Brotherhood

The Battle    
We’re at war.  Paul wants us to clearly understand that when he tells us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness...” (Eph. 6:12)

Victory is Certain
Against these powers we have no defense in ourselves.  But God gives us a remedy.  First, Jesus Christ offers us brotherhood.  He wants to be our brother and He makes that offer at no cost to us.  We simply have to say “yes” Lord I accept it.  (Rom 8:29, Heb 2:11, John 3:16)    Then God tells us that there is a day that is coming where our adversary will be defeated once and for all and we’ll have final victory.  
-In the same way, the victor will be dressed in white clothes, and I will never erase his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before My Father and before His angels. (Rev 3:5)  
-For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable weight of glory.  (2 Cor 4:17)
-But our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.  (Phil 3:20-21)

Together Until Then
But until that day, we’re in a battle.  And, to fight this battle we have to do two things:
First, we have to “put on the armor of light” that is “the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:12-14).  
Second, God tells us to do it together.

Jesus’ Armor
If you’ve accepted Jesus’ invitation to brotherhood, the next logical thing to do is to depend on His power, strength and wisdom.  This is a battle in and of itself because our old ways of living have become habits that are hard to break.  So, we battle against independence - going it alone - doing it ourselves.  Old habits are hard to break.  But, it is necessary in order to win todays battles.  So, surrendering my independence to Him everyday is necessary. (Gal 5:16, Gal 5:1, Gal 2:20)  

Who’s Got Your Back?
The war has already been won, but there are many battles to be fought.  And, no battle can be fought with only one man in the fox hole.  It takes all the men fighting together.  
-Jesus said “May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You...” (John 17:21)
-And if somebody overpowers one person, two can resist him.  A cord of three strands is not easily broken. (Eccl 4:12)
-Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.  (Prov 27:17)
-The one who love his brother remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.  (1 John 2:10)
-If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but shuts off his compassion from him - how can God’s love reside in him?  (1 John 3:17)
-For you are called to freedom, brothers....serve one another through love.  (Gal 5:12)
-Now I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all say the same thing, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.  (Cor 1:10)
-Let brotherly love continue.  (Heb 13:1)

Real Relationships without Judgement
-Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you won’t be tempted also.  Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal 6:1)
-Don’t criticize one another, brothers.  He who criticizes a brother or judges his brother criticizes the law and judges the law.....who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:11-12)
-Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus.  (Rom 8:1)
-Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in your eye?  (Mat 7:4)
-We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.  (Gal 5:26)
-Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.  (Rom 4:13)


Real Relationships with No Secrets
-Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.... (James 5:16)
-No one, after lighting a lamp, covers it with a basket or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand so that those who come in my see the light.  For nothing is concealed that won’t be revealed, and nothing hidden that won’t be made known and come to light.  (Luke 8:16-17)
-If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private.  If he listens to you, you have won your brother.  (Mat 18:15)
-Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him?  As many as seven times?”  “I tell  you, not as many as seven,” Jesus said to him, “but 70 times seven.”  (Mat 18:21-22)
-For the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth - discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.  Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead, expose them....Everything exposed by the light is made clear.  (Eph 5:9-13)
-Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the Creator.  (Col 3:9-10)