Brotherly Love – 2 Peter 1:7

 

If we want to experience brotherly love then we should move to Philadelphia, maybe not now but in 1682 when it was founded by William Penn. King Charles II of England gave a large piece of his newly acquired American land holdings to repay a debt the king owed to Admiral Sir William Penn, William Penn’s father.

Penn was only 38 but had been in jail numerous times for the pamphlets he had written against the crown and other religious groups. He was a Quaker and was persecuted because of his beliefs and his agitation against the Anglican Church and the Crown. Penn’s solution was a mass emigration of English Quakers to America.

Pennsylvanian colony was the land and Philadelphia was the city Penn founded. Philadelphia was governed under the charter of liberties creating a political utopia guaranteeing free and fair trial by jury, freedom of religion, freedom from unjust imprisonment and free elections. Everything the Penn didn’t have in England.

 

A city of Brotherly Love.

 

(We know Philadelphia for the Liberty Bell, where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787. Philadelphia was also our first National Capital before it moved to New York and then to Washington D.C.)

 

Peter tells us that we need to add to our faith brotherly love – which is what Philadelphia means.

 

2 Peter 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

 

Before we can add to our faith we need to know what Faith is.

Faith is: a trusting relationship in God.

Faith is grounded in your knowledge of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

 

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

 

Sure of – Hope / Certain of – Unseen

We trust what God said is true. / We have evidence of what is not seen.

Paul give at least 12 specific examples of what faith is throughout the chapter.

 

Let me read one example:

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

 

Remember when I blindfolded Jeff Johnson a few weeks ago and he had to listen to my voice to get back to his seat. That is what it means to have faith – follow God with each step you take in life.

When we have that kind of faith. When we trust God with every step of our life. Then we have real faith.

Then we must add to that faith so that we will be effective and productive for Jesus.

 

Add to your faith brotherly love (5360 Philadelphia)

Philos – love / Adelphia – brother

“Brotherly love” in non-Christian literature referred to the natural affection between family members. In the Christian context it speaks of the tender feelings and loving actions among believers.

Jesus spoke of the ties among his followers that were even stronger than biological family relationships.

Luke 18:29 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”

 

I have always said Blood is thicker than blood.

The Blood of Christ that binds us together as Christians is stronger than the blood of our biological family.

As Christians we must add brotherly love to our faith. Love your brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

Romans 12:10 (NIV) 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

 

Romans 12:10 (KJV) 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

 

Kindly affectioned is an adjective describing how to give brotherly love.

Kindly affectioned (devoted) is philostorgos (philos storgos) meaning love of family (love of parents and love of children)

Brotherly love is philadelphia meaning love of brother.

Paul is saying love your brother in Christ like you love your parents and children.

The use of both of these words together does two things. First, it magnifies the importance of understanding the church as a family. Second, it intensifies the need to consciously seek to develop toward one another the tender affection and devotion appropriate among brothers and sisters.

 

We are siblings in Christ because we are all children of God (Romans 8:12-17)

 

John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

 

Galatians 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

We are truly siblings in Christ. Therefore we must develop a close and affectionate relationship with each other; we should have that kind of relationship with our biological siblings also.   That means we have to work through issues, forgive and support each other.

 

Ephesians 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

 

“bearing with” or putting up with – Accept others in their uniqueness, warts and all. Love them because of or in spite of their weaknesses and faults. That is what love does.

 

Loving someone is not easy – it is not all warm fuzzies – love is hard and sometimes messy. As a Christian we don’t have any other options. We must love our brother if we love God.

 

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

 

Love is sometimes tough (Jude 1:23)

2 Thessalonians 3:14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

 

Brotherly love also disciplines – When I love you I will warn you of danger. You may not think I love you at that moment but if I didn’t love you I wouldn’t waste my breath or energy to warn you.

 

Brotherly love is used in three more passages.

1 Thessalonians 4:9 Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.

 

They were loving their brothers thought out the region but Paul encourages to them to increase in their love. You can never love too much (Romans 13:8).

 

Hebrews 13:1 Keep on loving each other as brothers.

 

Keep taking care of each other, keep serving, keep encouraging, and be there for each other.

Just heard a person this week say that he has made friends with people of this congregation and if he needed something he could call us and we would be willing to help. Yes, that is brotherly love.

Loving each other means we will sacrifice for each other. I believe that is why military friendships are so close – they have been in battle and hardships together – they have sacrificed and suffer together – they are a band of brothers. That is what Jesus told us to do.

 

Poem with picture

“If you’re alone, I’ll be your shadow. If you want to cry, I’ll be your shoulder. If you want a hug, I’ll be your pillow. If you need to be happy, I’ll be your smile… But anytime you need a friend, I’ll just be me.”

 

1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

 

Peter is saying what John said, if you are a Christian, if you love God, if you have obeyed the truth, the Gospel, you will love your brother deeply. You will not be against your brother you will be for your brother. Two verses later Peter writes, therefore.

 

1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.

Because you have accepted Jesus, the Truth, you love your brother deeply and you don’t have malice, deceit or slander for your brother. You can’t love your brother deeply from the heart if you have malice, deceit, envy or slander.

You can’t show brotherly love if you have ill-will toward your brother or if you deceive your brother or if you are a hypocrite and manipulate your brother. You aren’t loving your brother if you envy them or slander them. Rid yourself of these bad attitudes and love your brother deeply.

 

How can we you love each other? Love others the way you like to be loved; what makes you feel loved, then treat others that way. Loving each other isn’t rock science.

People feel loved in different ways – we have talked about the 5 Love Languages in the past – it is a good guide to know how to love others.

Word of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch

 

Words of Affirmation – Actions don’t always speak louder than words.

Give compliments and say thank you. People need to hear what they are doing well not be put down or insulted.

 

Quality Time – Nothing says “I love you” like full, undivided attention.

TV off, eyes focused and mind tuned in. Just being together even if you don’t talk.

 

Receiving Gifts – This is not about materialism.

A thoughtful gift shows you know the person and are thinking about them.

 

Acts of Service – “Let me do that for you.”

A helping hand says I care because you have lighted the load.

 

Physical Touch – Physical presence is crucial.

Give hugs, pats on the back, and soft touches on the arm, shoulder, this shows concern and care.

 

So to show brotherly love we need to encourage one another, spend time together, give thoughtful gifts, help each other and give each other some hugs.

Do we know one another well enough to know how to love each other?

We know some who do not feel loved by physical touch the others may be harder to know. So give all five love languages and receive all five love languages.

 

Let’s create the church of Philadelphia here at Oak Forest. The church of Brotherly Love.

 

1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

 

Let’s lay down our life for each other because Jesus laid down His life for us.

 

Jesus loved us so much – it is hard to comprehend.

He left the glory of Heaven to come and die on the cross for us.

 

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!
Will you accept His gift of brotherly love?

Come to Jesus and find forgiveness for your sins.

Be immersed into Jesus and you will receive the indwelling gift of God the Holy Spirit.