Let Brotherly Love Continue

Image © 2011, Timothy Lee. Used with permission

Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue

Brotherly love is the affection that one feels for a brother. It is the unpretending open expression of the heart of a brother in Christ for another. It is the result of the salvation that Christ has brought through the His Gospel. Salvation in Christ puts those who have trusted Christ as their Saviour into the Kingdom of God, and makes us all the family of GOD. When we are in the local church, God has designed to bind us all together by the heart. Brotherly love, therefore, is the essential ingredient that God uses to seal His family together. Satan does all he can to destroy this love; he uses selfishness and personal gain, and misunderstandings and impatience. Yet the Lord Jesus, head of the local church, admonishes the church in Hebrews 13:1, to let brotherly love continue. We can gain three thoughts from this verse:

This brotherly love specifically denotes affection for Christians.
While we are to love all men, God commands that we love one another as Christians. If we cannot love one another, how can we presume to love other people? We need to love Christians more and use every opportunity to do so. Galatians 6:9 – 10 says, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

This brotherly love must be built.
Brotherly love is first started in us through the Gospel. We need to be saved, for without Christ in our hearts, we will only have self-love. However, when Christ comes in, we have a new nature, a nature of God, and a nature capable of loving another. Christ puts this love in us at the beginning of our Christian lives, for God is love (1 John 4:8). However, we need to build it by deeds of kindness (1 John 3:18), by serving one another (Galatians 5:13), by honest conversation (Ephesians 4:24), and by a heart that says, “I am willing to sacrifice for my brother, even if I have to die for him (John 15:13).” If we are not willing to inconvenience ourselves for another Christian, it shows we need to ask God for mercy, repent and do the first works.

This brotherly love must be allowed to remain and grow.
The word ʻletʼ from the phrase ʻlet brotherly love continueʼ means ʻto allow and to do nothing to prevent a said thing from growing and thriving; add no insult, discouragement and lies to hinder their growth.ʼ This is done by ensuring that there are deeds of love in support of the goal of brotherly love. When we are serving one another actively, there will be no shortage of such sharing of love and kindness.

How is our love presently for each other? Is it strong and strengthened by deeds of kindness and words of encouragement for each other? Let brotherly love continue; let us be obedient to the Lord Jesus in this matter.

Evangelist-Pastor Johnny Tan
Ambassador Baptist Church

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