7627 - Ethics of Love


Jesus spoke of many things in His ministry on earth, but what He taught us about Love is particularly important.

Is the definition of love, as viewed by the world system, the same as God’s definition of love? Listen to Luke 6:27-36 and we’ll talk more.

"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' lend to `sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

This discourse by Jesus came from his lips during what some people call ‘The Sermon On The Plain.’ Many people were listening, including the twelve men Jesus had appointed to be His apostles a short time before these words were spoken.

We see in this passage the definition of love as practiced by people in the world is very different from God’s definition.

The Lord gives example of this when he states that even sinners love those who love them. Love practiced by the world is a reciprocating affair; they respond to an action by another person. The root emotion behind this love is often selfishness. That is, the initiator is hopeful of receiving some favor in return. Jesus said sinners do good to those who do good to them.

Jesus holds up a radically different definition of love for believers. “Love your enemies,” Jesus said, “do good to those who hate you.” This is a revolutionary change from what we formerly did. Jesus continues, “bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If a person slaps you on one side of your face, then offer the other side to him.”

Perhaps the first thought by an ordinary person is that if I acted that way, someone would beat me to death.

In the world, without the power of the indwelling Spirit of God, that could well be true. But Jesus is addressing these principles with men and women who have, by faith, invited Jesus Christ to enter their life to be their Lord. When He lives in us, His supernatural power is always at work to guide us and protect us so that our actions accomplish His intended results.

Our Lord knows everything that is going to happen in any situation, and He has the power to see that the various steps are accomplished as He intends.

His nature has always been loving. He demonstrated this kind of love by His sacrifice. He is kind even to the wicked and the ungrateful. And His mercy spares people from punishment and consequences, which they deserve. He even endured the punishment for our sins. That’s radical love. And when He is Lord in our lives, then we will live that way also. We will love our enemies. We will pray for those who abuse us.

Then, and only then, will we not be overcome by evil, but will overcome evil with good. (Rom. 12:21). Then we will forsake revenge and trust God to avenge wrongs done to us (Rom 12:19).

The secret is that no one can live this way in their power, but Christ can live His righteous life in us, and that’s the only way its possible. His love is made complete in us (1 John 4:12).