The Master’s Class, Summit Church

ARE WE OUR BROTHER’S KEEPER? (Romans 14:15-22)

October 11, 2015
Where does the phrase my brother’s keeper come from, and what does it mean?  We see the first Biblical use of the phrase in:

Gen 4:9
9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
KJV

Now, when Cain gave this reply to God, he was clearly trying to be sarcastic to God, which is never a really good thing to do.  But Cain was essentially telling God, How should I know where my brother is, is he my responsibility?

From a Biblical perspective the phrase generally means to be responsible for the care of someone, think of the roles of a shepherd or a vine keeper.  But does that mean that we are responsible for the sin that others do?  No, the Bible is clear that we have no excuse for our own sin.  So with this said, when it comes to the debatable issues that we have been talking about, those not clearly defined in the Bible, are we our brother’s keeper?

Is the answer the same towards our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ as it is towards a lost person?

Did Christ live a life here on earth that could be described as being His brother’s keeper?

What does Christ mean when we say that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, and how does that fit in with the concern that Christ would say that we need to have about our brothers and sisters in Christ’s walk in faith?

How far are we to go before we say, well I have tried to tell him and show him what is right, but eventually he has to make his own decision?

How do we know that whatever we are doing will not be a stumbling block to someone, but will be a stepping stone, because really anything we do might offend somebody else?  We see it everywhere in our politically correct world today, somebody is offended by anything related to Christianity.  So should we just totally shut down any outward religious activity in the fear that it might offend somebody?

The answer to all of these questions is to move closer to Christ.  The more we conform our mind and spirit to the will of Christ and fully surrender our lives to Christ, then He will control our lives, and we will be our brother’s keeper.  

The more we move toward Christ, the less we will have to worry about offending a brother or sister in Christ.  

How do we enjoy our full liberty in Christ?  By moving closer to Christ.  

How do we educate our conscience about what the word of God says about certain activities?  By moving closer to Christ.

How can we truly be our brother’s keeper in the way that Christ would have us do?  By moving closer to Christ.