Brothers And Neighbours by Peter James
Brothers And Neighbours by Peter James
In the Bible there is a difference between a Brother and a Neighbour.
Five of the ten commandments are directly related to commanding how we should
treat our neighbour.
Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.
Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Exodus 20:15 Thou shalt not steal.
Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house,
thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant,
nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
This of course applies to how we should treat every human being.
Every human being is our neighbour.
In the New Testament we see the importance of this greatly emphasized, by Christ, Himself,
when He tells us that we should love our neighbour as ourself.
Mark 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
There is none other commandment greater than these.
We are also told that love works no ill to our neighbour.
Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
We also see that the law and the prophets are summarised by loving God and loving our neighbour.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Matthew 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
We have seen that it is a very crucial and important thing to love our neighbour.
Therefore we should seek to live in harmony with our neighbours.
Romans 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
We should speak the truth with our neighbour and not lies.
Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:
for we are members one of another.
This is an important statement, when your consider the definition of Truth.
This means that when the opportunity arises and you are led by the Holy Spirit,
you should speak truth to your neighbour.
Of course there is never a time that you should speak lies.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
We can see that the result of truly loving God and our neighbour, we fulfil the Royal law.
James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
We have seen how we should conduct ourselves regarding our neighbour,
but does that make him our brother?
It is not how we treat our neighbour that makes him our brother.
Regardless of how I treat my neighbour across the road, there is nothing that I can do
which will make him my brother.
He can never become my blood brother, unless he was that in the first place.
There is a great deal of advice on how we should treat our brother.
It does appear to give much more detail than how we should treat our neighbour.
The term brothers here includes sisters.
What makes us brothers?
It is because we have been born anew and have become new creatures by the indwelling
of the Holy Spirit, indeed the entire Godhead.
This means that our brothers are by definition of all human races and both sexes.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
When we are born again
Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:
and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes,
and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
We are brothers because the converted redeemed Christian is a son of God.
We can see from this that there is a very significant difference between
a neighbour and a brother.
In view of the many instructions given on how we should treat our brothers,
a listing of most of these scriptures follows.
We need to understand them as a Father giving instructions to His children, His sons.
The Eternal points out problems that His family members can encounter,
and He wants us to operate within a frame work of love which is pleasing to Him.
Unfortunately many brothers and sisters do not conform to these commands.
We have to forgive our brothers.
If we do not how can we expect to be forgiven?
Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves:
If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
We should not judge our brother and make him appear worthless.
Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother?
or why dost thou set at nought thy brother?
This does not mean that we should not evaluate situations which confront us,
however, we are not in a position to judge. The Eternal reserves this for Himself.
We know nothing of all the circumstances which befall others, therefore we should
simply obey. Even if we did know all the circumstances our judgment would be wrong.
Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power:
who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil;
for God was with him.
Acts 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which
was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
We should be considerate and not do anything that would cause our brother to stumble.
This is of course not referring to sin, but rather to deeds that in themselves are not
wrong but could cause someone who is not as strong as we are to stumble and even fall.
Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine,
nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
We should avoid the company of an unrepentant brother who insists on continuing
his life of sin.
1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company,
if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater,
or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
We see ‘believers’ taking other believers to court and this is wrong.
1 Corinthians 6:6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
We should be tolerant of our husband/wife if he/her is an unbeliever, but who is pleased
to live with their unconverted partner.
1 Corinthians 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord:
If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him,
let him not put her away.
We should not be weary about looking after well being of our brothers.
This is not referring to exploitation.
If you suffer wrongly at the hand of your brother, leave it up to the Eternal
to deal with the situation.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
1 Thessalonians 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter:
because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
1 John 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light,
and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
1 John 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness,
and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
To hate our brother is to be a murderer.
1 John3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer:
and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
To love our brother is to be in ‘life’.
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life,
because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
We should be generous with the goods of this world and not see our brothers
suffer privation while we have the means to assist him.
1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need,
and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
If we cannot love our brother whom we see, how can we love the invisible God?
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?
We are very prone to desire to correct our brothers and fail to see the huge problems
which confront us and are easily visible to those around us.
Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye;
and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother‘s eye.
We have to forgive our brothers as a normal event, as the Eternal has forgiven
us far more than we will ever have to forgive others.
Matthew 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord,
how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Matthew 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you,
if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Finally we can see that for us obedience is absolutely critical.
Those who listen to and obey the Eternal God, are literally his close family in reality.
Matthew 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven,
the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
We have seen that there is a difference between a neighbour, who is all the rest of humanity,
and a brother who is a born again believer, a member of the body of Christ.
We have also seen that we have been given many instructions on how brothers should
This information was given to us by Christ our Elder Brother.
Be Humble Repent Listen To The Eternal God Obey Him.
This is very easy to say, but I assure you that it is physically impossible without
the empowerment of the Eternal God.
Just going up to some altar call, running to some church, or isolating yourself
in the hope that somehow it will all go away, will not do it.
What are you going to do about it before it is too late?
See Video: Obedience Is The Only Way Of Escape