In his admonition regarding growth of Christian character, Peter saves the best for last. “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith…brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love” (2 Pet. 1:5, 7). We commonly use the term “brotherly love” for the term brotherly kindness.
The language of love. You have heard it all before, but here is a brief rehearsal. (1) Agape love is deep concern for the welfare of another. It is not based on like/dislike. This love is commanded, and our response is always a choice. Love is the chief of virtues. Love leads us to do right by God and man. (2) Philia is friendship love or warmth of affection. It grows out of appreciation for others and is emotional in nature. This term is quite akin to the word “like.” As such it is not typically commanded but encouraged. We may not like everyone, but we must love them (Matt. 5:43-48). (3) Storge is a lesser-known term referring to family ties. Family is not perfect, but it is family. We often say, “You just have to love family!” (4) Eros is not used in the Bible, but we see it reflected in numerous English terms today. This is physical, sexual attraction. Sex is not a dirty word, and God has provided for lawful fulfillment of every natural appetite. God made us male and female, male and female only, and directed that sexual desire is only to be consummated in marriage.
Peter uses the word philadelphia in our text. It compounds friendship love with brotherhood. We must love the brotherhood of believers both with agape and philadelphia love. The blood of Jesus ties us together. We are members of God’s family and should behave accordingly (1 John 5:1). Stay tuned…
To be a child of God is the greatest privilege we have, but we also have responsibility. May God bless us all as we work with his Spirit to develop the character the Father expects of his children. TC