Romans 12 Living – Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly Love


good afternoon let me try that again good afternoon there we are

i don’t do that very often but uh mostly because i’m one of the i am habitually bad about people coming up and saying good morning good afternoon from the pulpit and my brain goes oh right they said something i’m supposed to respond to so take your bibles if you will and open them to romans chapter 12.

we began a few weeks ago series involving romans 12 living and we began with this idea that jesus through paul through the holy spirit tells us that he wants us to live transformed lives he doesn’t want us to live like the world he doesn’t want us to live like we used to live when we were in the world he wants us to live differently he wants us to be working and we looked at the beginning of romans chapter 12 verses 1 through 8 at that idea of the things that we are to be about the things that we are to be doing as christians but then we began in verse 9 dealing with the idea of love and it’s undergirding of everything that comes after it but then we notice the idea that paul says we are to abstain from evil and cling to that which is good

this afternoon i want us to look at the beginning of verse 10. i’m going to read it in the new king james but then i’m going to read it from the esv because it’s an interesting choice that the king james and the new king james translators made when they put the verse together i’ll send say a few moments or say a few words about that in just a moment the new king james reads be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love now that’s the phrase that we’re going to focus our time on this afternoon but in the esv it’s actually closer to the greek in the structure of it because the greek says for or puts brotherly love at the beginning and the kindly affectionate at the end now something to know about greek is there’s not a sentence structure in the same way that the english has it in english you begin with the subject then you go to the verb greek doesn’t work that way but i think there’s an a value in the way and the order in which the greek is structured and the esv translates it this way love one another with brotherly affection so be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love and the esv flips it and says love one another with brotherly affection and both of these words both the word love in the original language and the word brotherly kindness or brotherly affection is is translated in the new king james both stem from the word phileo it is the love of a brother but they have two different endings one is adelphos and the other is another one i’m not going to try and pronounce but they’re they deal with two different ideas one deals with love one deals with affection one both of them deal with family interaction this passage paul writes to these christians he’s already talked to talk to them about love but now he wants to talk to them about their love for one another there is love that we have for god there is love that we have as we put others before ourselves but there is also in scripture this love that we are to have for one another as brethren let’s look at a few passages as we entertain this idea not only of kindness and affection love and brotherly love but as we bring these ideas together let’s go to galatians chapter 5. galatians chapter 5

paul writes to the church and he says verse 1 stand fast therefore in the liberty by which christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage indeed i paul say to you that if you become circumcised christ will profit you nothing now we’ve talked about this before we’ve talked about the jew and the gentile problem we’ve talked about the jews that were telling the gentiles they had to be circumcised and keep the law of moses in order to be saved and it’s in this context where paul says circumcision won’t help you gentiles he then says verse 3 and i testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law you have become estranged from christ you who attempt to be justified by law you have fallen from grace so he says all of that in the context of this problem of those who are preaching something in addition to the gospel being necessary for salvation then he says this for we through the spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith for in christ jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything but faith working through love

love plays an intricate part in our acting out and i don’t mean that in posing or or in in any way belittling the idea of what we’re doing but in our actions based upon our faith

jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment in the law and jesus said love the lord your god with your entire being and he said the second commandment is like to like to it love your neighbor as yourself

this faith love for god brings about action love for one another consider as well verse 13 of this same chapter paul writes for you brethren have been called to liberty only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh but through love serve one another paul says you have this liberty that you’ve gotten in christ you are a christian you have liberty from the law you’re no longer bound by the law of moses and that gives you a wealth of opportunities of things you never had before because of the restrictions of the law you’re no longer under bondage you’re no longer under sin you are no longer under these things so therefore come out of them but as you come out of them do so carefully do so carefully that you don’t express your liberty in such a way as to destroy your brother

as we build and architect our lives to be shaped and molded after god we must realize and bring into our life the care and concern god has for our brethren

verse 22 of this same chapter as paul gets into a discussion of the fruit of the spirit he says but the fruit of the spirit is love joy peace longsuffering kindness

gent or goodness faithfulness gentleness self-control against these things there is no law so paul says you be careful how you interact with one another you shall love for one another built out of faith you don’t use the liberty you have in christ to bring damage on your brother all of these things involve us serving god our vertical relationship while at the same time not inhibiting our service to god by our service to one another our horizontal relationship consider as well what peter would write in first peter chapter one peter mentions this idea of love a number of times within his letter

first peter chapter 1 and in verse 22 he says since you have been purified since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit insincere love of the oh wait a minute love of the who love of the spirit no love of the father no love of christ no love of the brethren he says love one another fervently with a pure heart so as we go through these verses i want us to bring out a number of aspects of brotherly love that the scriptures in all these different passages we’re going to notice are telling us this is how you do it because most of us interact with one another however we naturally have become accustomed to acting uh maybe that’s from our interaction with our siblings maybe it’s how we’ve observed our parents act maybe it’s whatever we have just gotten into the habit of doing but how we interact with others within the church within the body of christ is just however we’ve ended up being but that’s not what we’re called upon to do we are not called upon to interact with one another however we feel like it or however we were raised or however it seems natural those are not the descriptions the new testament uses for how we interact with one another notice peter as he’s writing here he says love one another fervently

that’s a that’s a that’s a heat term you do something and you intensify it you give it heat it is fervor it is desire you love one another desirously now not lustfully not wrongfully but with a love and an affection and a fervor in interest for your brethren it will happen sometimes where people

will as we’ve maybe termed it wander away from the church that they just show up sporadically for a while and then less sporadically for a while and then don’t show up at all

and time goes by and somebody eventually says we’re so and so now there’s two two things in that number one there’s

the real problem of why did people notice they weren’t there sooner there’s the the guilt of the congregation that let a sheep wander from the fold and didn’t even notice it was gone but one of the things that you find to almost inevitably be true is that they were gone before they ever left the pew

they were gone up here for a long time before they ever stop showing up

and one of the realities that we find is the disconnect quite often is they no longer felt connected to the people who were there researchers tell us that when people join uh an assembly when they move to a new place and they begin attending a new church they have to make a certain number of connections personal connections with people before they will likely stay at that congregation that involves taking time and effort to build relationships so as we go through this i want us to pinpoint i want us to look at i want us to examine ourselves and go are we doing that are we showing that kind of concern are we active in one another’s lives are we doing what these passages tell us to do because if not we have some areas to work on he says love one another why why does peter say you need to love one another because you have been purified in your souls by obeying the truth there is a relationship that exists among christians that stems not from their background not from their culture not from their ethnicity not from their race not from their gender not from their status in life not from their money not from their employment but from the fact that they have been purified from their sins turn to first john chapter 1. john writes about this he says beginning in verse 4 these things we write to you that your joy may be full this is the message which we have which we have heard from him and declare to you that god is light and in him is no darkness at all if we say we have fellowship with him we walk in darkness we lie and do not practice the truth but if we walk in the light as he is in the light now notice this if we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship with christ no we have fellowship with the father no we have fellowship with one another

so back behind all of this back behind this discussion concerning affection concerning brotherly love concerning how we treat one another concerning how we interact with one another concerning how we show care for one another is first and foremost our redemption

and are purified life

john will write more about love than any other writer he gets into this discussion here in chapter one but it’s in every single chapter of first john and it back behind all of it is this concept that keeps coming up in his writings and it comes from john chapter 13. in john chapter 13 jesus is speaking to his disciples and we read verse 31 so when he had gone out jesus said now the son of man is glorified and god is glorified in him if god is glorified in him god will also glorify him in himself and glorify him immediately he’s talking about the crucifixion he’s talking about going to the cross he’s talking about the glory that he had with the father that he will again have this is all brought out in chapter 17 we’re not going to take time to go into it but he says verse 33 little children i shall be with you a little while longer you will seek me and as i said to the jews where i am going you cannot come so now i say to you now he’s referencing what he spoke to the jews in john chapter 8. he says i told the jews this and they didn’t understand it now i’m telling you this and you need to understand it he says where i’m going you can’t come and they thought well yes we can we we we can we can go where you’re going we’ve gone wherever you’ve gone for the last three and a half years what are you talking about but he’s talking about to the cross he’s talking about to death he says you can’t come but he says a new commandment i give you that you love one another as i have loved you

that you also love one another now wait a minute

didn’t jesus say the greatest commandment in law was love one another as you love yourself yes then how is jesus saying i’m giving you a new commandment you’ve never been given before because jesus no longer tells them to love one another as they love themselves he now tells them love one another as i loved you

and that’s a very different thing see when we love ourselves and we should we take care of ourselves we are mindful of ourselves we don’t do intentional damage to ourselves there are very few people who pick up the nail and pick up the hammer and intentionally hit their nail instead of the nail very few people who do that why because it hurts and people don’t like that but that withholding damage taking care of something that’s not what jesus commanded them to do see peter’s going to write about this even further turn over to first peter chapter 2. we’ll come back to first john first peter chapter 2 peter takes this principle and shines a little more light on it he says verse 13 therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the lord’s sake whether to the king as to supreme or to governors as to those who were sent by him for the punishment of evildoers or for the praise of those who do good er and for the praise of those who do good and this is the will of god that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men as free yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice but as bond servants of god honor all people love the brotherhood fear god honor the king and then he says servants be submissive to your masters with all fear not only to the good and gentle but also to the harsh for this is commendable if because of conscience toward god one endures grief suffering wrongfully what credit is it when you are beaten for your faults you take it patiently if you take it patiently this is commendable before god for to this he says you were called because christ also

suffered for us leaving us an example that you should follow who committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth who when he was reviled did not revile in return when he suffered he did not threaten but committed himself to him who judges righteously who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree that we having died to sins might live for righteousness when jesus tells them in john chapter 13 love one another as i have loved you he’s elevating the love that they are to have from just love of self and someone else to suffering for someone else

he says you love as i have loved you and then he went to the cross for them

peter and john two of the lord’s inner circle

right to these christians and they write to them to tell them you love as he loved you and specifically you love the church as he loved you so let’s bring some ideas into this that we’ve talked about let’s let’s let’s enumerate them we’ve talked about not using our liberty the things that we have the liberty to do as christians not using them to bring damage to our brethren we’ve talked about the fact that we are to love one another as we love ourselves but then that jesus elevated that to a new commandment to love one another as he loved us and that directly connected to suffering

so then notice first john chapter 2.

first john chapter 2 john writes again a new commandment i write to you which thing is true in him and in you because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining he who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness until now he who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him but he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes john says a new commandment i write unto you that you love one another and anyone who hates his brother lives in darkness remember he just said we have fellowship with one another because we’re walking in the light as he is in the light our soul has been purified from sins we’ve been washed in the blood of christ and therefore we ought to have fellowship with one another now he says that fellowship produces love but if you hate one another he says you’re not walking in light you’re walking in darkness if you hate your brother you walk in darkness and you are deceiving yourself now it’s interesting

because john writes to these christians and he writes to them about the love they are to have he writes to them about the hate they are not to have have you ever found

occasions where you hear the name of another christian in the context of what they believe not about religion but maybe politics and you know what they believe about politics and your your mind just kind of goes

have you ever become acquainted with someone who’s a member of the body of christ and you find out that you disagree with them on a matter of how something should be done and then sometime later you hear their name and your mind goes

something’s wrong

isn’t it because you’re hearing the name of a blood bought redeemed member of the body of christ and you’re letting an opinion about non-spiritual matters affect your love for them

we’ve got to be careful about this we’ve got to be careful that we don’t allow the world’s issues to overcome our love for our brethren but now consider another passage john again writes this time in john chapter 1 john chapter 3 and he says beginning in verse 10 in this the children of god and the children the devil are manifest john as he’s writing he’s writing as an older man he’s writing to the church the church is fairly well established at this point in time the majority of the rest of the new testament has been written by this point in time and he’s writing to these brethren and he says here’s how you can identify here’s a clear divider between the children of god and the children of the devil okay now let’s notice what he says in this the children of god and the children of the devil are manifest whoever does not practice righteousness is not of god

okay i can get behind that one i mean here’s a person who lives like a sinner who acts like a sinner who talks like a sinner who does nothing but think of that which is evil all day long loves and rejoices and that which is unrighteous that’s a sinner that’s a child of the devil but he didn’t stop there did he he said whoever does not practice righteousness is not of god nor is he who does not love his brother

john are you saying that in the same class of people as those who think about that which is evil all day long participate in that which is evil all day long do that which is evil all day long rejoice in that which is evil all day long in the same class you’re going to put the people who just don’t love their brethren john says yes

why john for this is the message that you heard from the beginning that we should love one another not as cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother and why did he murder him because his works were evil and his brothers righteous do not marvel my brethren if the world hates you we know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren he who does not love his brother abides in death whoever hates his brother is a murderer and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him what did john just say john just said if you hate your brother you are a murderer

because you are keeping in your heart the same thing that killed abel a hate for those who do good he says verse 16 by this we know love because he laid down his life for us and we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren

one of the amazing things about those who

voluntarily because that’s the only way it happens at this present time voluntarily join the military and go through the life as a go through life as a military person and and go and fight and sometimes die

is that they put their lives on the line yes for those who are their family but if you talk to a lot of them you’ll find they also put their lives on the line for people who they know they don’t even like

because they have enough interaction with people in washington as being in the military to know there are a bunch of people they don’t even like

but they still put their lives on the line for them

john as he’s writing about our love for one another says you see christ who laid down his life for you and you see your brother who you hate and you can’t make those two things coincide so then you learn how much christ did for you

and then you live it out towards your brother notice what he says as he further goes on he says but whoever has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need and shuts up his heart from him and does the love or excuse me how does the love of god abide in him ah john is writing about something specific john is writing about something very close to home john is writing about christians who see other christians in need and do nothing john is writing about christians who see other christians who are suffering because of their christianity and they don’t help them

he says my little children let us not love in word or in tongue but in deed and in truth so john writes to these christians and he says you love one another because he died for you because he taught you how to love and then don’t just take it to the point well yes if i had to i’d die for so and so but if they need help right now i won’t help them he said that’s not love don’t just love in word or indeed but in truth over in acts chapter 27 there’s an interesting passage

acts chapter 27 and verse 1.

we read about the time that paul was in prison and as he is journeying again to rome we read verse 27 and when it was decided that we should sail to italy so notice luke is with him at the time they delivered paul and some of the other prisoners to one named julius a centurion of the augustian regiment so entering a ship of uh at adranthium we put to sea meaning to sail along the coast of asia aristarchus a macedonian of thessalonica was with us okay so air starcus is with them luke is with him paul is with them paul is in prison the others are coming with him to work with him and to stay with him and they’re put under the oversight of this centurion but notice the next verse and the next day we landed at sidon and julius treated paul and knows this phrase kindly he treated paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care

here is a centurion who’s well acquainted with the realities as a centurion and that is if you lose a prisoner you forfeit your life and yet this centurion seeing paul in the condition he was in having been mistreated by the jews having been mistreated by those in jerusalem having been imprisoned at all of this time under agrippa and others sees that he is in need of care probably physically medically and so when they arrive in sidon julius lets paul leave custody and luke says he treated him kindly then go back to romans chapter 12.

romans chapter 12 verse 10 we read be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love

that same word is the word over in acts chapter 27.

here’s a centurion who does what paul says for the romans to do and that is he acts out of kindness when he did not have to

and there’s a picture of what john and peter and paul are trying to get us to understand

doing for one another what we need done not because we have to

but because we can so then we return again to the esv’s version of this passage love one another with brotherly affection

foundation of love is first our redemption our righteous souls our purification from sin and the example of christ from which we learn not to do others harm out of our own self-interest from which we learn that we are to suffer for one another from which we learn that we are not and we didn’t really even spend time in this aspect but it’s certainly there in first peter chapter two that we are not to return evil for evil sometimes it’s even our brethren who do wrong to us and peter says don’t you do wrong back

you receive evil and return good so we are not to do harm we are not to hate our brethren we are not to return evil for evil but we are to love them we are to sacrifice for them we are to suffer for them we are to see their needs and fulfill them

even as a centurion who was not a christian shows us the example to do as he saw the need of us of a person who was a prisoner and went out of his way and even put himself on the line to see that his prisoner was taken care of how much more so should we do for our brethren

we are to love one another as christ first loved us if you’re here and you’re outside the body of christ you should know that jesus christ came to this earth and died for you when you didn’t deserve it jesus christ came to this earth and died for everyone who was a sinner and didn’t deserve it and he did so out of his love for you his love for every person who could not have redemption could not have salvation could not have the hope of eternity in eternity without the sacrifice of christ

he died that you might live if you’re outside the body of christ this afternoon you can enter into that body by hearing the word of god and believing that jesus christ is the son of god by repenting of your sins and confessing the name of christ and being immersed in water for the remission of your sins rising up to walk in newness of life having your soul purified from sin now being part of the fellowship of the body of christ in which we are taught to love as christ loved us if you remember the body of christ and you’ve wandered away from the from the faith or you’ve wandered away from your family or you’ve wandered away from your christian family and you need help coming home you can have help if you need help in any way why not come now as we stand and as we