THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 5-28-06

LESSON TITLE: "PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE: BROTHERLY KINDNESS"

WELCOME

"Test all things; hold fast what is good," 1 Thessalonians 5:21. Are you testing the spiritual and physical things of this life, to confirm that which is good and right in the sight of God?

Thanks for joining us this Lord's day for the study of God's Living Word. How blessed we are today to be able to enjoy such opportunities and freedoms, that allow all to offer such times of sacrifice before His wondrous throne. I hope we all do our part this Lord's day, in participating in this worship toward God and in doing all things in accordance to His Perfect Will!

So, at this time, as we turn our full attention to the reason we have come together, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer:

(PRAYER)

Now let's begin praising our God through song. Won't you join with the congregation at this time as we sing together a hymn that reminds us of the wondrous cleansing we have through the blood of Christ. The name of the song, "Are You Washed In The Blood!"

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

There are many things which we often forget as those who are children of God. One of those issues that often slip our mind is "just who is in control of our lives?"

How easy it is to forget that when we become a child or God that our God must be put first in all things. In fact, the Bible says we are to "put on Christ" and to "seek His Kingdom first," in all things. Furthermore, we are challenged in our lives to make sure that "everything we do in word or deed is done in the name of the Lord!" With this in mind, we really need to make sure that we have given our lives over to Christ. Have you put Jesus on the throne of your heart?

In Philippians 2:13, Paul made the following statement, "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasures." Wow, what a wonderful fact this is. We learn that God cares enough to work in us and to use us to His glory. However, notice what He uses us for, the verse says, "to will and to do!" Here we learn that God promotes His "will" through us. This is very important, because if we are to be "willed" by God we must know His word and obey what he commands. But secondly, we read the action part of this verse, God works in us to "do." God guides us in this life, intellectually, mentally, and physically and He expects us to do all that we do based on what He commands through us. In fact, the verse here actually refers to our goal as accomplishing His "good pleasures."

Are you living in such a way that God can use your life and thus through you "to will and to do for His good pleasures." If you are praise be to God for you are truly a faithful child of God. However, if you are not choose today to repent of your selfishness and then turn your life fully over to God. That He may use you to His glory and praise and that He may accomplish His good pleasures through you!

In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. We are glad to again have brother Andy Heavin with us. Brother Andy is the minister for the Edgar Springs Church of Christ. It is great to have him with us this Lord's day to lead us in our main study from God's Word. As far as our topic of the day we will again focus on our series entitled, "Partakers of the Divine Nature." Our specific lesson of the morning deals with the Christian virtue of, "Brotherly Kindness." So please stay with us and after our next song together we will be lead by brother Heavin in this discussion from God's Word! Now let's join in our second hymn of the day, It's name, "Bring Christ Your Broken Life."

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Andy Heavin

Let me begin by saying, "Good morning."

Be turning in your Bibles to 2 Peter chapter 1. We're going to be reading there verses 5-9 as we continue our study this morning. It says there in verse 5, "But also for this very reason, giving all diligence add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ for he who lacks these things is shortsighted even to blindness and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins."

The list of traits Peter provides that Christians are to characterize is comparable to that of a puzzle. You think of a puzzle and all the pieces that you have and you put that together to form this picture. But what happens if one of the pieces is missing? It is incomplete. We might think it's imperfect and we would want a new one. As a Christian in our lives, Peter gives us all these things that we need to put together to form that puzzle, and when one of these traits is missing, we as Christians are incomplete or imperfect and so we need to make sure that these are a part of our lives, that we need all of them to be complete in order to make the puzzle complete.

Faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love are all the pieces that we need to be all that God wants us to be as Christians.

This morning we want to focus on the piece of the puzzle that pertains to brotherly kindness. You might be asking, "Well, exactly what is this brotherly kindness?" You look at the Greek word that's transliterated from that language in our word Philadelphia. You think of the city that we know Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It's often referred to as "the city of brotherly love." So this word literally means "love of the brethren." This word brotherly kindness includes kindness to all our brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, kindness must be a part of the life of a Christian.

If you would turn your Bibles to Ephesians chapter 4. Paul writing this letter to the church in Ephesus has these thoughts on kindness here. In chapter 4 and verse 32, he says, "And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another even as God and Christ forgave you." So being kind or being tender-hearted to one another. Why? Because God forgave us. We need to have that attitude of kindness, of forgiving so that we might be pleasing before God.

Jesus gave a similar command in responding to the Pharisees in Matthew chapter 22 and verse 39. He says to, "Love your neighbor as yourself." So we need to have that kindness, that love toward our fellow brothers and sisters, towards fellow man and if we want others to extend brotherly kindness toward us, we certainly must extend that toward them first. If we want anybody to ever be kind to us, we must first step forward in kindness.

You think of the apostle Paul. Why were so many Christians so willing to help this brother, to do so much for the apostle Paul? No doubt in part because he had this kindness about him. He put brotherly kindness at the forefront and many of these other things that we've talked about that Peter mentioned. The same could be said of Peter. Peter talking about brotherly kindness, about the faith, the knowledge, the self-control, the perseverance, the godliness, all these things. People were willing to do things for Peter and these brethren because they in part showed brotherly kindness towards their fellow brothers and sisters.

When we also think of brotherly kindness, we compare it with God, thinking of brotherly kindness in God because God is a God of kindness. In Psalm chapter 117 and verse 2, this is said of God. "For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever." He has always been and always be a kind God, a God of kindness. Why? Because the Bible says that He is a kind God and it says that His Word endures forever because it is truth and so that we can believe it.

David prayed in Psalm chapter 119 and verse 76 that "God's merciful kindness be for his comfort." Do we find comfort in God's kindness today that He shows us, the comfort that we have in Him? We might think, "Well, how has God showed that kindness toward us today?"

Turn over to the book of Titus. Titus chapter 3, Paul writing here to this man. He starts in verse 4. "But when the kindness and the love of our God and Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit." How has God been kind to us today? He has been kind because of His mercy, the mercy of God that saves us through the regeneration, through baptism that we have today. His mercy, His loving kindness has not appeared to us because of our works of righteousness, because of His loving kindness, because of God. He has given us the plan of salvation, something He is not obligated to do or something that He was not obligated to do for us, but He did it because of His kindness towards mankind. So we must show the kindness of God towards others. We must share with them God's plan of salvation, give them the opportunity to be saved, to have that regeneration, to be born again in baptism.

In Nehemiah chapter 9 and verse 17 we might remember the children of Israel. Here in this book, in Nehemiah chapter 9 and verse 17, this is said about the children of Israel. They refused to obey. They rebelled. Against who? They rebelled against God. But what is said of God here in this verse? It says that, "He is ready to pardon. He is gracious and merciful. He's slow to anger." And listen. "He is abundant in kindness." He did not forsake the children of Israel. God, the God of kindness, He is abundant in it. He shows that towards mankind.

Are we willing to show that same brotherly kindness to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, to those who are brothers and sisters who sin against us? Are we ready to show brotherly kindness towards them in helping them away from their sin? Or are we ready to forgive them and accept them again into our fellowship whenever they ask for God's forgiveness? Are we extending that brotherly kindness to them as we should?

Jesus spoke of God in this way in Luke chapter 6 and verse 35. It says, "For He is kind to the unthankful and evil." God being kind to the unthankful and evil, can we even imagine this? Do we love our enemies that much that we would be kind to them, that we would show this tenderheartedness about ourselves to care for them and care for their souls, to teach them the gospel? We must learn how to be kind to the unthankful and the evil of this world. We may not receive anything in return. They may not give us anything back but persecution. They may try to tear us down and do whatever they can to discourage us, but at least we have done what God wants us to do. We have obeyed His Word and we must remember He is the one who rewards us. He's the one who sees our kindness that we extend to one another and He will give us the reward that He has shown us.

Our kindness is shown in our love for others.

Turn to 1 John chapter 4 with me. 1 John chapter 4 and verses 7-8 says, "Be loved. Let us love one another for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God for God is love."

If we're going to show kindness to one another, we must, because if we don't show that kindness towards one another, we don't know God because God is a God of love and a God of kindness.

Look at verses 20-21 of chapter 4 there. It says, "If someone says I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar." We might say there, "If I am kind to somebody else or if I am kind to God, and I don't show that brotherly kindness to them, I'm a liar and I don't know God." How can we love God when we have not seen? If we can't show kindness in this lifetime, we're not going to have the opportunity to extend that kindness in the next lifetime.

There in verse 21 it says, "In this commandment we have from Him that he who loves God must also love his brother." If we say that we love God, we must extend brotherly kindness to them and show them what God wants them to know, and show that kindness that God has for us and show that kindness to them.

What are some of the fruits in the third place that we want to look at this morning of brotherly kindness? Some of the things mentioned there in 2 Peter chapter 1 verses 5-7. They are to be a part of our lives. All of these things are to be a part of our lives as Christians. And it says, "When these things are a part of our lives..." there in verse 8 it says, "we will not be unfruitful. We will not be barren, but we will be fruit producers. We will be partakers of the Divine Nature." However if these things are not a part of our lives, there in verse 9 it says that, "This person will be shortsighted even unto blindness." And this is shortsighted in a spiritual sense because we are failing to look ahead. We are failing to look ahead to our eternal salvation, to our eternal life and so when we fail to show love or brotherly kindness or godliness, perseverance, self-control, faith, or knowledge or all these things together when they are not together, we're missing a part that is necessary in our lives as Christians. And so we must not forget our cleansing from sin.

We must not forget about God's kindness to us. Brotherly kindness promotes many things in the life of a Christian. In the church itself, it promotes unity in love among the brethren. It also provides forgiveness between brothers and sisters. We must seek forgiveness, but we also must forgive. When somebody asks us for forgiveness, we must be willing to extend that to them, to show brotherly kindness to them and also our brotherly kindness promotes the right attitude that we need to have in our Christian lives.

Brotherly kindness goes a long way in securing our entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord. The fruit produced in God's kingdom provides us with the hope that we have as Christians, eternal life with Him in heaven.

Have you put on or clothed yourself with kindness today? If you are a Christian, I hope that you show brotherly kindness to those who are around you, to your fellow man, to your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. But if you are not a Christian, but maybe you consider yourself to be a kind person, remember God will not reward you for those works of righteousness unless you obey His Word. Remember the verses that we have seen in Titus chapter 3 verses 3-4. God doesn't reward us upon our works of righteousness, but because of His mercy and obedience to His Word is that He rewards us and so we must hear and believe the words of the gospel of Christ who must confess the name of Jesus. We must repent of our sins, change our way, change our lifestyle as God has commanded us in Acts chapter 17 and verse 30, and man must be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Mark chapter 16:16, Acts chapter 2:38) and then God will add us to His church as He has promised, then our works of kindness will not go in vain. As New Testament Christians we must be faithful until death and as Christians we must strive to show brotherly kindness in our lives.

(SONG # 3 - "Because He Lives!")

CLOSING COMMENTS

Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. No doubt our time spent together has been uplifting to us and acceptable to our God. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of offering before God!

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May we learn to follow the example from God and show brotherly kindness to our fellow man. What a wondrous privilege we have in this life to let others see Christ in us through our brotherly kindness!

(Program closing)