1 Peter 2:17
Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
(with 1 Peter 1:22): — There is a great difference between loving "the brethren" and loving "the brotherhood." "The brotherhood" is the society of "the brethren" — the Church. Each needs the other. "The love of the brotherhood" divorced from "the love of the brethren" will always lead to superstition, to an undue reverence for form and custom, to some sort of tyranny. "The love of the brethren" separated from "the love of the brotherhood" will always minister to foolish divisions, to confusion of faith, to ecclesiastical anarchy. St. Peter, who said "Love the brotherhood," said also "Love as brethren."
1. We ought to love the brethren. Religion is for men. The mission of the Church is to help everybody who needs help. There is constant need of humanising the work of the Church, that is, of emphasising the supreme purpose for which the Church exists — to make the world better.
2. On the other hand, while we ought to love the brethren, we ought also to love the brotherhood. Christ Himself directs us to "hear the Church." The customs of the ancient society, the ways of the Church, ought not to be readily laid aside. The probability is that the brotherhood is wiser than any of the brethren.
Parallel VersesKJV: Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.