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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 12 - Verse 10

Verse 10. Be kindly affectioned. The word here used occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly denotes tender affection, such as that which subsists between parents and children; and it means, that Christians should have similar feelings towards each other, as belonging to the same family, and as united in the same principles and interests. The Syriac renders this, "Love your brethren, and love one another." Comp. 1 Pe 2:17.

With brotherly love. Or, in love to the brethren. The word denotes the affection which subsists between brethren. The duty is one which is often presented in the New Testament, and which our Saviour intended should be regarded as a badge of discipleship. See Barnes "Joh 13:34,35, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another;" Joh 15:12,17; Eph 5:2; 1 Th 4:9; 1 Pe 1:22; 1 Jo 2:7,8; 3:11,23; 4:20,21.

The apostle Paul in this place manifests his peculiar manner of writing, he does not simply enjoin brotherly love, but he adds that it should be kindly affectioned. It should be with the tenderness which characterizes the most endearing natural relationship. This he expresses by a word which is made for the occasion, (filostorgoi) blending love with natural affection, and suffering it to be manifest in your intercourse with one another.

In honour. In showing or manifesting respect or honour. Not in seeking honour, or striving after respect, but in showing it to one another.

Preferring one another. The word preferring means going before, leading, setting an example. Thus in showing mutual respect and honour, they were to strive to excel; not to see which could obtain most honour, but which could confer most, or manifest most respect. Comp. 1 Pe 5:5; Eph 5:21. Thus they were to be studious to show to each other all the respect which was due in the various relations of life; children to show proper respect to parents, parents to children, servants to their masters, etc.; and all to strive, by mutual kindness, to promote the happiness of the Christian community. How different this from the spirit of the world; the spirit which seeks not to confer honour, but to obtain it; which aims not to diffuse respect, but to attract all others to give honour to us. If this single direction were to be obeyed in society, it would put an end at once to no small part of the envy, and ambition, and heart-burning, and dissatisfaction of the world. It would produce contentment, harmony, love, and order in the community; and stay the progress of crime, and annihilate the evils of strife, and discord, and malice. And especially, it would give order and beauty to the church. It would humble the ambition of those who, like Diotrephes, love to have the preeminence, (3 Jo 1:9) and make every man willing to occupy the place for which God has designed him, and rejoice that his brethren may be exalted to higher posts of responsibility and honour.

{x} "affectioned" 1 Pe 2:17 {1} "brotherly love" or, "in the love of the brethren"

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