“The Spirit of Brotherly Love”
- I believe that we are living in a day much like those that we read about here in the scriptures where people do not understand the clear meaning of the term “Brotherly Love.”
- The city of Philadelphia is called “The City of Brotherly Love.” The first Anti-Slavery Society was formed in 1775.
- Brotherly Love is an American sitcom television series that ran from September 16, 1995, to April 1, 1996, on NBC,
- Brotherly Love DVD & CD – Gaither Music Company. Brotherly Love DVD & CD Individually Jimmy Fortune, Ben Isaacs, Bradley Walker and Mike Rogers are some of country and gospel music’s most respected singers and musicians. Recording together these award-winning talents have created a masterpiece with their debut recording.
- But little is mentioned about what the Bible (God’s Word) has to say about “Brotherly Love.”
- You will find only 3 passages of scripture that use this term “brotherly love.”
- Romans 12:10 …Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
- 1 Thessalonians 4:9…But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
- Our text of Hebrews 13:1…Let brotherly love continue.
I. Let Brotherly Love Continue
A) What does “brotherly love” mean?
- Hebrews 13:1…Let brotherly love continue.
- Is it talking about siblings, or different ethnic groups (like African American, or Native American), or blood brothers?
- The Bible really encompasses all those people but in a spiritual sense.
- The Bible term “brotherly love” means brothers and sisters in Christ.
- When salvation comes to a person no matter the ethnic group, they change the way they think, behave, talk, walk, and etc.
- So Paul (the believed author of Hebrews) tells the mostly Hebrew congregation “Let brotherly love continue.” Meaning, do not let brotherly love stop!
- I believe we have lost the value and meaning of love.
- The Bible tells us… 1 John 4:7…Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
- We have lost the value and meaning of brethren.
- The word brethren is used 563 times in our English KJV of the Bible.
- I Corinthians 7:24…Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
- When church members are called into a certain church membership they have a duty to perform for that church.
- What is the duty of each member in a church? Read your church by-laws. The Bible should be it’s final authority.
- Your duty to one another is to LOVE one another first. And when you have mastered that… then you will be able to love others as God loves.
- Many church members just tolerate one another. They do not sincerely love one another.
- A church is a marriage. Husband and wife are to love one another no matter what. The same goes with church members. We are to love no matter what.
II. Brotherly Love Explained
A) The root of “brotherly love”
- Look at the description Paul gives of “brotherly love”
- Verse 2) Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Meaning… welcome visitors to your church, to your house and be kind to them no matter who they are or what they do.
- Verse 3) Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. We are to be able to relate to those visiting us. God brings to every person a “special experience” in their life to be able to use that experience to help others going through the same trial or adversity.
– The word “bonds” can mean an addiction to something.
– Adversity is misfortune, suffering, or poverty.
- Verse 4) Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Note that Paul reminds the church that “God will judge,” not the people judge. Many church members judge one another by their actions and Paul reminds them that God said “Judge not.” Some people in the early church considered celibacy to be holier than marriage. Not true. But God will bring Divine judgment to those who have sex outside the marriage.
- Verse 5a) Let your conversation be without covetousness; Paul gives another definition of brotherly love here meaning not to be involved with lusting after material riches. Some people are hoarders, never have enough stuff. This is not Godly. To continue to buy things that you do not need, is greed.
- The resolution to greed is what? Look at what Paul says in verse 5b)…and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Paul is reminding them they should be satisfied with what God has provided for them. Don’t be like those who complained of the manna that God provided when they were hungry. Later Paul tells the church at Phillipi in Philippians 4:19…But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Contentment or satisfaction is very hard for us in today’s society. We have so many options. Thanks to the pandemic, our options are less.
- Paul now gives a reason for us to be content or satisfied with what we have in verse 6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. When we are content or satisfied with what we have, it should cause the world or others to see that we depend on God to be our helper and not fear what other people say about our stuff. Many people have pity on someone because they do not have the rich fancy furniture or they do not have a Cadillac to drive.
III. Reason for Brotherly Love
A) We seek heaven
- Now look down into Hebrews 13:14…For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
- The reason we should have brotherly love for one another is because we are not here for very long, but rather we are soon to be forever in heaven with other brethren who think, walk and talk like our Savior Jesus Christ.
- The earth is not a “continuing city.” It will be destroyed by God when He purifies it with fire to build a new Jerusalem for us to live in.
B) To give thanks to God
- Verse 15) By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
- In the Old Testament, sacrifices were offered in praise to God.
- After the cross, in the New Testament age… we are to offer praise with our lips in song or word…the fruit of your lips.
- We must be ever so careful not to become a people that Jesus talked about in Matthew 15:8…This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
C) Do good by communication
- Verse 16) But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
- The word “communication is rendered in the bible as “lip service.”Honoring God with their lip service comes from “a heart that doeth good.”
- Paul said in Romans 3:12…They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
- III John 1:11…Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
D) Obey your pastor/elders
- Here is a verse and final description of “brotherly love” to the Hebrew church in verse 17a) Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves:
- STOP right there. Who has the rule over SBBC? Bro. Ron Who has the rule over Bro. Ron? Jesus Christ. Who has the rule over Jesus Christ? God.
- Everybody that has come to this church and left has said in their heart “I do not want Bro. Ron to rule over me.” They were not submissive.
- They believe themselves to be smarter than Bro. Ron, called of God to be judge of SBBC, and they further believe that they will be held accountable for their own souls.
- Pauls reason for the church to be obedient to the pastor is in verse 17b) …for they watch for your souls, It is the pastor’s duty to watch for the souls of his sheep entrusted to him.
- The pastor is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ of whom the sheep belong to. You (SBBC) are not the sheep of Bro. Ron, but rather the sheep of Jesus Christ the great shepherd.
- I (Bro. Ron) am just an associate shepherd.
- Why does a pastor care for the souls of His sheep?
- Look at verse 17c)…as they (the pastors/elders) that must give account, Pastors and elders of the church are held accountable unto God for the heart’s condition of his sheep. Are they feed the right food (right doctrine), are they given drink (led by the Spirit), Who do they worship, God or idols?
- And finally, How is a pastor/elder supposed to lead?
- Look at verse 17d)…that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
- When a pastor’s sheep (church members) are fed properly and the sheep are obedient, it brings “joy” to the heart of God and His man (the pastor) of whom God has called to minister.
- When a pastor preaches and his sheep do not listen, do not obey, then they cause grief to the pastor and more importantly grief to God.
- And the key word in this verse for not being obedient and not having brotherly love is “for that is unprofitable for you.”
- Brotherly love is profitable to all including yourself.