2 Peter 1:7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

Peter continues the sequence that began in verse 5 with faith. Godliness leads to brotherly affection because the lifestyle that is pleasing to God develops stronger relationships with others. Brotherly love is characterized by the strong bond found in families. Believers are adopted into God’s family and become brothers and sisters. This bond may be stronger than blood family relationships. There is an important connection between the life of holiness and the life of love. A holy lifestyle that grows out of our relationship with God will help us develop stronger relationships with those around us. Brotherly love leads to Christlike love, and Christlike love is the support for brotherly love. I am not sure we should make too much of the order of these words, but they are clearly linked in Peter’s mind. The emotion of affection and care (philadelphia) that we have for other people is a motivation for us to go even deeper in our understanding of love. The type of love to which Peter refers here is the deep unconditional and self-giving love of God (agape). We should move beyond the emotion to the will. We choose to love even when the feelings may not be there. We love no matter what. It is significant that love is the pinnacle of this list because it is the ultimate outcome of our faith in Christ.

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