Brotherly Love, What Is It?
Weekly Sermon, 14 May 2023
Brothers and sisters in Christ, the vital subject of “brotherly love” is frequently neglected in the Christian life and appears to be getting less attention as we progress farther into the current rapid apostasy. Because “iniquity [lawlessness] shall abound,” as our Redeemer warns, “the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12), and as John explains, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him (I John 3:15),” this Bible teaching is a crucial part of salvation itself. Love between brothers is seen as crucial.
I routinely see far too many remnant Christians battling one another over minor theological issues, and the end result is usually shattered relationships or overall hostility. At least from my personal experience. Within the Body of Christ, there are many different people, each with a crucial job to perform. Some are Bible professors, some serve as soldiers, many have obligations just to their families, and there are countless additional “members” with various roles and functions. We’ll look at a few of these ideas in this evening’s study and understand why brotherly love is so important for the predestined chosen.
“Your own friend and your father’s friend, do not forsake them; neither go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity,” Solomon said.
Proverbs 27:10 AMP says, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity (Proverbs 17:17)” and goes on to say, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” These verses emphasise the value of Christian friendship and camaraderie. We develop our love for one another via fellowship, which enables us to “Let brotherly love continue (Hebrews 13:1)” as Jesus Christ ordered in various passages found throughout the Gospels.
Goats and Sheep
You shall not bear any grudge or take revenge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself (Leviticus 19:17 AMP).” Yahweh gave certain fraternal Laws to Israel very early in their history, such as; “You shall not hate your brother in your heart; but you shall surely rebuke your neighbour, lest you incur sin because of him.
All peoples will be gathered before the Son of Man in His glory (His majesty and splendour), and He will separate them from one another as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats. And He will cause the sheep to stand at His right hand, but the goats at His left (Matthew 25:31-33 AMP). This is a teaching on Yahweh’s Judgement and the separation of the sheep from the goats.
Here is the relevant verse: “He will say to those at His left hand, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink, I was naked and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me with help and ministering care. Solemnly I declare to you, in so far as you failed to welcome Me
In all three of his New Testament epistles, John speaks extensively on the issue, earning him the title “the apostle of love” among many Christians. This is how we may discern [daily, by experience] that we are coming to know Him [to perceive, recognise, understand, and become better acquainted with Him]: if we keep (bear in mind, observe, practise) His teachings (precepts, commandments) (I John 2:3 AMP). John explains to us how to spot real Christians in statements like this.
He continues to lecture on false brethren, saying, “Whoever claims to know Him [to perceive, recognise, comprehend, and be acquainted with Him] but does not keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [of the Gospel] is not in him. But he who keeps (treasures) His Word [who bears in mind His precepts, who observes His message in its entirety] truly in him has the love of and for God
He goes on to explain the significance of love, saying, “Whoever claims to be in the Light and [yet] hates his brother [Christian, born-again child of God his Father] is in darkness even now. Whoever loves his brother [believer] abides (lives) in the Light, and in It or in him there is no occasion for stumbling or cause for error or sin. But he who hates (detests, despises) his brother [in Christ]
The World Without Love
“Loving John” also teaches that those who pursue the world and its purported “treasures” also despise Yahweh; “Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the
The world does not know (recognise, acknowledge) us because it does not know Him, but beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when it is, we will know that when. The reason is true Christians are His seedline; “See what [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named
John elaborates, “Everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless); for [that is] what sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect–being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will) (I John 3:4 AMP).” The teachings of man’s erroneous world are contrary to Yahweh.
Christ on Love
Nobody teaches about brotherly love as thoroughly as Jesus does; He said, “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Luke 16:13 AMP) and He said to the Jews, “If God were your Father, you would love Me and respect Me and welcome Me gladly, for I proceeded (came forth) from the Father.”
When asked which of the eternal Laws was the greatest, Jesus Christ replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all of thy heart, with all of thy soul, and with all of thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-38). However, He also added, “The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour
Jesus stressed the value of brotherly love when He gave the new commandment: “I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves] (John 13:34-35 AMP).” By these perfect teachings we can “test the spirits” (I John 4:8).
God is love, therefore
Unlawful groups like this should be avoided as they will just cause further confusion. There are undoubtedly many imposters among the Saxon-Christians who feel it is necessary to denigrate and criticise other followers of Christ who are at a different level than they are. Many dishonest organisations use the names of sincere Christians to subtly replace Christ’s teachings with their own traditions, oftentimes teaching the exact reverse of what God has ordered. Such organisations allegedly find reasons for numerous blatant Scripture-based principles. According to I John 2:19, many of these snakes “went out from us, but they were not of us.”
For instance, John writes, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognise and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love (I John 4:7-8 AMP).” Just as
When John says, “If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen. And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also” (I John 4:20-21 AMP),
The Sons of Glory
Certainly, many “wolves in sheep’s clothing” come up with flimsy justifications for who they choose to consider their brother or sister, but I much prefer Jesus’ own description: “You are not to be called rabbi (teacher), for you have one Teacher and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone [in the church] on earth father, for you have one Father, Who is in heaven” (Matthew 23:8-9 AMP).” He also says; “If
This passage about Jesus’ sacrifice can also be found in the book of Hebrews: “For it was a work honourable [to God] and proper [to the divine nature] that He, for Whose sake and by Whom all things are, in bringing many sons into glory, should make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect [should bring to maturity the human experience necessary to be perfectly equipped for His office as High Priest] through suffering. For this reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren; For He says,
When Jesus said, “I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbours malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court; and whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the Sanhedrin, and I say to you that whoever commits adultery with his brother shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment.
I want to emphasise the importance of the command for brethren unity in this evening’s study. In the broader scheme of things, the animosity that is directed against each other should be transformed into energy to battle for the Gospel and Yahweh’s perfect Kingdom on earth. Too many people have their hearts shattered over trivial theological disputes. Jesus makes Himself Love itself by stating unequivocally that “no one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends” (John 15:13 AMP), demonstrating once more that He was “God manifest in the flesh” sent for Israel.
Today’s world is ruled by a variety of spiritual forces, many of which are blatantly wicked. Let’s not fall into their various traps or allow their stumbling-blocks to impair our dedication to one another. The enemies of Jesus Christ and His followers would love nothing more than to create conflict from within the ranks and cause us to take our eyes off of the true threat. We cannot afford to let any man steal our glory or the numerous promises offered to us by Yahweh in the covenant itself, therefore we must be united in Christ. Brotherly love is another teaching contained in the Word of God that is being attacked, much like many other truths.
I pray that the believers who are brothers in Christ would unite to correct the numerous false prophets who aren’t actually Christians at all. Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20), thus we should always be scrutinising the output of the many organisations claiming to speak for Him and His teachings. I really hope that this evening’s study will encourage anyone looking for Biblical Truth as well as “Let brotherly love continue” (Hebrews 13:1). As always, I pray that this talk will exalt our Creator, Jesus Christ, and aid in dispelling the numerous misconceptions that have offended. Conflict for Christ! Amen.