Know Your Bible

VOL. 14                                                                                                                         April 26, 2015                                                                                                                            NO. 7



Psalms 11:3

God has ordained the existence of three institutions: the home, the church, and civil government. He instituted the home after creating the first man and woman in Genesis 2. He established His church in Acts 2. Romans 13:1-7 teaches us that the "powers that be are ordained of God" (verse 1). These are very important institutions that not only affect our lives in this world but will determine our eternal destiny.

Because of their importance, they must be maintained and the only proper way to maintain them are in accordance to God's instructions. After all, He ordained their existence, He know best how they must function and in what way they will function best. However, God's instructions are not always heeded and whenever that is the case, the results are devastating. When the move is made away from God's word, these institutions become corrupt.

Our existence as a society is dependent upon these three institutions. Indeed, these are the foundations upon which our society is built. Who is it of us that can say the home, the church, and civil government have not had evil influences that have carried them away from God's ordinances? To deny such is the case, is to have had our heads buried in the sand! Evolution, Feminism, Modernism, Materialism, etc. have all eroded the foundations of our society because of the devastating affects they have had on these three institutions. Indeed as David asked: "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalms 11:3).

In not too distant times, we have seen the corruption of civil government by high ranking officials even to the point of impeachment. Yet, there was no removal from office. Therefore, they were set free to continue the things they had been doing. Because of the democracy form of government, we have a voice by means of voting to put in or keep out those of corrupting practices and influence. Therefore, the corrupting of the government is partly to be blamed on us when we know of the sin and wickedness of certain candidates and yet we vote for them anyway.

The Lord's church, in many places, has not escaped the onslaught of liberal, loose minded thinking that has come to dominate the thinking of the majority. Tolerance and acceptability are more sought after than a "thus saith the Lord" and the results have been a slow gradual change of thinking in regards to God's absolute truth. Nearly everything is up for compromise from the plan of salvation, worship, modesty, and to what defines adultery!

Nor has the home escaped. The husband is no longer the head of the wife (Eph. 5:23), and the wife is no longer a “keeper at home” (Titus 2:5). Children have no one to come home to and spend hours supervising themselves. All the while God teaches us “a child left to himself brings his mother to shame” (Prov. 29:15). Fornication and divorce are rampant. Single moms are the “norm”. Child neglect and abuse are epidemic. 

There is only one remedy to all these problems: a relearning of what God’s instructions are and a determination to put them in practice. God has had much to say concerning the home and family. By God's word we can be "throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16,17). There is no relationship in life, that God's word does not set forth the guidelines which we must follow if we are to be pleasing to Him. No only do we please God when we do what He teaches but we will also have the kind of government, church, homes, and families that will be a source of joy and peace that God intends.

Let us not wait until it's too late to learn what God would have us to do. Let’s don’t wait too late to implement the precepts of God's words.

—E.R. Hall, Jr.




Many members of the body of Christ are under the false impression that by regularly attending a church they are automatically inducted into the membership of the same. This incorrect notion is often perpetuated in practice among churches that lack understanding. While it is not this writer's intention to defend the vocabulary of "placing membership", the concept is very much a scriptural one and worthy of our attention.

Three years after he was converted (Galatians 1:15-19), "...when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out" (Acts 9:26-28).

Notice that Saul attempted "to join the disciples", but before he would be considered "with them" Barnabas had to vouch for him, confirming that he was, in fact, a faithful Christian. This was not a display of merciless hostility on the part of the church in Jerusalem, but sincere adherence to the will of God, for it is written, “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him, for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds" (2 John 10-11).

There must, therefore, be a process by which those who desire to be recognized as members of a particular congregation are verified to be worthy of acceptance. In the case of Saul, Barnabas was present to give assurance to the apostles. In other cases, letters of commendation would be appropriate. After he was converted in Ephesus, Apollos moved to Corinth and "the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him" (Acts 18:27). Paul implied that letters are not necessary where the individual is previously known to the congregation (for example, in Paul’s own case, he was the one who taught them the gospel — 2 Corinthians 3:1); otherwise, he implied that such letters or other forms of recommendation are useful.

Considering that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump" (Galatians 5:9; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8), churches are well advised to exercise caution in who they accept as members.

—Bryan Matthew Dockens

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