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Like Father, Like Son

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One of the many things that Jesus taught His disciples is to “Love your enemies.”[1] The Lord was the First to love His enemies, for God the Father sent His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to pour out His blood as the seal of the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins, of which we are beneficiaries. Jesus laid down His life for His enemies. So, who are considered the enemies of Jesus? They are those who do not want Him to be King over them.[2] And we also were all enemies of Jesus before we accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour.

For those of you who have since accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, are you a friend of Jesus? Then what is the definition of a friend of Jesus? Jesus said, “You are My friends if you do what I command.”[3] So, if you do what Jesus commanded, then He considers you as His friend. Bear in mind that you have to do ALL that Jesus commanded and not only one or two of His commands. But you will not know what His commands are unless you read what He said in the Bible. Do not just read the Gospels but the whole Bible to get the full counsel of the Word of God. Also seek the Holy Spirit for the understanding of the words of Jesus. He will teach you all things[4] and will guide you into all truth.[5]

When Jesus commanded His disciples to “Love your enemies,” He went on to say, “…[bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you] and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”[6] “…do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”[7]

Note that Jesus said, “…that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven,” in Matthew 5:45 and, “…you will be sons of the Most High…” in Luke 6:35. In the NLT version, Matthew 5:45 is translated as: “In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in Heaven,” and Luke 6:35 is translated as: “…you will truly be acting as children of the Most High…”

Why did Jesus say that? It is because the Father was the First to love His enemies, for it is written: …the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.[8] Therefore, the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins was planned before the foundation of the world. It can be said that God loved His enemies even before they existed. God had planned to be God the Forgiver even before the first man, Adam, sinned. Of course He knew beforehand that man would sin. Thus, God made plans to forgive all the sins of men, except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, before the creation of the world. Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb that was the sin offering.[9] He took on all our sins and nailed it to the cross.[10] God the Father sacrificed His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to seal the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins with the blood of Jesus. And we are the beneficiaries of that New Covenant.

Back to the question of why Jesus said that in loving our enemies we would be acting as true children of our Father in Heaven. It is because the Father wants sons and daughters who are the full stature of His Son, Jesus Christ. And the Father wants sons and daughters who are like Him. Have you not heard the saying “Like father, like son”? Thus, God the Father wants sons and daughters who love their enemies in the same way as He loves His enemies and in the same way as Jesus loves His enemies. How can we be sons and daughters of God the Father if we are not like Him, if our ways are not His ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts? You see, the way of the Father is also the way of the Son, Jesus. But unfortunately, Their ways are not our ways,[11] therefore, we must endeavour to make Their ways our ways and Their thoughts our thoughts. By loving our enemies with perfection, mercy and compassion, according to the words of Jesus, and in the same way as the Lord loves His enemies, you will be acting as true children of the Most High, and you may be sons and daughters of the Father in Heaven.

Remember that under the Law of Forgiveness, which is one of the three statutes of the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins, is the command “Love your enemies.” The other command is: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”[12] Then, how has Jesus loved us? He loved us by doing exactly what His Father commanded Him; He offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the atonement of our sins; He poured out His blood to seal the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins; and He who was already perfect was made more perfect through what He suffered.[13]

As we already know, Jesus has the authority on Earth to forgive sins,[14] and He has given that same authority to His disciples who have received the Holy Spirit.[15] Since Jesus’ love for us is through the forgiveness of our sins, we must love one another by forgiving the sins of each other, our fellow disciples. The love for one another through the forgiveness of each other’s sins will prove to the world that we are disciples of Jesus, for He said, Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.”[16]

We ought not only to forgive the past sins of our enemies and fellow disciples, that is, sins that have occurred, but we should go the extra mile by forgiving their future sins as well, which are sins that have not yet occurred. That is why we were taught on Wednesday night to pre-position forgiveness for each other just as God had pre-positioned forgiveness before creation came into existence.[17] We must forgive as God forgives, His way and not our way. Our depth of forgiveness for each other and for our enemies must be of the depth of God’s forgiveness.

If we refuse to forgive or do not forgive according to the Law of Forgiveness under the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins, how can we even call ourselves disciples of Jesus, much less, sons and daughters of God? We would not even be able to say to the Lord that we are unworthy servants who have only done our duty,[18] for we would not have done our duty if we fail to uphold the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins.

Jesus said, For whoever does the will of My Father in Heaven is My brother and sister and mother,”[19] and, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”[20] Therefore, a brother or sister of Jesus, who then would also be a son or daughter of God, is someone who hears God’s word, puts it into practice and does the will of the Father. However, if you fulfil just one or two of the requirements, you would not be able to make the cut of becoming a son or daughter of God the Father. You need to carry out all three of the requirements that Jesus has given us to be a son or daughter of God.

You have heard the Word of God. You know about the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins. You know about the three statutes under the New Covenant, namely, the Law of Grace, the Law of Forgiveness and the Law of Repentance, as expanded by my sister Annette. The question is: Have you put it into practice? Have you practised forgiveness as God forgives? Have you practised forgiveness according to the words of Jesus? Just because you forgive the sins of your fellow disciples or loved ones, but have not forgiven your enemies, it does not count. Or if you have forgiven all of those Jesus commanded us to, but have not forgiven with joy as the Lord forgives with joy, it does not count either.

It is about putting into practice the complete words of Jesus and not just the bits and pieces you like. If you only put part of Jesus’ words into practice, it would be like building parts of your house on the rock and the other parts on the sand. When the rain comes down, the streams rise and the winds blow, it will still fall with a great crash because not all of its foundation is on the rock.

God the Father, who is God the Forgiver, is looking for sons and daughters who are forgivers. If you desire to be a son or daughter of God Most High, you must forgive as God forgives. The sons and daughters of God are ones who are in the Image and Likeness of God the Forgiver. They are ones who are of the full stature of Jesus Christ, the Son of God the Forgiver. The Father is looking for ones who do the things Jesus did and the greater things than that.[21] God is looking for ones who will uphold the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins to its full measure. The Father is looking for ones whose ways are His ways and whose thoughts are His thoughts. God is looking for forgivers. Are you one of the ones the Father is looking for? Are you a forgiver?

What is the proof that you have the authority to forgive sins? Let’s look at what is written: Some people brought to Him a paralysed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralysed man, “Be encouraged, My child! Your sins are forgiven.” But some of the teachers of religious law said to themselves, “That’s blasphemy! Does He think He’s God?” Jesus knew what they were thinking, so He asked them, “Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on Earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralysed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And the man jumped up and went home![22]

The proof that you have the authority to forgive sins is when you forgive the sins of a sick man and he is healed as well. Notice that Jesus did not at first say to the paralysed man “Be healed,” but “Your sins are forgiven.” And as proof of His authority to forgive sins, the paralysed man whose sins He had forgiven was healed. Jesus forgave the paralysed man of his sins, and the healing of the man was a sign that his sins were forgiven. Jesus had so much pre-positioned forgiveness that forgiveness flowed from Him. It is written: the people all tried to touch Him, because power was coming from Him and healing them all.[23] The overflow of forgiveness manifested in the healings.

So, are you like Jesus? Do you have proof of authority to forgive sins?


 

[1] Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27,35

[2] Luke 19:27

[3] John 15:14

[4] John 14:26

[5] John 16:13

[6] Matthew 5:44-48 including footnote

[7] Luke 6:27-36

[8] Revelation 13:8 NLT footnote

[9] Romans 8:3

[10] Colossians 2:14

[11] Isaiah 55:8

[12] John 13:34

[13] Hebrews 2:10

[14] Luke 5:24

[15] John 20:23

[16] John 13:35 NLT

[17] http://www.holyspiritsworkshop.com/word2007/25.04.2007_HardestTeachingsIX.pdf

[18] Luke 17:10

[19] Matthew 12:50 & Mark 3:35

[20] Luke 8:21

[21] John 14:12

[22] Matthew 9:2-7, Mark 2:2-12, Luke 5:18-25

[23] Luke 6:19

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