Spiritual Growth – Part Five

“….Grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.” II Peter 3:8

                            “….add to your godliness….”

Brotherly kindness is reflecting godlikeness to others. The Greek word used for brotherly kindness is “philadelphia.” It has a stronger meaning than kindness. This is the only instance in the NT where this word is translated as “brotherly kindness.” In all other instances philadelphia is translated as “brotherly love.”

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35)

Brotherly love was the byword of the early church.

Believers have something that others do not have. There is a common bond that unites us to each other. Though we are different in many ways, we all have “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in [us] all…” (Ephesians 4:5,6). We are different superficially, but the same in essential spiritual ways. There is more that unites us than divides us. 

Leave it to scripture to define brotherly kindness for us. This attitude is to put others before self. The more we focus on others rather than self, the easier it becomes for us to cultivate brotherly kindness. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.” (Romans 12: 10) If we are to get rid of our self-centered attitude, and “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” (Philippians 2; 3,4)

As spiritually akin we should constantly fill the soul of others with love, sunshine, and joy each day of our lives.

In this passage godliness and brotherly kindness are linked because kindness is the moderator of godliness.

Kindness, brother love, is the means by which the world knows His followers.

“Let brotherly love continue.” (Hebrews 13:1)