Brotherly Love

In a materialistic world where people are expanding their human rights to include demands for physical possessions, people are living hurried but empty lives, fighting for their own materialistic identity, trampling on others at times in the process. Hence our courts and arbitration centers are full of cases of one against another. And those that won and amassed the most material wealth can still feel empty, sometimes committing suicide. If only they realized that once we die, we leave it all behind, and eventually face the One who created it all. 

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
(Matthew 5:43-45, KJV)

The true sign of Godliness therefore is not a set of rituals, although some will be required. If we could be saved by ritual, keeping the Law of Moses would have been sufficient, and there would have been no need for Christ.

"34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
(John 13:34-35, KJV)

We should not just love those that love us, from which we derive mutual benefit. We need to love those which we would normally disregard. We need to love even those we would like to hate. This is a tall order.

"46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
(Matthew 5:46-48, KJV)

We need to develop a love that transcends human understanding. This love can only come from God. It happens when the Holy Spirit works through us. All the teachings, doctrines, events, in fact all the work of the Church of God are directed to this ultimate aim: that we love one another. Many people think that they have salvation in a set of doctrines. Even though some doctrines are essential, that in itself will not save us. Ultimately God wants to see us love our neighbor. Many people think they are saved by a set of rituals. Even though the ritual of the Lord's Supper is essential, this in itself will not save us. Ultimately God wants to see us love our brethren. If we can't love one another, we are not saved, and there is then still a lot of work in the Spirit required. This is why the Church of God exists. This is what the ultimate aim is for. This is what we strive towards. If we have built a Godly community of believers that practice the great commandment of love, we would have achieved our goal. 

"35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
(Matthew 22:35-40, KJV)

Our ultimate prophesied destiny does not depend on our material possession. It does not depend on our political status in our society. And membership of the right Church does not bring salvation in itself. Our destiny depends on whether we have true brotherly love. This is the true sign of the Church of God. We are privileged to have been granted much understanding of the Word of God. Through sermons and Bible studies we can fathom the riches of God's Mercy, and the mysteries of His Kingdom. But if we don't respond with the Love of Christ, we have achieved nothing.

"1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him. "
(1 Corinthians 8:1-3, KJV)

We could be in the true Church of God and have learned to correctly understand every Word of God, but if we have not worked with our heart and have learned to love, we are still not saved.

"1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

The Work of the Church of God is done that we may learn to love one another, and not offend in anything. If we have all the knowledge of the Church of God and do not love, we have failed. If all the practice of the worship through the Heavenly Sanctuary have led us to love one another, we have succeeded. This is what eternal life is all about.

Let us learn Brotherly Love, the Love of Christ.