by Ted Robertson on August 6, 2011
In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ teaches us to turn the other cheek, love our enemies, and that God treats the wicked well as well as the righteous
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
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. Matthew 5: 38 - 48
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4: 7-12
God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked
Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Ezekiel 33:11
God desires that all come to repentance and inherit eternal life
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3: 9
Moses pleads with God for his people – willing to give up eternal life for them
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.
Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine angel shall go before thee: nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them. Exodus 32:30-34
God loved the world so much that He gave us Jesus Christ to save us
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
From Christ's perspective, He has died for His friends – the friends He chose – i.e. us.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. John 15:12-17
Christ would have died for just one – that one could have been you or me
"Christ would have died for one soul in order that that one might live through the eternal ages." Testimonies to the Church, Vol. 8, p. 72.
Christ's new commandment – that we love one another
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:34-35
Hate is murder. But we are to love instead.
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:11-18
Conclusion – How should we treat our fellow humans?
Love one another
Turn the other cheek
Treat all with fairness
Love our enemies
Willing to die for friends
Heaven is watching us to see if we manifest Christ's teachings
and treat our fellow humans in accordance with His precepts
Angels are watching with intense interest to see how man is dealing with his fellow men. When they see one manifest Christlike sympathy for the erring, they press to his side and bring to his remembrance words to speak that will be as the bread of life to the soul. So "God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:19. Your testimony in its genuineness and reality He will make powerful in the power of the life to come. The word of the Lord will be in your mouth as truth and righteousness. EGW, COL 149
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