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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is known as the “City of Brotherly Love.” The name Philadelphia is taken from an ancient Greek word meaning “brotherly love” or “brotherly kindness.” It is a great name for a city. But I wonder what the Philly football fans think about the slogan. They are reputed to be the worst fans in the National Football League, not loving or kind.
The word philadelphia also appears in 2 Peter 1:5-7, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” (NIV 1984)
In fact, this word is interesting because it is a compound of two words. The first means to love as a brother or family member. It describes affection. That word is never used in the Bible as a command for how we should love God. A different word for love is used.
The second word in the compound means “brotherhood.” Together, they carry the idea of loving the brothers like a brother. Hence translations use the phrase “brotherly kindness,” or “brotherly affection.”
If we are going to develop maturity in Christ, we must make the effort to develop kindness and affection for each other. We can’t be emotionally cold to one another. After all, we are in the same spiritual family.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.