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 Post Post subject: Matthew 5:43-48
Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:12 pm 
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Until the First Church is restored I shall post this here.

Matthew 5:43-48 has some tough words for us all, but I believe it is important to focus on the Bible and to focus on God.

Quote:
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


Jesus is calling us away from the old law and into the new covenant. This can be compared to calling us from our sin nature and into our new lives as Christians that Paul talks about when he says we are a new creation in 2 Corinthians.

We have lived all our lives as human beings, being human. Our law has been to get even, to hate our enemies. Jesus calls us to more than that, to love our enemies! TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES!

Let's think about that for a minute, what is love? In the Greek it is renderd Agapate, a form of Agape, which as I'm sure you know is to love unconditionally.

We must love unconditionally? Isn't that the word they use for God's love for us? We're supposed to love people that much? Yes we are. We are to love people unconditionally. Amazing decree isn't it?

Who are our enemies? Who is it that we must love like this? First of all I'd like to point out that Jesus never cancelled the "Love your neighbor" part of the deal. We don't get to hate our neighbors now. We still have to love them as we love our enemies.

Our enemies are those who hurt us, who harm us on purpose, who cause annoyance, who don't put the seat down on the toilet, who post spam 24/7. Those are our enemies, those who persecute us. We must love them.

Look around us tonight and tomorrow and the next day. I challenge you to ask yourself these two questions. Who are my enemies? and, Am I loving them?


Let's take a look at that last verse,
Quote:
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


:-s How is that possible? Is that possible? He was just being symbolic right? We're not supposed to be perfect, everyone knows we're human, we can't be perfect.

That is a good defense. It is a strong and lasting defense, a shield that protects us from the stings of guilt and conviction. I'm no stranger to that shield, that "I'm only human!" shield. I've used that shield all my life to justify my sin.

Paul says to us in 2 Corinthians 5:21
Quote:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
(Emphasis mine)

The righteousness of God, be perfect as God is perfect, the righteousness of God.

We are called to perfection! And we must not dismiss this call any longer. It's a hard thing to accept, it gives you a bar to pass that you don't think you can, and if you think you can then you haven't.

It's a bar that requires you to be perfect, and perfection requires humility.

This is the biggest test you can put yourself through, and if you don't think you can do it I understand. I don't think I can do it either.

If we break it down into smaller segments it's easier to swallow isn't it? What if, we just tried to fullfill one part of this command to be perfect for now? What if we just tried to follow Matthew 5:43-48, and love our enemies.

If this is suitable to you, I will join you in trying to fullfill Matthew 5:43-48, I will love my enemies. And from now on we can keep each other accountable, to point out where we have failed to Agapate, show agape love, to our enemies.

Peace my brothers and sisters. I pray that God would challenge you through these words, Amen.


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Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:31 pm 
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Outstanding reminder, especially at this time!!!

Great post Kappa


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Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:35 pm 
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I memorised the whole of Matthew 5, I know. That's why I tried to make friends with Dr. Blackgaard. But I guess I must try with Olivia. It is certainly a hard job, though.


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Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:37 pm 
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The feeling is quite mutual, dear child.


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Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:15 pm 
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New moderator (as of tomorrow.) Please remove this topic from this ridiculous establishment and place it in the Second Church of Odyssey. Thank you.

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“Among the attributes of God, although they are all equal, mercy shines with even more brilliancy than justice.” —Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

By the way, Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was a racist.


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