Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Vision (1/19/12): Be kindly affectioned

Note: The following is drawn from the sermon notes from last Sunday’s message on instructions for the loving life (Romans 12:9-13).

The first clause in Romans 12:10 reads: “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love.”

The first word in the Greek of v. 10 is philadelphia. So, literally, it would begin, “With respect to brotherly love (philadelphia) to one another (be) kindly affectioned.” The word for “kindly affectioned” in Greek is philostorgos. It is a special word that only appears here in the NT but in classical Greek it usually refers to the love and devotion that is expressed in a family. Agape means Christian love; philos means friendly love, eros means romantic love; and philostorgos means family love. So, Paul is saying, with regard to the relationships that you have with your fellow believers in the church, it should be like those you have with your family.

Let me ask you this. If you are a Christian man and you had an argument, even a significant one, with your wife, are you allowed just to dump her and move on to another wife? As a parent, if your child disappoints you, are you allowed just to dump him and pick up a new child? Children, if your parents frustrate you with all their rules (that they say are actually good for you even if you don’t always understand them) are you allowed to take them back to the parent store and get a refund or trade them in for new parents? Of course NOT! But how many people treat their relationship to their brethren within the church in this way?

Paul says, with respect to your relationship to your brethren within the local church, have a family-like love and devotion to them. The KJV rendering of “be kindly affectioned” does not mean “kind” in a sort of syrupy sweet way, but it is “kind” from the old root of “kin.” Be as devoted to your Christian brothers as you are to your “kind” or to your “kin-folk”!

May the Lord grant us a family love (philostorgos) within our fellowship at CRBC.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle


Mad Jack said...

...with regard to the relationships that you have with your fellow believers in the church, it should be like those you have with your family.

What do you say to some individual in your congregation who truly does not like his children, who never wanted children but now must suffer their presence - and the added expense of raising them. You, the pastor, may be unaware of this situation but believe me it does exist.

I've heard many sermons directed primarily at children and wives which emphasize obedience and submission on their part right along with the authority of the father, including the old 'spare the rod' adage - which should be reworded as 'use the rod sparingly'. Only once did I hear a sermon that dared to mention that authority without responsibility and love was tyranny - no more, no less.

As for dumping a fellow believer that you disagree with, isn't there a procedure for handling problems between believers?

You have a very good sermon here, and a very important one. The evil one (whose name I refuse to write for shame) seeks to divide us and turn Christians against each other; sermons like yours will help us stay together and help us stay focused on the Lord.

Love you brother!

Jeffrey T. Riddle said...


Thanks for the comment. Some follow ups:

1. On men who have children who did not want them. Assuming this is a Christian man, I would say this is a sinful attitude. The child did not magically appear but was created through union with his wife. So, he created the child too, not just the wife. If he did not want to have children, perhaps he should not have married and been content to be celibate. We are given a mandate to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:28) and children are to be a blessing and not a burden (Pss. 127-128). All that to say that, yes, having children can be an incredible burden. You don't know how selfish you are till you have children. But, as Christians, our mindset should be denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily and following Him(Luke 9:23).

2. Agreed. Rod passages do not sanction physical abuse.

3. Agreed. Biblical authority and rule is not tyranny.

4. On disagreements with brethren. There are good reasons for leaving a church and even for shaking the dust off your feet, especially if the issues is right and vital doctrine. Sadly, however, many evangelicals seems to jump in and out of church the way, they jump in and out of marriages.

Blessing, JTR