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 iniquity
- 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 within us.
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 Peter 1:5-10)
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 charity?
5) What is the great chapter in the word of God for Charity?
6) What do we see from verses 1-3 of the chapter on charity?
7) What are the characteristics of charity found in chapter on charity?
8) Why is Charity both a benefit to others and to us?