(2 Cor 8:16-24; 12:18) "And we have sent with him the brother...".
I want to call your attention to verse 18:
"And, we have sent with him THE BROTHER!"
Not we sent Brother John, or Brother Larry, etc...
> But we sent with him, THE BROTHER
Evidently, it was not as important to God, who this guy was, BUT THAT HE WAS THERE!
> God doesn’t tell us his name...
> God doesn’t tell us where he was from...
> God doesn’t tell us what he did for a living...
> God did not EVEN tell us what he was doing for the Apostles.
All God tells us about him is that He sent him with the men of God.
> The Apostle Paul tells us that Titus wanted to go unto them, and be a blessing to them...
> And, Paul had sent with Titus, The Brother!
> "And we have sent with him the brother..."
I. What Do We Know About The Brother?
A. He was obedient to the men of God (v. 18).
1. The work of God cannot be done by the preacher alone.
> There must be men and women in the church that can help...
2. God will send men and women to help in the church...
> But, not all that are sent will go to the work.
> Not all that are sent will be obedient.
3. Thank God the Apostle Paul and Titus had someone that they could call on to help.
> Thank God there was someone who was available.
> Thank God there was someone who would be obedient to the call of God.
WE SENT WITH HIM, THE BROTHER...
B. He had a good reputation in the church (v. 18b; 22).
1. Not only his church, but churches all over the country were talking about The Brother.
> God doesn’t even tell us his name, and yet he was famous!
> He had a reputation in the church
2. He had a reputation as one who help distribute the gospel (v. 18b).
> He gave to missions...
> He supported the local Church...
> He was directly involved in the work!
3. I am not sure of all that he did, but I am sure of one thing...
> He had a reputation of assisting the Church in spreading the gospel.
> He received praise & appreciation from the Church.
HE WAS OBEDIENT TO THE MEN OF GOD...
HE HAD A GOOD REPUTATION IN THE CHURCH...
C. He was to be received of the church (v. 23-24).
1. If you are inquiring about Titus, he is my Partner.
> He is to be received as if you were receiving me...
2. If you are inquiring about THE BROTHER, he is the messenger of the Church, and the glory of Christ.
> Watch how you treat him, he is the glory of Christ.
3. THEREFORE (v. 24), show to them the proof of your love...
> Teach the church how to treat a man of God.
> We have sent with him, THE BROTHER!
II. The Characteristics of The Brother.
A. He finds out what he can do to help.
1. We cannot expect for someone else to do your part.
> We must so involve our self in the situation, so that we can be of service.
2. If its not obvious, we must ask how we can help.
> Some use the excuse, "No one asked me for help."
> But, I say you should take the initiative, and ask them, "What can I do to help?"
B. He considers his involvement a challenge.
1. Consider the story of the good Samaritan:
> Two religious leaders passed by, but each said, "Someone else will come..."
> But, the Samaritan, said, "I must help."
> He did not ask, "Should I help?"
> He saw the situation & determined to do something about it.
2. We all have ways of crying out for help, without saying a word.
> These cries go unanswered because we are not listening...
> We will give an answer to God, for letting people slip through our hands, that God intended us to help.
C. He does not consider what others have done for him.
1. The Apostle said, "I am a debtor to all men."
> Helping someone should not be based of what they have done for you.
2. My motivation for others is not selfish gain.
> I must not help others because of what I could gain.
> I must help others because they need help.
3. God may have called you, not to be in the spotlight, but to be a help to someone else.
> God may have called you, not to be the leader, but to be a helper
4. God may be calling you to a work, where no one will ever know your name...
> God may just want you to be THE BROTHER!
D. His goal is helping others.
1. His goal is not to impress people, but to help them.
> He doesn’t want to be admired, he wants to be a blessing.
> It will never matter to him if he gets the credit.
2. He is completely satisfied to sit in the background, and do the work, without any recognition.
> He doesn’t want to be Paul.
> He doesn’t want to be Titus...
> He is perfectly happy being THE BROTHER!
III. "Am I my brother’s keeper?"
A. Cain killed his brother Abel.
1. Cain was rejected, but Abel was accepted.
> Instead of getting right with God, he got mad at Abel.
2. "And 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 slew him..."
> And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother?
> And he said, I know not: AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER?
3. Do I have an obligation to my brother?
> Am I responsible for my brother’s spiritual welfare?
> Am I my brother’s keeper?
B. Who is my Brother? (Mtt.12:46-50)
1. Not talking about a biological relationship.
> This man and Titus were related by blood.
> The Brother implies a Spiritual Relationship.
2. We call each other Brother and Sister because it is a Biblical term.
> It is the way God’s people have always addressed each other.
> It shows that we acknowledge that there is a Spiritual relationship between us.
C. (1 Cor. 12:7-27).
1. Notice God’s Design in the Church:
(v. 7) Everybody in the Church benefits from these gifts.
(v. 11) Every person gets at least TWO spiritual gifts.
(v. 18) God has arranged the body as IT HAS PLEASED HIM.
(v. 21) One member CANNOT say to another, I have no need of you!
(v. 25) So there would be no schism in the body (division).
(v. 25) So that we would have the same care, one of another.
2. So that I might be my brother’s keeper.
> I do have an obligation to be a blessing to my brother.
> I have a responsibility to the church.
3. We have been equipped, called and sent to be a help to the Church.
> God gave each of us TWO or more Spiritual gifts.
D. Who is The Brother?
1. "Neglect not the gift that is in thee..."
> This means its possible to neglect your Spiritual gifts.
2. "Stir up your Spiritual gifts..."
> This means that we are to develop and use our Spiritual gifts.
3. God has called everyone of us to a place of service in the Church.
> Your specific make-up of talents and Spiritual gifts cannot be duplicated in another.
> You are the only you we will ever have.
> NO ONE ELSE CAN DO YOUR JOB!
4. YOU ARE THE BROTHER!
> You are the one sent to do the particular work that you have been called to do.
> When God says to a preacher, I have sent with you The Brother...
> He is talking about YOU!
IV. Our Relationship as Christians, Is Often Greater than That of a Biological Brother.
A. (Phile.1:7-21) None of these were biologically related, yet notice how Paul spoke of them...
(v. 7) For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.
> One of my favorite verses in the Bible.
(v. 10) I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:
> Not his biological son.
(v. 15-16) For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;
Not now as a servant, but above a servant, A BROTHER BELOVED, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, BOTH IN THE FLESH, AND IN THE LORD?
> Paul said, you NOW have a higher relationship with Onesimus!
> He is MUCH MORE to you now. He is The Brother!
(v. 21) Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.
> Paul expected MORE of him because he as A Brother!