Love to the Brethren

“This φιλαδελφία or love to the brethren, is that virtue which the apostle John so much insists on in his first epistle, as one of the most distinguishing characteristics of true grace, and a peculiar evidence that God dwelleth in us, and we in God. By which must needs be understood a love to saints as saints, or on account of the spiritual image of God supposed to be in them, and their spiritual relation to God” (Jonathan Edwards).

Although an unbeliever, Jonathan Edwards puts it quite well. The following are some Scriptures on true, enduring, and unpretended love to the brethren — this love unfeigned is wrought by the resurrecting power of God the Holy Spirit. The genuine lovers of the Triune God and of each other, are caused to believe that Jesus is the Christ as an immediate and inevitable result (or fruit) of the regenerating work of God. True Christians love Him who regenerates (Ephesians 6:24; cf. John 5:21) and those who have been regenerated by Him (underlining mine).

“Everyone believing that Jesus is the Christ has been generated from God. And everyone who loves Him who begets also loves the [one] who has been born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not heavy. Because everything having been born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory overcoming the world, our faith” (1 John 5:1-4).

“[Let] love [be] without dissimulation, [in horror] fleeing from evil, cleaving to the good, in brotherly love to one another, loving fervently, having gone before one another in honor; in diligence, not slothful, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; in hope, rejoicing; in affliction, enduring; in prayer, steadfastly continuing” (Romans 12:9-12)

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

I give a new commandment to you, that you should love one another; according as I loved you, you should also love one another. By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love among one another” (John 13:34-35).

“Brothers, I do not write a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from [the] beginning. The old commandment is the Word which you have heard from [the] beginning. Again I write a new commandment to you which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true Light already shines. The [one] claiming to be in the light, and hating his brother, is in the darkness until now. The [one] loving his brother rests in the light, and no offense is in him. But the [one] hating his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:7-11).

“Do not marvel, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brothers. The [one] not loving the brother remains in death. Everyone hating the brother is a murderer, and you know that every murderer does not have everlasting life abiding in him. By this we have known the love [of God,] because that [One] laid down His life for us; and on behalf of the brothers we ought to lay down [our] lives. Whoever has the means of life of the world, and sees his brother having need, and shuts up his heart [of compassion] from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word, or in tongue, but in deed and in truthAnd this is His commandment, that we should believe the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as He gave command to us” (1 John 3:13-18, 23).

“Having purified your souls in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit to unpretended brotherly love, love one another fervently out of a pure heart” (1 Peter 1:22).

and above all things having fervent love to yourselves, because love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

“We give thanks to God and [the] Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying continually about you, hearing of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love toward all the saints” (Colossians 1:3-4).

For whatever things were written before were written for our instruction, that through patience and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. And may the God of patience and encouragement give to you to mind the same thing among one another according to Christ Jesus, that with one accord [and] with one mouth you may glorify [the] God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, receive one another as Christ also received us, to [the] glory of God. And I say, Jesus Christ has become a minister of circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises of the fathers, and for the nations to glorify God for mercy, even as it has been written, Because of this I will confess to You in the nations, and I will give praise to Your name. And again He says, Rejoice, nations, with His people. And again, Praise the Lord, all the nations, and praise Him all the peoples. And again Isaiah says, The Root of Jesse shall be, and He rising up to rule the nations; on Him nations will hope. And may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, for you to abound in hope, in power of [the] Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:4-13).