True Brethren

The apostle Paul spoke of problems he faced because of false brethren (2 Corinthians 11:26). These were those who tried to withstand the Truth of God by teaching doctrines from their own imagination. The conflict over circumcision as recorded in Acts 15 is an example, and the letter Paul wrote to the Galatians shows how pervasive this false teaching was.
Jesus, in the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-30), reveals that not everyone within the Church of God fellowship would be of the same mind. Still, even with these warnings considered, we are also to understand that the Church is comprised of true brethren!
The calling from God that leads us to become His begotten children also establishes us as brethren. In fact, we are now brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ (compare Hebrews 2:12-13).
We can test ourselves by taking our lead from the Word of God. An especially challenging presentation for us is in Romans 12. If we are actively following these instructions, then we are fulfilling the requirements to be counted among those who are true brethren.
Of special note is verse 10: “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another…”
You know, every once in a while we need to be reminded to do this in more deliberate ways. We have the opportunity to assemble together on the weekly Sabbath and the annual Feast Days to help us develop within the Family of God—that is, to grow in godliness toward one another.
In spite of those who contended with him, Paul kept his focus on the true brethren, and what he wrote finds its full application even today:
“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer…” (2 Thessalonians 1:3-5).

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