By Garry Knighton
Church of Christ/North - Shreveport, La.
LOVE OF THE BRETHREN
Expository: Romans 12:9-13
Brotherly love has amazed many people throughout the centuries.
Love of the brethren is commanded by God:
Heb. 13:1 - "Let love of the brethren continue."
I Peter 1:22 - "Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth
unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently."
I Peter 3:8 - "Finally, be ye all like minded, compassionate, loving as brethren,
tenderhearted, humble minded."
Brotherly love must be "worked at" to achieve.
I Thess. 1:3 - "remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and
patience of hope..."
Heb. 6:10 - "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and the love which ye showed
toward his name, in that ye ministered unto the saints, and still do minister."
Problems in the church are either directly or indirectly connected to lack of LOVE for one another.
Relate problems at Corinth--- (every problem shows a lack of love)
Love is the all important KEY to a growing or even a surviving church.
Today, let's study some points that Paul made to the church at Rome about love of the brethren.
THE PRINCIPLE OF LOVE - V.9a "LET LOVE BE WITHOUT HYPOCRISY"
Our love must be real to one another.
God hates hypocrisy in any vein.
Matt. 23:27-28 - whited sepulchers...
Must have UNFEIGNED love - 1 Peter 1:22.
Unfeigned - no play acting, as a stage player; no pretense; without hypocrisy.
Must be love with sincerity - II Cor. 8:8. "I speak not by way of commandment, but as proving
through the earnestness of others the sincerity also of your love."
Love in Word and in Deed - I John 3:18.
THE SENSITIVENESS OF LOVE - v.9b. "ABHOR THAT WHICH IS EVIL."
True love repels evil.
I Cor. 13:5-6 - "... taketh no account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but
rejoiceth with the truth."
Does not always see wrong in other people.
Does not like to see others go bad.
Loves the truth even when it hurts.
True love wants to stay away from evil no matter what.
Also in Word and Deed.
THE PURITY OF LOVE - v.9c "CLEAVE TO THAT WHICH IS GOOD."
"Cleave" - "To join fast together, to glue, cement..." (Vine)
Used when speaking of the husband - wife relationship.
Love glues "good" things to our lives.
Without true love, we just "tack" on a few good things. When trouble or temptation
comes, they fall off.
Love keeps itself pure.
People who do not love are usually the most sinful.
What does that say about your life?
THE REALITY OF LOVE v.10a. "IN LOVE OF THE BRETHREN BE TENDERLY AFFECTIONED
ONE TO ANOTHER."
With tenderness (In it's expression).
I Cor. 13:4 - "... love is kind..."
Love must show it's affection.
Love must express itself.
I John 3:16-18
This kind of love cannot go unpronounced.
How can it be affectionate love if it is not expressed?
How can we "love the brethren" and not express it?
THE HUMILITY OF LOVE v. 10b. "IN HONOR PREFERRING ONE ANOTHER."
We are to prefer one another - put them first.
Phil. 2:3 - "doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each
counting the other better than himself."
I Thess. 5:13 - "and to esteem them exceeding highly in love for their work's sake."
This removes the war between brethren.
There is no selfishness in love whatsoever.
THE EXCITEMENT OF LOVE v.11a. "IN DILIGENCE NOT SLOTHFUL."
Love is zealous to the point that others can see it.
Has to be seen.
Excitement is an outward manifestation.
EXAMPLE: Some sing "O I how I love Jesus" never realizing what they are saying.
THE EARNESTNESS OF LOVE v.11b. "FERVENT IN SPIRIT."
This deals with the "Inward Attitude."
The Laodiceans lacked the EARNESTNESS of love. (Rev. 3:14-22).
Reason for their lukewarmness.
THE GENUINENESS OF LOVE - v.11c. "SERVING THE LORD."
Love gives of itself.
Some of you do not serve; hence you do not love.
THE BUOYANCY OF LOVE - v.12a. "REJOICING IN HOPE."
Love comes right back when it is suppressed.
Those who do not love retaliate.
EXAMPLE: Love is like a cork. It will stay down as long as you hold it there, but as
soon as you let it go, it bounces right back to the top.
THE ENDURANCE OF LOVE v.12b. "PATIENT IN TRIBULATION".
Takes an optimistic look on everything that happens.
Lets the trials of our faith build us up like they are designed to do.
Love can see you through many hardships.
EXAMPLE: Notice the first years of marriage. If not for love, depression would have taken over.
THE DEVOTION OF LOVE v.12c. "CONTINUING STEADFASTLY IN PRAYER."
Love takes advantage of everything that God has given us.
Prayer is one of those things.
Devotion to God is a product of love.
THE UNSELFISHNESS OF LOVE - v.13a. "COMMUNICATING TO THE NECESSITIES OF THE SAINTS."
Love never lets a faithful brother go lacking.
Brethren who will work and are trying are never to go without food, clothing or shelter.
We must be hard working people in order to help others.
THE WELCOME OF LOVE - v.13b. "GIVEN TO HOSPITALITY."
"Hospitality" - "love of stranger" - (Vine).
Heb. 13:2 - "Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."
We are blessed with much, we need to share it with those who are in need.
Love is the supreme quality that one MUST have in his life.
Do you have the proper kind of love for your brethren.
Some say "Yes", but they never assemble with the people they are suppose to love but ONE day a week.
This is not love. REMEMBER that love must be expressed.
When is the last time that you told a brother or sister that you loved them?
Love is necessary for our salvation. That is how important it is.
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