Biblical Teaching from a Reformed Perspective

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy
name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou
hast magnified thy word above all thy name. Ps. 138:2

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my brother's keeper by Mike Aldridge

Key Verses: Genesis 4:9; Matthew 18:15-35; John 13:34; 1 Cor. 5; 1 Cor. 12:12-26; Gal. 5:13-15; Gal. 6:1,2; 2 Thess 3

We will deal with several subjects as they relate to our particular study

  • The Subject of COMMUNITY
  • The Subject of CONFRONTATION
  • The Subject of CONTROVERSY
  • The Subject of COMPASSION


There is only One Body - 1 Cor. 12:12-26   We are Members of One Another

Ephesians 4:25 (KJV) (See verses 1-27)
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

As such, we are to Love One Another

1 John 3:11 (KJV)
11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

See Also - 1 John 3:23; 4:7, 11, 12; 2 John 5

A New Command

John 13:34 (KJV)
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Paul's Prayer

1 Thessalonians 3:12 (KJV)
12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

One Another Verses:

                   Be kindly affectioned to one another Rom. 12:10
                   Prefer one another Rom. 12:10; 1 Tim. 5:21
                   Be of the same mind toward one another Rom. 12:16; Rom. 15:5
                   Love one another Rom. 13:8; 1 Pet. 1:22
                   Edify one another Rom. 14:19
                   Receive one another Rom. 15:7
                   Care for one another 1 Cor. 12:25
                   Serve one another Gal. 5:13
                   Bear one another's burdens Gal. 6:2
                   Forebear one another Eph. 4:1-2; Col. 3:13
                   Be kind to one another Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13
                   Forgive one another Eph. 4:32
                   Submit ourselves to one another Eph. 5:21; 1 Pet. 5:5
                   Teach one another Col. 3:16
                   Admonish one another Col. 3:16
                   Comfort on another 1 Thess. 4:18
                   Exhort one another Heb. 3:13; 10:24-25
                   Confess our sins to one another Jam. 5:16
                   Have compassion for one another 1 Pet. 3:8
                   Show hospitality to one another 1 Pet. 4:9
                   Minister to one another 1 Pet. 4:10


Our purpose and/or motive for confrontation is always Restoration, never Condemnation, and is always done within the context of LOVE

But make no mistake, as Christians we are called to confront !

Galatians 6:1-2 (KJV)
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.

Why Confront?

           1. For the Sake of Christ - Why? To restore Christ's Name
           2. For the Sake of the Church - Why? To cleanse the Body
           3. For the Sake of the Believer - Why? To restore the Believer to Fellowship
           4. For the Sake of the Lost - Why? To promote Christ favorably

Recognize the difference between a Brother who is guilty of Sin and one who is living in Sin

CASE STUDY 1 - Matthew 18
CASE STUDY 2 - 1 Corinthians 5
CASE STUDY 3 - 2 Thess 3

From these 3 passages, we are called upon as "Members of the Body of Christ" to do several things in order to restore a fallen Brother or Sister:

          1. Approach them secretly/privately - Matt. 18:15
          2. Approach them with 2 or 3 witnesses - Matt. 18:16
          3. Approach them corporately/publically - Matt. 18:17
          4. Remove them from the fellowship - 1 Cor. 5:7-8
          5. Do not company with them - 1 Cor. 5:9-11; 2 Thess 3:14
          6. Withdraw from them - 2 Thess 3:6

But do not treat them as an enemy. Admonish them as a brother - 2 Thess 3:15

And always, if and when they repent, forgive them and restore them to fellowship immediately.


Key passages: Rom. 14, 1 Cor. 8

The Bible also refers to controversies as "disputable matters" (Rom. 14:1 NIV)

In disputable matters one is considered to have weak faith, another strong faith.

WEAK - The one who is weak is the one who considers something to be wrong when it comes to disputable matters - Rom. 14:2; 1 Cor. 8:7

STRONG - The one who is strong is the one who realizes the liberty he/she has in Christ - Rom. 14:2; 1 Cor. 8:9

WEAK - The one who is weak should not judge the one who exercises his/her liberty in Christ - Rom. 14:3;

STRONG - The one who is strong should not despise the one whose conscience or faith is weak - Rom. 14:3

WEAK - If anyone regards something to be unclean, then for that person it is unclean - Rom. 14:14

STRONG - We must be fully persuaded in our minds/consciences - Rom. 14:5

Those of us who are strong must never put a stumbling block before our weaker brother - Rom. 14:13, 1 Cor. 8:9
To cause our brother to stumble means to embolden him to violate his conscience - 1 Cor. 8:10
If we cause our brother to stumble, we are guilty of sin - 1 Cor. 8:12
We must make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification - Rom.14:19
If our brother is distressed by what we eat, or do, we are no longer acting in love - Rom. 14:15


2 Key Passages

Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Colossians 3:13 (KJV)
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.

CASE STUDY 1 - Matthew 18:15-35
CASE STUDY 2 - Like 17:3-4

Our understanding of compassion must harmonize with the doctrine of confrontation, and vice versa.

Forgiveness is ALWAYS contingent upon repentance!

"Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5)

Repentance must be expressed before forgiveness can be experienced .

Forgiveness without repentance is actually a sin in itself because it is in direct violation of the Bible's clear teaching in Matthew 18, Luke 17, 1 Cor. 5, and other similar passages. In every one of those passages we are commanded to confront our brother if there has not been true repentance.

How often are we to forgive our brother? Without limit! - Matthew 18:22; Luke 17:4

Love keeps no record of wrongs suffered. I cor. 13

Consider Warren Wiersbe's comments on Matthew 18:

Where there is love, there can be no limits or dimensions (Eph. 3:17-19). Peter thought he was showing great faith and love when he offered to forgive at least seven times. After all, the rabbis taught that three times was sufficient. Our Lord's reply, "Until seventy times seven" (490 times) must have startled Peter. Who could keep count for that many offenses? But that was exactly the point Jesus was making: Love "keeps no record of wrongs" (1 Cor. 13:5, NIV).

The problem with forgiveness does not lie in the need to confront a brother or sister when they have sinned against you, nor to expect them to repent of their wrong doing, the Scripture is very clear on that matter. The problem occurs when there is genuine repentance on their part and we still refuse to forgive them.

Remember: Unless we forgive we will not be forgiven! Matt. 18:3

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