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Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:7-15
1. Love the brotherhood, 1 Pet. 2:17; Rom. 12:10.
2. Relationship as brothers and sisters in the family of God critical to success of congregation and to our own salvation, Gal. 5:13-15.
3. Different brethren are noted in NT, with our responsibility to each.
I. FALSE BRETHREN, 2 Cor. 11:26; Gal. 2:4. (pseudo: “pretended associate, erroneous, deceitful, untrue”, Strong’s Dict.)
A. Promoters of False Doctrine are False Brethren, Gal. 2:4-5; Acts 15:1-2, 5.
1. Deviated from the course of truth, they present perils to faith.
2. Stern warnings against relations with such, Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Cor. 11:3-4; 2 Jno. 10-11.
3. Requires discernment on our part, Jude 3-4. (Liberalism in worship, work, organization of the local church; mdr, unity in diversity, etc.)
II. FAITHFUL BRETHREN, Col. 1:2.
A. Faithful to Christ.
1. They possess a reputation for faithfulness, Col. 1:3-5.
2. The spiritual condition of these brethren, Col. 1:9-12:
a. Filled with knowledge of God’s will, 1:9.
b. Walk worthily of the Lord, bearing fruit, 1:10.
c. Remain encouraged even in face of obstacles, 1:11.
d. Are thankful before God, 1:12.
3. Rooted and established in Christ, Col. 2:6-7.
B. Trustworthy toward their Brethren and All Others, Col. 4:7-9; Phile. 4-7 (Tychicus, Eph. 6:21).
III. BELOVED BRETHREN.
-“esteemed, dear, favourite, worthy of love” (Thayer).
A. Christ is the “Beloved”, Eph. 1:6 (Matt. 17:5).
B. Christians are Beloved of God, Rom. 1:7; 1 Ths. 1:4.
C. Therefore, Christians should be Beloved to each Other:
1. Due to common conversion, Rom. 16:5.
2. Due to common relation in the Lord, Rom. 16:8.
3. Due to common labor in the Lord, Rom. 16:12.
4. Engender edification and real motivation, Phil. 4:1-3.
a. Warn against sin, Jas. 1:16.
b. Teach the word of Christ, 2 Pet. 3:1-2.
c. Encourage to abstain from sin 1 Pet. 2:11.
IV. IGNORANT BRETHREN.
-not to understand or know, to be without knowledge
A. One who is not yet Taught (Educated) in the Truth, cf. Acts 4:13; Rom. 11:25; 1 Cor. 10:1; 12:1; 1 Ths. 4:13.
1. Purpose of teaching is to replace ignorance with knowledge.
2. Bear gently with such brethren, cf. Heb. 5:2.
B. One Who Has Forgotten the Truth of God, Rom. 6:1-3; 7:1.
C. One Who Rejects the Truth of God, 1 Cor. 14:37-38 (2 Pet. 2:12).
V. WEAK BRETHREN. (Without strength, feeble, infirmed or sick)
A. Weak in Personal Assurance (Conscience) toward Allowable Things, Rom. 14:1-2, 5; 15:1; 1 Cor. 8:7-12 (9:22).
B. Weak in Careful Obedience, 1 Cor. 11:30.
1. A soul affecting deficiency that needs correction.
2. Afraid of persecution, or of commitment, or of greater service.
C. Support the Weak, 1 Ths. 5:14.
1. Support: “to keep one’s self directly opposite to any one, hold to him firmly, cleave to, paying heed to him” (Thayer); “to cling to, to hold onto” (Word Pictures of the New Testament, A. T. Robertson).
2. Watch out for each other, but especially the weak.
VI. STRONG BRETHREN, 1 Cor. 16:13; Eph. 6:10.
A. Word of God Abides in them, 1 Jno. 2:14.
B. They Overcome Satan, 1 Jno. 2:14 (1 Pet. 5:8-9).
1. Each of us is at least one of these sorts of brethren. Which one(s) are you? Which type do you want to be?
2. As brethren, we share in the riches of Christ. We must hold each other up, not tear each other down.
3. Our freedom in Christ compels loving service of our brethren, not the destructive devouring of one another, Gal. 5:13-15.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: December 30, 2013