Christians are not to get personal revenge for wrongs, but rather, Christians are commanded to love their enemies, do good to them, and to overcome evil with good. What many Christians do not understand is that this is a strategy of resistance. The whole point of loving enemies is to disarm them, subvert their evil purposes, and convert them to Christ.
We know this because this is what the gospel has done for us: for while we were still enemies Christ died for us. God doesnít save anyone but His enemies. You were an enemy of God in your sins, and God offered you mercy. He offered to pour out His wrath on His own Son on the cross instead of you. He offered to give you the bread of His body and the wine of His own blood instead of the death you deserve. And the really glorious thing is that He still does that. When God reconciles us to Himself, He declares us righteous knowing full well just how filthy our hearts still are. He declares us righteous, knowing all of the sins we will commit, all the treason, all the filth still to come. And so you are invited here once again as the friends of God: your debts are all paid, your sins are forgiven, you are washed clean and there is a seat with your name at this table. And if that doesnít seem crazy, you arenít paying attention.††
God does not do this in apathy about our sin. He does this in order to conquer our sin. He doesnít justify sinners in order to justify our sin. He does this because the grace of His blood is the only detergent that will actually remove all our stains.
And if this is true of us, then we must not forget that it is true for the whole world. Who are the most hardened sinners in your life? Who are the most rebellious, the most vile, the most offensive, the most difficult for you? They are good candidates for Godís grace. Pray for them. Do good to them. When they are hungry, feed them. When they are thirsty, give them something to drink. And so heap up burning coals on their heads. Set them on fire with the mercy and kindness of God because that is what God is doing with you here at this table.†And Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ.
Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash
Jeff Singletary says
I enjoy your posts. One observation; you write after the style of Pastor Wilson (no surprise). One suggestion for improvement; find more of your own voice. Be Toby, not a Doug mini-me.