In God’s sight, all who have accepted Him become brothers and sisters. Those who received Him, He gave them the power to become sons of God – they were born through the will of God – not of the blood or the flesh. Some of them are not related in blood nor in the flesh. Their relationship is spiritual, that is, the relationship between God and us. This relationship is emphasized in the Bible.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
In Matthew 23, Jesus says we are all brothers and we have One Father, God.
God is love, and He wants us to love one another. Loving one another is a way of showing that we are doing the will of God. If we say we love God but we don’t love our neighbors, then we lie to ourselves and to God also. Loving others is one of the greatest commandment that a person can ever do, this is the same as loving God with all our heart, mind and soul. Loving others must be seen not talked about. Actions must be manifested as an evidence of love for others. Without actions, it is not considered to be love.
It has been an old commandment in the Bible not to hate our brothers - Lev 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Though there are reasons to make us hate someone, but if we follow God’s rule, we are commanded not to hate our brothers in our hearts. Hate is the opposite of love, and if we hate someone, we eliminate the sense of loving someone.
Sometimes, in any relationship, people experience misunderstandings resulting to quarrels that lead to hating each other. This is a work of the devil in progression. He wants to reverse what God wants us to do. If God wants us to love one another, then the plan of the devil is to instill hate in our hearts. If we are not wise enough to understand this, then unknowingly we can be a victim of the devil’s deceptions.
In the church of God, having fellowship with one another is important. (See:Fellowship in the Church of God) God calls people into His Church to be brothers and sisters in a close and growing relationship. The Greek word koinonia, most frequently translated fellowship, describes this relationship of communication, sharing and caring. Act 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Fellowship is God’s way of letting us obey the commandment of loving each other like we love our selves. Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. It is also a way of bearing each others’ burden – Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Brothers and sisters in the church of God need to grow together and achieve the perfection for the edification of the church. Fellowship is a way of coming together in unity of the faith, and knowledge about God, so that we will grow up in Him in all things and in love.
Jesus teaches us that if anyone sins against us, we must go to him and show him his fault. We will come to our brother for the purpose of reconciliation, as an act of peace and love. If he listens, then that is a sign that we won our brother back. But in the case that the brother won’t listen, then the next step will be to bring two or more witnesses to testify that indeed our purpose is to make reconciliations. The next step is to tell him to the church. Finally, if he still won’t listen and do not heed to the purpose of love, peace and reconciliation – then we can not do anything about it. We have done our part as a Christian. Jesus says, if he will not listen to the church, treat him as though he were a pagan or a tax collector.
Mat 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go to him and show him his fault. But do it privately, just between yourselves. If he listens to you, you have won your brother back.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not listen to you, take one or two other persons with you, so that ‘every accusation may be upheld by the testimony of two or more witnesses,’ as the scripture says.
Mat 18:17 And if he will not listen to them, then tell the whole thing to the church. Finally, if he will not listen to the church, treat him as though he were a pagan or a tax collector.
Being a pagan or a tax collector is not a good figure in the society during that time. They are usually hated by people, especially those who are in the upper level of the society. A pagan is someone who worship a different god other than the true God that must be worshiped. They don’t know anything about the true laws and as well as the will of the true God. At that time also, being a tax collector is one of the most corrupt jobs. This makes them hated by everyone. Most of the tax collector that time impose heavy burdens to the people more than what the people must have.
This is what Jesus likened those who hate their brothers and do not heed to the commandment of loving and forgiving someone. The words of Jesus finalizes everything about hating and loving someone through forgiveness.
Mat 6:14 “If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you.
Mat 6:15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.