Strengthening the Love of the Christian Family -- By: Alexander Strauch
EmJ 2:1 (Sum 93) p. 55
Strengthening the Love of the Christian Family
“Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.”
Hebrews 13:1 (New Century Version)
Christians are not brothers and sisters merely because they share similar ideas, interests, and circumstances, but because they share “the life of Jesus” (2 Cor. 4:10). They share in this life not by natural birth but by a spiritual birth (John 1:12, 13). Therefore, Christian brotherhood and sisterhood is derived solely from Jesus Christ.
Biblical commentator Philip E. Hughes aptly explains this wonderful doctrine. “Our brotherhood is first with him [Christ] and then and therefore with each other, for it is the brotherhood of the redeemed.”2 Elaborating on this point, Hughes writes,
The brotherhood enjoyed among Christians derives from Christ himself, first of all by his incarnation through which he became one with us as a fellow human being, and second by our becoming one with him through our experience of the redemption which he has accomplished for us. Christian brotherhood, therefore, is essentially brotherhood in Christ.3
The writer of Hebrews boldly declares that Jesus Christ is not the least bit reluctant to call us, who were once vile sinners, His brothers and sisters. “Jesus, who
EmJ 2:1 (Sum 93) p. 56
makes people holy, and those who are made holy are from the same family. So he is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters” (Heb. 2:11; New Century Version).
No wonder the writer of Hebrews can refer to Christians as “holy brethren” (Heb. 3:1).
Paul teaches that Jesus is “the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29). So real is Christ’s brotherly solidarity with all His blood-bought brothers and sisters that He says that whatever is done for one of His brothers and sisters is equally done for Him. “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me” (Matt. 25:40; cf. Matt. 28:10; You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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