The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Love, Love, Love

"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith virtue; and to your virtue, knowledge; and to your knowledge, self-control; and to your self-control, perseverance; and to you perseverance, godliness; and to your godliness, brotherly love; and to your brotherly love, love" (2 Peter 1: 5-7).

The apostle Peter is giving us the way to "growing in the knowledge" of Jesus Christ in this section of his second epistle. He has listed eight virtues, which, working together, ought to create in us a kind of spiritual harmony or cohesiveness. He gives us the spiritual materials that should make a Christ-like structure...In the past few weeks I have expounded on each of these virtues Faith...Virtue...Knowledge...Self-control..

Perseverance...Godliness...Brotherly love...There is an eighth one! Our mature and spiritual person is not complete without it. Peter has saved the best and most important for last. It is the crowning achievement of the complete Christian....LOVE...Oh wait you say...We just talked about love...Yes we did, but it was philadelphia....Brotherly love....This love is one of a higher form.

The apostle Paul writes; "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor. 13:13). In the Book of Colossians, he makes a list of virtues (3: 12). He then writes in verse 14; "And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity." Peter's list of graces just can't be complete without the trait that will bind them all together....LOVE....In what makes up the "fruits of the spirit of Galatians 5, Paul puts this love at the very front of the list. So how is this love different from brotherly love you ask? Any of you who have been in a Bible class know that in the Greek language the are several different words that are translated as love. Philadelphia (brotherly love) is the one we are to have for our close friends or brethren. The word for love that both Peter and Paul write about in the scriptures I have used today, is a word of a higher order. It is agape love.

Agape love is different than any other. It's not just for brethren, but more universal. It isn't controlled by how someone feels about us. It does not even have to be earned. In short, agape love is a caring love that is active concerning the needs of others. More tomorrow...

Have a great beginning to your week...Today would be a perfect day for a RAK or two..... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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