by Roby Ellis
[Scripture Reading: 2 Peter 3:18]
A. Of all the virtues we are to add to our character, brotherly love seems to be the most natural.
B. We should not conclude, however, that it is always easy to show the kind of love for our brethren that God expects.
I. Brotherly love doesn’t always come easily.
A. The Old Testament is filled with examples of sibling rivalries, such as Cain and Abel (Genesis 4), as well as Amnon and Absalom (2 Samuel 13).
B. Even Paul did not always see eye-to-eye with his brethren on everything (Acts 15:1-2,36-41).
C. It is painful to see brethren quarrel (Proverbs 6:16,19; cf. Psalm 133:1).
II. How can we show brotherly love?
A. Brothers help each other in time of need (1 Corinthians 12:26; 1 John 3:17; James 2:15-16; Galatians 6:2).
B. Brothers stand up for one another in times of trouble (Hebrews 10:33-34; 13:1-3; 11:24-25; Acts 7:24-26).
C. Brothers also stand up to each other when necessary (Galatians 6:1; 2:11; 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 5:11; James 5:19-20).
D. Brothers ought to encourage one another to do what is right (John 1:41-42; Luke 22:31-32).
E. Brothers ought to forgive one another (Matthew 18:15-22).
A. To properly love my brother, I must first make sure my heart is right (1 John 2:9-11; 3:12-17; 4:20-21; 1 Peter 1:22-23).
B. Even when it is difficult, “let brotherly love continue” (Hebrews 13:1).