Am I my brother's keeper, and is he mine?


1. Introduction:

A. Genesis 4:1-9 Cain's excuse for his sin

B. I want to ask you a version of that same question today, are you your brother s keeper and is he yours?

C. In considering this, we need to address first a Biblical truth as it relates to the authority structure of the church

D. Congregational Autonomy

1. Defined

a. Autonomous Self-Governing

b. Accountable held responsible (by another) for conduct

2. Autonomous Structure of congregations Philippians 1:1

a. Bishops, Deacons, Saints (members)

3. Establishment Titus 1:5

a. Evangelist

2. Personal Accountability

A. The design of the church

1. As a family Romans 8:14-17

a. Members of a family are accountable to each other, and what one does effects the entire family unit and all the individuals in it.

2. As a body Romans 12:5,6,15; 1 Corinthians 12:12ff

a. Each part of the body, when corrupted by illness or injury effects the entire body.

3. As a building 1 Timothy 3:15

a. The entire structure of a building depends on all systems doing their job, roof, walls, windows, foundation, etc.

B. Our personal accountability

1. To God Acts 4:19

a. This is always our 1st allegiance

2. To God appointed authorities

a. Home Husbands & Parents Eph.5:22-6:4

b. Church Hebrews 13:17

c. Government 1 Peter 2:13,14

d. Work 1 Peter 2:18

3. To Each other

a. Submit to each other Ephesians 5:21

1) In some sense, husbands submit to wives, and shepherds to sheep.

b. We are required to judge each other 1 Corinthians 5:11-13

c. We are to restore Galatians 6:1-5

1) This requires knowing each other well enough to make a judgment about other s Christianity.

2) Restore = return to usefulness

3) Those who are spiritual are those who have the Spirit of God living within them.

a) If you aren t spiritual, then you need to be restored yourself

3. Conclusion:

A. We weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice

1. Romans 12:15

B. Christ s prayer for unity binds us together John 17:20,21

C. As a family, body, and building, we must depend on each other, and we must have the freedom to judge the lives of each other.

D. NEVER, EVER say or have the attitude hey, butt out! This is my life and I ll do whatever I want with it!