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Brotherly love Brotherly love, "Philadelphia" in the Greek language, is something we all should practice.

In the process, we automatically identify our enemies. Who is our enemy? The enemy certainly isn't our Christian brethren. Satan is our enemy. If you allow Satan to work his way into your homes and among the brethren, he Ioves to cause problems and wreak havoc with brotherly love. Let's begin our study in the Book of I Peter. I Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: The word "pitiful" would be better translated "kind". This is as it should be. We have an enemy, and the enemy is not each other. Causing problems among the brethren is one of Satan's oldest and most utilized tricks. He loves to see the brethren fight among themselves. I Peter 3.9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing; but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. Underline the word "called". We are talking about election here, not volunteers. Please note there is a condition to receiving the blessing. Practice brotherly love. God loves to bless His children; however, if you don't act like a loving member of the family, why should He bless you? I Peter 3.10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Life is too short for nonsense such as this. When you serve God, you love life and your brethren. When Satan comes knocking on your door, send him packing. I Peter 3.11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the LORD are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the LORD is against them that do evil. Are your prayers being answered? If not, you might want to do a little self-analysis. Are you acting like a loving member of the family, or has Satan got your number? If Satan has your number, change things in your life immediately. Avoid evil, and seek peace. I Peter 3: 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? It would be the enemy Satan, of course. Jesus gave you power over the enemy (Luke 10: 18). Do you utilize that power over Satan, or do you do Satan's bidding and fight with your brethren? I Peter 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled. 15 But sanctify the LORD God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear: What is the reason for our hope? The Lord, and His Son Jesus Christ, is the reason for our hope. That is the reason we can be happy when it seems to others that the world is falling in around them. That is the reason you want to keep your door shut to Satan. Protect your family. I Peter 3:16 Having a good conscience: that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

Let this verse settle in your mind real well. Whcn you do good things for the Lord, people are going to talk about you. Sometimes when you plant a seed of truth, people are going to say you are "nuts". Be mature and patient. I Peter 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing than for evil doing. Remember, "the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers" (vs. 12). God doesn't like it when evil people mess with his faithful children. Evil people will pay. You will receive rewards. I Peter 3: 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: "Quickened" means "made alive". Jesus did that for us. He considers us family, His brethren. If you ever get to feeling sorry for yourself because you are persecuted, think about what they did to Him. They crucified Him! I Peter 3: 19 By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison, After the crucifixion, Jesus went to all those who had died before the price had been paid on the cross, and preached the gospel, that is to say the good news concerning salvation, to them. And many believed. I Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. Eight adamic souls were saved on the ark. Well. how many other souls were there? A lot of them, but they all fell short. They did not attain heaven. They needed a Saviour to work that out, and so do we. There is no better example as to why you should treat your brethren fairly than this. God treated those who had died before the crucifixion just as fairly as those who would die after. I Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Through the resurrection of Christ, and baptism into the family, we have eternal life. Isn't that beautiful? I Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him. And He has His eye on you, and His ears hear you. He cares for you, because you are family. You are brethren. Act like it, and receive blessings. Jesus is your intercessor. He stands at the right hand of God. He stands between you and those who would hurt you. Being family is a wonderful thing. Let's continue our study in the Book of Matthew. We are going-to pick it up with Jesus just having warned us of the scribes and Pharisees sitting in the seat of Moses. In other words, they were pretending to be lawgivers. The problem was it was their own law they were giving, not God's. Jesus continues teaching. Matthew 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. We have the Father and the Son. Why would you want to call anyone else your master? Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for One is your Father, Which is in heaven. There is one family and One Father. Matthew 23: 1 0 Neither be ye called masters: for One is your Master, even Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. Don't allow anyone to lord themselves over you. It doesn't take a lot of wisdom to cut those who would attempt to do this down to size. Of course, He that is the Greatest served us all with His sacrifice on the cross.

Matthew 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. That is the way God does things. Be humble. Love your brethren. Turn with me now to Romans Chapter 8. This is the Chapter which speaks of and to God's elect. Romans 8:27 And He That searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. If you are one of God's elect, He will intercede in your life. God has things He wants the elect to accomplish, and it is His will that is important, not yours. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. Here we have the word "called" again. We are talking about election. Notice the elect are called according to God's purpose, not our own purpose. Let me ask you a question. If you are actively doing God's will, who could successfully go against you? No one! Why? Things are going to go down exactly according to God's plan. Those who attempt to go against His plan will fail. Romans 8:29 For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. The reason God called some is because He knew what they did in the first earth age. They stood with Him against Satan. The false messiah will appear soon. God needs some to stand and witness against antichrist. Do you have a destiny? Be prepared! Romans 8:30 Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? No one, including Satan, can succeed against us. God calls people. God calls you brethren. Act like it. Love the family. Love your brethren. In closing, let's turn to Luke Chapter 15 and the prodigal son. This "old boy" had two sons. One asked for his share of the liquid assets, and took off for the high life. The good times lasted until the money was gone, and he decided to head home. The son was welcomed home with a big celebration. What would his brother who stayed in the field working think? Luke 15:25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said unto him, 'Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.' Bringing unbelievers home to God safe and sound is our work. Don't miss this important lesson. Luke 15:28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. 29 And he answering said to his father, 'Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: The elder son was jealous and hurt, and he felt like he had been wronged. Luke 15:30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.' 31 And he said unto him, 'Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. That is the promise to God's elect (Ezek. 44:28). The elect shall have no inheritance in the land. God is their inheritance. He owns everything. That promise is yours.

Luke 15:32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. There is joy in heaven, when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7). There is no reason for us to be jealous and hurt, when one of our brethren comes home. In fact, we should rejoice. Bringing our brethren home is the will of God and our work. Practice brotherly love.