BIBLE READING: 1 PETER 2:17; JOHN 13:35; 1 JOHN 4:20
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that does not love his brother abides in death.”1 John 3:14 (NKJV).
The subject of Love in our Christian Faith can never be overemphasized. Agape Love remains the greatest of the three cardinal virtues because it is the Very Nature of God Almighty Himself (see 1 Cor. 13:13). Faith may be the greatest force in the universe but Love is undoubtedly the greatest motive behind any thought, word or deed. Since Love is the Acid Test of Christianity, we as believers owe ourselves the duty of loving not just the Lord but also our brethren (see 1 Jn. 3:16).
Under the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle Peter adjured every genuine Christian to “Love the brotherhood” (1 Pet.2:17b). The Living Bible Translation of the aforementioned verse tells us to “Love Christians everywhere”. This also includes those Christians who may be members of a different denomination but still worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth (see Jn. 4:23-24). The Common English Bible Translation of 1 Peter 2:17b tells us to “Love the family of believers.” As long as someone has received Christ Jesus as personal Saviour and Lord, that person belongs to the family of believers, making him your brother.
The apostle Paul was referring to God the Father when he prayed for the Church or Body of Christ in Ephesus: “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, From Whom the whole family in Heaven and Earth is named.“(Eph. 3:14-15). Do you understand this? Every believer is a family member of the Household of God (see Eph. 2:19), also known as the Household of Faith (see Gal. 6:10). This means all Christians, irrespective of their different denominations with their different interpretations of our Common Faith, are bonafide members of the Extended Family of God.
In view of this Truth, each of us has a mandate rather than an option to love the brotherhood. We are all members of the Christian Fraternity and bound by the Blood Covenant as One Body in Christ (see 1Cor.12:12). Let us continue loving one another and keep making sacrifices for each other as brethren that the Words of Jesus may ring truer in the hearts of all men, leading them to Him: “That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they may also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (Jn.17:21).
Heavenly Father, we exalt Your Holy Name. Dear Lord, please grant us a Revelation of the Christian Fraternity and enable us to always love the brotherhood in Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen.