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Love the Saints… and Everyone Else

Conrad Mbewe continues his series in 2 Peter 1, Christian, Grow Up! The focus is on a string of imperatives for spiritual growth that Peter delivers to all Christians. Of course the first step is to have faith. But on this foundation we must build with quality materials in order to mature as Christians. Peter commands us to add virtue to faith. Then to add knowledge to our virtue and temper our knowledge with self control. Peter calls us to add steadfastness and resolve as we journey with Christ. Next we were told to add godliness to all these qualities and to add love for the saints (or brotherly affection) to all of this.

At each stage we are growing and developing – all the better to serve our heavenly Father and persevere in our walk with Christ

The last command – addressed in this sermon – is to show love. At each stage we are growing and developing – all the better to serve our heavenly Father and persevere in our walk with Christ.

Comparing ‘Philadelphia’ and ‘Agape’

In the last 2 sermons of the series Christian, Grow Up Conrad Mbewe explored in depth the nature of brotherly love for the saints. The greek word used there is ‘philadelphia’: love for your family; for your Christian brothers and sisters.

But Peter goes on to implore believers to pursue a second type of love as well. This is one that that goes beyond ‘insiders’ or the family of God. It is called ‘agape’. This love flows to the those outside the family of believers; to those outside the Church. As Christians we are called to have love for everyone we come into contact with, even our enemies. This is not a feeling that is dependent on our relationship with people. Rather, it is a reaction that focuses on their need for Christ.

Why & How We Must Love Everyone

Our concern for the welfare of people around us should cause us to care for them out of love. And yes, this applies even to those that hate us. As believers, we are called to love as Christ loved us – which was even while we were in rebellion and sin! Listen to Conrad Mbewe as he goes on to expound the qualities of love listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. We must also remember that ‘agape’ love is a result of the fruit of the Spirit evident in our lives as seen in Galatians 5:22.

Text: 2 Peter 1:3-7

Date preached: 26 January 2020

Location: Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia

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