Know Your Bible

VOL. 11                                                                                                                                                                                March 4, 2012                                                                                                                                                                                NO. 6


 Not Given To "Much" Wine


Question: In 1 Tim. 3:8 Paul said that deacons are not to be given to "much" wine. Does this imply that the consumption of alcoholic beverages in moderation is approved?

Answer: Looking at the passage we raise the question: Is the apostle saying that the deacon is not to be drunk? We believe that he is.  That being so, we raise yet another question: Can you not urge a man to avoid drunkenness without approving moderate drinking? SURE YOU CAN! Telling a man -- "Don't get bombed out on whiskey!" -- does not intend approval that drinking whiskey in moderation is acceptable.  Or..."Don't be a drug addict!" (which is the same as saying -- "Don't be given to much drugs") is certainly not approval for the occasional use of cocaine. "Don't be a slave to sin" certainly does not approve of sin in "moderation."


"Do not be given to wine" > "Do not use drugs" (1 Tim. 3:3)


"Do not be given to much wine" > "Do not be a drug addict"  (1 Tim. 3:8)


And while we are on the subject...take a peak at Ecclesiastes 7:17 which says, "Do not be excessively wicked." Am I to believe that such lends approval to wickedness in "moderation?" Deacons (and I believe all Christians) are not to be given to "much" wine i.e., they are not to be drunkards. But such does not imply acceptability of moderate drinking anymore than Ecclesiastes 7:17 implies acceptability of moderate sinning!

---via Searching the Scriptures

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Options Married People Do NOT Have

When two people are married legally (according to the civil laws they live under, Rom. 13:1-7), and in the eyes of God (according to the law of God who originated marriage, Gen. 2:18-24; Rom. 7:2-3; Matt. 5:32; 19:3-6, 9 -- and the law of God supersedes the ordinances of men), they often vow to love, honor, and cherish one another for better or worse, in sickness and in health, and in prosperity and in adversity until death parts them. In fact, whether such vows are made a part of the wedding ceremony or not, such obligations inhere in the marriage relationship, and husbands and wives are expected by God to live up to them.

So many couples, both young and old, think they just have to get married (and they are in such an emotional romantic mood that hardly anyone can talk them out of it), but they (either both of them or one of them) soon decide that they don’t have to (or should that be "want to") stay married. But God has given them no such option! Jesus said, "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matt. 19:6).

Some decide that they want a divorce from a mate because they are "no longer in love" with that mate. They should have been certain about their love before the marriage. And they need to know that God commands husbands and wives to love one another, Eph. 5:25, 28, 33; Titus 2:4 (and these passages were written during a time that in many cultures parents arranged the marriages of their children). Husbands and wives do not have the option of deciding to stop loving one another.

Some decide that they want a divorce because a mate has contracted a debilitating disease or has been paralyzed by an accident. They don’t want to be tied down by "a cripple," but God has not given them that option. The unfortunate mate needs them more than ever, and they need to show the nobility of their love, their character, and their commitment.

Some decide that they want a divorce because they have found someone else that they "truly love" (or like better), someone who also shows greater love for them (their perception) than their mate. But what kind of person would become romantically involved with another man’s wife or another woman’s husband? Could such a person ever be trusted as a husband or a wife? (And could they be trusted?) But, again, God did not give them any such option. Marriage is for life, and not "until you find someone you like better."

Some decide that they want a divorce because they "just don’t get along well" with their mate, or they "really weren’t ready for such a commitment," or they have found that "they are no longer compatible" with their mate, or they "don’t feel loved and important," or they "argue all the time," etc., but God has given them no such option. Grow up, mature, get help, but work out your problems. The majority of divorced and remarried people admit that they were better off in their first marriage than they realized.

Marriage is of God; He who originated it has a right to regulate it. He has done so in the Bible, the revelation of Himself and His will for mankind. God’s plan is one man and one woman for life with one exception. That one exception is fornication (sexual immorality). The innocent and faithful mate has been given the right (not the duty) to divorce the guilty mate and marry another. The guilty mate has been given no such right. When two people marry, they have entered a serious relationship. Both need to be sure that they are both ready for such a commitment. People may change their minds and go back on their promises, but God’s law does not change.

---Bill Crews 

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How Does The Lord "Open" Hearts?

In Acts 16 we read: “And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.  And when she was baptized and her household, she besought us, saying, if ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.” (vs. 13-15). How did the Lord open her heart? Does He do the same thing to people today? Does this imply the necessity of a direct action of the Holy Spirit? Is it possible to know and obey the will of God without divine intervention in our lives?

Look carefully at this immediate context. Notice that they “spake unto the women” (vs. 13), and Lydia “heard us” (vs. 14), and she “attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul” (vs. 14). It seems clear that the means by which Lydia’s heart was opened was by the Word of God. There is nothing mysterious here. Rather, it is a demonstration of the power of the gospel (Rom. 1:16), and an example of God’s plan for “preaching to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1:21).

Whatever the Lord did, and however the heart of Lydia was opened, it was the same thing that occurred in every other case of conversion in the book of Acts. Remember, God is “no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34,35). On Pentecost they “heard” and were “pricked in their heart” (2:37). On that day many “gladly received his word and were baptized” (2:41). Other examples abound in the book of Acts that directly link the teaching of the word with a heartfelt, obedient response (4:4, 8:12, 13:12, 13:48, 15:7, 16:32-33, 17:32-34, 18:8, 19:5,).

The Lord “opens” hearts today in the same way He always has — through the preaching of the Word.

---Greg Gwin

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