Imagine a world where genuine brotherly kindness was the driving force behind every act of faith. What would your world like if you were part of that? We will explore how embracing and expressing brotherly kindness cannot only strengthen our relationships with others but also deepen our own faith in our loving Father in profound ways. Learn more in the 11 part of How to Build Your Faith with How brotherly kindness builds faith.

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How brotherly love builds faith – notes

5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:5–8 NASB95

The term ‘brotherly kindness’ comes from the Greek term philio “Philadelphia” literally meaning the love of brothers.

Now you can say you know from where the “city of brotherly love” derived its name.

This term has been historically looked at in two different ways,

1) from the standpoint of showing kindness or love to our fellow man

2) and from the standpoint of the love that is exhibited amongst Christian brethren

What the NASB translates as “brotherly kindness” other translations call

“mutual affection” (NIV) or simply

“concern for others” (CEV).

Everyone adopted into the family of God through faith in Jesus is called a “brother” or “sister” in Christ,

and we are to relate to each other as spiritual siblings

But we are also to show love to those outside of the faith so they can also come to experience the endless love of God for themselves

Brotherly Kindness with people of the world

it is noteworthy to state here that this is one of the things that should set Christians apart in the world.

This is how Christ gets recognized by those who don’t know Him.

35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

​John 13:35 NASB95


Because it does not seem to be very intuitive that humans show much kindness towards one another.

Sure, there are formalities that all cultures have, and there are generally nice people

but generally it is human nature to look out for number one first.

It is peoples fallen nature that the world is typically selfish and greedy, not necessarily to the extreme, but in mild form.

The thought of showing kindness to others, or going out of your way to help others, simply costs time and energy,

two precious commodities that we hold dear to ourselves.

Kindness is often only displayed in the presence of some mutualistic benefit, or at least at the perception of a benefit.

Even if someone of he world has realized the benefits of kindness, they often operate in it because of the way it makes them feel

its becomes a self serving motivation,

but true brotherly kindness is operating out of the Love God has given us for one another!

When we go out of our way to show kindness to someone,

the first question that is often asked is

Why did you help them when you don’t even know them?

Just… why?

That’s the point, isn’t it? If we as Christians aren’t viewed differently, then what is the transforming power of Christ?

If people don’t know that we are Christians, well, are we acting like Jesus?

During Jesus’ ministry, people saw that something was different about Him.

That’s not to say that they automatically accepted Him, as many didn’t, but they did see that He was different from the rest of the world.

After His resurrection and the giving of the Holy Spirit, people saw something different in the first century Christians.

You didn’t have to ask if someone was a Christian.

You knew, at least it seems for the most part.

I’ve shared this before, but a while ago I decided to do a study on church History, specifically on How Christians went from being sent to the lions in the colesium…. a hated people… to Christianity being the dominate faith of the Roman empire

How did God make this happen?

Well let’s get into some church history

After the Great Fire of Rome in A.D. 64, people held Emperor Nero responsible for it

Nero not wanting to accept any of the blame decided to blame the Chrisitian instead.

Nero had the Christians covered in wild beast skins and torn to death by dogs.

thus began the persecution of Christians

The unpopularity of the Christians with other Romans is made clear by letters exchanged between Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia (modern-day north Turkey) and the emperor Trajan in the early second century A.D.

Pliny reported that the provincials had been denouncing others to him and even anonymously posting the names of suspected Christians. Trajan replied as follows:

They must not be searched for, but if they are denounced and found guilty they must be punished…

In the event that a Christian agreed to sacrifice to the Roman gods, the emperor decreed that all would be forgiven.

This persecution of “Don’t ask and don’t tell” policy lasted until 250 AD

Many of the early church fathers like Polycarp were martyed for their belief

the Big issue was Roma was polytheistic (many god’s)

and they were deeply troubled by a religion that said their was only 1 God

having many gods, meant there was an entire industry fueled by service to the gods. and if there was only 1 god that industry would fall apart.

in A.D. 257, when the emperor Valerian again issued an edict ordering universal sacrifice throughout the empire, but this time specifically targeting Christians. The legislation described those who did not sacrifice as un-Roman.

Christians were exiled, sent to work in hard labour in mines

In A.D. 260, Valerian was captured by the Persians in battle.

This was a major disaster for Rome, which later Christian authors recounted with glee as some kind of divine retribution.

Valerian’s son, Gallienus, rescinded his father’s edict and proclaimed freedom of worship for all.

this lasted until 303 AD

In A.D. 303, however, the emperor Diocletian and his junior co-emperor Galerius, both former soldiers who viewed Christianity as a threat to traditional Roman beliefs, initiated what has become known as the “Great Persecution”.

In a series of edicts, the emperors ordered the destruction of churches, the seizure of church property, and the burning of Christian texts.

Every opportunity was given to Christians to acknowledge the gods, and the emperors even introduced an amnesty for imprisoned clergy if they performed a sacrifice.

This great persecution lasted until Constantine took control of Rome

Constantine the 1st Christian emperor converted to Christianity in 312 AD at the Battle of Milvian Bridge

At the council of Constantinople in 381 AD Christianity was delcared the official religion of the empire.

So with this information, you see my question

How did it change?

What caused the Christianity from being hated to the place it became the empires religion?

Although there are many reason, the one I beleive is monumental that relates to what I want to talk about today

is the practice of Brotherly kindness

Suffice it to say for now that showing kindness to the world can show Christ to the world.

One of the major opportunities for the church to change the empires view of it came in 166-189 AD

the Antonine Plague (AD 166–189), brought to Rome by troops returning from campaigning against the Persians.

The disease, most likely smallpox,

killed 7–10% of the population of the Empire as a whole,

with mortality in cities probably 13–15%.

According to Dio Cassio, it killed 2,000 people per day in Rome during a particularly bleak period in AD 189.

People understood that the disease was contagious, so in fear of their lives they would throw the sick out of their homes to die in the streets.

Galen, the most prominent physician of the age, fled Rome when the plague arrived to stay at his country estate. He knew he could do nothing to heal its victims or to protect himself from contracting the disease.

Christians on the other hand, ran into the plague.

They recognized that all persons were made in the image of God,

that Jesus died to redeem us body and soul, and thus that the sick deserved care.

Verses like 1 Peter 2:24

24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

1 Peter 2:24 NASB95

14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

​James 5:14–16 NASB95

The early Church did not have the medical establishment we have today

as a result they relied and beleived in God for their healing

something I believe we need to believe as well

As a result, Christians began tending the sick at risk of their lives.

taking Jesus’s words in

39 “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

Matthew 10:39 NASB95

Their undoubted courage and self-sacrifice in coming to the aid of their neighbors contributed to the rapid growth of Christianity.

For example, when Irenaeus arrived in Lyons from Asia Minor, there were few Christians in the city.

When the plague broke out, Christians tended and prayed for the sick, and by the time the plague ended,

there were 200,000 believers in Lyons.

Its with knowledge like this that has formed by beleif system how I as a beleiver should operate when it come to needed healing.

the enemy wants you to believe you could cause death… a fear strongly promoted over the last few years

Jesus wants you to know He called you to bring Life!

Brotherly Kindness with fellow believers

34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

​John 13:34 NASB95

means putting the needs of others ahead of your own desires

22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

​1 Peter 1:22–23 NASB95

We see that Peter links purification, obedience and truth with brotherly love,

and then encourages his audiences to earnestly love one another from a pure heart.

With this in mind, it is easier to see why brotherly kindness comes in supplement to godliness.

Brotherly love can grow out of godliness, or purity,

and without brotherly love, godliness cannot be sustained for very long.

Brotherly love is an extremely important concept in Christianity,

We must have love towards one another if we are going to live in community and have fellowship with one another.

If you indeed want to grow your faith you need to practice brotherly love

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

​Hebrews 10:23–25 NASB95

Though this is often used as a proof text of making sure people “go to church,”

the Hebrew writer is trying to convey something so much more than that.

He is not saying “you must go to church,” but rather “you must be the church.”

We are a family, a family that needs to stand strong together.

No man is an island, as the quote goes.

No Christian is an island.

We must find a way to get along with one another.

Is this easy? Not always.

but is esential for our growth.

Pastor Trevor has a saying, I sure you’ve heard him say it

If you get hurt in community you must heal in community

The Christian family is such a wonderful blessing

I know that the enemy has been working over time in causing division in churches over the last few years

divide and conquer is satans obvious strategy

they way we overcome that and rebuild is the practice brotherly Love

Brotherly love is vital to this community, for without brotherly love, the community does not operate in the way it was set up to operate. And we will never be able to accomplish that which God has called us for.

9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

​Galatians 6:9–10 NASB95

At the beginning of this message I provided you with some church history of how Christianity became the dominate faith in the Roman empire

Yes I realize that was an extreme example

but the messgae is still the same

By operating in brotherly kindness our faith will be ever increasing

its not just a project, but a way to live life.

Just like God is more concerned that you are a generous person than when you give something

God is most interested in your being a person who lives with brotherly kindness at every opportunity God provides you.

Its part of developing your character

I see a world that in which, unless Christians start building their faith using brotherly kindness, we will soon experience greater and greater persecutions.

If we don’t start putting His Kingdom first in our Lives, persecution will increase

It happened to the early church when they became comfortable in their faith

God told them to “go”, and they got comfortable with staying

but if we learn to operate out of brotherly kindness we will be able to particpate in the greatest move of God this world has ever seen.

but for that to happen we need to be people of Faith

acting out our faith in tangible life giving ways.

Eternal Faith

Faith Based


Trevor Lund

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