Imposing On Marriage. — Connecting Peter’s Invitations. — It Takes Help To Misunderstand The Word Of God. — Heaven Teaches the Worship of God

Imposing On Marriage

By Boyd Jennings

 Marriage is one of three relationships God created for the betterment of mankind: Home (Gen 2:18), Government (Rom 13:1-7), Church (1 Cor 12:12-31). When, in any of these relationships, God’s wisdom is not respected, the result is harmful to those involved. What follows are three contemporary challenges or impositions to the divine relationship of marriage.

Unnecessary Marriage: Cohabitation and out-of-wedlock childbearing are two common practices that influence marriage. Since God’s will is not first considered, marriage is not an assumed requirement for having a family. God’s command that one man may have one wife, else they fall under His judgment, is not seriously considered today (Heb 13:4; 1 Cor 7:1-2) – but one day it shall be (2 Cor 5:10-11)!

Unwanted Marriage: Many will not accept the idea that marriage is a permanent relationship. Thus, divorce rates have skyrocketed for several generations. God’s injunction that divorce may only occur in the case of adultery, and that only the innocent party may remarry, is not taken seriously by married people today (Matt 19:9; 1 Cor 7:10-11) – but one day it shall be (Rev 20:11-12; 21:8)!

Unknown Marriage: For years our nation has been discussing matters rarely if ever considered by other nations – the redefining of marriage as a union between people of the same gender. Marriage however is not up for discussion, it is not rooted in popular culture but in the eternal mind of God (Gen 2:24). So the more we see people embrace “unknown marriage” the more opposition from God our nation can expect (Gen. 19). On the other hand, by honoring God’s laws in marriagea people can be blessed (Rev 22:14)!


Connecting Peter’s Invitations:

By Boyd Jennings

“Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). A few days later he called out, “Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

“Repent…” -Once again, as in Acts 2:38, Peter commands repentance in Acts 3:19.   Repentance is a turning from sin with a desire to do God’s will. He adds the word “therefore,” because they must repent for participating in the murder of Jesus the Christ, even though they did it in ignorance (3:14-18). “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers” (Acts 3:17). The command to repent also applies to us today, since it was also our sins which caused Jesus to be crucified (1 Cor 15:3; Heb 2:9).

“Be converted…” – This expression literally means to turn. The corresponding portion of Acts 2: 38 says “be baptized….” It is in baptism that one formally “turns” to God. Forgiveness of sins is associated with turning “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18). Therefore, water baptism, preceded by faith and repentance, marks the point in time when a person is truly converted to Christ (cf. Romans chapter 6).

“That your sins may be blotted out…”– The corresponding phrase in Acts 2:38 says “for the remission of sins.” “Remission” means to release; the words “blotted out” means to smear or wash completely (W. E. Vine). Hence, Saul of Tarsus was told to, “arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). “Blotted out” means that God will no longer remember those sins (cf. Heb 8:8-13; 10:1-3).

“So that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”– This expression is parallel to “the gift of the Holy Spirit” in Acts 2:38. The word “refreshing” suggests relief. What a beautiful description, this statement is, of salvation in general.

Luke, the writer of Acts, not only recorded what Peter said on these two occasions (Acts chapters 2 and 3), but also the response of the audience to his message. On the first occasion, “those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:41). Following his second speech, “many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand” (Acts 4:4).   These two Holy Spirit inspired gospel sermons resulted in many souls being added to Christ wherein is salvation (Acts 2:47). However, many more rejected the gospel and the hope it offers. In which group do you find yourself today?


IT TAKES HELP TO MISUNDERSTAND
THE WORD OF GOD

By Doy Moyer

Yes, there are those who would help you to misunderstand what the Bible says.

Peter speaks of them in 2 Peter 3:16-17: “speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked.”

For example, something as simple as, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16) — is twisted to say,  “He who believes is saved, and he can be baptized if he wants to, as long as he understands that it has nothing to do with salvation.”

As the Scripture says, “Beware”; be on your guard. — Doy Moyer


Heaven Teaches the Worship of God

By Boyd Jennings

The worship of God is a solemn privilege and duty to which Christians have an exclusive calling (John 4:24; Phil 3:3). And the true worship of God can only be learned from Him.

The worship of God is a solemn privilege and duty to which Christians have an exclusive calling (John 4:24; Phil 3:3). And the true worship of God can only be learned from Him.

I.    MEANING

A.    English: The worthiness of God causing us to respect, revere, honor & praise.

B.    Hebrew “To prostrate or to bow down.” (Exo 34:6-8; 20:5; 23:24; 2 Kgs 17:35)

C.    Greek (three words):

1.    To make obeisance; to fawn or crouch by prostrating oneself in homage, reverence & adoration (Matt 2:8; 4:10).

2.    A sense of awe & devotion (Matt 15:8-9).

3.    To minister or render religious service to God (Phil 3:3; Acts 24:14; Heb 10:1-2).

II.    ACTION, and PROHIBITION

A.    Revelation 4:8-11; 5:11-14 – Effort (4:8).  Words (4:8).  Respect or reverence (4:9).  Submissive position of body & heart (4:10).  Enthusiasm & emotion (5:12).

B.    Sin & injustice in heart (Amos 5:21-24).  Traditions & doctrines of men (Matt 15:8; Col 2:8, 18-19).  An unprepared heart (John 4:23-24).

III.    ACCEPTANCE

A.    Remember, remember, remember (1 Cor 11:23-26; Psa 77:10-14; Heb 3:10-11).

God is the only audience of true/spiritual worship (Psa 95:1-7).  Each of us is responsible for the worship of God through Jesus Christ.  So concentrate on personal expression through the various acts of worship: teaching the Word (learning), singing spiritual songs, praying to the Father, observing the Lord’s Supper, and even in our contribution to the Lord’s work (2 Cor 8:4; ch. 9).

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