Why Every Christian Is from ‘Philadelphia’

Daily Devotional: Day 222 |By Stephen Bilson-Ogoe

“But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another” (1 Thessalonians 4:9).

As you may have observed, when Paul writes, he covers a lot of topics relevant to the Christian life. His First Letter to the Thessalonians is no exception. From the beginning of chapter four, he reminds the believers to abstain from evil and walk in purity. Then he got to verse nine, which is the basis for today’s message. The believers, Paul says, have no need that he write to them about brotherly love. And the reason is, they are taught by God to love one another. Think about this for a second.

When the Bible says, they “are taught,” the Greek tense of the verb is the Present Indicative Tense, which refers to ongoing action. Applied to what Paul said, it means God is continuously teaching believers to love one another. A further implication of Paul’s statement is that God is teaching believers Himself; that is, God is teaching directly without employing any mediators. This revelation is profound and needs our attention. What is God teaching the believers? Philadelphia: a Greek word which literally means, “brotherly love.”

God is teaching every believer something called, Philadelphia, all the time. Philadelphia is a required love course (think college course). God is the instructor. You are the student/disciple. And the best part is, there is no spring or summer break, no vacations. You learn Philadelphia every day to the end of your earthly life. If Philadelphia is a college, every Christian is a lifetime enrolled student. If Philadelphia is a city, it is every Christian’s natural home. Don’t you love it!

Here is the thing: As a Christian, God’s holy anointing is upon you. And that anointing is a teaching anointing. “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him” (1 John 2:27). 

God is your Father, and He is also your Instructor. Hear what He says in Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8). That ‘way’ is the love and truth way – the Jesus way. Jesus shed His Blood to cleanse you from all sin. And the Father shed His love in your heart through the Holy Spirit (cf. Romans 5:5). Your heart is now fully wired and supernaturally enabled by God to love as Jesus did: the unfeigned, forgiving, sacrificial and selfless love for all people, especially for fellow members of God’s household – the brethren.

Love is more than a concept. It is the power of God which energizes you to act like God, in love.

Love power lives in your heart. And the good Father is always teaching you to walk in that love power, if you will be docile (cf. Psalm 32:9).  If you are successful in God’s Philadelphia course, you will be successful in all aspects your Christian life. For, “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10).  

Walk in love. Abide in Philadelphia (meaning, abide in brotherly love).

Be blessed today, you and your household! Amen.

For further study: John 15:1-17

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