Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15 ESV
Hate is a strong emotion and will destroy the life of the person who bears this emotion towards another christian brother. The New Testament raises the bar, as followers of Christ, in how we are to live. Jesus said, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intents already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28 ESV So adultery, in the teaching of Jesus, is not just the physical act of sin but a lustful though that happens in the heart. In 1 John 3:15 murder is not just taking the physical life of another but has the same effect as murder. It destroys the life and lives of others as well as gives question as to the presences of Jesus in your life. These are only two such examples; but as you study the New Testament you will realize, we are called to more than just keeping rules; we are called to be like Jesus who knew no sin. Living a life in Christ is living as a disciple/follower of His teaching and raising the bar in Biblical living and not just following rules.
What Hate Is Not: Hate is not having a disagreement or expressing different understanding of scriptures with another person. I’ve had many discussions with other brothers concerning what I believe the scriptures teach concerning the security of the believer. I believe that you cannot lose your salvation while they believe you can. While discussing this topic, we did not persuade each other in our understanding of the scriptures, but we still consider each other brothers and enjoy times of fellowship. The one thing we did agree upon; Jesus is the only way of salvation and no one goes to heaven except through Him. This cannot be interpreted any other way as Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV There are not many ways to heaven …. only one… JESUS.
How Hate Is Expressed: Hate can be express in unkind actions or words towards another. This isn’t to say that every unkind action or word a person does/says means they harbor hate towards the other person, but many times we describe this person’s actions as hateful. When a Christian is hateful in their actions/words toward another, it is a gross representation of Jesus and how He would want us to live. This also provides for the world excuses to doubt the truth of the Gospel. This for sure does not echo the words of Jesus when He said. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 ESV
Jesus’s Teachings And Examples Of Destroying Hate: Jesus, experienced betrayal, desertion, lies, suffering, and so much more at the hands of men. He did not retaliate or harbor any hateful thoughts. Instead He gave us teachings and examples in how to overcome and live as light in such situations. In His teaching He said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6:28 ESV ….. He taught us to forgive,“And when you stand praying, FORGIVE, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25 ESV …. By example, when being crucified he said,“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23: 34 ESV Even today Jesus and God the Father is forgiving sins. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV
Hate is not only as murdering someone else it is as murdering yourself. It is as committing spiritual suicide. It causes pain to all those who love you and the church as a whole. To hate is to harbor wrongs done to you or someone you love. To forgive is to be set free from the power of sin and death that it brings. Let me close with this passage from Colossians 3:12-15 ESV Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David