Matthew 5:43-48
The Definition of Discipleship

Matthew 5:43-48

 The Definition of Grace (vv. 43-44)

“You have heard it said…”: Love your neighbor, hate your enemy.

“…but I say to you…”

  1. Love your enemy
  2. Bless your enemy
  3. Do good to your enemy
  4. Pray for your enemy


The Distribution of Grace (v. 45)

Common grace: the gifts of creation

Saving grace: the gift of salvation


The Distinction of Grace (vv. 46-48)

The lost love  their friends and family.

The disciple of Christ must do “more”!

The perfect love of God is our standard.


More to Consider

Looking back over all six antitheses, it has become clear what the ‘greater’ righteousness is to which Christians are summoned. It is a deep inward righteousness of the heart where the Holy Spirit has written God’s law. It is new fruit exhibiting the newness of the tree, new life burgeoning from a new nature. So we have no liberty to try to dodge or duck the lofty demands of the law. Law-dodging is a pharisaic hobby; what is characteristic of Christians is a keen appetite for righteousness, hungering and thirsting after it continuously. And this righteousness, whether expressed in purity, honesty or charity, will show to whom we belong. Our Christian calling is to imitate not the world, but the Father. And it is by this imitation of him that the Christian counterculture becomes visible.   John Stott

We must recognize Jesus’ fundamental point: only the person who places his confidence entirely in God can learn to renounce his own security and encounter his neighbor openly. Schweizer says, “And when he encounters his neighbor thus—with the compassion of God himself—he will no longer need to kill in order to live; no longer need to guard his heart with half-truths or oaths; no longer maintain his cause by vengeance—by returning blows or going to court—or carry the day for his own party by vilifying the enemy.”  Myron S. Augsburger

The word perfect in Matthew 5:48 does not imply sinlessly perfect, for that is impossible in this life (though it is a good goal to strive for). It suggests completeness, maturity, as the sons of God. The Father loves His enemies and seeks to make them His children, and we should assist Him!   Warren W. Wiresbe