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Put Away Your Swords, Stop Fighting and Embrace the Other

Christians are all too often known more for what they stand against than what they stand for. Contemporary enemies, as we have defined them at least, are the people and issues we fight against in the public square. As those who claim to follow Jesus, an enemy-loving Lord, why do we so often choose to hate our enemies and fight against them, rather than reflect Jesus, who died for them?

We choose to fight against our so-called enemies, whether it be the liberal agenda, same-sex marriage, other religions or a certain morality issue, with the sword of our words.

By contrast, Jesus told his followers to put their swords away.

In fact, Jesus chose to give himself away for his enemies, not look for ways to fight them.

The cross, where God’s enemy-love was most powerfully displayed, shows us a God who, rather than kill his enemies, chose to die for them. As Jesus hung on the cross, just before dying from what must have been an unbelievably agonizing experience, he asked his Father to forgive the same people who put him there.

With arms outstretched, he welcomed those who hurled insults at him, rather than calling for legions of angels to destroy them, which he could have done.

What does this teach us?

God in Christ has always been for people, never against them.
God in Christ has always been for his enemies, never against them.

Jesus’ Mission Statement

Jesus’ own self-proclaimed mission statement was this:

“I have not come to condemn the world, but to save it” (John 3:17).

We normally forget verse 17.

It was the Apostle Paul who once wrote, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

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Jeff K. Clarke is a public speaker, blogger and an award-winning published writer of articles and book reviews in a variety of faith-based publications. For additional articles, please visit his blog - Jesus (Re)Centered at www.jeffkclarke.com.