- Preaching the Living WORD through the Written WORD - 2 Tim 4:2 -
CHRISTIAN VIRTUE: BROTHERLY KINDNESS
(2Pe 1:7) 9-23-12
Grace Bible Church, Gillette, Wyoming
Pastor Daryl Hilbert
I. ADD MORAL EXCELLENCE
II. ADD KNOWLEDGE
III. ADD SELF-CONTROL
IV. ADD PERSEVERANCE
V. ADD GODLINESS
VI. ADD BROTHERLY KINDNESS
A. Definition of Brotherly Kindness
1. Brotherly Kindness comes from the Greek word philadelphi,a.. It is made up of two Greek words. The first is from philos which means friendship or affection. The second is adelphos and simply means brother. So put together they mean “brotherly love,” “brotherly kindness,” or “love of the brethren.” Philadelphia denotes the warmth of affection that should characterize the fellowship of believers. (EXP)
2. Godliness was the previous Christian Virtue which meant to “worship well” by carrying out one’s religious obligations to God. Brotherly kindness is similar in that it would be one’s religious obligations to the people of God (1Pe 2:17). Flowing out of the vertical reverence for God in every area of life is the horizontal virtue of brotherly kindness. (MAC)
B. Aspects of Brotherly Kindness
1. Brotherly Kindness Refers to the Brotherhood of Believers (Heb 2:11-12, 17)
a) One may rightly ask what the difference is between “brotherly love” (or kindness) and love, which Peter will mention next? Peter will use the next virtue, love, to encompass love for all, while “brotherly love” is restricted to just the brotherhood of believers.
b) The word “brethren” is adelpho,s containing the root delphos (womb) and the Greek a, which can carry a collative or collective sense to mean “all from the same womb.” Literally it speaks of siblings, but figuratively it can mean fellowship from the same tribe, nature, or camaraderie. It can equally as well refer to a fellowship in religion or spiritual relationship.
c) Jesus calls true believers “His brethren” (only in the NT) because we share a common righteousness and sanctification (i.e. His righteousness (Heb 2:11-12).
d) For this reason, believers have a spiritual brotherhood sharing Christ’s righteousness and collectively being “sons of God” (Gal 3:26).
e) The term “brethren” in the NT most often refers to this brotherhood of believers. In a few instances, Scripture refers to “false brethren” (pseuda,delphos, pseudê,s means pseudo or false; cp. 2Co 11:26; Gal 2:4).
2. Brotherly Kindness is a Christian Virtue Provided by God (2Pe 1:3, 7)
a) An overwhelming theme in this section has been that it is God who provides everything the believer needs to live the Christian life.
b) This would include the virtue of brotherly kindness. The believer cannot give up just because brotherly kindness in certain situations is overwhelming for him. The believer can show brotherly kindness to each believer in every circumstance because God has provided it by His power, His Spirit, and the believer’s new nature.
3. Brotherly Kindness is an Evidence of Salvation (1Th 4:9)
a) Because God provides brotherly kindness for true believers, such fruit is exhibited and is an evidence of salvation and regeneration.
b) God’s Spirit puts the desire to love the brethren in the believer’s heart and teaches him to act accordingly. This is not to say that believers do not need encouragement to carry this out consistently and in difficult situations (e.g. 2Pe 1:7), but God continues to work this in the believer’s life.
c) The apostle John leads his readers to the same evidential conclusion in 1Jo 3:14; 4:20-21.
C. Practice of Brotherly Kindness
1. In Honorable Devotion (Rom 12:10-13)
a) Since believers are of the same spiritual family, Paul tells the church in Rome to exhibit brotherly kindness by having loyal and loving devotion (philo,storgos - love and family devotion) toward one another.
b) They were to honor and respect (timê, - value or honor - Eng. Timothy) one another on the grounds that they were all partakers of divine grace.
c) The Christian does so by giving “preference” (present middle participle - proêge,omai - go out of your way, consider better, esteem more) to other believers regarding them more important than himself (c.f. Phil 2:3).
d) Believers must treat all believers with respect and show them respect in every encounter and every situation.
2. In Honest Fervency (1Pe 1:19-22)
a) Since Christ redeemed and purified believers with his precious blood (1Pe 1:19), they are to show brotherly kindness in an honest and “sincere” (anupo,hritos - unhypocritical or not two-faced) manner.
b) Brotherly kindness is to be shown “fervently” (ektenō,s - extended, eagerly, and earnestly) from the heart.
c) Believers must be genuine with other believers to their faces and behind their backs.
3. In Harmonious Sympathy (1Pe 3:8-12)
a) Brotherly kindness expresses itself by being “harmonious” (homophron - same mind), “sympathetic” (sumpathê,s - same feelings and considerations), “brotherly” (philadelphos - “brother loving), “kindhearted” (eu,planxnos - good and tender hearted), and “humble in spirit” (tapeino,phrōn - low and modest opinion or mind).
b) Brotherly kindness does not speak ill or insulting of another believer, nor does it return evil, insults, or complain (Jam 4:11; 5:9). Instead it blesses (euloge,ō - to speak well off, praise) others. It seeks only good and pursues peace in its relationship (1Pe 3:9-12)
c) As members of God’s family, and because were forgiven for all of our countless sins, believers are to show grace and forgiveness toward each other (Eph 4:32).
4. In Hospitable Care (Heb 13:1-3)
a) God commands us in Heb 13:1 to “keep on continuing” (present active imperative - menō - remain or abide) in the love of the brethren.
b) Hebrews goes on to say it should be done with hospitality to other believers (Heb 13:2) caring for one another’s needs (Heb 13:3).
c) Brotherly kindness serves, cares, and gives toward the various needs of the saints because that is how family members should act toward one another.
5. In Holy Edification (Jam 5:19-20)
a) Brotherly kindness is especially concerned for the spiritual welfare of the other members of God’s family.
b) At times it is illustrated by prayer for one another, asking how others are doing spiritually, and encouraging them from the Scriptures.
c) Other times it attempts to turn back a brother from sin or rescue him from false teaching.
d) Such brotherly kindness not only strengthens the spiritual health of the individual believer but also the whole body and family of God.