting, perverting and denying?

Leviticus🔗

Well, the Old Testament in Leviticus 19:18 says, “Love your neighbour as yourself." But "neighbour" there includes those who offend or hurt us. For example, it says, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). He is imagining a situation: There is a person here who has been hurt, who has been offended, who has been harmed, and who has been tempted to be vengeful and to bear a grudge. And he is saying, “Do not do that, and instead, love that person who has made you feel and think like that.” In other words, here in Leviticus 19 we are being told to love our enemies. That is Old Testament teaching.

Deuteronomy and Exodus🔗

In Deuteronomy 22, Israel is instructed what to do when one of their neighbour’s cattle or livestock goes missing. When they find that sheep or that cow, they are to care for it. If it has been harmed to help it get better. And if the neighbour’s cattle cannot be found, they are to go and help their neighbour look for it. So that is all within Israel. However, in Exodus 23:4-5, these same actions that Israel was to perform to Israel are also to be performed to their enemies.

If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help him.

Exodus 23:4-5, KJV.

So he is saying, “Whatever you do Israelite to Israelite, you have also to do Israelite to enemy – somebody who hates you and who seeks to harm you.”

Job🔗

Even if we go to the book of Job. Now, although Job is near the middle of the Old Testament, it is believed to be one of the earliest (if not the earliest) books of the Bible in terms of the setting of when it took place. It is believed to have taken place before the moral law of God was given in Exodus 20. And yet even Job – before the Ten Commandments and before the other books of the Bible – had some consciousness that loving enemies was part of God’s moral requirements. For example, he says in Job 31:

This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.

He is saying, “I am going to describe here, as punishable by a judge, an offense unto God.” What is it?

If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.

Job 31:28-30, KJV.

Here we have a very primitive believer with very limited knowledge, and yet he knows that God requires love for his enemies!

Psalms🔗

When we go to the book of Psalms, we find there the psalmist praising and celebrating love for enemies. We sang based on Psalm 7:

When wronged without cause I have kindness returned;

But if I my neighbor maltreated and spurned,

My soul let the enemy seize for his prey,

My life and mine honor in dust let him lay.

The Psalter, United Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1912, Number 13.

We see this Psalm 35 as well. And of course, David practiced this, didn’t he? When he had the opportunity to kill Saul, who was his sworn enemy out to kill him, he refused, and he even grieved that he had hurt the cloth of his garment. So we see this in the Psalms as well.

Proverbs🔗

We also see this in Proverbs as set out as the way of wisdom and the way of wise living.

Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.

Proverbs 24:29, KJV.

If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink.

Proverbs 25:21, KJV.

So it is really throughout the whole Old Testament. Love your enemies!

Holy Hatred🔗

Let me just put one qualification to this. This is not an argument for pacifism. Many have taken this kind of teaching and applied it in this sense that we must never go to war or even defend ourselves from others who are attacking us nationally. It has also been used to excuse criminal behaviour. This is not speaking about national policy or civil or criminal law; this is speaking about personal relationships and our everyday life and interactions with one another.

That distinction helps us also to understand some of the Psalms which do call down curses on enemies. They are often called the imprecatory Psalms, or the cursing Psalms. There are a number of them, and they perplex Christians. How can we sing Psalms which seem to call down curses on God’s enemies when here in Matthew we are told to love enemies? Well, it is because these Psalms are speaking of the enemies of God, not the enemies of ourselves. Think, for example, of Psalm 139. The psalmist there says:

Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:19-24, KJV.

“Do not I hate them…” Does the Bible really say that in a Psalm? What is the psalmist saying here? He is saying there is a distinction to be made between God’s enemies and my enemies. “As far as my enemies are concerned, I love them. As far as God enemies are concerned, I as king, as the representative of God, must be opposed to them.” And he is speaking of people who are utterly, totally, 110% dedicated to the extermination of God and His kingdom and His cause. He is saying of these people, “I hate them with a perfect hatred.” That is possible! There can be a holy hatred, a perfect hatred.

But the psalmist is also conscious how difficult a distinction this is to make. How easily we can persuade ourselves that we are hating enemies with a holy hatred when it is really an unholy hatred. We persuade ourselves it is just to hate such a person, but we hate them because of what they have done against us and not what they have done against God. And that is why the Psalmist immediately goes from this to, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me.” He is so aware of how hard it is to identify God’s enemies and distinguish them from his own and to treat them accurately and biblically.

But on this personal level in everyday relationships, with those who are opposed to us and hate us, the Old Testament speaks with a clear voice: Love your enemies.

The Pharisees’ Teaching on Loving Your Enemies🔗

What did the Pharisees teach? And really, that is what Jesus is speaking about here. He says, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy” (Matthew 5:43). He is quoting the Pharisees here. He is saying, “You have heard these Pharisees say, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.'”

The Pharisees Changed the Old Testament’s Teaching🔗

Now, the Pharisees did three wrong things with the Old Testament’s teaching. First of all, they removed some words. The Old Testament teaching was, “Love your neighbour as yourself,” and they just excised that and rubbed that out. Then, they redefined neighbour. As we have seen, the Old Testament defines neighbour not just as an Israelite, but as an enemy. We are to love neighbours who are both Israelites and Gentiles, those who are part of us and those who are outside of us and even opposed to us. So they redefined the term. And then they added something to the commandment, which was “Hate your enemy.” They removed words, they redefined words and they added words.

Why? Why did they do this? Why did they change God’s law so awfully and so terribly, so that it has almost become the opposite of what it was initially intended to teach? Well, for the same reason that people try to change God’s law today: Because it is too hard! It is too difficult! It is too unreasonable! It sets the bar too high! Love your neighbour as yourself? I mean, I can love my neighbour, but love him as I love myself? That is impossible! Defining neighbour as not just the people I am comfortable with and am related to and who are around me, but to include enemies? That is going too far! Hate enemies…I can do that! It is the same spirit that motivates the changing, the redefining, and the adding to of God’s law up to the present day.

The Pharisees did it because they could not do it themselves. They could not reach that standard. They could not keep that law. And therefore instead of accepting the conviction and the condemnation and the humiliation of never being able to get to that standard, they lowered the bar so low that they could very easily step over it, pat themselves on the back and feel good about themselves. This is what motivates most people’s adjustment, redefining, removal and addition of God’s moral standards. Nobody likes to feel bad about themselves.

I was speaking to a young mother not so long ago. She told me that she stopped her children going to a certain church because they would come back feeling bad about themselves, and it was clear it was basically because the Word of God was being taught and preached. So what do we do? Well, if we can’t change it, then we find someone else who has changed it. And again, it makes us feel so good.

They also made themselves popular. Certainly a good way to popularity is to lower God’s standards, change God’s standards or redefine God’s standards. You will get lots of people flocking to hear those who are adept this. But Jesus is saying, “Although you have heard this and although this is now the official teaching of the Jewish church, you know what you have actually done? You have just become like everyone else. You are no different to anyone else in the world.”

What Do You Do More Than Others?🔗

He says to them, “If ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?” (Matthew 5:46). The publicans were tax collectors – but no ordinary IRS tax collectors, bad though they may sometimes seem to people. No, these were Jews who were working for the Romans, who had betrayed their nation and were working for the occupying force. And the way it happened was the Roman governor basically said to one tax collector, “From this region I want so many shekels,” and that tax collector was responsible for getting that money any which way. So what he would then do is he would employ lots of other tax collectors and say, “From you I want this, and from you I want this, and from you I want this.” And when it was all added up, it was far more than the Roman governor asked for, because the top tax collector was pocketing his little bit as well, and then everyone underneath did the same. So they were very greedy, extortionate, covetous people that were despised and hated. Not just for betraying their nation and working for the occupying force, but for the way they were fleecing their own people.

And here Jesus says: You know these guys out there? These publicans that you hate and that you despise? You are just like them. You are no different. Because the publicans love one another. You hate them, but they love one another. You see them as they get together for their annual meetings or for their society meetings, whatever they had. They are committed to one another! They look after one another. They go to one another’s weddings and funerals and circumcisions. The publicans do the same. You salute one another; well, they do the same when they pass one another. You are doing nothing different! You are doing nothing extraordinary. You are doing nothing unique. There is nothing that is distinguishing you from those who you say have no morals.

“What do you more than others?” (verse 47): that is the question that this whole passage challenges us with. What makes us different from the Republican Party when they are together, or the Democratic Party? Or the basketball or the football team? Or the school, or the business, or the hobbyists? Is there anything different? In fact, maybe we could put it like this: What do you do more than Al Qaeda? The terrorists have a brotherhood. The terrorists support and encourage one another, defend one another, look out for one another, care for one another, and laugh with one another. Even animals look after one another. But Jesus’ great challenge is: What do you more than they? What makes you better than the animals? What makes you better than Al Qaeda? What makes you better than football supporters? What do you more than they?

So Jesus here is taking on the Pharisees’ teaching and He is exposing it for what it really is. It was just secularism, just humanism, just immorality.

God’s Love for His Enemies🔗

And then He turns to God’s love for His enemies. He says, “The Old Testament taught that, the Pharisees have perverted it, now let’s just have a look at what God actually does.” Not just what He says we should do, but what does He do Himself? God’s love for His enemies.” Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you…” (Matthew 5:43-44a). These are remarkable words! These were the elite of the day that Jesus was taking on. It is like somebody walking into Harvard University and saying, “Well, I know all these titled professors and all these qualified men teach this, but here is the real truth! Here is how it really is.” If somebody went in to say that, they are basically saying, “All these guys are wrong and I am right. They have lesser authority than me.” And this is what Jesus is saying! It is remarkable really.

“But I say”…who are you? That is really what this was meant to provoke as a question. Who is this? Because Jesus here is saying, “Not just my authority is above the Pharisees, but I have authority! I am speaking with the authority of God.” So He turns to His Father’s love for His Father’s enemies as the model for our love:

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matthew 5:44-45, KJV.

He is saying, “Look at your so-called heavenly Father’s love and see: Do you meet this? Do you reach this?” What kind of love is this?

An Unreasonable Love🔗

First of all, it is an unreasonable love. It is a love without human reason. We get that really from the word used for love here, which is a Greek word "agape." It is one of four Greek words used for love in the Bible. There is the word "philia," which is a kind of brotherly love. It is the kind of love that a friend has to a friend. Then there is "storge" love, which is familial love. It is higher then brotherly love. It is the love of parents to children. Then you have "eros" love, which is romantic love. The love of a husband to a wife, or a wife to a husband. And then you have "agape" love, which is the word used here, which is really without definition apart from what we see God doing in terms of "agape" love in the Bible. It is as if the Bible writers took a word that was really empty at that point or unused and filled it with new meaning and gave it a new use.

I think the commentator James Montgomery Boice puts it best: “It is a love for no reason at all.” Think of "philia" love, the love of a friend to a friend – there is a reason for that. Think of family love, the love of parents to children. Again, there is a reason for that. Think of "eros" love – there is a reason for it. A man is attracted to a woman and a woman is attracted to a man. But "agape" love? Boice says, “No, it is a love for no reason at all,” or a love even when there are ample reasons not to love! He says there is hardly a verse in the New Testament that speaks of God’s love without also speaking in the context of the cross (Foundations of the Christian Faith, 1986). That is the ultimate example of agape love! It is the love that asks “What can I give?” rather than “What can I get in return?” No matter how much evil is repaid, agape keeps asking “How can I do good?” He is saying: Love your enemies unreasonably – when there is no reason to love. More than that, when there is plenty reason not to love. It is unreasonable.

A Widespread Love🔗

There is also widespread love, as illustrated here: “…your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). This is further explained for us in the Gospel of Luke, where Jesus says:

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Luke 6:35, KJV.

Now, this is not saying God loves everyone equally. He doesn’t. The Bible makes very clear that there is a special saving love that is reserved entirely and perfectly for His own elect people. That is a saving love. But what this is teaching is there is another kind of love, another expression of God’s love which goes beyond His people. It goes to the ends of the earth. It goes to find the evil and the unthankful and the unjust and the wicked. And it is expressed in the blessings of providence and creation. Common grace. It is a widespread love. He loves regardless of the return.

An Assuring Love🔗

There is also an assuring love. Notice it says, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:45). He is saying: Love your enemies, that you may be the children of your Father in heaven, who also loves His enemies. When you read that initially, it makes it sound as if: “If I can manage somehow or other to work up love for my enemies, then I will become a child of God. God will then love me!” But we know that is not true. Other verses in the Bible tell us we love Him because He first loved us. Other verses tell us that there is no love in our hearts by nature. We are at enmity with God. We cannot work ourselves up into love. We cannot buy God’s love for us. This does not mean you can become loved by loving your enemies. No, it is saying you can prove you are loved. You can demonstrate that you have received agape love by displaying agape love.

And in this sense this can be very assuring. I am sure many Christians here can look back on pre-conversion days and people they really hated and who hated them and they could never have envisaged in the least loving them. And then they are converted, they come to Christ, and they experience agape love, and agape love, unreasonable love, begins to grow and develop in their hearts, and they can hardly help themselves begin to love the people they hated. That is incredibly assuring and comforting, because it is saying that something has happened to me. This is not natural. This is not reasonable. This is not normal. So this can be a tremendously encouraging experience of proving that we are the children of God. And also, of course, very challenging if we are not showing this agape love and if we know nothing of this to any degree. So this is God’s love for His enemies.

Our Love for Our Enemies🔗

That brings us to the fourth phase of this argument: Our love for our enemies. Because God’s love for His enemies is to be the example and the model for our love for our enemies.

What Is an Enemy?🔗

Everyone has enemies. There is no one in the world that does not have at least one person as an enemy. What is an enemy? The enemy is defined for us here in four ways. First of all, he curses you: He wishes evil upon you; he speaks evil about you; he insults you or spreads lies about you. He hates you: He strongly dislikes you; he displays prejudice and bias against you. He despitefully uses you: He abuses you and hurts you and your reputation. He persecutes you: He harasses you; he mistreats you; he troubles you; he is out to undermine you, your property, your friends, your reputation, maybe your business, maybe your place in the church.

If everyone has enemies, Christians have even more. Christians have more than their fair share of enemies, because being a Christian has a price, it exacts a cost, and it impacts others, and they do not like it. So here is an enemy. In every single mind, even the youngest child at school or even in kindergarten. You are seeing someone who does this to you – who curses you, who hates you, who despitefully uses you, who persecutes you to one degree or another.

It is easy enough to find people in the public square like this. Some of us find our own president to be hateful towards Christians in general, to be persecuting a true Christian morality and to be harassing and mistreating. It is the saddest situation to be in. But we see it even in the media, in education and in the courts. We see this pressure and this movement to cultivate and spread and deepen opposition and hatred to Christians as a group. And therefore we also feel this personally in a way. We feel it maybe from abortionists. We feel it maybe from Islamic terrorists.

But I think it is much better to get closer to home. Yes, these are enemies too, and yes, they are to be loved, but that is in a way easier than the enemy on your doorstep. The enemy in your own home. The enemy in your own church. The enemy in your community. The neighbour across the fence. The colleague in the next cubicle or at the next desk. That is where this challenge really challenges us.

Our Response🔗

And we are told here what to do. The enemy is defined in four ways, and our response is defined in four ways.

It says first of all that we are to love them. We are to love the person who does not like us, who strongly dislikes us, or who hates us. We have to "agape" them. In other words, we have to love them in a way that looks nothing like anything else you can find in the world. Who is he or she? Think of them and think of how you can love them in a way that those observing will say, “That is ridiculous! That is unreasonable! That is illogical. That is utter folly.” That is the kind of love that we are being asked to show to our enemies – to those we feel have offended us, or hurt us, or damaged us, or even who are out to destroy us. It says: Love your enemies, not anyone else’s. It says: Love him and love her.

Then he says to bless those who curse you. You might say love is the banner and then there are three explanations of this love underneath: Bless, do good, and pray. And love really involves our will. It is a decision. It is not a feeling. It is not, “Well, I have to wait until I feel this gush of good will towards this person.” No, it is an act of the will to do good. It is a decision to do good to the person who is doing bad or who is doing evil to us. Love is an act of the will. But here blessing involves our words and our mouths. We are to return kind words for their harsh words. John Stott has said:

If they call down disaster and catastrophe upon our heads, expressing in words their wish for our downfall, we must retaliate by calling down heaven’s blessings upon them, declaring in words that we wish them nothing but good.

The Message of the Sermon on the Mount, 2014.

Then he says to do good. So there is this act of the will to love, then there is the expressing of it in words of blessing, and then here there is doing good. There is this practical outworking of this. Doing good: To their bodies, their souls, their families, their possessions, their businesses, their reputations. Returning good actions for bad. Try and think of that person drowning in Lake Michigan. You are walking along the pier and you see this person drowning on a stormy day. Would you jump? We can all think of a beautiful little girl or a beautiful little boy, and we would be in it in a second. That is reasonable; that is normal; that os human. But what about when it is him or her?

“Do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). So we have gone from the will, to the mouth, to the actions, and now the soul. Spiritual prayer. Praying for their conversion. Praying for their enmity to be turned to friendship. Praying that they become a brother and sister in Christ in deed and in reality. Doing good by evangelizing them, by bringing the gospel to them and by showing the gospel by our daily actions. Dietrich Bonhoeffer has said, “Through the medium of prayer we go to our enemy, stand by his side, and plead for him to God.” And I believe that if we pray for our enemies, we will begin to love them as well. It is not just that love produces prayer, prayer produces love.

Conclusion🔗

They curse; we bless. They hate; we love. They despitefully use us; we do good to them. They persecute us; we pray for them. How do you respond to that? I am pretty sure I know how I respond, so I will tell you (and I am pretty sure I am like most of you): “That is impossible! That is illogical! It is impractical! Can you think of what would happen if I did that? I would just be taken advantage of again and again. You are basically asking us to be perfect!” Exactly! Because notice that that is how this ends: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). God is asking, God is demanding, perfection. Perfection! Not one millimetre of the lowering of the bar. He has raised it higher than it has ever been, and He has said, “Jump! Reach! Meet! Do!” Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect. We say, “Wow! I will never get to heaven. I will never make it! I will never meet that standard, if that is the standard.” Again: Exactly! Jesus said that: “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). The whole purpose of this sermon of Christ is to bring people to say, “That is impossible, and I am doomed! I am not going to heaven then!”

So the right response to this is first of all, “Amen!” The perfect standard. Do not lower it a bit to make it more doable. No, say, “That is perfection, and I love it and I agree with it. I do not want to move it. I do not want to change it or adjust it in any way. I agree with this law of God.” Secondly, I am convicted by it. I am humbled; I am broken; I am smashed to pieces by it! I can hardly get off the ground of this commandment, never mind reach the heights of it. This should reduce us to tears. He is saying, “Unless you do this, you are going to hell.” Nothing less! Agree with the standard. Be convicted by the standard. But thirdly, believe in the Standard Keeper. There is One, and there is only One, in the whole of human history and in the whole universe who has ever leapt this high and made the standard, who has ever done this perfectly, day after day after day of His life, who has loved with agape love: And that is Jesus Christ.

As Romans 5 tells us, while we were yet enemies, Christ died for us. He “agape-ed.” You look at the cross, and you say, “Who are you dying for? For your friends?” “No, for my enemies! For the very ones who did this to me, and the very ones who would do this to me had they been alive here and present today.” In other words, all of us! It is meant to evoke from us, “That is irrational, foolish, mad, lunacy!” Until we realize it is my only hope!

His righteousness exceeded the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, and He offers it to me. He did it so that all my failures can be covered. He did it in order to present it perfectly to God that He has done it. I have to go heaven with Matthew 5:43-48 and say, “Done!” We do! I am going to heaven, as every believer is, with Matthew 5:43-48, and I am going to say, “Done!” By Jesus. Not by me, but by Him! He is my only hope. He is your only hope. And when you receive this agape love of His, agape love will begin to grow. You will desire to do this. You know you will never do it perfectly, but you desire and determine to, because you want to show the same love you have experienced to others.

David P. Murray

This audio was transcribed by Ineke van der Linden

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