The brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God is spurious.
JULY 20, 2021
The brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God is spurious. Let’s talk on Key Life.
This is Key Life with our host, author and seminary professor Steve Brown. He’s nobody’s guru. He’s just one beggar telling other beggars where he found bread. If you’re hungry for God, the real God behind all the lies, you’ve come to the right place.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open it to the second chapter of Acts, and we’re talking about brotherhood and sisterhood. We’re talking about family and how important that is in our culture. And the Scripture has so much, Jesus said so much, that we should love each other as he has loved us, that the world would know by our love. And Paul spent so very much time talking about how the family have gifts, how we need each other, but at the very beginning, we see an illustration of everything that Jesus taught. And everything that Paul taught about the family of God. And it’s in the last part of the second chapter of Acts and we’re studying Acts.
And fear came up on every soul and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles and all who believed were together and had things in common. And they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them all as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts,
In other words, they had a party.
praising God and having favor with all the people and the Lord added to their number, day by day, those who were being saved.
How to be your brother’s brother, how to be your brother’s sister, how to be your sister’s sister. That’s what we’re talking about. And we’re looking at the book of Acts for that. Now, let me give you a list of things. And I’ve got a bunch of these there, and I’ve spent a long time in this text. And so, I want you to listen up. I have a six or seven, maybe even eight things that I’ve discovered here, and I could hardly wait to share it with you. First in that text, the text teaches that belief is the basis of real brotherhood, look at the 44th verse. All who liked each other, doesn’t say that. All who shared common political interest, it doesn’t say that.
All who believe together had all things in common.
In other words, at the very heart of the family of God is not whether we like each other or not, but what do you believe? What do you think about God? Years ago, and I blush when I talk about this, cause I did some really dumb things, when I was young pastor. I was the student pastor and then later the full-time pastor of a little church on Cape Cod called the East Dennis Community Church. And I love those people. They forgave so much. In the summer, we had as many as 17 pastors in that church and four or five that lived there year round, and they could have killed me and ended my ministry, because of some of the things that I said and did, but they didn’t, they prayed for me and they loved me and they cared. And, and years later they invited me back to speak for their hundredth anniversary, and I did. You know what I did, I apologized. I said, you know, I know what I told you in those days. And you knew it was nonsense, and I didn’t. But I’m a little older now and a little wiser now, and I get that. And I am so sorry. And if I had to do over again, I would’ve said something different and done some different things than what I said and what I did. But one, and no, I’m not going to go down the list, but one of them was in a Creed. I was then a student at a graduate school in Boston, a graduate school of theology. And, one of the things that I discovered in my studies at Boston University was, the Korean Creed. Now, I guess it’s in a lot of other creeds, but it’s certainly in the Korean Creed. And one of the statements of the Creed is this, I believe in the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God. Is that cool, or what? I mean, that makes you even feel good when you say it. The problem is, it’s just not true. I remember a lady, her name was Ms, her name just came to me, man, that’s weird, Mrs. Easton. And she came up to me, and she was sweet. She was not angry or anything. And she said, pastor, that statement in the Korean Creed is not in the Bible. And I said with extreme arrogance and self-righteousness. I didn’t say it out loud, I’m ordained, and I know, and you’re not ordained and you don’t know, I didn’t say that, but that was the attitude. Yes, it is. Of course it’s in the Bible. She said, well, show it to me, and I’ll. I said, I don’t know exactly where, but I’ll bring you back several verses and then you will be able with enthusiasm to repeat the Korean Creed. She said, I love you, but I don’t think so. And I did, in fact, I spent almost an afternoon, a Sunday afternoon going through the Bible, looking for verses and texts that would show her where she was wrong. And I was right. Couldn’t find any, not one single verse, in the entire Bible. Now there’s a lot about God being the God of everybody and that everybody is his creature and everybody is valuable. We’re all created in the image of God. I mean, there’s a lot about that, but this brotherhood thing under the fatherhood of God, when it’s meant theologically and profoundly, is simply not in the Bible. You’re my brother. Well, let me tell you what John Wesley said. John Wesley said.
If your heart be as my heart, give me your hand.
If your heart be as my heart, give me your, what was he saying? He was saying that there are certain basic verities, certain basic things that we believe that have changed our lives and changed the world. And because we believe them, that makes us a part of one another, that makes us family. And so, the essence of brotherhood and sisterhood is right here. It’s in a belief system. These guys weren’t getting together, just because they liked each other. They were getting together, because they had seen a dead man walking, because they had been loved so deeply when they were unlovable. They were together because they had been forgiven. They worked together, because they shared the family secrets, alright? And as we share those family secrets, we become family. That’s how it starts. That’s how it begins, and that’s how it’s sustained. I’m not going to tell you his name, but there’s a television preacher, who smiles all the time. And he belongs to Jesus and I, as you know, taught for years in the seminary, and seminary students have a tendency to be very critical and self-righteous. Sometimes I used to say to myself, I wish I knew as much as they knew, but they were very critical of this particular television preacher. And, so I, well, it’s a long story, but one of the students sent me a video where he had pretty much denied Christ on a television program. And then another student sends me another video where he had repented publicly for what he said before. And so, I came back to the class the next day, and I said, listen, you may not like it, but he’s our brother and he’s ours. And he’s part of the family. And a young man on the front row raised his hand, and he said, Dr. Brown, he’s not my brother, maybe a cousin, but he’s certainly not my brother. Yeah, he is, you know, God has some really different people in our family and it doesn’t matter their politics. Well, it does, I guess. I’m a political person and Jesus won’t let me share my political views on this broadcast, but it doesn’t matter how they look or where they’ve been to school or the degrees they have, what matters is, what do you believe? Do you have a Father, the same as my Father? And has he loved you the way he is loved me? And so, the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God, isn’t true. It’s nice, but it’s just not true. You got to start with, what do you believe? And these people, who were together in the early church and demonstrating to us, the wonder and the power and the joy of family, that started, because of what they believed. It started with what they believed about Jesus, it started because they had experienced and understood and underlined what in west Wesley said.
If your heart be as my heart, then give me your hand.
Hey, you think about that. Amen.
Of course, that was Steve brown, teaching us from Acts 2 about the brotherhood and sisterhood of the family of God. So much more to explore here. Hope you’ll come back again tomorrow. So, let me ask you something. Do you sin? Do you feel guilty about it? Do you feel like you bring shame on Christ? If so, I have some good news for you. It’s all about grace. You are a new creature in Christ. It’s not an issue of reading the Bible more or praying more or witnessing more or even being more accountable. It’s not an issue of voting or dressing or behaving in a certain way. It’s already who you are, a new creation in Christ, just like it says in II Corinthians 5. If you want to learn more about this, please check out a sermon we offer for free on CD. It’s called Owner’s Manual for the New Creation. Get your copy right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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