Summary: A lesson designed to encourage discipleship responsibity.
AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER?
INTRODUCTION: Without a doubt, the event of Genesis 4 must have been the most difficult, the most heart-wrenching experience God would face with His creation. At the beginning God created the world in perfection, brought man into an innocent existence and placed them in a Nirvana, a Paradise He called Eden. Adam and Eve lacked nothing as God supplied all their needs in His perfect world. Yet in spite of that they would break the only rule He gave them and eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Undoubtedly this must have stuck God hard, as man’s disobedience always does, but in some ways I think He was prepared for it. After all He did give them a choice; they just made the wrong one. Yet when Cain rose up and killed his brother Able, God must have been torn apart. You see it is one thing to inflict harm upon yourself by your disobedience, by your sin, it is an entirely different thing to inflict harm on another with your disobedience and your sin. And as if this first murder was not bad enough, Cain’s response to God questioning added insult to injury. When God asked Cain about the welfare and whereabouts of his brother, his only brother mind you, he said, "Am I my brother’s keeper?" Hear the insolence, the defiance, the blatant disregard for the life of his own flesh and blood. This must have boiled God’s blood just as it does ours. Yet in spite of our abhorrence of such an ungodly attitude, don’t we at times find ourselves walking in Cain’s shoes after a fashion? We may not be murders in the physical sense, but the lack of interest, the disregard for the life of our fellow man, or fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, is no less sinful. We too find ourselves asking Cain’s question, "Am I my brother’s keeper?" Paul provides us an answer in Galatians 6. READ TEXT This entire passage concerns itself with the personal involvement of Christians in each other’s lives. It screams "You are your brother’s keeper!" And within this passage there are at least three distinct lessons.
I. RESTORE THE FALLEN
A. Satan and sin are active agents for evil in our world. They are partners in the age old plan to lead one of God’s children off track, and in reality folks that is all it takes, just to get off track.
1. Their goal is not to make devil worshippers out of the saved, but to break their bond with God.
2. Satan does not care if we surrender our lives to him or not, just so long as we take our lives out of the hands of God.
B. That is the nature of those whom Paul describes as having been "overtaken in a trespass." They are the fallen, the wayward, the unfaithful, the ones who have stumbled under the influence of sin and Satan and cannot regain their spiritual direction.
1. CEV renders this as being "Trapped in sin." These people are helpless, powerless, and in dire straits. They are on the verge of losing their soul; having their hopes of eternal life snuffed out.
2. This is why the Spirit had Paul write that we who are spiritual, faithful, should reach out to them and guide them back to a right relationship with God. The Greek word for restore carries the connotation of mending or repairing an injury like a surgeon would do.