The catchall expression today is, “Don’t Judge Me,” even 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.
1 Corinthians 5:10-13, says,
10 I did not mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then leaving the world is necessary.
11 But, 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 decides. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves. (NASB)
Bear One Another’s Burdens
The Lord God asked a question of Cain, “where is your brother?” Cain’s response was in two parts.
The first part was a lie out of his mouth in response to where his brother was, Cain’s answer, “I do not know,” this was a 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?”
Genesis 4:9, says,
9 Then the LORD said to Cain where is Abel, your brother? He said, I do not know, Am I my brother’s keeper? (NASB)
The obvious answer to this question is, yes, we are our brother’s keeper. “Where is Abel, your brother,” it 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 shown in the book of Galatians.
Galatians 6:1-2, says,
1 Brethren, even if caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each is looking at yourself, so this sin does not tempt you.
2 Bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ. (NASB)
The verses above are what one must do if a believer stumbles and it is our responsibility to help and restore the individual’s fellowship with the Lord.
The issue is not just “Bear one another’s burdens,” but one of helping of his or her brother or sister. Helping, if done with a superiority of the helper, will lead to the same sin in the helper’s life; we must strive toward humility to be our goal of helping the sinner.
One’s own heart must be in full fellowship with the Lord of Creation before any help benefits the individual they wish to assist.
Hand the Sinner Over to Satan
If a person refuses to repent, then there is one course of action. The fellowship is to remove them and given over to Satan according to 1 Corinthians 5:5.
1 Corinthians 5:5, says,
5 I have delivered such a one to Satan to destroy his flesh to save his spirit on the day of the Lord Jesus. (NASB)
1 Corinthians 5:13, says,
13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves. (NASB)
The Word of God is keen on an individual who plays with sin. The verses above are teaching an object lesson, and its ultimate end is to restore the person’s soul to a right fellowship with God if they refuse to repent. Yes, we are our brother’s keeper
Bring Back to The Fold
One must return the individual punished to the fellowship if he or she has repented with full rights and privileges.
2 Corinthians 2:6-8, says,
6 Sufficient for such a one is this punishment inflicted by the majority,
7 so on the contrary, instead forgive and comfort him. Otherwise, the individual has excessive sorrow.
8 Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. (NASB)
Reaffirming your love means this individual has the same rights and privileges he or she had before their punishment. Sad to say it is not this way because the person’s forgiveness is contingent upon their conduct, this puts pressure them not to perform for God but, man.
James 5:19-20, says,
19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back,
20 let him know he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and his sins covered by Jesus’ blood. (NASB)
We are subject to falling into sin; we are mortal beings with our strength coming from the Word of God if we are in the Word every day.
1 Peter 5:8, says,
8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around as a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (NASB)
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 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 weakness in the Church today is it lacks the courage to do what the Lord says in Scripture. We must return to first-century church teaching to be useful in 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, ©2019