Sunday, August 8, 2010

Who is My Enemy?

Who is My Enemy?
Speaker: Crispin Schroeder
Northshore Vineyard Church
I.               Spiritual Warfare – 2 Pitfalls
1.    Obsession With the Devil
2.    Rationalism
Theodin: “I will not risk open war”
Aragorn: “Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not.” (from Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers)

II.              The Enemy and the Fight (Ephesians 6:12, 2 Corinthians 4:4)
A.    The enemy behind your enemy (a modern parable)
B.    “Love your enemies…” Matthew 5:43-48

III.            The Trap and The Way
A.    The Trap - One of the greatest traps we can fall into in the Christian life is when we fail to distinguish the real enemy of our lives and to fight with the weapons of the world.
·      Peter cuts off a servants ear
·      James and John wish to call down fire
B.    The Way
·      Jesus loved his enemies and even prayed for them from the cross
·      Paul and Silas in prison (Acts 16:25-34)
·      Ruby Bridges

IV.            Conclusion (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)


  1. Wow. It doesn’t happen very often, but I respect you enough to say that I’m not 100% behind this message, Bro. Not in the sense that we shouldn’t pray for and do good to our enemies. We absolutely should – no argument there. But to say that we don’t have enemies in human form is, in my opinion, naïve and misguided (and I say that with all due respect, as it’s not personal and is only my opinion based upon what I have studied and of course my life experiences). The Greek for enemy/enemies in the Matthew text as spoken by Jesus refers to those (people) that are filled with hate, hostility and animosity toward (in this case) “us,” where “us” are believers, those that acknowledge the truth of Christ. If you have another definition for enemy that would not include it being in opposition to what we believe and in human form, then I’d love to hear it. But please don’t’ confuse that with the SOURCE of their (or our) evil, whether Satan or their (or our) own selfish desire, which is where I think your argument gets a bit convoluted.

    Satan is absolutely real – again, nor argument there - and he does in fact have human (and demonic) helpers in his cause to keep humanity from knowing the love of God through Christ. That’s not an obsession for me – it’s simply an acknowledgement of biblical truth. I understand your point on how in that case, those that oppose the way of Christ are pawns in a larger scheme, that they are but the means to an evil end and that the end itself in this case is the adversarial cause of Satan. With that said, however, Jesus in fact is acknowledging that we DO have human enemies when he said to pray for those that persecute and do evil to us (again, please consider the Greek here).

    Yes, those that are now Believers were once enemies of God. But the fact remains that until and unless one sees and accepts the truth, they are still enemies of God, because if you’re not “for” God through Christ then you are “against” him, and that, by definition, makes one an enemy. They are not beyond his love of course and certainly it is God’s desire that all would come to the saving knowledge of Christ, and again, we absolutely should pray for and do good for them. But that doesn’t mean that they will, and in fact many if not most will not. And until and unless that divine and grace filled moment occurs, then one is in fact (in eternal terms) remains alienated from God.

    I am in no way advocating hate, violence, or any other biblical dissention against those that willingly oppose the way of Christ. But I’m not in a hurry to become a martyr in an act of violence against me or my family just to “prove” that I am a Christ follower through misguided passivity. Certainly I don’t want to turn this into a debate, so I will stop before I turn this into another dissertation – ha! But I welcome your reply and I’ll leave it with the fact that I respect and love you in Christ and will continue to think about your sermon. Thanks Bro. TA

  2. Tim,

    Thanks for the feedback. I guess what I was meaning to communicate was not that we don't have enemies but humans are not our ultimate enemy. Understanding this will help us to guard our hearts in the battles we face. I may have come across a bit forceful on this point but I have just seen to many Christians become bitter, hateful concerning other Christians or those in politics (I have done this myself on many occasions). I think much of this is a failure to recognize the ultimate enemy of our souls.