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“A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34 KJV).

At the very essence of brotherhood, one finds love. Love weaves through the fabric of brotherhood as warp threads, girding it on the loom of life found in humankind. Warp threads run vertically on the loom frame. Purposely the strongest in fiber, they stand up to the tension of the loom during the addition of weft threads. Imagine the different people groups representing individual weft threads. Weft threads run horizontally, over and under the warp. These add color and definition, but rely on the warp to retain its shape. Despite conflict and challenges found among men, love (agapé) stabilizes the balance of relationship. The fibrous composition of love comprises Christian identity and actions of brotherhood.

First and foremost, a believer’s mark as Christ’s disciple hinges upon the qualifier of “if you have love among one another (John 13:35 Interlinear). It is not enough to love God. A Christian must love both God and his brother (1 John 4:20; 1 Pet 2:17). You know someone is a disciple of Christ, when that person consistently shows Christ-like love to others. Secondly, when believers collectively maintain brotherly love, they come together as a unified faith community, in one accord and one mind (Phil 2:2; 1 Pet 3:8).

Love defines living in brotherhood. This type of love founds itself on sincerity, having come from deep within the heart (1 Pet 1:22), with unfailing and intense feelings (4:8 AMP). Rooted in genuine intent, you honor (2:17 KJV); edify and minister grace (Eph 4:39), show compassion (1 Pet 3:8); remain tender-hearted and merciful (3:8); live in peace (2 Cor 13:11); do not discriminate (Gal 3:28); use hospitality (1 Pet 4:9) and employ your spiritual gift (4:10) one to the other. Perhaps, 1 Cor 13 represents each of the warp threads. Love itself is patient, kind and never fails (v.4). It does not show envy, boastfulness, pride or rudeness (vv.5-6) or neither self-seek, easily anger, keep records of wrong doings (v.6). Last, love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (v.7).

 Elements of Living in Brotherhood

To Ponder…

Does Christ-like love define your relationships with others?

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References

  • Atchtemeier, P. (2011, January). 1 Peter 4:1-8. Interpretation. 76-78.
  • Bible Study Planet. (2012). Four things Christians should know. Retrieved on May 21, 2012, from http://biblestudyplanet.com/four-things-christians-should-do-2/
  • DeYmaz, M. (2010, November 29). Mark DeYmaz: Mosaic Church, Little Rock, Ark. Outreach Magazine. Retrieved on May 24, 2012, from http://www.outreachmagazine.com/people/3476-Mark-DeYmaz-Mosaic-Church-Little-Rock-Ark.html
  • Isasi-Diaz, A. (2010, Spring). Am I my brother’s and sister’s keeper? Apuntes. (30)1
  • Jobes, K. (2005). 1 Peter. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
  • Keener, C. (1993). The Bible background commentary: The New Testament. Downers Grove, IL, InterVarsity Press.
  • Priest, R. & Nieves, A. (2007). This side of heaven: Race, ethnicity and Christian faith. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Rah, Soong-Chan. (2009). The next evangelicalism: Releasing the Church from Western cultural captivity. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books.
  • Sugden, C. (2011). Gospel, culture and transformation: Part 2 of seeking the Asian face of Jesus. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers
  • Teter, J. (2003). Get the word out. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • Thurman, H. (1996). Jesus and the disinherited. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
  • Van Rheenen, G. (1996). Biblical foundations and contemporary strategies in missions. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

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Jan Paron, All Rights Reserved 2012