Note from author: This is a continuation of “Love for Enemies”.
Last week, we learned that we cannot keep on sinning, living the life we lived before we received Jesus. Christ very clearly said that there are two kinds of people: people who love God, and people who do not love God.
People who love God will obey Him.
People who do not love God will not obey Him (John 14:23-24).
The one who chooses to obey Him is the one who received God’s grace. People who do not love and forgive others are rejecting God’s love and forgiveness for themselves.
Loving our enemies, praying for them, blessing them and not cursing them, giving something to drink if they are thirsty, something to eat if they are hungry, is obeying God’s command to love Him and our neighbors as we love ourselves.
We will continue reading Romans 6:5-7 (NIV):
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
There are people who say it is impossible to love others, and that loving enemies does not make sense.
It’s true. That’s why when we receive Jesus, we undergo two kinds of baptism.
Water baptism where believers get immersed in water and show people that they have received Jesus and chose to live a new life (Matthew 3:6; Acts 8:16; Acts 10:47-48).
Spiritual baptism – Holy Spirit baptizes the person, changing their hearts to understand God’s will and Word in their life (Acts 1:5; Acts 10:44; Acts 11:15; Acts 19:6). Through the Holy Spirit, we receive power, love, and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).
In each of these, baptisms, there are two main points:
- We die to our old way of life. This means we don’t continue with our hatred, jealousy, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, slander, etc. (Galatians 5:19-21).
- We are made alive in Christ. Therefore, as a new creation in Christ, God no longer punish us because of our sin, but forgives us, cleanses us, and changes us to bear all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23; Romans 8:1-2).
Amen? Let’s go over each verse we read in Romans 6:5-7.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
Verse 5, Paul is reminding us that just sin was nailed to the cross when Christ was crucified, our old, dead spiritual self, which is slave to sin is also put to death when we received Jesus. Furthermore, in the same way that Jesus was resurrected with a new body, we will also be given a new body when Jesus comes back. In our resurrection, God gives us a new kind of body that is free from all the death, sickness, suffering and pain that people experience in physical bodies.
This truth is so powerful. I want you to remember it:
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 NIV)
Verse 6: For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—
This is a profound truth. When we received Jesus, we are raised from spiritual death (separate from God with no relationship or hope), into life (together with God, relationship with Jesus, and hope that lasts eternally)!
When we receive Jesus, sin’s power over us is broken! God makes His home with us. Since we have God with us, we have power over sin, love to overcome hardships, and self-control to live the life that honors God (John 14:23; 2 Timothy 1:7).
Verse 7: because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Loving our enemies is one of the ways we show sin no longer rules us! God gave us power over sin. When we love our enemies, we have proof that we are no longer slaves to sin!
We will still face temptations to do wrong. Having hardships doesn’t mean we are sinning. Job was a righteous man who loved God and did right. He still suffered (read book of Job).
Did Jesus ever sin?
No. Jesus never sinned (1 Peter 2:22)!
Even though He never sinned, Jesus suffered. Even though He never sinned, through His suffering, everyone who believes in Him are saved (1 Peter 3:18).
Suffering doesn’t always come because of our sin. Both good and bad people suffer.
Jesus made it very clear that suffering is something everyone experiences. Suffering comes because we don’t live in heaven, but live in a world broken by sin.
We will always undergo different kinds of challenges, troubles and trials in this world. But have courage! Just as Jesus overcame all the trials in the world, even death, He gives us the same victory!
Jesus said to us that we are to give up our troubles to God. When we do, He gives us peace and courage in Him! (John 16:33)
It is tempting to become angry with people who continue to hurt and mistreat us even after we have done them good.
But remember: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21 NIV)
Amen? Let’s pray that we will truly know and experience His love for us, and to love others in the same way He has shown us!