Love Series, Part 7: Love The Brotherhood
July 02, 2006
This sermon was presented before the Load, Kentucky, Church of Christ, on July 02, 2006. God is love. He expects us to love our the brotherhood (which also includes the sisterhood) of Christians. It is to be a pure but passionate love! Bernie Parsons
Love, Part 7: Love the Brotherhood
Presented to the Load Church of Christ on 07-02-2006
By Bernie Parsons
We have studied various aspects of love, as represented in the scriptures. Today I wish to speak to you regarding a special kind of love. It is the love that the people of God have for one another. We will begin our study by looking at an ancient question.
Am I my brother’s keeper?
Genesis 4:3-12: “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.”
1 John 4:20-21 “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
Cain proved that he did not love God when he hated Abel, his brother. John wrote that a man cannot love God if he does not love his brother. Thus, we have Peter’s admonition:
Love the brotherhood.
1 Peter 2:17 “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”
1 Peter 1:22 “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:”
Unfeigned means unpretentious. Unfeigned love is real love, rather than a hypocritical show. If we truly love one another in the body of Christ, we show a purity of heart. Fervent means boiling hot. An old country preacher used to say, “Hot enough to slip the hair off a hog.” That’s fervent! While pure, our love for each other is to be boiling hot.
Love is the sign of a Christian.
John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
We prove to the world that we are disciples of Christ when we love one another. A certain behavior is manifested in the life of a Christian.
We don’t bite and devour one another.
Galatians 5:13-16: “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
Galatians 5:19-26 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
We don’t provoke one another to do bad things by sinning against God or our fellow man. Instead, we provoke one another to do good things, to show our love.
Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:”
We show kindness, tenderheartedness, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and charity.
Tenderheartedness and kindness
Ephesians 4:30-5:2 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”
Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”
James 2:13 “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”
Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
Luke 6:36 “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”
Matthew 6:14-15 “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
2 Peter 1:4-7 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:8-13 “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
What is charity? Love that is unearned, unmerited, and undeserved!
Luke 6:2: “For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.”
We will lay down our life for a friend. There is no greater love!
John 15:12-13 “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Try the following “thought exercise”:
Would I die for you? (If gunmen should come into our assembly, and tell us that they will spare the rest, if only one will step forward and be executed.)
Would you die for me:
(1) If you think that I am good?
No. Maybe not…
(2) If you think that I am bad?
Perhaps for a righteous man, but not for a sinner?
Romans 5:6-8 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Perhaps one of us would volunteer to die in the place of another, if we had confidence in that person, that they were righteous, and deserved to live. Or, if we thought that they might do some good in the world, if spared.
1 John 3:14-18 “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
1 John 4:7-11 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
Christ did not die for you because you deserved it. If we were to get what we deserve, we would all be condemned to eternal death. Here is the mercy of God, which rejoices against judgment. Judgment would destroy us, yet mercy saves us. Christ bore our stripes, by His wounds are we healed.
I Peter 2:24-25: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”
Jesus took the beating meant for us, and that was our cross to which He was nailed.
Hebrews 9: 24-28: “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
Let us prove our love for God through obedience to His teaching. That is, we must love one another with a pure heart, fervently. We follow in the footsteps of Jesus, our Savior, who laid down His life for us, while we were yet sinners.