The Key Differentiator

What differentiates true Christians and non-Christians? How can we love our enemies? Where do we err in our classification and perception of “good” and “bad” people? How can we demonstrate Christlike love towards others?

Overview

Matt 5:43-48,  Luke 6:27-36

Objectives

Theme Verse

God calls His enemies, to be His children

God does not differentiate

When we differentiate..

Discussion

OBJECTIVES

To understand:

  • The one thing that differentiates believers from unbelievers is loving enemies
  • God’s even handedness and universal love
  • The implications of only loving the loveable and not the hostile.

Bible Passage

Matt 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

God calls His enemies, to be His children

God made us, his enemies,  His children (Col 1:21,22). We need to do the same :

  • Acknowledge our enemies as God’s potential children
  • Accept them using the same means and love that God did…
  • Achieve differentiation and recognition as God’s children
  • Advance towards perfection

Acknowledge our enemies as God’s potential children

Matt 11:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven;

If we feel others are underserving what about us who have been equally undeserving? When God has opened His doors to everyone to be His children, it is our job to guide others to these doors. Everything else is irrelevant.

Accept them using the same means and love that God did…

Matt 11:44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

The world is filled with prayers for the persecuted ignoring the persecutors who need our prayers more.

Achieve differentiation and recognition as God’s children

Matt 11:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?

Our lives revolve around our families, those we love. What are we doing for those who don’t really care for us, but who need God desperately. Perfection can only come by loving those we “hate” or “love less”.

Advance towards perfection

Matt 11:48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Condition for perfection is demonstrating Christ’s love.

God does not differentiate

Matt 11: 44b ..for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

He:

  • Showers blessings
  • Covers with His blood

Showers blessings

God’s general blessings – the rain, the sun, houses, families, love, happiness, sorrow, are equally enjoyed by the good and the bad. Those who question this question God’s nature, his generosity and love.

Covers with His blood

Most importantly, the saving blood of Christ, ushering God’s special blessings to those who are covered, is available to all.

When we differentiate..

Particularly those we don’t get along with, we:

  • Distance them from God
  • Deny what God intended for them and us
  • Dilute God’s value.. Expecting God to be partial as we are

Recap

God calls His enemies, to be His children. We need to

  • Acknowledge our enemies as God’s potential children
  • Accept them using the same means and love that God did…
  • Achieve differentiation and recognition as God’s children
  • Advance towards perfection

God does not differentiate. He:

  • Showers blessings
  • Covers with His blood

When we differentiate, we:

  • Distance them from God
  • Deny what God intended for them and us
  • Dilute God’s value..Expecting partiality

   distance ourselves from  God’s love

The key differentiator

Love your enemies

Pray for those who persecute you

Greet the hostile

Discussion

1.Where do we err in our classification and perception of “good” and “bad” people? 

2.How can we emulate God better in dealing with the righteous and unrighteous?

3.How do we unconsciously “hate” certain people? (“hate” in the bible is “not loving enough”)

4.What steps do we need to take to convert hate to love?

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