Last week we looked at Cain and one element of his story is him replying to God’s question, “Where is your brother Abel?” with a sarcastic, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” We all know the answer is Yes, I am my brother’s keeper. A few chapters later in Genesis, once the ark has landed, God is giving Noah some instructions, including about food, where the Lord makes eating meat permissible. There is however a caveat, it cannot still has it’s lifeblood in it. Blood represents life and life is to be honored and respected. Moreover, the Lord tells Noah, “for your lifeblood I will demand an accounting.”
Genesis 9:5 - ...And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.
Things to think about:
• God has granted us the precious gift of life, having been created in How own image. But with that gift comes a responsibility to use it well and for that, and He demands an accounting. Thankfully, if we have received the free gift of Christ, we have redemption of our sins.
o Romans 8:1-2, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. “o Giving an accounting of my own life is daunting enough but I am also responsible for the life of my fellow man? Am I really my brother’s keeper?• “And from each man, too, He will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.”o If this is true (which of course, it is) then what does that look like in practice?
• I’d like to suggest it looks like how we are to love God
o Mark 12:30 – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
o With these four attributes, they address
• Physical (Strength)• Social (Mind)• Spiritual (Soul)• Emotional (Heart)
• James 2:15-16, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?• Isaiah 58:7, “Is it not to share your food with the hungryand to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them”• What are practical ways we can put these precepts into action?Social• Isaiah 58:6, “to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?• Romans 12:16, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”• What are ways we can put these precepts into practice?
• Romans 12:15, “ Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.• Romans 15:2, “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. “• 2 Corinthians 2:4, “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”• Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”• What are ways we can put these precepts into practice?
• Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”• Psalm 96:3 - Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”• 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,...”• Romans 10:13-15, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”• What are ways we can put these precepts into practice?
Let us be prepared to give an accounting not only for our own lives but also for those of our fellow man. If you ever get stuck in what that might look like, just remember Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength.
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