Labels#11. “Enemies.”

It is a rare day that a Christian will admit, “That person is my enemy.” They know better than to say such a thing. Instead, they would tend to speak in terms of: “That person treats me as if I am an enemy of theirs;” thus putting it back on the other person.

Every child of God will accumulate enemies; it goes with the calling. Jesus said that the world will hate us as it hated him (John 15:18-19). However, not all our enemies will reside outside of the church. Paul grieved that some Christians ignored his apostolic teaching and set their faces against Christ. He says:
“Brethren, join in following my example and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things” (Philippians 3:17-19).

Because of our new spiritual nature, our friends are those who walk according to the apostolic pattern. But those who veer off to pander to the flesh make themselves “enemies of the cross.” Though they treat us as friends, it is only with hopes to indulge their sinful appetites; their fleshly nature being unable to help but count us, enemies, too.

No one is left unscathed when confronting these “enemies of the cross.” They will slander Christians and congregations alike to prevent righteous deeds from exposing their deeds of darkness.

Though we do well to mark them as divisive and enemies of God, we must remember that it was while we were enemies of God that we were reconciled by Christ (Romans 5:10).

So, to make sure that we do not add hate to the equation, we heed these words from our Saviour:
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).

John Staiger

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