Summary: #6 In the scriptures there is the assumption that anyone who is born again of the Spirit of God, that that person has the very power of God to live a life of godliness. This is not a life that is some unproductive barren wasteland, but a life that is full
The Enlargement of Life.
Living Godliness Transparent in Brotherly Love
Reading: 1 Thes.4:1-12
Recap [Slide 1 -13]
One of the words you often hear bounded about today is commitment. It is often used in the context of loyalty, more out of duty than out of relationship. The world sees commitment [slide 14-1] very much in this context of duty, [slide 1-2] because you have a job or a part of something, then it is your duty to be committed. Since it is pushed in this way, whenever you are in need of the systems support and help, it is seen as their duty to be committed to you. Sad to say this sense of commitment has found it’s why into the arena of marriage. Such things as pre-marital contracts, clearly setting out who has what should things go wrong, betrays this kind of thinking. The basis of such contracts holds he assumption that, it is does not work out, then here is what we will do. It does somewhat undermine the covenant between the two who have become one, to keep only unto the other as long as they both shall live.
This commitment only exists as long as the contract is being fulfilled; whilst the contract is being fulfilled then there is a duty to be committed to the other. The problem with that is that you only have to bide by the terms of the contact. So if you find a loop-hole, then you can exploit it. This side of marriage is not a contract, it is an all embracing, joining of the two in a covenant so that they are becoming one, in body, soul and spirit.
The call of the scripture is that your duty flows out of your relationship that you have one with another. Not that your relationship is dependent upon your duty to be committed, you are committed because you want to, not because you have to. This wanting to be committed to another is because of love.
Peter says; [slide 15] "Add to this Godliness, this God likeness, brotherly kindness." Add to what you have inherently become because you are now a child of God, a partaker if the divine nature, a person who now has the full potential and capability to manifest the nature of God himself, i.e. godliness, Add to that, Brotherly kindness.
The Greek word used here holds the sense of; [slide 16-1] Fraternal affection, brotherly love and/or love for the brethren. There is the sense of a [slide 16-2] blood bond, two brothers of common parentage. When you think about it, all who are in Christ are just that. We are described as a [slide 17-1] “… a holy nation …”1 Peter 2:9. If we are dead to self, i.e. we have and are taking up our crosses, [slide 17-2] “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” Luke 9:2, which means that we are putting to death in a continual way the flesh, ourselves call it what ever, but we have then been raised in the new birth to life. The our [slide 18] common parentage is now God, and the basis of this is that the blood of Jesus as shed to that we might be cleansed and have access to God once again.
So the very basis of such a relationship is already there. Now that Greek word comes from the base word PHEE-LOS. A very dear friend, to whom you show acts of fondness and willingly associate. It is from that word that we get the word PHIL-LEE-O. (Come back to that in a minute.)
Now in our reading we have what must be the pastors dream church. [slide 19-1] v5: " ...concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another..." These people had come into such a relationship with God himself, that they had no need for the apostle to instruct them about love one for another. They simply got on with it, they had love one for another. Now when we come to the church in Rome, we often hold it up as the church which got its doctrine right, but it’s experience and manifestation of that doctrine is wrong. We find in Romans12:10, Paul writes to them; [slide 19-2] "Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another.."
Be kindly affectionate to one another. He is saying, come on people be tender with one another, be open to one another with brotherly kindness. There are occasions when we allow our doctrine to rule our affection for one another. I am not talking just biblical doctrine but our own doctrines of living that we have accumulated over years of survival in this world. The basis of all biblical teaching is that of restoration to full and complete relationship with God and man. It is tender and affectionate thing, which always when it has to bring correctives, does it with a tender and broken heart. That is because the one who brings the corrective has already paid the price in the presence of God for that corrective, so that the one in need of correction might be restored. That is exactly what Jesus did, [slide 20-1] in that while we were yet sinners....? How many times did your own parents say to you, "This is hurting me more than it is hurting you," and from your position you have thought and felt, "Change places and see if you will still say that."