The catchall phrase today seems, “Don’t Judge Me” particularly when that individual knows they were doing wrong. This article will attempt to kindle the moral obligation each Christian has when a brother or sister falls into sin. The Holy Scriptures teaches we are our brother’s keeper.
If anyone should believe otherwise, then, please continue to read on, and one will discover the truth of God’s word.
In 1 Corinthians 5:10-13, it says,
10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.
Bear One Another’s Burdens
The Lord God puts forward a question to Cain by asking him where his brother was. Cain’s response was in two parts.
The first part was a lie out of his mouth in response to the question of where his brother was, Cain’s answer, “I do not know,” this was a bold-faced lie to the Lord. Cain knew his brother was dead by his hand. The Second part is, Cain is asking the Lord after he lies and says, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
In Genesis 4:9, it says,
9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” Moreover, he said, “I do not know, Am I my brother’s keeper?”
The obvious answer to this question is, yes we are our brother’s keeper. This issue is put forth by God, “Where is Abel your brother,” it indeed shows one has a moral obligation to care for his brother and sister in the Lord.
According to Scripture, we are to bear the burdens of our fellow Christian brother or sister; as demonstrated in the book of Galatians.
In Galatians 6:1-2, it says,
1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one is looking to yourself so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
A clear statement of what one must do in the event a believer stumbles and our responsibility to help and restore the individual’s fellowship with the Lord.
This issue is not just “Bear one another’s burdens,” but one’s attitude in the helping of his or her brother or sister. Many times this helping, if done with a superior attitude of the helper, will only lead to the same sin in the helper’s life; thus, we must strive toward humility to be our goal in the helping of the sinner.
One’s own heart must be in full fellowship with the Lord of Creation before any help will benefit the individual they wish to assist.
Hand The Sinner Over to Satan
If a person refuses to repent, then there is only one course of action. They must be removed from the fellowship and given over to Satan.
In 1 Corinthians 5:5, it says,
5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
In 1 Corinthians 5:13, it says,
13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.
The Word of God is clear on the continuance of an individual who plays with sin. The verses above are teaching an object lesson that its ultimate end is to restore the person’s soul to a right fellowship with God or put them out of the fellowship if they refuse to repent. We are indeed our brother’s keeper.
Bring Back to The Fold
After an individual’s punished for a time, he or she must be taken back into the fold if they have demonstrated repentance.
In 2 Corinthians 2:6-8, it says,
6 Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, 7 so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.
When love is reaffirmed, it means that this individual has the same rights and privileges he or she had before their punishment. Sad to say many times it is not this way because the person’s forgiveness is contingent upon their conduct, this puts an excessive amount of pressure on them then to perform not for God but man.
In James 5:19-20, it says,
19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
All of us are subject to falling into sin; we are all mortal beings with our strength only coming from the Word of God and if we are at it daily.
In 1 Peter 5:8, it says,
8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
The Church is people, so we must love each other, yet, we still must punish the individual if he or she does not turn from their sinful ways. Good parents do this for their children so that they may become productive, honest people in society, God will do the same for us because He is our father and loves each one of us and wants us with Him in heaven.
The Church is weak today because many lack the courage to do what the Lord says in Scripture. Thus, we must return to first-century church teaching to be effective to the world.
Sola Scriptura– By Scripture alone
Sola Fide– By Faith alone
Sola Gratia– By Grace alone
Solus Christus– By Christ alone
Soli Deo Gloria– Glory to God alone
Copyright Dr. George L Gallant, ©2016
All quotes are from the: New American Standard Bible, ©1995.