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The Weapons of Truth and Love



Although we are involved in this epic conflict between the serpent and the Savior, and between the serpent’s kingdom and the Savior’s kingdom, the reality is that the two sides are fighting with very different weapons. Jesus said that Satan is fundamentally a liar and a murderer (John 8:44). Herod lied to the wise men and slaughtered the babies, and his son dealt treacherously with another man’s wife and beheaded the prophet, and the religious leaders and Roman soldiers and Pilate rejected the truth and crucified Jesus, and the whole world brokers in falsehood. But we do not fight according to the flesh. Our weapon is truth – we speak truth and live it – and we deploy our weapon in love. Our spiritual enemies hate us, but we actually love them. We don’t delight in their sinful ways, of course, and we don’t sentimentalize or celebrate or downplay their perilous spiritual condition, but we truly love them. “Blessed are the merciful” (Matthew 5:7), says the merciful King. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:44-45) Our enemies really are our enemies, and we understand them as such, but we really want them to become our friends; we want our persecutors to become our partners in the gospel; we want the children of the devil to be freed from their chains and to become the sons and daughters of the High King. We want corrupt tax collectors like Zacchaeus and religious zealots like the pre-converted Paul and wayward sons and profligate daughters to be gloriously and wonderfully saved by the grace of God. In fact, we would lay down our lives to bring about the salvation of our enemies – and where did we learn that?

Scripture says: “For while we were still weak, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die–but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:6-10)

We were weak. We were sinners. We were enemies of God. Jesus the Messiah King came into this weak, sinful, and conflicted mess – not like King Herod to manipulate and slaughter and self-promote, not like a Herod Antipas to adulterate and behead and self-protect, but – as the merciful King who embodied truth and graciously offered Himself as an atoning sacrifice for His enemies, and by His death He paid the price of redemption for every sinner who would turn from sin and take refuge in Him.

From "Kingdoms in Conflict: An Exposition of Genesis 3:15, Matthew 2:1-18, and Other Passages," January 6, 2019

NOTE: Header Image/Featured Image Photo by Henry Hustava on Unsplash