Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

Genesis 4:8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
Genesis 4:9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Define keeper: Strong’s שָׁמַר shâmar shaw-mar’

to hedge about, that is, guard; generally to protectattend to, etc.: – beware, be circumspect, take heed (to self), keep (-er, self),

1 Samuel 17:20 So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the camp as the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle.
1 Samuel 17:22 And David left his supplies in the hand of the supply keeper, ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers.

This is what Cain is asking of God as if it had some merit.

So after asking the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” I believe the rest of the Bible answers this question in the affirmative!

The Way of Cain

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

Woe to them! This is the same word as the “woes” of revelation. It is saying that grief will come to them “For they have gone in the way of Cain”

Cain envied the acceptance of his brother’s offering and this envy led to hatred, and this hatred to the murder of his brother.

These men, the false ministers are at their core haters of their brethren – they for sure do not love them

the false doctrines that they espouse, the ones that corrupt them … also corrupt the brethren and tend to destroy the congregation they are supposed to be caring for and loving. Because they hate their brothers/brethren they are for all intents and purposes murderers and will receive a punishment for their evil and wicked ways

Genesis 4:13 And Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear!
Genesis 4:14 Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.”

Cain was all about Cain! He was selfish and showed no remorse or repentance. It “woe is me” and all about him without a care for what happened to Abel.

Who is My Brother?

Luke 10:25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Luke 10:26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?
Luke 10:27 So he answered and said, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND,’ and ‘YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'”
Luke 10:28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
Luke 10:29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

To me this question is almost as bad as Cain’s

Luke 10:30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Luke 10:31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.
Luke 10:34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
Luke 10:35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’
Luke 10:36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
Luke 10:37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Christ is very specifically saying that we are our brother’s keeper in the most liberal meaning of the phrase.

Core Doctrine of Love

At its core this is what the Bible is about:

Commandments and instructions that we are given are about love toward God and love toward our fellow man:

Matthew 22:36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’
Matthew 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Matthew 22:39 And the second is like it: ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
Matthew 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Love is defined as an unselfish outgoing concern for another. It is an ACTION, not a feeling (though there are feelings associated with it).

Here is how it acts:

1 Corinthians 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
1 Corinthians 13:5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
1 Corinthians 13:6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
1 Corinthians 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

It is towards others:

Philippians 2:1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
Philippians 2:2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same lovebeing of one accord, of one mind.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

Christ’s Set the Example in Loving Us

This is the way that we are to be – imagine loving to this extent

Romans 5:6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Matthew 20:26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.
Matthew 20:27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—
Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Paul’s Example

Compare yourself now to this – how do you measure up?

2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses,
2 Corinthians 6:5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings;
2 Corinthians 6:6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,
2 Corinthians 6:7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
2 Corinthians 6:8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true;
2 Corinthians 6:9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed;
2 Corinthians 6:10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

God is not asking this much of us at the moment – how much more should we be able to do what we are being asked to do.

The End Time

This is something that we need to be acutely aware of – especially at this point in time:

2 Timothy 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
2 Timothy 3:2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

This needs to be on our radar and something that we are to be doing

Matthew 24:10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Matthew 24:11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
Matthew 24:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

We are to exemplify what it means to be a Philadelphian (not a Laodicean)

Here is one of the biggest differentiating factors in this:

Laying Down Your Life

Here is the ultimate and greatest degree to which you can show love and be your brother’s keeper:

John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

We don’t often get the opportunity to do this physically; we have the opportunity though to do it frequently spiritually.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

Practical Application

Romans 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
Romans 12:5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
Romans 12:7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
Romans 12:8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Romans 12:11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; [how we are to do it] Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
Romans 12:13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

Love One Another

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Serve One Another

Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

Fill One Another’s Needs

Matthew 25:35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
Matthew 25:36 was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

Bear with One Another

Ephesians 4:2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
Ephesians 4:3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Colossians 3:14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Be Kind to One Another

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Bear One Another’s Burdens

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Comfort and Encourage One Another

1 Thessalonians 4:18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore comfort [encourage] each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Admonish One Another

1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.
1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

James 5:19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,
James 5:20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

Romans 15:14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

Pray for One Another

James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Show Respect to One Another

James 2:1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.
James 2:2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes,
James 2:3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,”
James 2:4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
James 2:6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?
James 2:7 Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
James 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you do well;
James 2:9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

Especially to the Household of Faith!

Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Spiritual brother – This is who we are mainly talking about today

1 Corinthians 12:23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,
1 Corinthians 12:24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it,
1 Corinthians 12:25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

Have Compassion for One Another

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;

Fellowship with One Another

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Better One Another

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Exhort One Another

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Search for One Another

Luke 15:1 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him.
Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.”
Luke 15:3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying:
Luke 15:4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
Luke 15:5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
Luke 15:6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
Luke 15:7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

Special Assignment

This next week find someone and begin filling their needs. Then when you get comfortable with that, find another….

A Matter of Life and Death

Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
Matthew 25:32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
Matthew 25:33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
Matthew 25:34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Matthew 25:35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
Matthew 25:36 was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
Matthew 25:37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
Matthew 25:38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
Matthew 25:39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Matthew 25:41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
Matthew 25:42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;
Matthew 25:43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
Matthew 25:44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’
Matthew 25:45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
Matthew 25:46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

1 John 3:11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
1 John 3:12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
1 John 3:13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
1 John 3:15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
1 John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
1 John 3:17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.