Only a genuine baptism of the Spirit, the Pentecostal Spirit, empowers us to be what the Sermon on the Mount calls us to be. In 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed I state that loving your enemies — an important command of Jesus in his radical Sermon on the Mount — is what the Jesus Creed calls us to do.
Enemy-love is a wondrous principle to pronounce but a demanding love to live; it is no romantic ideal except when we gather together and imagine how great it would be if we were all to love our enemies. Until the enemy stands at the door.
What do I mean? I draw here on Miroslav Volf’s The End of Memory to make these points:
1. Enemy love means we have enemy.
2. Enemy love means we have wounds in our memory.
3. Enemy love means we welcome the humanity — Eikon-ness — of the enemy.
4. Enemy love means we pray for and bless our enemy.
Enemy love is the Jesus Creed at its extreme limit; enemy love happens when we are empowered by the Spirit.