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My Brother's Keeper

"Brothers and sisters, even if a person is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you are not tempted as well. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks that he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting, but to himself alone, and not to another. For each one will bear his own load.The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him."

Good Morning Beloved,

Welcome to worship this Lord's Day.
Thank you for joining us, we're so glad you're here.

As believers, I believe it is important, that frequently take part in a little self examination. To look at our lives, so that we are not living a life that is cultivating and holding onto sin. For it was our sin that sent Christ to the cross; it was for our sin that He died. And when we came to Him, we asked Him to forgive our sin, we asked Him to become our Lord and our Savior and be our Redeemer. We repented of our sin, we embraced His forgiveness and His salvation.  

To do that and then carry on in a sinful manner willfully is to treat the sacrifice of Christ very lightly. In fact, I believe, that it's a measure of hypocrisy. To embrace Him as your Lord and Savior, as the Holy One, the One who died in your place to deal with your sin, to confess Him as Lord and tell Him that you want to obey Him and live for Him, and then to hold onto sin is indeed a duplicity that speaks of hypocrisy and hypocrisy is a sin, that of course, that dishonors God.
As the church, as you know, we have been called to a life of holiness. We have been called to live godly and virtuous lives according to Scripture. And so, we have been given the Word of God. We have been given Christ, as our example to show us how to live and the Spirit of God dwelling in us to give us the power to live in that way. We are as a church supposed to be heaven on earth. We ought to live such different, unique, and heavenly lives that the world has no earthly explanation for us. We are to live in such a way, as to bring down the holiness of heaven to earth. We are to live Christ-like lives. We are marked as His own to live Christ-like lives.

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Heavenly Father,
Father, we thank You for Your Word, for this powerful truth, that serves as a great reminder to all of us, that it is our responsibility as Your children, within the body of Christ, to be available and useful in the task of bringing those who have fallen to the level of the flesh, restoring them up to the level of the Spirit. Lord, we confess, that we are unable to do that on our own; we need You in order to do that. That’s why this is a magnificent ministry to those that are spiritual children. 

Lord, we ask that You would seal Your Word in our hearts, help us to make application to our lives, that we might impact the lives of others. Help us to walk by the Spirit, that we might produce love, peace, gentleness and joy. That would we would be in the ministry of restoration as we confront sin for the purity of Your church and for the joy of Your people. May it all be for Your glory.
In Christ's name

Today's Message: My Bother's Keeper

With all that the Holy Spirit does, with all that He does in our lives individually, we still fail. We still fall short of the glory of God and fall to the level of the flesh. And God has set in motion the church as an accountability body closely knit together for the purpose of the spiritual coming alongside the fleshly to lift them up, to hold them up, to build them up. I believe, that there is little which is more frustrating, than the realization that, as a believer, we’re not following through on this responsibility.
If you are spiritual, walking by the Spirit, you will do this. Because as the Holy Spirit directs and guides, in the Spirit, this will happen. Because the fruit of the Spirit is love, and joy, it will never be a burden, it will always be a joy. What that means is that if you’re going to confront someone, and you’re going to lift them up, you’re going to pray for them and hold them accountable. You're going to have to have a sort of relationship with them that maintains that stimulation of holiness. Then you’re going to have to build them up, and with that, somehow you’re going to have to get involved in their life. The edifying process of the Word of God, is personal. So, you're going to have to get involved.
Why is this important? Because sin not only devastates us as individuals, but it also devastates us as a church. It disrupts our worship. It interrupts our unity. It divides our church in terms of family, in terms of ministries, in terms of service, in terms of usefulness. It steals our joy. It robs our peace. It destroys our love for one another. Sin is not something that easily dealt with. That's why Paul says in I Corinthians 9:27, "but I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave." We all need to be reminded from time to time, that we're not in this battle alone, we cannot do it by our own strength, we need the Holy Spirit, and the love and support of other believers. That is why we must care for one another.
Hebrews 10:24-25 teaches us, "and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
Open with me your Bibles to the 6th chapter in the book of Galatians. I invite you to follow along with me as I read this great reminder, from this wonderful epistle, to set it in our minds. Galatians 6:1-6.

"Brothers and sisters, even if a person is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you are not tempted as well. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.  For if anyone thinks that he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting, but to himself alone, and not ]to another.  For each one will bear his own load. The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him."
Beloved, there is no closer fellowship outside of the immediate family than church relationships. And just like a family, this closeness brings blessings but includes the possibility of strife, and maybe even more so because of the greater diversity of its members. There are some who are strong, some who are weak, some that are up, some that are down, some need our help, some more than others, and we need to extend it, to do what we can to help those in need.
The Spirit-led Christian thinks of others and how he can minister to others. The Spirit-led Christian demands more of himself than he does of others because he is determined to help others.
A believer is free from the law of Moses and possesses liberty in the Spirit, but he must fulfill the law of Christ. The law of Christ is the law of loving others. This Christ-like life can only be lived in the power of the Spirit. Such a life involves sacrificial service directed toward the Christian who is arrogant, sinning or burdened.
The Fruit of the Spirit does not make us "holier than thou." A favorite trick of Satan, is to tempt the Christian to think how great, how much better he is than others because of his radically changed lifestyle and the blessings of God upon his life. Therefore, Paul warns against feeling pride about who we are or what we have, or what we think we have accomplished. Though we were created to glorify God, since man’s fall into sin, we’ve had a craving to glorify ourselves.
As Christians, we are on earth to glorify God, not to feed our own egos. We must therefore, beware of seeking the temporary approval of others, and of becoming wrapped up in ourselves and in our personal agenda. Why? Because you can’t glorify self and Christ at the same time.
In verse 1, Paul says "Brothers and sisters, even if a person is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you are not tempted as well."
Those who have slipped away from God can be restored. Never underestimate the role your words can play in leading someone to God. When a fellow believer falls spiritually, we too need to offer support. He or she needs loving correction, acceptance to prevent despair and to encourage growth in Christ-likeness. We need to develop a compassionate heart that sympathizes with weak believers who are painfully aware of their short comings. They may even feel like hopeless sinners, wondering if God has given up on them.
We must never take a light attitude toward sin. We are to confront it with humility and love. We also need to reassure the struggling believer. "Do not despair. Keep serving the Lord. Do your best. You’re still one of us." When confronting others about their sin, let’s remember how gentle Christ is in showing us our own sins. Although we grieve Him when we fall, He is never bitter. He holds us account able, yet supports us with His love. His convicting is kind and persistent, yet He is always quick to forgive.

Therefore, when it is necessary to criticize, we must remember to treat others the way Jesus treats us. Express criticism with compassion, gentleness and tact. Kind criticism is always the right kind. This is what Paul had been trying to do with the Galatians.

There is no other way to fulfill the Law of Christ than through the sharing of Love. Central to a Christian’s responsibility to love is helping with each others’ burdens. Verse 2 commands, "Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ."
The point is, that loving Christians are to lend a helping hand with heavy loads. This principle would apply to all excessive burdens but the context has special reference to the heavy and oppressive weight of temptation that leads to spiritual failure. While the spiritual do the work of restoring, all believers are to become involved in this ministry by prayer, encouragement and sharing its burdens. This burden bearing Paul wrote will fulfill the law of Christ, that is the principle of love. 
This is what Jesus was speaking about in John 13:34, "I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
Living under grace is freedom to love and serve others, especially our brethren who are burdened. How can we help each other when the load seems too heavy to bear? Paul gave simple, straightforward instructions. "Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

To bear someone’s burden is to take that weight onto ourselves. If we know someone who must constantly be with a relative, we can take her place for an hour or even for an afternoon. Taking a care-giving brother or sister to lunch, or dinner, which gives him a much needed break and someone to talk to. A moment of relief from their burden. To "bear one another’s burdens" means to share another’s sufferings in a practical way. Fulfilling "the law of Christ" includes joyful, unselfish service of love. 

When life seems to much for someone to bear, we are to display God’s love and care by offering relief and comfort. As you do this, you will discover that bearing someone else’s burden makes you own seem lighter as well. God blesses those who bless others. In my own experience, I have found, as a result, I believe that I have been blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined. When people are broken emotionally, they need others to help support them until they can stand on their own again.

In verse 3, Paul says "For if anyone thinks that he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself." Here he is indicating the worthlessness of those unwilling or are to conceited to support others in their oppressive burdens.

In the same way, our encouragement enables others to overcome their pain and walk with the Lord. In the body of Christ we find strength for living especially when the burdens of life become to heavy to bear alone. The very nature of the church is to share with one another. Jesus endured the pain of the cross on our behalf when we bear one another’s burdens, we are to follow His example and fulfill His will for our lives. Christ, bore and bears our burden’s that we may bear the burdens of others. 
Something must be laid aside if a believer is to be a burden bearer and that is pride and conceit. God wants Christians to be mature enough to humble themselves enough to be useful. If a person thinks he is better than the guilty or burdened person he can become full of pride. Pride leads to self deceit or to self-blindness. Although he may be blind to himself, he does not deceive others by his conceit into thinking he is something. Lest we forget, that is was pride, that caused Satan's fall. 
In Proverbs 16:18, we learn that "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling."
God hates pride.

The word used for deceive in the Greek is, phrenapata, is formed from the word for mind and the word to lead astray. Meaning, a person is literally leading his mind astray. Only those who restore and carry the burdens of others will be recognized as significant by others. Disaster is the result when we attempt to build ourselves up by minimizing the worth of others. We, therefore, must never do that! We must never minimize the worth others, in order to elevate ourselves.

While it is healthy to have a good self-image, there is a major difference between a sense of Our God-given worth as His handiwork and an ego that is self inflated by pride. That’s why we must be quick to acknowledge that what we accomplish is done solely by God’s grace. Not in our own power! Only then can we see how foolish it is to promote our selfish interests. Furthermore, humility will enable us to show appreciation for the achievement and position of others.

The apostle Paul put it clearly, in Romans 12:3 "For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith." If we puff ourselves up, things get blown out of proportion, and that will lead to our downfall.

In verse 4 Paul says, "But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting, but to himself alone, and not to another."

Our human nature leads to us to condemn sins in others that we condone in ourselves. We must, therefore, be honest in our self-appraisals, our self examinations, as we are when we're judging others. The word used in the Greek, dokimazetō, means to test or approve, or to prove genuine or false by testing as with metals such as gold. We must not use one standard for others and a different standard for ourselves. We must step back and take an objective look at ourselves. This verse indicates that this is to be a continuous process. Rather that expressing censorious criticism of others, we should keep our motives and work under the microscope of self analysis, as not to become introspective or critical, but to see where we really are in God’s will.

Beloved, there is no need to compare yourself with others. People make comparisons for many reasons. Some point out others’ flaws in order to feel better about themselves. Others simply want reassurance that they are doing something well. When you are tempted to compare, look at Jesus Christ. His example will inspire you to do your best, and His loving acceptance will comfort you when you fall short of your expectations.
Verse 5 he says, "For each one will bear his own load." Paul is saying that each person is expected to deal with the life that comes to them.
The Christian does in fact test himself by carrying his own load, phortíon in the Greek, is a different word than used in verse 2. It means "a man’s pack." This is the kind of load which falls on a man from the chances and changes in life. It comes from outside; from some crisis, emergency or sorrow that comes upon him. It is fulfilling the law of Christ to help someone who is overcome by his burden, bare in verse 2. But there is a load which every man must bear himself. Each person is responsible for the kind of life he lives. There are certain duties or loads for which each believer is personally responsible. Though we cannot push them off on any one else, Jesus assures His disciples that He is in the Yoke with you and so even the greatest responsibilities can be made light.
Then, in verse 6, Paul tells us that, "The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him."
Here Paul offers some guidelines for confronting a fellow Christian who is living a sinful lifestyle. The first requirement is that we’re close to the Lord ourselves, that we don’t exalt ourselves as superior to the one who is sinning. Then we are to look at the situation as restoring the person, not bringing condemnation. We’re to have "a spirit of gentleness," all the while keeping in mind that we too may be tempted. 
Jesus also gave us instructions that can help us with issues of sin against us personally in Matthew 7:1-5, where He teaches us, "Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye!"
In Closing....
It is with God’s enabling that we can courageously and sensitively confront and restore others. No Christian should ever think that he or she is totally independent and doesn’t need help from others, furthermore, no Christian should feel excused from, or above the task of helping others. The body of Christ, the church functions only when the members work together for the common good. Do you know someone who needs help? Is there a Christian brother or sister who needs correction or encouragement?

Humbly and gently reach out to that person in the name of Jesus. Pray, asking God to give you a healing touch as you minister to them in His name.

May it never be said again that the church is the only army that shoots its own wounded. Instead, let us restore our wounded in gentleness, kindness, with compassion and in love, as Christ has shown to us.
May it be so... 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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