Do You Genuinely Love Your Brothers and Sisters?
God’s Plan for brothers and sisters is loving one another. God’s Method for brothers and sisters to love one another is His Spirit.
God's Word tells us what it means for brothers and sisters to love each other and that love must start in our homes. This is most clearly laid down in 1st John. Let us turn there and survey what John says.
In the widest sense of God's Word, 1st John is a message to all believers - that is the meaning of brethren, little children, and brothers and sisters.
But in a strictly literal sense Christians are in God’s Family and are brothers and sisters LIKE A CHRISTIAN FAMILY SHOULD BE! So in a most powerful way we are looking at what God expects from us as members of individual families.
In fact God says if you can’t love your very own flesh and blood brother He can’t dwell within you! Pretty strong stuff from the Lord, and we need to be aware and praying that our families be geared towards loving one another!
What does John say God expects from us? Here is a quick survey:
1. In God’s family we are all His children. 1 John 2:1 My little children (this word occurs 20 times in the Bible and NINE of them are here in 1st John), these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
2. Hatred towards our brothers or sisters disqualifies us for membership in God’s Family. 1 John 2:9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.
3. Loving our brothers and sisters demonstrates that we are in God’s Family. 1 John 2:10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
4. Hatred blinds us to God’s Word and His will. 1 John 2:11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
5. Not loving our brothers and sisters is un-GODly. 1 John 3:10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
6. We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 1 John 3:11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
7. Not loving our brothers and sisters is like being attached to a corpse. 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. (Romans often punished murderers by tying them face to face, body to body with the corpse of the person they murdered until the death of the corpse permeated their living body and killed them. So an unloving member of the family is a living, walking poisonous corpse that deadens those around them.)
8. An unloving person that hates their brother or sister is like a MURDERER in God’s sight. 1 John 3:15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
9. Love means we are willing to die to our plans, our desires, our agenda – and serve our brother or sister. 1 John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
10. A loving family member responds to the needs of their brother or sister. 1 John 3:17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
11. Really loving our brothers and sisters is an action and a way of life. 1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
12. We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 1 John 3:23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
13. We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
14. We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
15. We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 1 John 4:12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
16. The test of genuine Christianity is in whether you genuinely love your brothers and sisters. 1 John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
17. Loving our brothers and sisters is not optional, it is commanded. 1 John 4:21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
18. Loving our brothers and sisters is just obeying God. 1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
19. We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 2 John 5 And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.
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