Your Business and Your Brother

by Joseph Franks

It was Lucifer who was totally unconcerned for his fellow demons. He used and abused them for his own self-exaltation. They were mere pawns in his game of self-worship. He proved to have no love for the fellow-created-angelic beings following his lead.

It was Adam and Eve who were totally unconcerned for the welfare of each other. Adam sat by and watched his wife flirt with Satan’s temptation. She ate and then offered to him the God-forbidden fruit. Through their actions, they proved not to love one another as they were created to do.

From their loins came Cain who murdered his brother Abel. Because Abel’s sacrifice was more acceptable to God, and because Abel’s acceptance made Cain look sub-par, Cain slaughtered his brother in a field. Later, God visited Cain and called him to account for his brother’s whereabouts, and Cain’s answer became legendary, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

And from this family came one generation after another of self-loving, neighbor-hating, brothers and sisters. Yes, Scripture presents self-love, brotherly-neglect, and neighbor-hatred in chapter after chapter. The examples are almost endless and could include Sodom and the angels, Jacob’s sons and Joseph, Pharaoh and the Israelites, David and Uriah, Amnon and Tamar, all the pagan atrocities, and the Jews in response to Jesus and his disciples.

At Mt. Sinai, when God presented his Law on stone and in parchments, much was made of man’s duty to love his brothers and sisters. The first three commandments dealt with man’s love towards God. The fourth commandment dealt with man’s sabbatical worship of God in addition to his sabbath duty towards family, slaves, and sojourners. Then commandments five through ten continued to prescribe man’s obligations towards his neighbors. The Law was clear — your brother’s business was your business. However, the Law of God had no power to curb the self-loving cancer found in the soul of each man. All the Law accomplished was to point out God’s way, and then point out man’s brotherly sins.

However, at the appointed time in history, the Perfect Man came forth. Jesus Christ was perfectly blameless in regards to God and man. He kept all ten of God’s great commandments, and he proved his brother’s business was his business. Yes, as a servant, each and every day, he lived for his brothers. Then, as a sacrifice, on one horrid but beautiful day, the Son of God died for his brothers. But wondrously, through his substitutionary work, Jesus earned a robe or righteousness that he draped over all who believed on him. Because his business was his brother’s business, brothers and sisters are saved from all their unloving transgressions — all of them. But he was not done …

The Holy Son then implants his Holy Spirit in the souls of each of us — his brothers and sisters, and we begin to be externally transformed. We find ourselves “walking by the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:16)  We are “led by the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:18)  Progressively, we live less and less after our old sinful flesh and we begin to more beautifully manifest the “fruit of the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:22)  One might accurately even say we “live by the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25)  Because of Christ and his Spirit, we become “spiritual” and we possess a “spirit of gentleness.” (Gal. 5:23; 6:1)

And it is to us, the Spirit-indwelt, Spirit-led, brothers and sister of Jesus that Paul writes the following admonition. It is to us that the Holy Spirit says:

Brothers, If anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal. 6:1-2)

We who love the Law; we who are convicted and condemned by the Law; we who are saved from the curse of the Law by the cross-work of Christ; we who are clothed in perfect, saintly righteousness due to the active obedience of the Perfect Brother; we who are hungry to respond with good worship and long to live lawfully; we hear again that our business is our brother’s business, and our business is theirs.

Friends, this is the will of God and the “Law of Christ.” Let us get connected to a local church fellowship. Then, let us be about our Father’s business and that of our brother and sisters. Let us look to apply the balm of Christ to the sin-weary souls in our midst. Let us gently and humbly pursue one another as we long for Gospel-restoration. And then, let us labor to apply our shoulders and resources to the overwhelming burdens of struggling and stumbling family members. Brothers and sisters, again, this is the will of God and the “Law of Christ.” So today, let us not be unrepentant in regards to our brotherly transgressions — whether they be active sins of commission or passive sins of omission. Let us repent and respond properly. Our business is our brother’s business. Yes, we are our brother’s keeper, and it is a fantastic privilege. Let us go now and worship Christ. Let us go now and be about our Father’s business. Let us go now, worship well, and find a brother or sister to love.

 

 

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