Do you consider yourself an enemy of God?
We know we are all sinners, but an enemy? That’s kind of harsh, isn’t it?
We never hurt anyone. We don’t even have any human enemies, how can we be an enemy of God? We’re all relatively nice. We grew up in nice homes. We have nice families. We attend nice universities. Enemies sounds too severe.
We may say, I never did anything directly offensive to God. I’m not like Paul who literally persecuted and murdered Christians. I go to church every Sunday. I give tithe. I don’t lie, well, I don’t lie that much. I am selfish sometimes, but isn’t everyone?
Christians say I am enthroning myself — the unholy trinity of me, myself and I. But what’s the big deal? I don’t see how my occasional idolatry of self and putting my needs first and making my own decisions and running my life the way I want, I can’t see how these things make me an enemy of God.
I don’t see the connection. Why this talk of sin and being an enemy of God? I am not that much of a sinner compared to others. That sister or that brother is far worse than me. I’m okay. And we dismiss our sin of self.
Or we confess that we are sinners so much to the point that it becomes cliche and that confession loses its stinging meaning. I believe the world is round, I believe in gravity, I believe I am a sinner. These are just universal principles I subscribe to. Yeah, yeah, I know I am a sinner. And the impact of that confession that I am a sinner becomes so routine and mundane.
So in this passage, Paul is clear to mention that a sinner is actually an enemy of God. Meaning, we rebel against God and if given the chance, we will remove him from our lives permanently and replace him with some other idol or our own version of religion.
Every time we enthrone ourselves and we reject God’s claim over our lives, we are repeating the sin of Adam and Eve. They wanted to call the shots. They wanted to be like God, they wanted to determine what is good and what is evil for themselves. They wanted to create a world where they were the supreme beings. And in our rejection of God, we do the exact same thing. We create worlds where we are the kings and queens and God is an occasional advisor who comes to visit our kingdom from time to time.
The Bible says, we are enemies of God. If you don’t consider yourself an enemy of God, the amazing love of God will not hit you. The love of God kind of brushes over you like you are walking through a mist. God’s love lands on you, but a few seconds later, it evaporates. God’s love never penetrates and sinks deep into your being and transforms you from the inside out.
The fact that we are enemies whose only hope was Jesus dying on the cross is more than an intellectual principle. This truth of God’s love for the enemy should move us to tears because we are those enemies. This gets back to the core of the gospel and salvation.