Defining the Enemy
by Lynette Kittle
“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 children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” - Luke 6:35
With wars, conflicts, and unrest taking place in the world, whom do we see as our enemy? Whether we like it or not, whatever nation we are born into, we become subject to the government and rulers we live under, sometimes under situations, policies, and actions we don’t support or believe in.
As well the world tends to assign overall responsibility to all people who live under particular governments, even if they are powerless to change their nation’s actions and aggressions.
Sadly entire groups of people are held accountable for their leaders’ reckless, unjust, and atrocious actions because of where they were born and live, suffering under the guilt by association and the backlash that comes from being a citizen in a land run by fallen rulers. Proverbs 29:2 explains how when the wicked rule, the people groan.
What Defines an Enemy?
Likewise spiritually speaking, as humans we are subject to the wrongful actions of our fallen leader, Adam. We have no choice in whether or not we inherit his sinful nature but unfortunately are born into it, guilty by association, whether we like it or not.
Scripture explains how this occurred and what it means for all of us. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—” (Romans 5:12).
Sadly most unbelievers are unaware of how Adam’s sin and the fall of humanity under his headship made them enemies of God. Many non-believers don’t see themselves as His enemy but believe they are their own person, one who isn’t connected or answers to anyone beyond their own self.
Instead, they live under a false belief they can be neutral, not knowing that there are only two sides to choose from, good or evil, and to not choose God is making a choice. They don’t understand that if they are not with God then they are against Him (Matthew 12:30).
Loving the World Versus Loving God
Many people including some believers don’t understand that loving the world means not loving God. Sadly too many who claim to be Christians think they can love both God and the world.
But James 4:4, explains the signs of being an enemy of God. “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
Through the power of the Holy Spirit believers can resist friendship with the world. However, non-believers are caught in their enemy status because, “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so”(Romans 8:7).
In response to their plights, Jesus calls us in Luke 6:36 to, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
God Has Provided a Way
God has graciously and sacrificially provided a way for all of us to be set free from the consequences of the sin nature we inherited from Adam. “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21,22).
He has provided a clear way by sending Jesus into the world to set us free from the captivity and consequences of sin (John 3:16). And when Thomas asked Jesus how to find the way to God, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’”(John 14:6).
Not wanting any of us to be His enemy, God calls us to be reconciled to Him through Jesus. “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!”(Romans 5:10).
If you want to be reconciled to Him, choose today to accept His free gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Set time aside this coming week to examine your relationship with the world. Look to see if there are any areas in your life where your love for God has been replaced by worldly loves.
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Photo credit: Unsplash/Chad Madden
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.