What is enmity?
The dictionary defines enmity as “a feeling or condition of hostility; ill will; hatred.” When we think of enmity, we often think of someone who is our “enemy” — someone we strongly dislike or even hate.
In the Bible, the word “enmity” is used in two ways. First, it can refer to the hostility between people, such as the enmity between Israel and its enemies. Second, it can refer to the hostility between God and sin.
For example, in Genesis 3:15, God says to Satan, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.” This verse is about the hostility between Satan and God’s people.
Romans 5:10 says, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” This verse is about the hostility between sinners and God. We were His enemies because of our sin, but He reconciled us to Himself through Jesus’ death on the cross.
Enmity is a strong word that describes a strong feeling of hostility or ill will. It’s important to understand this word because it appears several times in the Bible — both in reference to the hostility between people and the hostility between God and sin.
What does the Bible say about enmity?
The Bible has a lot to say about enmity. In the Old Testament, God commanded the Israelites to love their enemies and to pray for those who persecute them. In the New Testament, Jesus teaches us to love our enemies and to do good to those who hate us.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
This verse is often interpreted as a promise of redemption from God to humanity, with the “seed” of the woman representing Jesus Christ.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
There is no enmity between God and His people in Christ. Paul writes in 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.” The unbeliever is at enmity with God because of their desires for the things of this world instead of spiritual things. However, those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ are no longer enemies of God, but friends (John 15:15).
Galatians 5:19-21 says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Here we see that enmity is classified as a work of the flesh. This means that it is something that we do that goes against God’s will. Enmity is defined as hostility or hatred towards someone. When we exhibit enmity towards others, we are not acting in a way that is pleasing to God.
How can we overcome enmity?
One of the most difficult things in this world is to overcome enmity. Enmity is defined as deep-seated hatred. It’s the feeling of complete hatred towards someone. Many times, this feeling is so strong that it can lead to physical violence. So, how can we overcome enmity?
By loving our enemies
One of the most difficult things to do is to love our enemies. We are taught from a young age to love those who love us, and to hate those who hate us. However, Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44).
It is easy to love those who love us, but it is much harder to love those who hate us. When we are able to do this, it shows that we are truly following Christ’s teachings. It also shows that we are forgiven, because if we can not forgive those who have wronged us, how can we expect God to forgive us?
Overcoming enmity is not an easy task, but it is one that we must all strive to do. By loving our enemies, we are showing Christ’s love to them. We are also opening up the possibility of them coming to know Christ as their Savior.
By praying for those who persecute us
The Bible tells us to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). This is not a natural response, but it is the God-honoring response. When we pray for our enemies, we are asking God to bless them, not curse them. We are asking God to work in their lives in a way that will bring them to repentance and faith in Christ. This is what we want for all people, even those who persecute us.
By doing good to those who hate us
Doing good to those who hate us is one of the best ways to overcome enmity. It may seem like a difficult thing to do, but it is really quite simple. All you have to do is think of something nice that you can do for the person who hates you, and then do it. It doesn’t matter whether the person deserves it or not; the important thing is that you are trying to overcome your hatred by doing something good.
One of the most important things to remember is not to expect anything in return for your act of kindness. If you do expecting something in return, then you are not really doing it out of the goodness of your heart, and it will not have the desired effect. Simply try to put a smile on the face of someone who hates you, and be content with that.