Love of the Brethren **

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We live in a disinterested world where people are immersed in technology and would rather receive their communication via short message: text, IM, PM or something like facebook as well as hidden identity online in a group chat or debate board and possibly email or snail mail.   This allows them full control over the situation of either ignoring or deleting those reaching out to them.  Most people shy away from face to face communication and like to hide in their own world so they are not ‘put out’ by personal contact with others because it holds people accountable. 

God’s Word teaches believers not to be like (conformed to) the world (Romans 12:2) and to love our brothers and sisters.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35)

But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. (1 John 2:11)

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. (1 John 3:14)

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:15)

 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? (1 John 4:20)

And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.  (1 John 4:20)

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. (1 John 4:11)

No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:12)

What is this love?  God shows us an example:
 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Love is an action verb.  We see the action from God to us by giving His Son.  Not just words or thoughts or a quick text ‘luvu’ but an example of love in a sacrificial, living breathing form.

God’s Word also shows us over 50 times to ‘one another’ our brothers and sisters.  (See HERE for that list.)

These are all actions, not empty words.  Where else do we see an example of actions needed with words?

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22)

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (James 2:17)

And what does Jesus describe as love?

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

Again… action.

This goes totally against what is shown in not only the world but in the ‘so called’ Christian realm.  We say ‘so called’ because many claim the name of Christ but the love of God is not in them as they do not show love to the brethren.  Many words are given but no fruit or action to back it up.

This is a call to believers out there who do not take the time to reach their brothers and sisters to fulfill the biblical mandate to love (with action) their brethren by the many examples of instructions we see in God’s Word.  Do you truly love the brethren if you are not reaching to those who come into your life?

If you don’t love the brethren can you love God?  
 His Word says ‘no’.

It would seem that God’s Word exposes the reason why…

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.  (John 3:19-21)

True Christians who have been born from above (John 3:3) are shining the light of Christ and those in the light (in love) will gather with one another not hide in the dark.  

Of course there may be differences that must be wrestled over (dividing the Word) but that is one reason of the body coming together.  

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

We believers have no excuse except a sinful one.  In this age of technology we have telephones and medium such as skype by which to come together via long distance and cars to take us within a wide range of miles from our homes.  Do you have believers calling out to you to gather?  If so, do you love them as God says we are to love?  Or do you ignore them and hide in your own world?

Quite often we see an unbalance in the Christian world, one of which people either proclaim the gospel in neglect of (lack of love) the brethren or the opposite of which they gather yet proclaim no gospel.  Both are unbiblical actions.

Ephesians 4 shows us that the gathering of the body is to equip the saints for ministry and for edification of the body of Christ.  This walk we are on is one between ourselves and the Lord but between now and eternity we have brothers and sisters to help and encourage one another and the Word says if we don’t love (again, what is love?) our brethren then the love of God is not in us.

If you truly are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ then you have gifts that would edify others; as well as receive the blessing of the gifts that others have to share with you. Yes, there is a balance between the New Testament believers meeting house to house, daily, and the Proverbs warning:  Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee. (Proverbs 25:17)  Let's not neglect either one.

Coming together is for our own learning and edification and we do it because we love our beloved Savior and one another.  

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2 Corinthians 13:5)

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