"Let love of the brethren continue."
Yep, I have a brother. We were born a year apart, and some thought we were twins. I do love my brother, always have. But he lives in Colorado, and I live here on the Left Coast. So, I look around at the brothers around me. We are never orphans in the Christian community. We have brothers and sisters aplenty. Do I always agree with everything they say and do? No, of course not. I have found that they do not always agree with me on this and that. Imagine that! We are all on different places on our journey, called to different gifts. But we are all heading in the same direction. Without love, however, we are without air, but bent over gasping for breath on the race to the finish line. We cannot continue without love.
Adam Clarke says, "Be all of one heart and one soul. Feel for, comfort, and support each other;
and remember that he who professes to love God should love his brother also. They had this brotherly love among them; they should take care to retain it. As God is remarkable for his philanthropy, or love to man, so should they be for philadelphia, or love to each other.
He refers back to Titus 3:3-4
"For we ourselves were...
living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared."
It makes me once again think back to the first two brothers, one who killed the other, Cain killed Abe with malice, envy and hatred in his heart.
But Adam Clarke says, "...we may understand the essential goodness of the Divine nature; that which is the spring goodness of the Divine nature; that which is the spring whence all kindness, mercy, and beneficence proceed. Love toward man--Philanthropy...God loves man; He delighted in the idea when formed in His own infinite mind, He formed man according to that idea, and rejoiced in the work of His hands (Proverbs 8); when man fell, the same love induced Him to devise His redemption, and God the Saviour flows from God the Philanthropist. Where love is it will be active, and will show itself. So when the philanthropy of God appeared, it shone out, in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, and in His giving His life for the life of the world."
Here's the beloved apostle writing...
"The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother
is in the darkness until now
The one who loves his brother abides in the Light
and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness..."
(I John 2:9-11)
"Beloved, let us love one another,
for love is from God;
and everyone who loves
is born of God and knows God.
The one who does not love
does not know God,
for God is love.
By this the love of God was manifested in us.
that God has sent His only begotten Son
into the world so that we might live through Him
In this is love,
not that we loved God,
but that He loved us and sent His Son
to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also ought to love one another.
No one has seen God at any time;
if we love one another, God abides in us,
and His love is perfected in us...
We have come to know and have believed
the love which God has for us.
God is love,
and the one who abides in love abides in God,
and God abides in him.
By this, love is perfected with us...
We love, because He first loved us.
If anyone says, 'I love God,'
and hates his brother,
he is a liar;
for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen,
cannot love God whom he has not seen.
And this commandment we have from Him,
that the one who loves God should love his brother also."
One more Scripture...
"Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering."
So this is an important point, not a given, that we should love one another. Andrew Murray says, "The command of our text reminds us of how love may wax cold, and how it may be sadly wanting in the Church. In divisions and separations, in indifference and neglect, in harsh judgments and unloving thoughts...(However) Love is the new nature we receive from heaven, and is renewed from heaven day by day. The fruit of the Spirit is love."