Yesterday in our "devotions", as we were considering "enemies" from Psalm 23, I made a rather half-baked statement to the effect that Scripture distinguishes certain ones as wicked or (I meant, special) enemies of God's people (seen in the psalms and prophets, and elsewhere). This brought about a debate, as a brother made the point that all outside of Christ are enemies of God, and therefore enemies of God's people. I then tried to get some discussion going as to how we are to look at those who are not in Jesus. Without going into the details of it, my brother and I ended up disagreeing.
Jesus teaches us to look at those not in him as valuable, in his stories or parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. Enemies in Scripture are usually those who are hostile to the faith and actively oppose it. If we say that the theological truth that we are all enemies of God outside of Christ applies to Jesus' sayings in Matthew 5 and Luke 6 as to how we're to look at our enemies as in loving and praying for them, turning the other cheek, etc., then we water down Jesus' teaching.
Yes, apart from grace we are enemies of God. But in Christ and in the Cross or death of Christ, God has reconciled the world to himself, so that in a true sense, because of this, we can say, "God has nothing against you. Therefore, because of Jesus and what he has done for you, be reconciled to God."
The Pharisees made a big deal out of those who were in and out. But Jesus refused to live by their code, eating and drinking openly with the outsiders. We can't look at such as enemies, since we don't know people's hearts and what God may be doing there. And besides, we know we all stand on the same level; grace alone, that is the gift of God in Jesus, is only what brings us back to God, taking care of our sins and the fact that we are sinners, and bringing us to relationship with God and with all that this reconciliation brings.
Much to say here, and not an easy subject. What input might you like to give us on this?