Matthew 5:43-48 Grace

Matthew 5:43-48
“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 makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Grace: a:  unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; b:  a virtue coming from God; c:  a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace (Merriam Webster)

Linchpin: a person or thing that holds something together : the most important part of a complex situation or system. (Merriam Webster)

Christ is a linchpin in human history, a radical who believes in peace, love, forgiveness, striving, change, allegiance.  Grace is a linchpin too. Unmerited forgiveness, love, peace, change, etc. given to us as a blessing out of love.

Tell me, what did we, or what do we now do to deserve the love of God, His peace, His forgiveness?

Have we eliminated war? Poverty? Slavery? Sin? No, we haven’t. If we’re so great, why haven’t we? If we are so danged awesome, why haven’t we eliminated these things? Is God standing in our way? No.

He’s also a fulcrum, a 180° turn from the normal. 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….” This is a radical departure from human ways.

Why does He love us? He loves those that hate Him, those who are His enemies, just like He calls us to do. “45…for He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

He is the embodiment of what He calls us to do.

Are we?

Grace. Love. Forgiveness.

It’s not in our nature not to hate evil, but we’re to respond to it with love, grace, forgiveness, like Christ does to us.

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