Recognizing Our Enmity
As children we played games drawn from the scenario of war. When a friend approached we pretended that we were sentries. The dialogue was simple: “Halt! Who goes there? Friend or foe?” Our categories left no room for indifferent neutrality. They were restricted to two options, friend or enemy. Those are the only options we have in our relationship with God. No one is neutral. We are either God’s friends or God’s enemies.
Jonathan Edwards once preached a sermon titled, “Man, Naturally God’s Enemies.” In this sermon Edwards declared: “Men, in general, will own that they are sinners. There are few, if any, whose consciences are so blinded as not to be sensible they have been guilty of sin … And yet few of them are sensible that they are God’s enemies. They do not see how they can be truly so called; for they are not sensible that they wish God any hurt, or endeavor to do Him any.”
Yet despite human protestations to the contrary, Scripture clearly describes natural fallen men as enemies of God. Paul, in speaking of our salvation, wrote, “While we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Rom. 5:10). Again, “You … were alienated [from God] and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” (Col. 1:21). Also, “The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God” (Rom. 8:7).
Coram Deo: Think of the characteristics and qualities of intimate friendship, then apply these to your spiritual relationship with the heavenly Father. Are you truly a friend of God?
Romans 8:7: “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”
Colossians 1:21–22a: “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled.”
Romans 7:18: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”