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Love your enemies ( 33 )
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
Love  your  enemies
 
‚ÄčThe principles of kindness, mercy, and love, taught and exemplified by our Saviour, are a transcript of the will and character of God. Christ declared that He taught nothing except that which He had received from His Father. The principles of the divine government are in perfect harmony with the Saviour's precept, "Love your enemies." God executes justice upon the wicked, for the good of the universe, and even for the good of those upon whom His judgments are visited. He would make them happy if He could do so in accordance with the laws of His government and the justice of His character. He surrounds them with the tokens of His love, He grants them a knowledge of His law, and follows them with the offers of His mercy; but they despise His love, make void His law, and reject His mercy. While constantly receiving His gifts, they dishonor the Giver; they hate God because they know that He abhors their sins. The Lord bears long with their perversity; but the decisive hour will come at last, when their destiny is to be decided. Will He then chain these rebels to His side? Will He force them to do His will?  Great Controversy, page 541.4   Read entire chapter 33  { 4SP 362.2 } 
 
 
Christ continues to impress upon his disciples the necessity of practicing the principles of the commandments. He tells them that the seventh commandment may be violated by the eyes and thoughts; therefore, the principles of God’s law reach even to the intents and purposes of the mind. The Saviour seeks to impress upon his followers that merely believing the commandments is not enough; they must do them. He sets forth plain evidence that if we faithfully keep the ten precepts we shall love our neighbor as ourselves. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” { RH November 16, 1886, par. 5 }
 
 
The leaders at Jerusalem had sent out spies to find some pretext for putting Christ to death. He responded by giving them an evidence of His love for humanity, His respect for the law, and His power to deliver from sin and death. Thus He bore witness of them: “They have rewarded Me evil for good, and hatred for My love.” Psalm 109:5. He who on the mount gave the precept, “Love your enemies,” Himself exemplified the principle, not rendering “evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing.” Matthew 5:44; 1 Peter 3:9. { DA 265.3} 
 
“Love your enemies,” He bade them; “bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven;” “for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” “He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” Matthew 5:44, 45; Luke 6:35, 36. { 8T 286.7} 
 
Christ enjoins upon His followers to “love your enemies, ... do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you” ( Matthew 5:44). He would have us love those who oppress us and do us harm. We must not express in words and acts the spirit they manifest, but improve every opportunity to do them good. { UL 220.3}  { 15MR 158.1 } 
 
Priests and rulers had interposed themselves between the people and God, and they sought to interpose between them and the great Teacher, even as they do in this day. How great will be the responsibility of men who seek to hinder souls from entering into the kingdom of heaven! The whole tenor of Christ’s teaching was contrary to that of the rabbis. In his sermon on the mount he tore away the middle wall of partition that separated men one from another through national prejudices, and taught the exercise of a love that was to embrace the human race. He said to the people: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” { ST October 17, 1895, par. 5 }
 
The great want in South Africa in religious lines is a clearer sense of the presence of God in every agency and in every enterprise. The purity and holiness of God is the great subject which must awaken the senses to the necessity of true conversion. While on one hand danger lurks in a narrow philosophy and a hard, cold rule of orthodoxy, on the other hand, there is great danger in a careless, impure liberalism. The great theme ever to be kept before people is the indwelling and co-working of divinity, expressed by Christ in the words, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you: that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking nor jesting, which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks.” { 1888 1699.1 } 
 
The principles of Christ’s kingdom are to be carried out in practical life, in the practice of self-denial and self-sacrifice for the good of others. Christ revealed the Father as one who loved humanity from the very beginning of the world. The love of God was made evident by the flowers growing in beauty around them. He had given them these beautiful things. He cares for the flowers and the birds, and would he not have a greater love for one formed in his own image? The whole world, the evil and the good, lay in the sunshine of his eternal love. In view of the Father’s love, we are exhorted by the Saviour to love others. In the sermon on the mount he said: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” { ST October 24, 1895, par. 7 }
 
 
Love  your  enemies,  bless them that curse you   Quote Matt. 5: 44
 
“Love your enemies,” He bids us; “bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven;” “for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” “He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” Matthew 5:44, 45; Luke 6:35; Matthew 5:45; Luke 6:36. { MH 423.2} 
 
 
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?” { 2SP 223.3 } 
 
 
Just before making this requirement, the Saviour said to His disciples: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you.” We are to love our enemies with the same love that Christ manifested toward His enemies by giving His life to save them. Many may say, “This is a hard commandment; for I want to keep just as far as I can from my enemies.” But acting in accordance with your own inclination would not be carrying out the principles that our Saviour has given. “Do good,” He says, “to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” This scripture illustrates one phase of Christian perfection. While we were yet enemies of God, Christ gave His life for us. We are to follow His example. { MM 253.3} 
I must write still more of the scripture, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.... Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” I have been deeply impressed by these words. We must understand their real meaning. If we would represent Christ’s character by obeying this requirement, there would be a great change in evildoers. Many souls would be convicted of their sinfulness and converted through the impressions made upon them by our refusal to resent the evil actions of those controlled by satanic agencies. We must prayerfully and determinedly work on the Lord’s side. In all the issues that provoke the soul we should resist the evil and refuse to abuse the evildoer. { MM 254.1} 
 
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” { MB 73.3} 
“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven” ( Matthew 5:44, 45). { RC 72.3} 
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Matthew 5:44. { TMK 183.1} 
In these last days, when iniquity shall abound and the love of many shall wax cold, God will have a people to glorify His name, and stand as reprovers of unrighteousness. They are to be a “peculiar people,” who will be true to the law of God when the world shall seek to make void its precepts, and when the converting power of God works through His servants, the hosts of darkness will array themselves in bitter and determined opposition.... { TMK 183.2} 
 
The lessons which Christ has given us are to be studied, and incorporated into our religious life every day. “When ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any.” “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Parents should teach their children to be patient under injuries. Teach them that wonderful precept in the Lord’s prayer, that we are to forgive others as we would be forgiven. { HM February 1, 1892, par. 15 }
The lessons which Christ has given us are to be studied and incorporated into our religious life every day. If ye forgive not men their trespasses, “neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” “When ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any.” “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” { 15MR 198.1 } 
 
Those who are unfeeling and hard-hearted do greater harm to themselves than they do to others, for they deceive themselves by their own spirit and course. Selfishness leads the one who exaggerates every little offense, and attaches great importance to that which is said of himself, which leads him to attribute guilt to one who is ignorant of having done wrong. Selfishness works in the unsanctified heart, and leads men to depreciate those who do not highly esteem them and show them the honor which they think is their due. The lessons which Christ has given us are to be studied and incorporated into our religious life every day. He says: “If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” “When ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any.” “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” { RH May 14, 1895, par. 8 }
 
Christ proceeds to teach that the principles of God’s law reach even to the intents and purposes of the mind. And he plainly states that if we faithfully keep the ten precepts, we shall love our neighbor as ourselves. “Ye have heard,” he says, “that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” { RH May 19, 1910, par. 5 }
 
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