What is Brotherly Love?

I was thinking about brotherly love! These are not exhausted studies, just something to get you thinking!

Is there anything more important in a Christians life than love? Here in our text Paul speaks of this love in terms of a love you would show a blood brother.

Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; 10 for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more,

2 Thessalonians 9-10 [Emphasis Mine]

In the Greek language the word for Christian love is most often agapē (Love), but the word used here is philadelphia close to (phílos), a very different kind of love.

The city of Philadelphia is called the city of brotherly love.

The Greek word is φιλαδελφία (philadelphia) means brotherly love, brotherly kindness. You have the same word in 2 Peter 1…

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

2 Peter 1:5-7 [Emphasis Mine]

What Paul is saying, we are a Christian family! Just like we love are real familial members, love the universal Church family the same.

This is really good!

Paul says…

Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; 10 for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more

Did you catch that?

But we urge you, brethren (Brothers and Sisters in Christ), to excel still more.

Now in verse 10 Love is not before brethren so its not philadelphia, Paul is using a Greek word from philadelphia which is adelphos.

In Greek adelphos in the context of this verse means a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection.

Jesus used adelphos 3 times in Matthew 7…

Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:3-5 [Emphasis Mine]
What is Brotherly Love? (1 Thessalonians 4:9–10) | Reading Acts

What is brotherly love?

Its a moving picture of our ongoing sanctification, which is the will of God just a few verse earlier in 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Paul writes For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;

Leon Morris writes about brotherly love….

that binds each other together as a family, as a brotherly clan.
• that binds each in an unbreakable union.
• that holds each other ever so deeply within the heart.
• that knows deep affection for each other.
• that nourishes and nurtures each other.
• that shows concern and looks after the welfare of each other.
• that joins hands with each other in a common purpose under one father

Leon Morris, The Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians


Again!

Did you catch that?

But we urge you, brethren (Brothers and Sisters in Christ), to excel still more.

Maybe Paul’s referring to his adelphos (brother) Peter who writes…

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

1 Peter 1:22 [Emphasis Mine]

Could it be that both Peter and Paul are urging us to go to the very limits of our love for one another?

Brotherly love!

...excel still more!

…and that’s a beautiful thing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *