by Hugh Binning
Consider to who this affection should be extended. More generally to all men, as fellow like creations of God, but particularly and especially to all who are born of God, as fellow Christians. “And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God love his brother also. Who ever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and every one who loves him who begat, loves him also that is begotten of him,” (1st John 4:21-5:1) “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith,” (Galatians 6:10)
“O my soul, you have said to the Lord, You are my Lord, my goodness does not extend to you: but to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent in whom is all my delight,” (Psalm 16:2-3). This consideration the Holy Spirit has given to make us maintain love and unity.
Love towards these family members runs in a purer channel—“You have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit to the unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently, being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever,” (1st Peter 1:22-23)
We are begotten of one Father, and that by a divine birth, we have such a high descent and royal generation! There are so many other bonds of unity between us, it is absurd that this one more should not join all. “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one body, one spirit, called to one hope, one God and Father of all,” (Ephesians 4:2-6) All these being one, it is strange if we are not one in love. If this family relationship does bring a strong and warm affection, we are worse than infidels, as the apostle speaks, “If a man care not for his own house, his worldly interests, he is worse than an unbeliever,” (1st Timothy 5:8) for he has a natural affection.
Certainly then this more excellent nature, a divine nature we are partakers of, cannot be lacking of affection suitable to its nature. Christianity is a fraternity, a brotherhood, that should overpower all relations, bring down him of high degree, and exalt him of low degree; it should level all ranks, in this one respect, to the rule of charity and love.
This common domain writing has been modernized in places by this site. Italics added by this site.