Whoever Loves God Must Also Love His Brother

While pondering Matthew 10:42 and “Because He is a Disciple“, I was wondering why does the Lord specifically say in many, many verses that our behavior towards disciples or the brethren should be in a certain way.  Honestly, while listing out verses from just the New Testament there seems to be more verses that deal with our behavior with the brethren or our brothers and sisters in the church than with any other type of individual, even our spouses or our children.  Isn’t that surprising and interesting?

But why?  Is that truly the harder relationship for believers?  Dealing with others in the church?

I won’t go through the explanation as to why when the words brother, sister or brethren is used it is referring to fellow believers.  I trust most understand that.  (My grandfather always called me “sister” which was quite confusing as a child because I wasn’t his sister.)

This is my best understanding of why so many verses about how we treat fellow believers:

1 John 4:20-21 (ESV)

20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

That is about as plain as it can get!

If we do not love our brothers in Christ then we do not love God!

How well do you love God?



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4 thoughts on “Whoever Loves God Must Also Love His Brother

  1. It is interesting that the Bible puts so much emphasis on interpersonal relationships between believers.

    Of course it is much easier for us to dismiss those outside of our immediate families. People hop from church to church. Some believers opt out of church altogether simply to avoid having to deal with other people who don’t agree with them on every single doctrinal point.

    Even the Christian mommy blogs are disproportionately devoted to family relationships and very little to Christian brotherly love in general.

    In essence, we are ignoring the call to go the extra mile for our brothers and sisters in the faith and attempting to compensate by devoting all of our energy to our families and neglecting the rest.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Terry,

    I think ideally there would be less church hopping if individual believers were held accountable in their churches. We should be concerned enough about our fellow believers that none would be allowed to fall through the cracks. Although that would mean smaller churches or at least small groups for accountability. It is surprising how many leave a church not due to theology or doctrine but because of conflicts with other believers. 🙁

    NCBC, our church, has a very high expectation for family discipleship and serving our families. However, we also have a serious focus on fellowshipping together as a church body with our brothers and sisters in Christ. That means we have a fellowship meal each Sunday and we are encouraged to be in each others lives and homes so that we really know each other. Do we all agree on everything theologically, of course not, that is what makes for interesting discussions at times. Yet we can love each other and hold each other accountable to their family, the church and ultimately to the Lord.

    Often those who focus too much on the family are those who tend to fall into homechurching with just their family. There is a place for homechurching but not to the numbers it is done today in the US. If we are homechurching in order to not deal with other believers we are not loving God. Our children need to see their parents interacting with other believers, even those they don’t always agree with, and they need the concrete example of loving the brethren.

    I am amazed at how much focus the Lord puts on this issue. It is well worth contemplating.

    Berean Wife

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