Summary: Spiritual Growth is important! In this series we’ll use 2 Peter 1 as a blueprint for the areas we are called to continually add to our faith as we grow spiritually. This week: Brotherly Kindness
Growth by Addition
2 Peter 1:5-7 (NIV)
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
Last week we established “Godliness” as a complete separation and designation of our lives for God. To be Godly, is to live as God has called us.
*Key Point from last week: Let Your Actions do the Talking
Matthew 5:15-16 (NLT)
No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
I bring this up, because this very important area of spiritual growth is paramount in our growth in the final two we are going to study over the next two weeks: Brotherly Kindness and Love.
We have got to be pursuing Godliness if we want to excel in Brotherly Kindness and Love. Otherwise we will not have any motivation for either of these.
Today, I’d like to make today’s sermon part one of the two-part series finale. We do this because; as you’ll see these two are closely intertwined.
1. Ministry on the Inside
There are many ways to distinguish Brotherly Kindness and Love, but for the sake of simplicity for the next two weeks we’ll look at them in this light:
Brotherly Kindness extends to the members of God’s Family,
Love extends to the entire Human Race.
A. Brotherly Kindness
As I mentioned, today we are looking at what I would call “Love on the Inside”. I want to take a moment and clearly define what Brotherly Kindness is.
The Greek word used in 2 Peter 1:7 is “Philadelphia” which comes from two words: Philos and Adelphos.
“Philos” means friend, to be friendly, a companion. From this word we get the Greek word “phileo” which is the type of love we are most accustomed to. It is the kind of love we all know through healthy family relationships. This type of love is distinct, and is never used in relation to God or any type of erotic love.
“Adelphos” means a brother, or a fellow associate united to another by some form of bond (ie: blood, common interest, etc.)
So when we say “Philadelphia” it truly is Brotherly Kindness.
1 John 2:9 (NIV)
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.
When we are justified through salvation, we are adopted into Body of Christ, the Family of Faith. We are now a part of something greater, but as we clearly see in this verse, we cannot truly love God, and hate our brothers and sisters.
2. Be KOINONIA
There is an important Greek word that relates to God’s Church, and that is Koinonia. It’s difficult to translate to English, but it carries the idea of communion, fellowship, sharing and participation. It is used to describe the life the ekklesia, or church, is to share in Christ.
The idea I especially favor is that of fellowship. The fellowship that is highlighted here is more than just:
- a relationship of buddies
- participating in a potluck
- getting a long with you because we are like minded
- a programmed meeting or bible study
The Koinonia Fellowship we speak of is the type that brought Jews and Gentiles, enemies for centuries, together as the body of Christ. Those who’d separated each other, and wouldn’t even speak together were now united in worship together.
Koinonia is a oneness that is only possible through God’s supernatural power.
Koinonia is our participation together in the life of God through Jesus Christ.
Let’s look at some characteristics (byproducts) of the “Fellowship” of the Church, and in doing so use these as inspiration for further development of Brotherly Kindness in our own lives.
1 John 1:6-7 (NLT)
So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
Koinonia is hard to cover up. It directly violates self-centeredness, and people on the outside notice, and they will long to have it as well.
“The church is the only cooperative society in the world that exists for the benefit of its non-members.” — William Temple.
Signs of an Unfriendly Church:
When the sign out front says – For members only