Image: Scene from campfire after CRBC midweek meeting (8.26.16)
Note: The devotion below is from last Sunday’s sermon on Hebrews 13:1-6.
Let brotherly love continue (Hebrews 13:1).
The word rendered “brotherly love” in Greek is philadelphia. It comes from two words: that for “love” (philos) and that for “brother” (adelphos). This is the same word that gives the name to the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
This word is used throughout the NT to describe the special affection and concern that believers are to have for one another. Compare:
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.
1 Peter 1: 22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
Christians are called to love their neighbor as themselves. We are to have a general love for all humanity, but we are to have a special love for one another. This was taught by Jesus himself in the new commandment:
John 13: 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
How does this philadelphia manifest itself among Christians? Consider Paul’s instructions to the church at Corinth in the so-called “love chapter” of 1 Corinthians 13 (Note: Though Paul uses the word agape here, translated as “charity” in the KJV, and not philadelphia, his focus is still on love of the brethren):
1 Corinthians 13: 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Indeed, let philadelphia continue!
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle
Some very good and helpful thoughts.
Thanks for the encouragement!
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