Things we need after we get Saved (2 Peter 1:5-11)
Lesson #4 : Brotherly Kindness and Charity
This lesson is the
last one in the series of things we need after we get saved. These things
listed in the study are not the only things that a saved person will ever need
but they are the things listed in the passage. These things will help us to be
fruitful in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, not spiritually blind and
to avoid falling. In this last lesson we will cover two items Brotherly
Kindness and Charity.
Before we discuss the
two things that we are to add to our faith some might be wondering about the
order in which these are placed. Note that in the passage we are adding
Brotherly Kindness to Godliness and Charity to Brotherly Kindness. It would
almost seem that Godliness should be the ultimate goal and that it would be
hard to add anything to it. But when we really consider what we said that
Godliness was in the last lesson, that is God being manifest in our flesh by the
way we live our lives for him so that the lost and other saved people of the
world can see him in us, then it stands to reason that we need to have
Godliness before these other two things. The reason for this is simple without
real Godliness we will never have real Brotherly Kindness or Charity because
these are characteristics of God and not our flesh.
We see in other
places of the New Testament that it is said that we should have these things.
In Colossians 3:12-15 we see
that we are to put on kindness and charity. If we are told to put these things
on then it is because we are not already wearing them. Once again showing us
that these are not natural to our flesh but if we have real Godliness then we
will be able to have these things also.
According to the American Dictionary of the American
Language by Noah Webster 1828, kindness is defined as an act of good will
or any act of benevolence which promotes that happiness or welfare of others.
From this we see that one of the ways in which we would show true kindness is
when we do things for others to make them happy even though we may not want to
do it at all or it does not benefit us at all. Think of Jesus Christ going to
the cross of Calvary he had never sinned, he did not need to do it for himself,
he simply did it for us. Using this definition above how many acts of kindness
do we really do for others especially those to whom we know to be in need. Many
times we help those who can help us in return or only help in ways that we like
to help. We should strive to have kindness in our everyday lives as we live for
the Lord Jesus Christ.
When it comes to
Charity everyone is usually familiar with 1
Corinthians 13 which is an entire chapter on Charity. Most of the modern
day Bibles replace the word charity with love but they are not the same. A good
way of explaining charity is by saying that it is love in action. There is a
popular quote that says “you can give without loving, but you cannot love
without giving” and this is very true. The chapter on charity gives some of the
best help to what charity really is.
In verses 1-3
we see that all the gifts or talents or abilities that a person could have
means nothing if they do not have charity to go with it. Young people should
think about this especially when looking for a mate. If the person they are
considering does not have any charity towards others then in the end they will
not have much charity towards them no matter how good looking they are or how
much money they have or how much they say they care for you. Also young people
who have a desire to do something in the ministry should consider this. Paul is
saying it doesn’t matter what gift you have or how much knowledge you have or
how much good you try to do if it is done without charity then it will not
amount to much.
In verse 4-8
we see the characteristics of Charity. We will list them below.
- It suffereth long
- It is kind
- It does not envy
- It vaunteth not itself
- It is not puffed up
- It does not behave itself unseemly
- It seeketh not its own
- It is not easily provoked,
- It thinketh no evil
- It rejoiceth not in
- It rejoiceth in the truth
- It beareth, believeth, hopeth and endureth all things
- It never fails
If we are not sure
as to whether or not we have Charity let us compare our actions against this
list and we will see very quickly as to whether or not we have any Charity
Many may wonder why
Charity is said to be the greatest of the three, faith, hope and charity in
verse 13. If we look back to our study in 2
Peter 1:5-10 we are to build all the things we have talked about in our
lessons on faith. So how is charity greater than faith? Well if the faith here
in 1 Corinthians 13:13 is a
reference to salvation then one could say that if it was not for the Charity of
God in loving us and dying for us then we could not be saved by faith. And if
the faith in 1 Coriniathns 13:13
is speaking of our personal faith then our personal faith is in the Lord Jesus
Christ and he was God manifest in the flesh therefore if we have faith in him
Charity will abound in us to the benefit of others and the glory of God.
Charity is also a
benefit to us not just to others. Charity affects others as we can easily see
but it also does us good when we have it in us and it extends unto others. This
is seen in 1 Corinthians 8:1 when
Charity is compared with knowledge. The verse says that knowledge puffeth up
but charity edifieth. Many times we may use knowledge to help others but at the
same time it gives us pride about the knowledge we have and what we do with it.
But by the characteristics given above for Charity we see that real Charity is
not puffed up. Therefore when we have Charity it is not only beneficial to
others but it is also beneficial to our selves.
Things we need after we get Saved (2
Lesson #4 : Brotherly Kindness and Charity (Handout)
1) Why do you think that Godliness was put in
the list before these two items?
2) What is another New Testament verse showing
us we should have kindness and charity, and what can learn from it?
3) Define kindness.
4) What is the main difference between love and
5) What is the great chapter in the word of God
6) What do we see from verses 1-3 of the chapter
7) What are the characteristics of charity found
in chapter on charity?
8) Why is Charity both a benefit to others and