Progress to Perfection – Our Journey #4

Progress to Perfection – Our Journey #4

Clearly growing in the direction to perfection involves a spiritual construction project.

 

By Pastor George Lehman

 

Matthew 5:48 – “ Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is Perfect”  – The reason for the sermon series.

 

We are all a project under construction.

The construction process to “progress to perfection” is:

2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV) – 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness,

love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Before you build to penthouse level, you need to first have a solid foundation.

 

Hebrews 10:38 (NIV) – “But my righteous” one will live by faith, and I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.

 

Add to your faith.

Progress means:   Moving forward not backward, not idle but onward movement toward a destination; improving.

Question: Are you improving?

 

Matthew 5:15-16 (NIV) – 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

I bring this up because this very important area of spiritual progress to perfection, and it is extremely important in your growth of the final two steps.

 

Note what they are:

Brotherly kindness extends to the members of God’s family.

Love extends to the entire human race.

 

#6 Brotherly kindness

The definition of brotherly kindness:

The Greek word for brotherly kindness is “Philadelphia”, involving 2 words:

“Phileo” (love) and “Adelphos”(brother).

It literally means “the love of brothers”.

As used in the New Testament, “Philadelphia” describes the love which Christians cherish for each other.

 

Romans 12:10 (LB) – Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other. 

One big area we have given the enemy a foothold.

Reminder: It lies with you and me to be a person that is loveable.

Have you ever thought people need to love you then, how lovable are you or are you always miserable, critical, Mr. know it all, complaining, criticizing, no control over your bad attitude, being divisive?

 

This verse warns us:

Titus 3:10-11 (NIV) – 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.

 

Therefore, it’s brotherly kindness that provides a true sense of family, belonging as members of the Lord’s body.

God commands brotherly kindness.

Without sincere love for our brothers and sisters…

the Apostle John says…

1 John 2:9-10 (LB) – 9 Anyone who says he is walking in the light of Christ but dislikes his fellow man is still in darkness. 10 But whoever loves his fellow man is “walking in the light” and can see his way without stumbling around in darkness and sin. 

 

1 John 4:7-8 (LB) – 7 Dear friends, let us *practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know him better. 8 But if a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he doesn’t know God—for God is love.

*practice = practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.  It’s about how you conduct yourself with others.

 

1 John 4:20-21 (LB) – 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” but keeps on hating his brother, he is a liar; for if he doesn’t love his brother who is right there in front of him, how can he love God whom he has never seen? 21 And God himself has said that one must love not only God but his brother too.

 

This is a command I believe the church take very lightly.

Jesus also made love the identifying mark by which the world can know we are His disciples.

 

John 13:34-35 (LB) – 34 “And so I am giving a new commandment to you now—love each other just as much as I love you. 35 Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

 

2 John 9 (LB) –  For if you wander beyond the teaching of Christ, you will leave God behind; while if you are loyal to Christ’s teachings, you will have God too. Then you will have both the Father and the Son.

 

The world doesn’t pay too much attention to what they may perceive as minor doctrinal difference. However…

What people do notice is love in a world filled with hate…

…especially when such love is seen among individuals who come from various social, economic, and racial backgrounds!

Attempting to proclaim New Testament Christianity will fail unless it is accompanied by a visible demonstration of true brotherly kindness.

Galatians 5:13 …Rather serve one another in love.

 

We must care for one another.

Galatians 6:2-3 (LB) – 2 Share each other’s troubles and problems, and so obey our Lord’s command. 3 If anyone thinks he is too great to stoop to this, he is fooling himself. He is really a nobody.

 

God requires that each of His children will be unity-lovers, promoting unity, living unity.

Philippians 2:1-4 (Msg) – 1-4 If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

 

The amount of dis-unity that we often see within the body of believers – shocking!!!

Back-stabbing, grudge-carrying, gossiping and slander and unforgiveness.

This is all rooted in three simple words, “ME” – “MYSELF” – “I”. (PRIDE)

When I’m focused on “ME” – “MYSELF” – “I”, I neglect the love of the brotherhood.

Unity starts with “ME”.(Humbled, Surrendered and Obedient)

 

Ephesians 4:2-3 (LB) – 2 Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Try always to be led along together by the Holy Spirit and so be at peace with one another.

 

Develop brotherly kindness.

Progress to perfection in this area of your life.

1 Peter 1:22-23 (LB) – 22 Now you can have real love for everyone because your souls have been cleansed from selfishness and hatred when you trusted Christ to save you; so, see to it that you really do love each other warmly, with all your hearts.  23 For you have a new life. It was not passed on to you from your parents, for the life they gave you will fade away. This new one will last forever, for it comes from Christ, God’s ever-living Message to men. 

 

1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 (LB) – 9 But concerning the pure brotherly love that there should be among God’s people, I don’t need to say very much, I’m sure! For God himself is teaching you to love one another. 10 Indeed, your love is already strong toward all the Christian brothers throughout your whole nation. Even so, dear friends, we beg you to love them more and more.

 

When we fully realize how Jesus loved us and gave Himself for us…

…we have no excuse to behave in any other way except adding to our faith, brotherly kindness.

Hebrews 13:1 (Amp) – Let love of your fellow believers continue.

This is an important part of your progress to perfection.