The Bible reveals the Lord’s concern of the world’s view of His church and saints. When the church and individual saint walks contrary to God’s revealed standards they pave the way for the world’s blasphemy against the Lord and His doctrine. The Christian ought to be concerned about what people of the world think. God’s people can do one of three things in the public’s eye. First, they may make manifest the true church and individual Christian’s identity in all areas of life as they are guided by nothing but the truth. Secondly, they may make manifest a hypocritical approach to Christianity through unauthorized works. Thirdly, the saint of God may show the world a spirit of indifference due to their fear of appearing different. The church and individual saint will have much to do with where those of the world spend their eternity. Continue reading » The World’s Bible
“Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11, ESV).
Does that verse say what I think it says? Whatever it is we do or say, the purpose is to insure God gets the glory. “…in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” is the text. That word “everything” is no slip of the tongue. The Holy Spirit knew what He was inspiring to be written and preserved throughout eternity. He said everything and He meant everything. We are to do, and God is to get the glory for His revealing to us what it is we are to do.
Continue reading » Associate Editorial: Why Do We Try to Make the Bible Say Stuff It Just Does Not Say?
Recently I was asked about some remarks I had made characterizing false teaching on divorce as promoting adultery. The querist had known some of the men who had done the false teaching and reported that they had never heard someone actually promote adultery. I am sure that such is true. It is not wise, nor is it sound to come out blatantly and promote sin. Preachers usually cannot hold a job if they go about promoting adultery. Alas, however, it is being done all the time.
“The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?'” (Matthew 19:3). The question, we all realize, is a simple one. It is the answer over which we have such a debate. “Is it lawful?” Even those Pharisees who asked the question with impure motives recognized that the law had to do with reason. What is the reason behind taking such radical action as the putting away or divorcing a mate? “‘For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,’ Says the LORD of hosts. ‘Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously'” (Malachi 2:16). God hates divorce. Enough said. Men are still asking the question, “Can we not do it anyway?” If we are going to do what God hates, we had better have a pretty good reason before we do it.
Continue reading » Associate Editorial: Is It Adultery? Or Isn’t It?
Sophistry is defined by Webster as “deceptively subtle reasoning or argumentation”. That which is sophistic is “plausible but fallacious”. Another term used for fallacious reasoning or argumentation is specious. Webster defines specious as, “having a false look of truth or genuineness”.
The arguments that false teachers forward in their attempts to skirt the teaching of God on the subject of Divorce and Remarriage can rightfully be described as sophistic or specious. They have a deceptive allure and a surface plausibility, but are not legitimate treatments of God’s word. One of the most obvious examples of such argumentation is the attempt to redefine the term “adultery” as it is used in Matthew 19:9.
Continue reading » Defining and Redefining Adultery
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness…” (Gal 5:19). The word adultery, according to Vines Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words is defined as one “who has unlawful intercourse with the spouse of another.”
The Bible warns us of this insidious sin throughout its pages in both Old and New Testaments. Exodus 20:14, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Note the severity of punishment of those who committed this sin under the Law of Moses, Leviticus 20:10, “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Though this is not required of us under NT Law, we have to be impressed with the level of seriousness that God has placed in this matter. Continue reading » Works of the Flesh: Adultery
“Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?’ This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.’ And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more'” (John 8:2-11).
This interesting but brief record in the life of the Lord presents to us some challenges that would be good for us to consider. In the church today, Christians are constantly having to deal with the question of what to do with a person living in adultery or, more specifically, living in an adulterous marriage. Not only must we deal with the people and their sin, we must also deal with those purveyors of evil who have successfully warped the minds of people into thinking that adultery is not a sexual sin. When Moses descended from the Mountain at Sinai with the tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments, he read to the people the seventh commandment which simply says, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). I am brought to a state of wonderment considering how many of the people at the foot of the mountain considered what Moses said to them about adultery from a legal perspective. Oh, it was law that Moses read, but the seventh commandment is and always has been a moral regulation and not a legal procedural matter. Furthermore, everybody knows that!! Continue reading » Associate Editorial: A Lesson from the Master (John 8:2-11)
In 1 Corinthians, chapter one, Paul greets these brethren, stating that he thanked God for them. Since Chloe let Paul know of their division over names (v. 11-12), he told them they were to be united (v. 10). He also stated that he was glad he baptized none but the few mentioned in verses 14 and 16 for fear that some might think he had baptized them in his own name (v. 15).
Paul then turns his attention to the “preaching of the cross” (v. 18). In so doing, he makes several interesting contrasts. In the last half of 1 Corinthians one, Paul contrasts the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of God. Paul said God used what appeared foolish to the world, what appeared weak, that which was considered base, despised, and things that are not “to bring to nought things that are.” Paul’s comments in 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 really brings out the contrast. There, we read, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Paul makes it clear that God chose what the world calls foolish to save lost souls. And truly, those who are lost consider the things of God foolish. In fact, “the fool hath said in his heart there is no God” (Ps. 14:1). Therefore, it pleased God to use what men consider foolish (preaching the gospel) to save those who believe (1 Cor. 1:21). Understanding passages like this makes me appreciate passages like Romans 1:16 all the more. Remember that Paul said he was “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” Though it was considered foolishness by men, he told the Romans it was “the power of God unto salvation” to save those who believe. Knowing the saving power of God is revealed in the gospel, it is imperative that men and women do all they can to spread the gospel (2 Tim. 2:2). Only through teaching and spreading the gospel will men be presented with the opportunity to hear and obey the saving gospel of Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-2). Continue reading » The Foolishness of Preaching Morality
Many attempt to excuse religious division on the basis that “we cannot all understand the Bible alike.” For centuries, denominations have been arguing that we must be permitted the right to individual interpretation of the word of God since no two people can possibly agree on essential points of doctrine. The result has been the “chaos of the cults.” Each man and denomination does that which is right in his own eyes and there is no sure standard in their religion.
Currently, some gospel preachers, who have (in the past) had their feet securely fixed in the “faith once for all delivered” (Jude 3), are casting themselves into the sea of human speculation through a disavowal of Bible principles which establish Biblical authority. To put it concisely, some are turning away from the use of approved apostolic examples and necessary inferences to prove what is that “good and acceptable will of God” (1 Tim. 2:3). Not only so, but they are shaking the faith of many and unsettling churches as to the limits of fellowship. Having negated the use of these two principles of Bible study, they conclude that churches of Christ are too narrow-minded and legalistic in refusing to fellowship some who disagree with us only in matters regulated by examples and inferences. The truth regarding the Lord’s supper, sponsoring churches, benevolent works, the eldership, and other things cannot be clearly ascertained, it is opined, therefore we cannot withhold fellowship from those who disagree. Continue reading » Associate Editorial: The Use of Reason to Understand the Scriptures
In recent years, more and more brethren (mostly well-known “gospel” preachers) have taken up the position that adultery is a non-sexual covenant breaking. This is a theory that many Christians have never entertained, and, at one time, they would have laughed at a person for even mentioning such. However, it is catching on as more and more people find themselves in a second or third marriage. Let us first notice what the Word of God says about adultery, then compare it to what men are saying about adultery.
What The Holy Ghost Says
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman TAKEN IN
Now, what does that convey to you? Do you get the idea that the woman was found in the “gate of the city” filing divorce papers on her husband, or filing for a second marriage license, or taking vows to contract a second marriage? Rather, doesn’t the term “taken in adultery” describe the fact that the woman was found having sexual relations with a man? Continue reading » Marriage Divorce & Remarriage: Adultery – What Is It? … And then Some