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Read Introduction to 2 Peter


to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love


to godliness, brotherly kindness

The first five foundational elements for building character relate to God, and the last two relate to others.

We add “brotherly kindness” to our faith. We take the name “Philadelphia” from the Greek word philadelphos–brotherly love.” Philadelphia formed from two Greek words meaning: brother and rapport love. The idea is that we are to have a rapport with our brothers in Christ. Friendship is the idea.

The New Testament never uses “brotherly kindness” as a command to love God, that is, to love God as a brother. When commanded to love God, the Bible uses the word agape for love, the term of use in Matthew 22:37; Luke 10:27; Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 8:3; 1 Peter 1:8; 1 John 4:21.

“Brotherly kindness” also carries the idea of authentic love or love without hypocrisy (Romans 12:9; 2 Corinthians 6:6; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:5; James 3:17; 1 Peter 1:22). Hence, this person lacks pretense or outward show toward others. There is no prejudice in this love; it is free from bias.

The Bible does not require us to have rapport love for every believer. The opposite is true in some instances where we separate ourselves from those who walk in the flesh (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). Christians must be cautious of those who walk in the flesh (Galatians 6:1).

“Brotherly kindness” seeks the highest good for others (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:9-11). This kind of love is the love of affection. Agape is a broader term than the word for rapport love (philadelphia). When Jesus confronted His enemies, He expressed agape love toward them. Jesus did not like what they did nor sanction what they believed; He did not embrace them as friends. He could not call them “friends” (our word). “Friends” or “brotherly kindness” is overt love or love that regards others and is warm to them.


Rapport love or friendship love is of value to God.


Some of us believe that we can pick and choose who we like and who we do not. It is as if we say, “These are my kind of people, but those are not.” We may not like how others say things or appreciate how they do things. We may not like the fact that they are lazy or ignorant. However, we should seek rapport with them despite our opinion of them.

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

We may not favor how people comb their hair or wear their clothes. That is incidental to friendship.

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (Romans 12:10).

“But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another” (1 Thessalonians 4:9).

“Let brotherly love continue” (Hebrews 13:1).

“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous” (1 Peter 3:8).