Bible Discussion Thread

  • 1 searching on 1 John 4
    Someone please explain to me what it means to love the brethren ? Especially the part about loving God who you have not seen but hate your brother who you have seen. Is he talking about a christian brother or natural brother?
  • Chris - in Reply on 1 John 4
    1 John 4:20, "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?" In this verse, the word "brother" (Gk. adelphos) refers to one in the community of believers.

    However, in other references the word can be expanded to mean all fellow men (e.g. Matthew 22:39, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."). A different word used here (Gk. plesion), but in the spirit of Christian love, we are to show love also to those whom we come across in our life's journey.

    And of course, we can demonstrate love in many ways - in fact, we should go out of our way to see that our brother or sister in Christ, or our unsaved neighbours are well cared for both spiritually & physically, making their lives more easy & enjoyable & thus having the witness of God's love shown to them. How can the unsaved ever understand Who God is unless they find visible proof in those who profess to have God in them? How can their hearts & ears ever open to the Good News unless they become genuinely inquisitive to a type of love they have not known? If done for the unsaved, then how much more we need to be to those in the faith, showing a love & care that goes beyond carnal human desires or abilities.

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