"AM I MY BROTHER'S KEEPER?
INTRO: 1. Cain and Abel were physical brothers. Actually they were the first brothers we have recorded in the Bible.
2. They were brothers of the same father and mother. They had an exceptional responisbility toward one another's welfare because of this.
3. All of mankind are brothers and sisters by fact of the creation.
A. Because of this fact we have responsibility toward one another.
4. When we are born into the family of god, by baptism into Christ, we take on a great responsibility both physically and spiritually toward one another.
5. People of the same physical family have a great responsibility toward one another.
A. Fathers are to be the head of the family and are to furnish the necessities of life.
1) Both physical and spiritual necessities. 1 Tim. 5:8; Eph. 6:4.
B. Mothers are to be keepers of the home, extending the love, care and leadership of the children that are her special responsibility. 1 Tim. 5:14; Titus 2:1-8.
C. Children have a responsibility toward their parents and toward one another. Eph. 6:1-3.
6. Spiritual leaders, elders, deacons, preachers, teachers, have a great responsibility in the spiritual field toward the flock in which they work.
7. It is a very grievous sin to take one's life.
8. We can be guilty of taking our brother's life in more ways than one.
9. We can be found guilty of taking his spiritual life as well as his physical life.
I. FIRST, LET US CONSIDER OUR BROTHER BY CREATION.
A. All men are brothers by fact of the creation.
B. Are we keepers of our brethren in creation?
1. We are to preach and teach the gospel unto them. Mt. 28:18-20; Mk.16:15,16.
2. We are to do good unto them. Gal. 6:10.
3. We are to live right before them. Mt. 5:13-16.
4. We are to help them in time of physical need. Mt. 5:42; Lk. 10:30-37.
II. SECOND, LET US CONSIDER OUR BRETHREN IN CHRIST, OR IN RECREATION OR REGENERATION.
A. All that, by faith, have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ, thereby becoming sons of God and brethren in the family or church of God. Gal. 3:26,27; Acts 2:41,47.
B. Are we keepers of our brethren in Christ?
1. We are sheep in the fold of Christ. Jno. 10.
2. Christ is the Chief Shepherd of the fold. Jno. 10:11,14; 1 Pet. 5:4.
3. We are to seek after the lost sheep or those that have gone astray. Mt. 18:12-14.
4. We are to restore erring brethren. Gal. 6:1,2; Jas. 5:19,20.
5. We are to encourage faithfulness. Heb. 10:24,25.
III. THIRD, LET US CONSIDER HOW THIS KEEPING OF OUR BRETHREN CAN BE DONE.
A. Whatever way is used, must be in keeping with the scriptures and in a decent, orderly fashion. 2 Jno. 9; 1 Cor. 14:40.
B. Many ways have been tried and many more ways have been talked about from time to time, such as:
1. Having a board at the entrance with name tags for all members. The members would turn their name tag over upon arrival to the services.
a. Two or more could be appointed to check the absentees according to the board and contact them.
2. Names of members were typed out upon sheets of paper, these were divided into two parts and given to check by the names, whether absent of present and contact the absentees.
3. The city can be divided up into from 4 to 6 sections and two or more appointed to each section, for checking on absentees.
C. These are just a few of the many ways that men have tried to keep check on the attendance of church members, brethren in Christ.
1. I remember going to a congregation one time where, at the end of the services, an announcement was made naming all that were absent so that everyone could be aware of such and try to contact the absentees
D. No way will work unless all are interested in making it work.
E. The work of checking and encouraging should not be placed upon the shoulders of just two or three families because all of us are responsible for one another's spiritual and physical welfare.
F. Let me tell you of a plan that will work under certain conditions.
These conditions are:
1. That we all love the Lord and our brethren.
2. That we all are interested in the Lord's work and one another.
G. If these conditions prevail, then we can work the plan effectively.
Here is the plan:
1. each member and his family be responsible for himself, his family, and the two families living closest to him. I am referring to families of Christians living closest to that family.
2. Each family call and encourage the other two families some time during the week before service time.
3. Each family check whether the other two families are present at the services or not. If they are not present then contact them and find out why. This should be done for all services.
H. A love for the Lord and a love for one another will cause us to look after the spiritual and physical well-being of one another.
Yes, brethren, we are truly our brother's keeper. We must realize that and fulfill our duties toward them.
By Jim Sasser
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