Foe we are brethren
For we are brethren 6/15/08 am
Occasionally the New Testament uses the word “brother” to refer simply to
another human being, whether a Christian or not (Matt. 25:40),
or to one’s fellow countryman (Rom. 9:3).
Usually, however, it is used of a fellow believer in Christ.
This is true of all places where the concept of brotherly love, or brotherly kindness, appears.
New Testament Names for the People of God
A number of names for the people of God in the New Testament emphasize different aspects of the relationship that believers have with God and with the world.
Christian (call) was first applied in New Testament times, but the believers were more commonly referred to as saints because of the righteousness that was theirs by faith, or as the brethren (brothers) as a sign of their belonging to the family of God. They are God’s children by adoption, the elect or chosen ones. They are the beloved of God, a royal priesthood and servants of God.
As God’s flock they are under the care of Christ, the Chief Shepherd of the sheep; while remnant contrasts the relatively small number saved by the gospel from the midst of unbelieving Israel. Pilgrim highlights the fact that believers are sojourners in the world, but they are not of it.
Christ said, Matt. 12:50; 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”
Heb. 2:11, 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
The scriptures are clear about the relationship between brethren
No strife between you and me
Ge 13:8 So Abram said to Lot, Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen for we are brethren
Love your neighbor as yourself
Lev. 19:17–18 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart . . . but you shall love your neighbor as yourself”
Let love be without hypocrisy
Rom. 12:9-10, 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Heb. 13:1-3 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. 3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.
1 Pet. 2:17 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Love your brother with a pure heart and humbleness
1 Pet. 1:22-23. 22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
Php 2:1-3 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Our calling is to have compassion, be tenderhearted, and be courteous to our brother
1 Pet. 3:8-12 8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be 2courteous (humble); 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For “He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit.
11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Restore a brother entangled in a sin in a spirit of gentleness
Ga 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
Forgive your brother
Col 3:13 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
1 John 3:15; 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
Prov. 18:24 24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Stand up for your brother
Prov. 27:10. 10 Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend,
Nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity;
Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.
Gen. 37:21 21 But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, “Let us not kill him.”
Look after your brothers’ interest
1 Co 10:23-24 23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
Php 2:3-4 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Ga 6:2 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Deut. 22:1–4. “You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep going astray, and hide yourself from them; you shall certainly bring them back to your brother. 2 And if your brother is not near you, or if you do not know him, then you shall bring it to your own house, and it shall remain with you until your brother seeks it; then you shall restore it to him. 3 You shall do the same with his donkey, and so shall you do with his garment; with any lost thing of your brother’s, which he has lost and you have found, you shall do likewise; you must not hide yourself.
4 “You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fall down along the road, and hide yourself from them; you shall surely help him lift them up again.
Strive for unity and peace
Eph 4:1-3 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
1 Co 3:1-4 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
What ever you do to others it is as if you do it to the Lord Jesus Himself
Mt.25:40 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Silence the foolish by loving your brother
1 Pet. 2:15-17 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Brotherly love is to be the badge, or hallmark, of a Christian
John 13:34-35. 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Are you a child of the Living God?
Are you a brother or sister in Christ?
Are you behaving toward your brother as Christ instructed?
Are you one with this local body of Christ?
Are you dedicated, committed, and faithful to your brothers & sisters here?
Vine, W. (1997, c1996). Vine's complete expository dictionary topic finder . Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
2 NU humble