Brotherly Love

(the King James Version 2Pe 1:7), or LOVE (the King James Version Ro 12:10; 1Th 4:9; Heb 13:1; philadelphia):

1. As Moral Ideal:


2. As Actual Between Christians:

But man’s sonship to God may be potential or actual. He may not respond to God’s love or know His Fatherhood. Likewise love to man may not be reciprocated, and therefore may be incomplete. Yet it is the Christian’s duty, like God, to maintain his disposition of love and benevolence to those that hate and curse him (Lu 6:27,28). But within the Christian community, love should respond to love, and find its fulfillment, for there all men are, or should be, God’s sons actually, "because the love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts, through the Holy Spirit which was given unto us" (Ro 5:5). And this mutual love within the Christian brotherhood (1Pe 5:9) is called philadelphia.

3. Stoic Teaching:

This twofold ideal of social morality as universal benevolence and mutual affection had been foreshadowed by the STOICS (which see). Men as citizens of the world should adopt an attitude of justice and mercy toward all men, even slaves; but within the community of the "wise" there should be the mutual affection of friendship.

4. Christian Advance on Heathen Thought: