Sunday, August 14, 2016 am                                                Others 2016 Index


Others 2016
Love One Another - 2


As we have begun examining the various “one another” passages of the New Testament, last week we addressed the subject of Love.  In our lesson we emphasized how important it is that we love one another.  We did this by noting several passages that command brotherly love.  We examined John 13:34-35 where we noted that the world has a right to judge us by how we love each other.   And then in 1 John 3 & 4 we examined these texts seeing how it is absolutely crucial that we love one another as brethren.  We also noted that the example of that love is God’s love for us in sending His Son.  Having established that need, today we want to notice how we love one another.

 I.                     Romans 13:8-10 – owe no one anything, except to love on another.

a.       Love is a primary action that comes at the foundation of everything we do for one another.  While the context is not limited to how we love our brethren – it applies to all mankind though in different ways – our emphasis will be as it relates to one another as brethren.  Paul has already begun addressing how we treat each other in this book (Romans 12:9-16). 

b.       We sometimes use this text to address the subject of debt.  It applies in the sense that we are obligated to pay what we owe (i.e. Psalm 37:21, “The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives.”).   When we borrow from our brethren (or anyone) we need to pay it. 
We might also consider this in light of our need to have honorable conduct (cf. 1 Peter 2:12), even among our brethren.  We should not cheat each other or unduly take advantage of one another.   Just because they are brethren is no justification to demand they give you whatever you want.

c.        But here the emphasis is how our conduct affects them in every aspect of life.  Live in such a way that we see love in each other.  Live so that you are loving your brethren.

d.       We owe it to each other – that is what this text says.  Because we are brethren there has to be love there.  Consider again 1 John 4:11 – if God so loved us, we ought to love one another (we addressed this last week).  That means we’re going to demonstrate that love with our words, but also with our deeds and truth (1 John 3:18).
Don’t live so that you owe your brethren: 1) an apology, 2) the need to make amends, 3) the need to prove yourself (because of dishonorable conduct), 4) the need for them to take disciplinary action against you, or 5) the need to be sorrowful and grieved because of your reckless and sinful conduct, 6) because they have had to clean up some mess that you created, etc.

e.       This is also a debt that will never be paid off.  Both “owe” and “love” here are present tense verbs, meaning this is ongoing action.  We will NEVER stop loving our brethren.  Even when they are behaving in an untoward fashion.  1 Corinthians 16:14 – let all that you do be done with love.

 II.                   Our love toward one another affects:

a.       Our affection toward one another -  Romans 12:10 – “be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love…”.
The word affectionate is φιλόστοργος, (philostorgos) and means to love dearly.  The love of those close to you, as in your family.    It is the love of a husband and his wife, as well as parents and children toward one another.
In Greek, there are 4 words (at least) that we would translate love in the English language.  2 of those we refer to frequently.  The 3rd is not used exclusively, but is the Greek word storge – which is a part of this word we are discussing.  The other two are also in this text (vs. 9-10), agape and philadelphia (kindness toward a brother, taking special interest in one because of this close association).    
The idea of this love is that we are warm toward one another.  This will manifest itself as we seek to develop brotherly love and a caring relationship. 
As a result, being around each other will be pleasant (e.g. seeing our brethren will bring a smile with it).  Because of this love we will think about how our words and conduct might adversely affect our brethren and that could motivate us to not engage in something ungodly.
The NKJV continues this verse saying, “in honor giving preference to one another.”  (Most versions are similar).  The word for preference primarily means to go first and lead the way, or to do something exceedingly.  We sometimes hear it say, “outdo one another in honor and brotherly love.”  But clearly this is NOT about a competitive spirit, but simply a desire to excel at this.  The point being that this love is something we seek to excel at, even more so than the recipient if needed.  Imagine if everyone had this attitude toward each other as brethren!

b.       How we serve one another through love - Galatians 5:13 says, “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.  While Paul emphasizes our liberty in Christ (as opposed to the bondage of sin, and even the constraints of the Old Law) in this text, he calls for us as brethren to guard against using our liberties as opportunity for selfish fulfilment.  In other words, we realize that as brethren we are to be there for one another and willing to do whatever we can for each other; however, because I know this doesn’t give me the right to take undue advantage of my brother for self-serving gains.  INSTEAD, through love we serve one another.  THIS demonstrates this attitude is reciprocating.  
Let it be love for a brother that prompts him to respond when he sees or learns of a need.  Consider this in light of James 2:14-18, 1 John 3:17-18, Acts 4:32-37, 11:27-30 - notice that the helping brother finds out about the need and responds – not by compulsion, but because he wants to. 

c.        How we bear with one another - Ephesians 4:2, in our efforts to walk worthy of our calling we are to, with lowliness and gentleness, bear with one another in love.  
The word bear is a word that means to endure, put up with or tolerate something.
Colossians 3:13 says that not only do we bear with one another, but we also forgive one another.  When we love one another, we are going to be more patient in dealing with their quirks, weaknesses and even issues of concern.   This is why love conceals a matter – Proverbs 11:13 & 1 Corinthians 13:7 (bears all things – a different word, with a similar meaning).
Colossians 3:14 continues by saying, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.   The love that causes us to bear with and forgive is the BOND (something that connects or unites together; i.e. think of the marriage bond) of perfection.   Yet another phrase that demonstrates love for one another that has been mastered.

d.       How we deal with the sins of one another.   Related to bearing with one another, 1 Peter 4:8 says, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.  With a fervent (diligent) disposition, our bearing with one another will prompt us to be willing to keep to ourselves the faults of our brethren and deal with them as discreetly as possible.  This means going to them instead of everyone else.  We are not ignoring them and their sins - For that is NOT walking in love (Jude 22-23, Galatians 6:1, etc.)   But we are trying to keep the exposure and damage to a minimum.   We will do that for people that we genuinely care for (e.g.  notice how families will at times intervene in a problem rather than making it public). 

e.       How we consider one another - Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works...”  When I think of consideration, I think of one who thinks about a matter.   This is one who before he acts will ask, “How will my conduct affect my brethren?” 
Proverbs 15:28, “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer…”
IN context, the Hebrew writer has concluded his discourse on how the priesthood of Jesus is better than the Levitical priesthood (and many other better things).  He now begins to make some application.  In this process he tells us to consider our brethren by the decisions we make and what we do and do NOT do.   As an example of this in vs. 25 we read that as we consider one another we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.  

 III.                 We’re never done with this love

a.       1 Thessalonians 3:12 – Paul’s prayer is that this love increase and abound.

b.       1 Thess. 4:9-10 – we are taught by God to love one another.  Let it increase more and more.

We mentioned this last week as we concluded our lesson.  It bears repeating here as we remind ourselves we are NEVER done loving one another as brethren.  Nor will we master that love in our lifetime.  But we keep working at it.


Truly, loving one another is a fundamental trait of our concern for one another as brethren.   If we can master loving one another the other qualities we are going to address will easily fall into place.  The only question we will need to ask is, “How do I do that?”  And such will be our task.

So how is YOUR love for your brethren?  Think about it?