30 December 2018 PM – 2 Peter 1:7 – Add to Faith – Scott Childs
Introduction: The world often defines love as a feeling. They think it is something that makes them feel special. When the romantic, heart-fluttering feeling leaves a marriage people say, “I just do not love my spouse anymore.” They treat love like a perfume that wears off.
Biblical love is not a feeling. It is a choice. That is why God commands us to add two kinds of love to our faith.
Transition: This evening we are going to look at the two biblical kinds of love that God commands and learn how to add them to our faith.
1. Add Brotherly Kindness
a. Brotherly kindness is philadelphia love.
1) From phílos = beloved, dear, friendly + adelphós = brother
2) The word is defined as 1. love of brothers or sisters, brotherly love. 2. in the NT the love which Christians cherish for each other as brethren. Thayer
3) This word is found only six times in the N.T. and two of them are in our text.
a) Three times it is translated “brotherly love”.
b) Once it is translated “love of the brethren”.
c) In our verse, it is twice as “brotherly kindness”.
4) It denotes love or affection because of some natural tie (i.e., the love of a blood brother or sister).
5) For Christians, philadelphia love is a tender affection for other Christians because of the supernatural bond we have in Christ as children of God.
6) In the NT philadelphia is used to describe the love that believers possess for one to another, for even though they were members of different natural families, they were united in Christ and were recipients of family love originating from the Father Who had bestowed His great love on His spiritual children. www.preceptaustin.org
7) Christians are to have a loving affection for each other despite outward differences. (Galatians 3:28) “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
b. How are we to show brotherly love?
1) (Romans 12:10) “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” Here God says we are to show brotherly love by being kindly affectioned (i.e., tenderly loving as a parent or a spouse).
2) (1 Thessalonians 4:9) “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” Brotherly love ought naturally to follow a godly life.
3) (Hebrews 13:1) “Let brotherly love continue.” Brotherly love is commanded to continue because it may not continue if we become careless, carnal or selfish.
4) (1 Peter 1:22) “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:” Here Peter sees that the Christians had unfeigned (i.e., genuine) brotherly love, but they needed to add agapē love to their lives.
5) Therefore, brotherly love is being friendly, kind, tender, and affectionate toward our brothers and sisters in Christ. We must love fellow Christians even if we differ with them. If they are doctrinally wrong, we must not build close friendships with them (1Co 15:33). If they are doctrinally wrong, we can love them but not work with them in a ministry (1Co 6:3-5). If they sin, love does not overlook their sin. Rather, we should lovingly seek to restore sinning Christians. (Galatians 6:1) “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
O Let us work at building brother love with other Christians.
2. Add Charity
a. Charity is agapē love.
1) Agapē or its verb form agapao is to feel and exhibit esteem and goodwill to a person, good will, love, or benevolence.
2) Agapē is unconditional and above all sacrificial love.
3) Agapē love is the sacrificial giving of one’s self to meet the needs of another expecting nothing in return.
4) Biblical agapē love is the love of choice, the love of serving with humility, the highest kind of love, the noblest kind of devotion, the love of the will (intentional, a conscious choice) and not motivated by superficial appearance, emotional attraction, or sentimental relationship. PreceptAustin.org
5) This describes God’s love for sinners. (Romans 5:8) “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (1 John 3:1) “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: …”
6) Agapē is a love that impels one to sacrifice one’s self for the benefit of the object loved. Wuest
7) Biblical agapē love is not an emotion but a disposition of the heart to seek the welfare and meet the needs of others. MacArthur (John 15:13) “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
8) Agapē love does not require that we feel any attraction or sentiment to the one loved. Agapē is not a feeling; it is a choice. Impulsive love is completely contrary to God’s decisive (i.e., decided) love. PreceptAustin
9) While philadelphia love is an affectionate bond, agapē love is a sacrificial benevolence.
b. How are we to show agapē love?
1) We are to love fellow Christians as Christ loves us. (John 13:34) “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Not only are we to have philadelphia love for fellow Christians, we must also have agapē love that will sacrifice to meet their needs.
2) Agapē will enable us to love even our enemies. (Matthew 5:44) “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Yes, we can choose to love those we don’t even like.
3) Husbands are to have agapē for their wives.
4) Agapē will prompt us to pray for Christians in bonds. (Hebrews 13:3) “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
5) 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describes some of the actions of true agapē love. Notice how agapē sacrifices for others. It patiently shows kindness. It does not envy or get heated. It does not uplift self. It does not act improperly. It does not focus on self-desires. It is not quick-tempered. It does not think evil of unkind people. It grieves over injustice. It rejoices in the truth. It covers forgiven failures. It believes the best of others. It hopes for the best in others. It remains true under pressure.
6) True agapē love is sacrificially meeting the needs of another. It may be showing kindness to one who is unkind to you. It is praying for the needy. It is giving to meet a material need. It is sacrificing your time, funds, energy and emotions to help, comfort, care for, encourage, edify, forgive or meet the needs of your spouse, even when you do not feel like it or when your spouse has mistreated you. Love is reaching out to a fallen brother to help restore him spiritually. It is being hospitable, expecting nothing in return. It is sending a note of encouragement.
Conclusion: God wants us to add to our faith → virtue → knowledge → temperance → patience → godliness → brotherly love → agape love. Each builds upon the former and lifts it to a higher level.
Godliness (Christ-likeness) is uplifted when we have a genuine affection for fellow Christians. We need to be a loving Christian family. Then agapē uplifts brotherly love by sacrificially putting others, especially Christians, ahead of ourselves and giving to meet their needs. If you added each of these seven qualities to your faith, think of the impact it could have on your marriage or your relationship with your parents. It would greatly help us in every area of life.
I am asking God to help me add each of these qualities to my faith. I hope you will do the same.
Song: More Like the Master – 325