Brotherly Relationships and The Bible

I.          INTRODUCTION:

A.  OFTEN I HAVE BEEN ASKED WHAT IS MY RELATIONSHIP TO A BROTHER IN CHRIST THAT IS GUILTY OF SOME SINFUL CONDUCT?

B.   THERE ARE PROBABLY SOME OF YOU THAT HAVE ALSO WONDERED WHAT YOUR RELATIONSHIP SHOULD BE TOWARD JUST SUCH A BROTHER.

C.  CONSIDER WITH ME FOR A FEW MINUTES WHAT THE BIBLE HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE ATTITUDE, CONDUCT, AND/OR RELATIONSHIP WE SHOULD HAVE TOWARD SUCH A BROTHER.

II.       DISCUSSION:

A.  IT IS DIFFICULT TO WIN AN OFFENDED BROTHER BACK TO CHRIST.

Proverbs 18:19  =  A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

1.        If each one of us had the mind (or spirit) of a child, it would not be difficult to reach a brother.

Matthew 18:3  =  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

2.        If each one of us had the spirit of forgiveness, the difficulty would be non existent.

Colossians 3:13  =  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

3.        If you have offended a brother, you should try to be reconciled to him.

Matthew 5:23-24  =  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."

B.        WE SHOULD NOT, HOWEVER, JUST IMAGINE OR THINK EVIL AGAINST OUR BROTHER.

Zechariah 7:10  =  And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.

1.        Too many of us allow our imaginations and suspicions to run wild, in judging another without the facts.

Matthew 7:1-5  =  Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

2.        A tree is know by its fruit and not just how the leaves are blown about.

Luke 6:44  =  For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

C.       WE SHOULD HAVE RIGHT ATTITUDE TOWARD OUR  BROTHER.

Matthew 5:22  =  But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

1.        “In danger of the judgment”      --      This was  a tribunal established among the Israelites, by the law of Moses, to deal with anger among brethren and criminals.               

Deuteronomy 16:18  =  Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.

2.        “In danger of the council”        --          This  was like the supreme court provided by the Mosaical  Law.

Deuteronomy 17:8-13  =  If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose;  And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and inquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:  And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:  According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.  And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.  And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.

3.        “In danger of hell fire”        --      

a.          This is the final punishment of the wicked.

b.         Here we see the climax of sin and the climax of punishment.

D.       WE SHOULD FORGIVE OUR BROTHER:

Matthew 18:35  =  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

1.        We must keep on forgiving – there is no limit to the number of times.       

Matthew 18:21-22  =  Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

2.        We should be just as forgiving as was Christ.

Luke 23:34  =  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

3.        Our being forgiven depends on our forgiving others.

Matthew 6:14-15  =  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

E.        WE SHOULD NOT PUT A STUMBLING BLOCK BEFORE OUR  BROTHER.

Romans 14:13  =  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

1.        We should not do anything that would cause a brother to stumble.

1 Corinthians 8:12-13  =  But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.  Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

2.        We should strive to help a brother not hurt him.

Galatians 6:1  =  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

F.        OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR BROTHER SHOULD NOT BE SHAMEFUL IN THAT WE CAN NOT SETTLE OUR PROBLEMS AND HAVE TO TAKE TO BRING IT BEFORE  UNBELIEVERS TO BE SETTLED.

1 Corinthians 6:6-7  =  But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.  Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

1.        We do wrong when we defraud our brother.

1 Corinthians 6:8  =  Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

2.        We should manifest a godly wisdom before the unbelievers of the  world.

Colossians 4:5  =  Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Matthew 5:14-16  =  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

G.       WE SHOULD STRIVE TO RESTORE OUR FALLEN BROTHER.

Galatians 6:1  =  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Note:  God’s law of pardon to an erring Christian.

James 5:16  =  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Acts 8:22  =  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

H.       WE SHOULD WITHDRAW OURSELVES FROM A DISORDERLY BROTHER THAT WILL NOT REPENT.

2 Thessalonians 3:6  =  Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

1.        The purpose is to make him ashamed of what he has done.

2 Thessalonians 3:14-15  =  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.  Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

2.        The end result of the withdrawal is two fold:

a.         “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh..”

b.         The church will sin if it does not do so, for “…A little leaven leaventh the whole lump.”

1 Corinthians 5:5-6  =  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

I.          WE SHOULD LOVE OUR BROTHER.

1 Peter 2:17  =  Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

1.        The Scriptures teach us to love one another.

1 Thessalonians 4:9  =  But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

2.        The Scriptures calls one that hates his brother a murderer.

1 John 3:15-16  =  Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

1 John 2:9-11  =  He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.  He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.  But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

3.        Love shown to a brother is described by Paul: 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8  =  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity never faileth: 

Romans 12:9-18  =  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;  Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;  Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.  Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.  Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.  Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

III.    CONCLUSION:

A.  THERE IS NO REASON FOR US TO FAIL TO UNDERSTAND WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP WE SHOULD MANIFEST TOWARD ONE ANOTHER.

B.   A FAILURE TO MANIFEST THE TRUE CHRISTIAN ATTITUDE IS TO BRING DAMNATION ON BOTH OURSELVES AND THE CHURCH.

Ephesians 5:27  =  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

C.  HAVE YOU FAILED IN YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP THE CHURCH PURE?  IF SO DO WHAT IS NEEDED TO CORRECT IT NOW AS WE SING THE INVITATION SONG.

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