[a] Whenever we’re confronted with Jesus’ preaching, and this applies to all the Scriptures. When Jesus says “Love your enemies,” the first thing we need to realize is that he’s saying to each and every one of us, “You don’t love your enemies; this is what God’s law requires of you, and you either ignore it, twist it, or fall flat on your face trying to keep it.”
[b] We need to realize is that at the very same time Jesus is convicting us of sin, he is pointing us to himself, saying, “I, I am the one who loves my enemies, who prays for those who persecute me–look away from yourselves and look to me. I am the Son who is well-pleasing to my Father in all I say and do, perfect as he is perfect. I have loved you, and in me God has loved you, our enemies, even though you persecute me.”
[THUS] Only after believing the gospel (for the first time and every time) can we rightly and faithfully take up the call to “love our enemies” and everything else Christ calls us to as a people set apart for good works befitting the children of God (Gal 4:6, 7).