Foundations of the Faith:
“If God is for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31 NKJV )
If we can take this Scripture to heart, we then have no other person “against us!” It behooves us to then consider the source, the source of lies, murders, or hate and evil.
Jesus put it straight to the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees in John eight He put it this way:
44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
If we feel persecuted by someone, they, like in Jesus day, they “carry out” their “father’s desires.”
This should change the way we respond to the attacks from others.
Those against us:
Remember the story of Olga at the beginning of this lesson? Did Olga love those who wronged her? Instead of asking prayer that the injured man be healed, Olga could have asked that God punish them for their wicked ways.
Would that have been a Christ-like attitude? No.
What did Jesus do the night He was arrested and Peter cut off the ear of the high priest's slave? That slave was an enemy of Jesus, but Luke tells us, "But Jesus said, 'Enough of this!' He touched the man's ear and healed him" (Luke 22:51).
We want to be like Jesus who loved His enemies and forgave them. In Matthew 5:44 He said, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." And again in Matthew 6:15, "If you do not forgive others, then your Father in heaven will not forgive the wrongs you have done."
Love is the greatest Christian virtue. First Corinthians 13:13 tells us, "Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love."
Christians should love God first. He will in turn put His love in our hearts so we can love both friends and enemies. "Jesus answered, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind'" (Matthew 22:37).
"And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34). Memorize this verse and repeat it often, remembering that a believer's most important responsibility to God and to His fellowman is love.
>Foundations of the Faith:
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