[Please note. To get the most of this outline... listen to the sermon on the media player]
Attributes of Holiness – Love Matthew 5:43 – 48
[B.T. Roberts reexamined]
“You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:43 – 48]
“Holiness implies deliverance of all hatred of any human being.” [B.T. Roberts]
I. The human condition:
A. Hatred is part of the fallen human condition.
1. It may be open or hidden.
2. It may be subtle and secret.
B. Christians are no exception from this fallen condition.
1. “As long as selfishness remains in the soul, dislike is sure to follow.” [B.T. Roberts.]
2. Problem: we do judge others when we interpret their actions and words.
a. We generally put an “unfavorable construction” towards things and people we don’t like or understand.
b. Reality: “A truly sanctified soul has no sympathy with sin, he abhors it; but he looks upon the sinner with sincere compassion.” [B.T. Roberts]
II. It is natural to return hatred for hatred BUT holiness causes us to return good for evil.
A. Jesus taught this in Matthew 5:43 – 45 (among other places)
1. “This implies ACTIVE deliverance from all active hostility.” [B.T. Roberts]
2. In other words, we are not to simply AVOID not returning the hatred.
3. We are to go out of our way to ACTIVELY love those who hate, mistreat, and persecute us.