In his first letter, Peter teaches us that brotherly kindness is a natural and necessary consequence of being born into the family of God. “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart” (1 Pet. 1:22). The command to love, found at the end of the sentence, uses the word agape. Brotherly kindness is practically equated with agape.
Jesus taught Nicodemus that a new, spiritual birth from above is essential to entering the kingdom of God (John 3:1-8). The new birth is conversion to Christ. We are taught by the Spirit through the word and we obey from the heart. Faith then leads to repentance, confession of Christ, and baptism (Acts 2:38). It is in baptism that we become a new creation (Rom. 6:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:17). We become part of the family of God, the church. We are transferred from the world into the kingdom of God (Col. 1:13-14).
All who have God as their Father and Jesus as their elder brother are bound by cords of love. We are all washed in the blood of Jesus, saved by grace.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we come to enjoy a deep spiritual fellowship. Family that is closer than physical family. Eternal family. Our love must be from the depths of our heart. Sincere love, not superficial love. Church family, let us continue to practice brotherly kindness. 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