LET BROTHERLY LOVE CONTINUE: HEB 13:1, HEB 2:11, ROM 12:10,The application of the spiritual principles of brotherly love, as soon as the bible is essentially different from “the acts of charity” practiced by the charitable organization in the world. The world showing charity is more like the story in Luke 21-the rich putting their gifts in the treasury.• The Lord looked and said “these rich people out of their abundance have put the offering but the poor woman- out of her poverty put in all that she had. Like the widow of Zarephath-“first make for the prophet”. The world’s charity is often for a cause and the giver takes the credit for the gift. The biblical teaching about the manifestation of brotherly love:- First as unto the lord – then give yourselves.It’s not for a cause- but with the total identification of the giver with those who receive.For a short time of meditation and learning- we shall look at some of the lessons on “brotherly relationship” from the book of Genesis. It is an interesting study to put together the exercise of faith in the lives of three principle women of Genesis I mean eve, Sarah, Rebecca. Eve had exercise sand lesions to learn in connection with Cain and able. Sarah in connection with Ishmael and Isaac. Rebecca in connection with Esau and Jacob. To a certain extent – the lessons are similar-but there is a different element in each lesson.In johns gospel 1:12,13- we are told that those who are born into the family of God“who were born -not of bloodnor of the will of the fleshNor of the will of manBut of God.EVE:Not of bloodEve’s lesson- the promised seed will not come on the line of natural decent-not of blood. The seed of the women cannot be born of eve. When Cain was born-eve thought that she got Christ – the promised seed of the women. But Eve had to learn that sinful parent can only beget sinful children. On the line of natural generation-there is nothing for god. Eve learned her lesson before able was born and therefore called him able vanity.SARAH:Not of the will of the flesh.Sarah thought that if God is late in his fulfilling his promise-she would work on improving on the natural that is getting a son through Hagar. The result is Ishmael-the will f the flesh. Man trying to correct himself and put things right. Gods command – all that is of the flesh must be cast out. Divine promises cannot be secured through the way of the flesh –but only through the principles of faith. Isaac is crowned and Ishmael is to be cast out.REBECCA:Not of the will of the man –but of God.The lesson of divine sovereignty. The will of man had no place whatsoever in the ways of god-as for god his way is perfect. The will of man would prefer Esau to Jacob. It has often been said by people – that Esau was the better and the nobler of the two brothers. Rebecca too learned that God is sovereign and this alone would guide her affections. God said- I’m going to have my way. Nothing excluded man like divine sovereignty. The will of man completely shut out. Isaac valued Esau’s venison- and this guided his affection. We have to look at our brother from God’s point of view.Now we shall look at gods revelation of his divine principles concerning his brotherly love – from the lives of three men in GenesisABRAHAM- The divine principle to learnWe have to look at our brethren from gods point of view even as God sees them. Abraham showing brotherly love his nephew Lot. First of all, in relation to the Canaanites around them- Abraham says “we are brethren”. Not uncle and nephew. When Lot was taken captive they came and told- Abrahams nephew was taken captive. When Abraham heard this –“his brother lot was taken captive (Gen 13:12-14)-Abraham completely identifies himself with his brother in order to rescue him. Abraham does not get over – occupied with blemishes and failures-but looks at the quality that god can approve-righteous lotJACOB-The divine principle of the sovereignty of God in our brotherly relationshipGod in his sovereign will have chosen Jacob instead of Esau, and Joseph instead of Reuben for the divine blessing of the birthright. In the case of Jacob- he could not wait for gods time. But schemed and plotted to snatch the birthright. Therefore Jacob had to be disciplined by God to prepare him to be a partaker of divine nature. But as Israel –h lived on his hips for the rest of his life. Many of us spiritually speaking- may be limping on our hips- the price we pay for changing from Jacob to Israel. Jacob was always- on the run- running away from people, form god and situations. Israel –limbed on his hips for the rest of his life so that he cannot run away from God. Like JonahJOSEPH-The divine principle to learn “he was not ashamed to call them his brethren”The perfect fulfillment we see In heb2:11. For Joseph- Gods will was revealed to him through the dream but he never moved a finger to appropriate that but waited for God to exalt him. Psalms 105:18- the word of the Lord tested- tried Joseph. Joseph had thirteen years of testing. The one who is to rule has been tested. Like David first fighting with a lion and a bear-before meeting Goliath. Psalm1 –presents the man who prospered in lowly circumstances and psa.2- give his exaltation. Psa1 gives his moral suitability and psa2 gives exaltation as gods king. The wonderful wisdom God gave Joseph in dealing with his brethren. Joseph had wisdom the administer the good for the world at large. But Joseph and divine wisdom to produce the right exercise in the soul of his brethren. The brothers had to come face to face with their sin and guilt. Joseph cannot give the knowledge of himself to a heart of morally right. When the work of exercise of faith is completed the revelation “I am Joseph”. The intimate fellowship with the father and the son. It is beautiful to see Jacob and David coming out at the end better than they ever did. God looks for that. Jacob blessed Pharaoh and his sons and blessed josephs sons-Israel worshiped learning on this staffGods discipline does not reach its full fruition with any of us until the end. There is always some draws to be consumed. Grow in grace in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Bearing fruit in our old age.• Only a believer can bear fruit in our old age. Even after all this, we see the sad exhibition of unbelief, with Josephs brothers. They lived for seventeen years on josephs bounty. Joseph gave them the very best of everything. Yet they did not know and appreciate josephs heart. Joseph wept when they spoke to him like that after Jacobs death. From Genesis chapter 44 onwards the son of Jacob are known as Josephs brothers. Let brotherly love continue. Where is your brother able 1Cor 18:11- because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish for whom Christ died.
Posted Below is the Sermon delivered by Br. Thomas Mathew at Maharashtra Church Conference in the year 2009.
Process of decision making, by the council of praying and spiritually matured elders, characterizes an healthy Assembly.
Bro.Thomas Mathew points out many wrong practices seen in some quarters and calls for an urgent return to Biblical pattern