Know Your Bible

VOL. 15                                                                                               November 5, 2017                                                                                                              NO. 32



When two people are married, 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. But many couples, both young and old, later decide that they don't want to and don't have to stay married. God has given them no such option!  Jesus said, "What therefore God hath joined together, let not men 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 (Ephesians 5:25,28,33).  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 (M.S., M.D., etc.) or has been paralyzed by an accident, etc., and their continued care constitutes a "hardship." 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, 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. His plan is one man and one woman for life - with only one exception (Matt. 19:9). That one exception is fornication (sexual immorality). The innocent, faithful mate has been given the right to divorce the guilty party and to marry another. The guilty mate has been given no such right.

When two people marry, they have entered in a serious, life-long relationship. Both need to be sure that they are ready for such a commitment. God’s law is clear and unchanging.

—Bill Crews

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We learn about a thing by experiencing it. Babies learn sweet from sour, hot from cold, and wet from dry by experiencing these things. Even so, we learn spiritual truth by experiencing it in God’s word, which is truth (John 17:17). Our use of God’s word enables us to readily distinguish between truth and error. Haddon Robinson relates the following story that illustrates this point:

A Chinese boy who wanted to learn about jade went to study with a talented old teacher. This gentleman put a piece of the stone into the youth’s hand and told him to hold it tight. Then he began to talk of philosophy, men, women, the sun, and almost everything under it. After an hour he took back the stone and sent the boy home. The procedure was repeated for weeks. The boy became frustrated-when would he be told about jade? - but he was too polite to interrupt his venerable teacher. Then one day when the old man put a stone into his hands, the boy cried out instantly, “That’s not jade!” (Biblical Preaching, p.102).

In Hebrews 5:12-14, the inspired writer is addressing Christians who were not mature enough to tell the difference between right and wrong. He admonishes them with these words: “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

There are two words in the text that shed much light on our current topic. The first is the word “unskilled” and it means “inexperienced.” The Hebrew Christians had not progressed and developed because they did not have enough experience in the word. As a result, they were like children who cannot discern right from left; they were spiritual babes who could not tell right from wrong. The second word to consider is the word “exercised.” It comes from the Greek word “gymnazo” from which we get our word “gymnasium” - the place where athletes practice and train. Those who regularly use God’s word have their senses trained to “discern both good and evil.”

Why is it that some brethren don’t seem to be able to identify obvious error when they hear it? Why are so many Christians bogged down in their spiritual lives by moral relativism and compromises with the world? Can we not tell the difference between good and evil? Could the root of the problem be that we have had no meaningful experience with the “word of righteousness?”

My friends, may we this day resolve to hold God’s word in our hearts - to study it, meditate on it, and practice it — so that when we’re given something else we will be able to simply exclaim, “That’s not truth!”

—Steve Klein

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The farmer and his family, after a hard year of typical farm work, were rewarded with an unusually fine crop of grain. There were happy days ahead.

Just a few days before harvest came a terrible wind and hail storm. The entire crop was destroyed! After the storm was over, the farmer, with his wife and little boy at his side, went out to the back porch to view the field and the damage.

The little boy looked at what was formerly a beautiful field of wheat, and tearfully looked up at his dad expecting to hear words of despair.

All at once his father started to sing softly, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee....”  Years later, the little boy now grown said, “That was the greatest sermon I have ever heard.”

The farmer had lost a grain crop, but because of his faith, manifested in great trail, he had gained forever for the Lord the soul of his son.  The son saw the faith of a godly man in practice!

—Author Unknown

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