Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Command of Brotherly Love

A continuation of our church study on "brotherly love".

The Command of Brotherly Love

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for "All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever." And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
1 Peter 1:22-25

Brotherly Love is the Hallmark of a Believer.

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
John 13:35

Because of the purifying work of God brought about in our salvation we are now able to obey the command of brotherly love.

The very reason that genuine brotherly love can be a proof of discipleship is because it is only possible because of the transforming, purifying work of the Spirit of God in the heart of believers.

...remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you,
because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. Timothy 1:3-5

Brotherly love is evidence of being of God and knowing God.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7

Brotherly love is evidence of being a child of God.

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
1 John 3:10

Brotherly love is the evidence of God abiding in us.

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
1 John 3:14

Brotherly love is the proof that we genuinely love God.

If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
1 John 4:20

Brotherly love must be carefully guarded.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
Heb 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
Heb 10:25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:23-25

But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, "Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. Hebrews 10:32-39

Because brotherly love is a mark of true discipleship, it will be one of the first actions abandoned and discarded by false believers in times of oppositions and especially as the coming of Christ draws nearer. True believers must be even more careful that their love for each other be vibrant and strong in these times of opposition as living proof of their commitment to Christ and His body.

"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:9-12

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