“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”
Love the brotherhood.
The second command of this verse challenges Christians to love the family of God. Christians belong to a fraternity of the redeemed. Christians are a corporate community sharing a common life in Christ together.
This is not the brotherhood of union members or the brotherhood of airline pilots. This is the brotherhood of the born again, male or female, black, white, yellow, or brown. Whatever their dialect or the color of their skin, they are brothers. They have been washed in the blood of Christ. This is a special love for fellow Christians, not the world in general (Gal. 6:10; Heb 13:1).
The biblical word for love here does not mean to gush over people. It means that we do not hate other Christians. It is an attitude, free from attitude sins. You will not be bitter toward them. You are free from vindictiveness or implacability. You can relax around them. You may dislike their personality or dress. You have no rapport with them. This is a love that can love without reciprocation. This love loves from the capacity of the soul.
Love here is an attitude, free from attitude sins. That is how we can love “all” believers. You are not jealous of them. This love is free from attitude sins. It does not demand that you speak to these people or that you visit them. This love comes from the filling of the Spirit.
Outsiders we respect; insiders we love.
To love your mother or father, wife, husband, or children does not take much effort. To love all of God’s people, including the ornery ones who do not cooperate, the ones who are not lovable, and the ones who rub you the wrong way, is a different story. Everyone in the brotherhood is not lovable. Some of them do not want to be loved. Whether they respond to our love is their business.
As far as we are concerned, we cannot permit anything to enter into our lives to sour our love for them. We must love them even though they are not lovable. God calls upon them to love us also. It is just as hard for them to love us as it is for us to love them. God calls upon us to exercise genuine, God donated love (Rom. 5:5).
We care solely about our little crowd. We couldn’t care less about the brotherhood in general. We are not interested in the brotherhood. Some people say that they love the Lord, but they do not love the church. They do not love the saints. They feel no need to fellowship with the saints (Heb 10:25). They think they can get along without the encouragement of other saints. They can get along without the church. If all Christians were like that, what would happen to the church?
We must respect all men, but we love fellow Christians. “Blood is thicker than water.” Relatives are closer than friends. God links Christians together by something thicker than human blood – the blood of Christ.
Because I love my fellow believers, I put certain restraints upon myself (1 Thes. 3:12; 4:11,12; Eph 2:12).