In Paul's epistles the term "brethren" is used often. He recognized the spiritual birth of water and the Spirit which makes one part of God's family. (John 3:3-7) He also recognized God as the spiritual Father and Jesus as the elder brother of every Christian. Six times he used the expression, "Finally brethren" to teach us about important things.
2 Corinthians 13:11: "Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you." Paul encouraged brethren to become mature or complete. He wanted them to have good comfort or cheer. He also stressed the priceless ingredients of unity and peace. Both the presence and peace of the God of love is promised to the faithful Christian. It is essential that we mature in our service to God.
Ephesians 6:10: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." Christians are "in the Lord." In this spiritual realm they are to be strong. Spiritual strength comes by putting on the whole armor of God. (Ephesians 6:11-18) A lack of spiritual strength always hinders the progress of the church. "Finally brethren be strong in the Lord."
Philippians 3:1: "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe." Christians have both reason to rejoice and a realm in which to rejoice. The reason for Christians rejoicing is "salvation." The realm in which this rejoicing is done is "in the Lord." It is always safe to rejoice over any service or sacrifice made for the Lord. Those who serve the Lord can truly rejoice.
Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things." If you are to do right you must think right. Mediate on things noble, just, pure, lovely, things of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy things. Finally brethren you must think right if you want to go to heaven. Right action grows out of right thinking. Actions never change permanently until thinking changes.
1 Thessalonians 4:1: "Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God." The number one goal of a Christian is to please God. Walk and live in such a way as to accomplish that goal. The greatest testimony to the value of Christianity is a life in which Christ lives. The world should see Christ in us. (Matthew 5:13-16) The world needs proof in our lives that Christianity really works.
2 Thessalonians 3:1: "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you." Christians should pray for the word of God to spread quickly. God is glorified as His word has free course though out the world. Each Christian should be involved in spreading God's word and in praying for it to "run quickly." Evangelism is our most important work.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037