Caring for the Body – Part 1

Obeying the Command to ‘Love the Brethren’

John 13:34


Aug 17, 2014 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Galatians 6:10; John 13:34)


A.    Our memory verse this month is Galatians 6:10

B.     Trying to learn HOW to do good to the household of faith… How do you do good to people who are fellow followers of the Lord Jesus Christ?

C.     The World doesn’t mind if we do good to them… feed the poor, tend to the sick, build homes for the homeless – it is a great testimony to them of the love of God

D.    But there is a greater good that we can do, when we care for each other – when we demonstrate just what Christ’s love really is like – and it is shown when we love each other, as Christ loved us!


1.      It helps homes – a church is an example TO homes

2.      It helps people, especially those who have never experienced unconditional love

3.      It helps our cities to know what is REAL love  - instead of only seeing fake love on TV and in the movies, and sung about on MTV!


E.     But in order to love the brethren, we need to learn HOW


1.      It is NOT something we will do naturally

2.      We may THINK we are loving people, when we may in fact be SPOILING them, or ruining them, or hurting them

3.      So, God not only commanded us to love, but He tells us exactly HOW to do it in this Book!

4.      And it is more than I can ever hope to summarise into a message, and it is more than I can ever hope to accomplish

5.      But I will attempt both, by God’s grace!


F.      Our pattern to follow is “as Christ has loved US”


II.    Background


A.    The Apostle John knew something about ‘love’


1.      John was not a naturally loving kind of person


a.       He and his brother James were known as the “sons of thunder” – could fight and argue and be very loud (Mark 3:17)

b.      He was a bit greedy about political power (Mark 10:35-37)

c.       He had a vengeful spirit (Luke 9:52-55)


2.      But something happened to John that changed him…

3.      HE was loved! (John 13:23)

4.      Listen to the following:


a.       John 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

b.      Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

c.       Eph 5:2  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

d.      Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

e.       Rev 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,


5.      I think that is why God used John to write his four epistles (the Gospel of John, 1st John, 2nd John, and 3rd John)… to change us too

6.      Have YOU been loved by this Man from Galilee yet?


B.     We are learning this morning about BROTHERLY Love – not just ‘love’ in general


1.      How do we all treat each other? I mean towards EVERYONE!

2.      Believers, born again Christians are all in the same family now

a.       We may have loads of friends, but then there is FAMILY

b.      Friends can be forgotten, but family can’t

3.      So, Love AS brethren - like families are supposed to! Love each other like they are a brother, or a sister, a Mom, or a Dad

4.      Maybe you never experienced brotherly love

5.      Maybe your parents never showed much affection

6.      Well, that’s okay. Jesus says that he has made up for that loss by being our example HIMSELF “…as I have loved you”


C.    Loving the Brethren, Loving Other Christians, is a Command! (John 13:34; 15:17)


1.      John 13:34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

2.      John 15:17  These things I command you, that ye love one another.

3.      Not debatable! Not unclear! One of THE clearest commands in the Bible! Just as if it was one of the Ten Commandments! As a matter of fact, it has been called, the Eleventh Commandment, and for good reason!


D.    HOW We Love Each Other is a Command Too! (John 15:12)


1.      John 15:12  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

2.      We may believe we are loving someone, but rarely do we take time to learn the right way!

3.      God took the time to fill this Book with all the ways to love the brethren!


E.     Loving the Brethren is Our Greatest Testimony to this world! (John 13:35)


1.       John 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, IF ye have love one to another.

2.      All people, everywhere, no matter the culture, no matter the differences, will notice Christians loving each other like a family!

3.      It proves to the world that we are following, living like Jesus taught us to live

4.      And that we are loving each other as Christ taught us to love!

5.      It proves that Christ’s way to live is the best!


F.     It is a Test of our love of God (1John 2:9-11; 4:20,21)


1.      We SAY we love God…

2.      But have no time or affection for the people in this room?

3.      We say we love God…

4.      But still harbour hatred towards a brother or sister in Christ? A family member?

5.      1Jn 2:9-11


a.       He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

b.      He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

c.       But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.


6.      1Jn 4:20-21


a.       If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

b.      And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.


7.      Hypocrisy begins in the heart – with what we love or don’t love!


G.    We do it because we are getting an opportunity to prove our love for the Lord Jesus! (Matthew 25:40,45; John 14:15)


1.      Mat 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

2.      Mat 25:45  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

3.      John 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments. One of Christ’s commandments is to love other believers!


H.    It is Proof that we have been Truly Converted


1.      1Jn 5:1 


a.       Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God:

b.      and every one that loveth him that begat…

c.       loveth him also that is begotten of him.


2.      1Jn 3:14  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.


a.       Not because we have conquered every sin in our lives

b.      NOT because we are so theologically correct – which we should be

c.       But because we amazingly LOVE being around other Christians!


3.      1Jn 3:17  But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

4.      1Jn 3:23  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, AND love one another, as he gave us commandment.  

5.      1Jn 4:7  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

6.      1Jn 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

7.      1Jn 4:11  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

8.      1Jn 4:12  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, [IT PROVES THAT] God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.


I.       It Restrains Satanic Attack!


1.      1Jn 2:10  He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

2.      1Jn 2:11  But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

3.      Eph 4:26  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

4.      Eph 4:27  Neither give place to the devil.


J.      Brotherly Love keeps you young and healthy (Proverbs 16:24; 12:18)


1.      Pleasant words give health to the hearer, AND the speaker. Prov 16:24  Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

2.      Harsh, angry, argumentative words, destroy both the hearer and the speaker. Prov 12:18  There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

3.      Listen to 1Cor 8:1 “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” To edify means to build up, strengthen, make healthy! CHARITY – Selfless love is healthy!

4.      Life is intolerable without brotherly love


a.       Prov 15:17  Better is a dinner of herbs [a simple salad] where love is, than a stalled ox [best steaks] and hatred therewith.

b.      Prov 21:19  It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

c.       Prov 29:22  An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.


5.      I believe this is a MAJOR reason why so many people are sickly today (it is not the only reason, but a major reason):


a.       Either they have never known love

b.      Or, they refuse TO love

c.       Love is one of THE most healthy emotions your body can ever have


1)      When you are not loving or being loved, your long term health is at stake!

2)      Why? Because when you love someone, or even something, your body releases endorphins

3)      Endorphins are what God put inside every one of us to help us cope with pain.

4)      They are released as we love and are loved

5)      Healthy people discover that exercising after a while, makes them feel better

6)      Sickly people sit around, and don’t force themselves to get off their TODD and set out to care about someone else besides themselves!


d.      Did you know that most popular drugs are taken because they activate the endorphins that should have been activated by loving and being loved? Drug uses, drink addicts are lacking in one vital thing – love! Family love! So they turn to a substitute! A poor substitute!


6.      If I were you, I would start loving the brethren – not only for THEIR sake, but for YOUR sake!


III. Next Week – HOW to Love the Brethren

IV. Conclusion


A.    How do we all treat each other?

B.     Why worry about loving the brethren?


1.      Because it is a Command!

2.      HOW We Love Each Other is a Command Too!

3.      Because it is Our Greatest Testimony to this world! That we are following, living like Jesus taught us to live

4.      It is a Test of our love of God – do you pass or fail this test?

5.      It is an opportunity to prove our love for the Lord Jesus!

6.      It is Proof that we have been Truly Converted

7.      It Restrains Satanic Attack!

8.      Brotherly Love keeps you young and healthy


C.    God’s kind of love, can change anyone! Has it changed YOU Like it did the Apostle John?


1.      You and I need to seriously Grasp the love of God – ponder it for a week!

2.      Get to the place where you receive it, like a thirsty man accepts a cup of water

3.      Allow it to change you first

4.      And then start to love the people that Christ so dearly loves!