To Faith Add ... Brotherly Kindness
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness…” (2 Peter 1:5-6)
Faith has a three-fold dimension:
- Inward (virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience)
- Upward (godliness)
- Outward (brotherly kindness and love).
We focus today on this outward faith that others can see in us. It cannot be hidden.
The Greek word for brotherly kindness is transliterated "philadelphia," a compound involving two words: "phileo" (love) and "adelphos" (brother). It literally means "the love of brothers." It describes the love which Christians cherish for each other as brethren. We are truly a “band of brothers” with love being the tie that binds our hearts together. Jesus said the world would know us by the love we show our brethren (John 13:34-35).
My friend Mark Copeland wrote:
Brotherly kindness will display itself in various ways. A strong brother will lovingly bear with a weak brother (Rom. 15:1). A brother will gladly limit his personal freedoms for the sake of a brother with a tender conscience (1 Cor. 8:13). He will not judge his brother except through the loving filter of Christ (Jam. 4:11-12). Brotherly kindness will also lead Christians to truly care for one another, to warn the unruly, to comfort the faint-hearted, to uphold the weak, to be patient with all (1 Thess. 5:14). Yes, it is brotherly kindness that will prompt us to pursue the things that make for peace and the things by which we may edify one another (Rom. 14:19).
Yes, I want to “give all diligence” to add to my faith. To do that I must “show you my faith” by the works of my brotherly love. This is not something I talk about, it is something I do! Let me demonstrate.
"Let brotherly love continue." (Heb. 13:1)