Loving Your Enemies – Gospel in Life

Loving Your Enemies

Tim Keller |  February 21, 1993

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  • Christian Living and Obedience
  • Forgiveness
  • God's Love
Luke 6:20-36
RS 39-14


Most of the great world religions share a tremendous amount of ethical common ground. But suddenly, Jesus breaks through all the conventional principles of morality—he soars into the stratosphere and puts forth the most radical love ethic anyone has ever seriously presented.

On the one hand, when we hear it, we feel we’re in the presence of something sublime. But there’s another side to us that has difficulty with it, because it sure looks like Jesus is saying, “Let people walk all over you.”

But what we actually have here is a set of remarkable balances. Let’s take a look at two balances: 1) There is the balance between the tough and the tender (between justice and kindness), and 2) there is a balance between the inner and the outer.

Luke 6:20–36

In Luke 6:20-36, Jesus introduces a challenging idea of love that is different from typical beliefs and it echoes an Old Testament idea of a balanced Christian life. This balance means standing up for what’s right while also showing kindness, being firm yet gentle, and being active in your faith while keeping a peaceful heart. Jesus speaks against unfairness and calls for change, but at the same time, teaches us to forgive and love even those who are against us.

1. A Christian cares deeply about fairness

The book of Job in the Bible highlights the importance of fairness and love, stating that everyone deserves to be treated fairly. It rejects the idea that forgiving someone who wronged you goes against standing up for what’s right. Instead, it encourages us to actively stand against unfairness while keeping a peaceful heart and forgiving spirit. The story ends by highlighting that real courage involves speaking the truth and dealing with relationship problems, and that forgiving others is key to overcoming unfairness and mistreatment.

2. A Christian humbly follows God

It’s important to remember that we, as Christians, were once separated from God and were brought back by His grace. When we realize our own resistance to God’s guidance over our lives, we begin to deeply appreciate His grace and love, which helps us to forgive others. This powerful understanding enables us to love those who are against us, change the way we act, and ultimately, make a positive difference in the world.



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