Expounding the More Perfect Way….Jesus Christ and Him Crucified Acts 18:24-28

Monthly Archives: December 2015

MARRIAGE

Hebrews 13:4

4) “MARRIAGE IS HONOURABLE IN ALL, AND THE BED UNDEFILED: BUT WHOREMONGERS AND ADULTERERS GOD WILL JUDGE.”

The structure is:

1. Marriage is sanctioned and encouraged by the Holy Spirit.

2. Lawful sex between a husband and wife holds no defilement.

3. To satisfy the sex drive outside of marriage, will find the one doing such, ultimately judged by God.

 

The phrase, “Marriage is honourable,” presents the Apostle addressing here a position in the Early Church which wasn’t Sound Doctrine.

There seemingly was an effort being made to show that celibacy was a more holy state; that there was something in marriage that rendered it dishonourable for those who were in the Ministry, or for those of either sex who would be imminently pure. In fact, this same question keeps popping up even until this present time.

Celibacy is one of the supports on which the Papal system rests, and has been one of the principal upholders of all the corruptions among Priests and Nuns. This is certainly not to say this group alone has these problems of immorality; however, I think we can say without any fear of contradiction, that immorality is far more prevalent in the Catholic Priesthood than in any other similar rank of society.

The Apostle here asserts, without any restriction or qualification, that marriage is honourable in all; and this proves that it is lawful for Ministers of the Gospel to marry, and that the whole doctrine of the superior purity of a state of celibacy is false.

NO IMPURITY IN MARRIAGE

The phrase, “And the bed undefiled,” pertains to the fact that sexual intercourse between a husband and wife present no defilement, whether spiritually or physically. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle proclaims the physical side of marriage as important and “pure.” Contrary to the views of some thinkers in the ancient world, there was nothing defiling about it.

IMMORALITY

The phrase, “But whoremongers and adulterers God will judge,” proclaims all sexual conduct outside of marriage as being absolutely defiled. This means that all forms of sexual sin come under the Judgment of God, at least if not repented of and forsaken. In fact, this was a novel view to many in the First Century. For them chastity was an unreasonable demand to make; consequently, the Gospel of Christ charted a new course in its day in a heathen world that was filled with immorality of every stripe.

The New Testament speaks just as strongly as the Old Testament against immorality of every nature. However, there is an important shift of rationale. There is a powerful new reason why sex outside of marriage is repugnant to the Lord. But some New Testament statements on immorality have often been misunderstood.

For instance, the New Testament never suggests that immorality is acceptable. But it makes clear how we should deal with individuals who fall short.

DEALING WITH THE WORLD

We must not avoid such persons who are outside the Christian fellowship. Paul told the Corinthians not to associate with “sexually immoral people.” Later he had to write and explain.

He did “not at all mean” to suggest withdrawal from “the people of this world” (I Cor. 5:10). That would mean isolation from the very people Christians are called to lead to Jesus! Certainly Jesus did not avoid such persons; and as the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery illustrates, Jesus’ first concern was to bring forgiveness, and then, with it, release from the power of every kind of sin (Jn. 8:1–11).

CHRISTIANS

There must be discipline for those within. Thus, sexual immorality in the fellowship is to be dealt with decisively by the Christian community, especially if the individual refuses to repent (I Cor. 5:1–12).

The rationale is explained in I Corinthians 6:12–20. In a Christian’s relationship with Christ, the Believer is actually an organic part of the Lord’s Body. It is unthinkable that Christ would be involved in immorality. Thus, our bodies, linked with Jesus and being the temples of the Holy Spirit, must be kept holy. We are to treat ourselves as holy instruments, to be used in God’s service and not involved in sexual sins.

Finally, Paul reminds us, “You are not your own: you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (I Cor. 6:19–20).

The Scripture plainly tells us that judgment is coming for those who fail to heed the warning as it regards sexual immorality. Those who practice such and refuse to repent will ultimately be judged and excluded from the Eternal Kingdom (I Tim. 1:10; Heb. 13:4; Rev. 21:8; 22:15).

THE WAYS OF THE LORD

As we’ve already stated, sexual intercourse outside of marriage is sin for both the married and the unmarried. God forbids it, for our good. The Commandments against adultery and sexual immorality are rooted deep in the character of God as a faithful and loyal person. We are to mirror His faithfulness and show the same kind of loyalty in our relationships.

The serious nature of adultery or immorality of any nature, are seen in references to it in the Old Testament and in the Book of Revelation as an illustration of the ultimate unfaithfulness, apostasy, and spiritual idolatry. The New Testament reinforces the serious nature of sex sins for Believers by reminding us that we are linked forever with Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Jesus has paid the ultimate price for us, and, as His Own people now, we are to commit our bodies to the Lord’s service, thereby not to serve sinful passions.

Every human being, having a sex drive, will experience the pull of temptation toward immorality of some nature. To surrender is not only wrong but also foolish. Like other sins, immorality erodes our character and brings guilt and suffering. As the Biblical proverbs remind us, we need to be guided by the traditions of the Godly and the commands of the Scripture, for they are “the way to life, keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life” (Prov. 6:23–26).

Even though this Passage in Proverbs deals more so with idolatry and spiritual adultery than anything else, it definitely also includes physical immorality.

~JSM

The Degree of Maturity of the Believer is Predicated on the Knowledge of the Cross

I want you to read that Heading again, inasmuch as it is very, very important.

The Cross of Christ in actuality is the story of the Bible. So if one is to properly know the Word of God, one also must properly know the Cross. The degree of one’s maturity will depend on such knowledge.

Paul said, “For Christ sent me not to baptize (presents to us a Cardinal Truth), but to preach the Gospel (the manner in which one may be saved from sin): not with wisdom of words (intellectualism is not the Gospel), lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect. (This tells us in no uncertain terms that the Cross of Christ must always be the emphasis of the Message) (I Cor. 1:17).

In this one Verse, we are plainly and clearly told what the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the Gospel of the Word of God, actually is. It is “The Cross of Christ.” In other words, if one is not preaching the Cross, is not looking to the Cross, is not looking exclusively to the Cross, then one is not embracing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Believer must understand that Christ is the Source and the Cross is the Means.

Most Believers have no difficulty or problem with the idea of Christ as the Source. However, when it comes to the Cross as the Means, this is where the problem arises. To properly understand the Gospel, the Believer must understand that every single thing that we receive from the Lord (and I mean everything!) comes to us exclusively through Christ as the Source and the Cross as the Means. It is the Cross which has made everything possible.

Whatever the Lord is presently, He has always been. In other words, He doesn’t have more power now than He had ten thousand years ago.

The question always has been, “How could a thrice-Holy God deal with man, who is in such a sinful condition?”

The only way He could is by and through the Cross of Christ. That’s the reason it is imperative that all Believers make the Cross the only Object of their Faith. There is no other means than the Cross by which Jesus Christ purchased man’s Redemption and made possible more abundant life. We must never forget that!

So, the mind” of the individual, within itself, cannot effect Victory in one’s life. The desire is there, and the will is there, but as Paul said, “how to perform it” (Rom. 7:18) is something else again. When the Lord gave to the Apostle the great Revelation of the Cross, he would learn that God’s Way is the Way of the Cross. We say this over and over again. The Believer must, therefore, ever make the Cross of Christ the Object of his Faith (Rom. 6:1-14; 8:1-2, 11).

~J. Swaggart Ministries

2 Peter 3:1-9

CHAPTER 3

(A.D. 66)

REMEMBER

THIS second Epistle, beloved, I now write unto you (he had addressed his First Epistle to the same group of people); in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance (by reminding them of what is going to happen in the last of the last days):

2 That you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the Holy Prophets (we are plainly told here that, as Believers, we must know and understand the Old Testament along with the New), and of the Commandment of us the Apostles of the Lord and Saviour (refers to the New Testament, but at the same time the Verse says we cannot understand the New unless we first understand the Old):

SCOFFERS

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers (speaks of the times in which we now live; they scoff at the Cross), walking after their own lusts (which will happen when the Cross is rejected),

4 And saying, Where is the Promise of his coming? (This refers to the Second Coming, not the Rapture. Endtime events as predicted in the Bible are met with scoffing.) for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the Creation. (The two major themes of the Word of God are the Atonement and Endtime events. If we have a proper understanding of the Atonement, we will have, I think, a proper understanding of the latter.)

5 For this they willingly are ignorant of (their ignorance was a willful ignorance; in other words, the evidence was presented and then rejected), that by the Word of God the Heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water (everything was created by the Word of God; this Verse points to Gen. 1:2; it speaks of the original Creation and the rebellion by Lucifer, which left the world in a convoluted state):

6 Whereby the world that then was (speaks of the pre-Adamite Creation), being overflowed with water, perished (doesn’t refer to Noah’s Flood, but rather the Flood of Gen. 1:2; this is when Lucifer led his revolution against God):

7 But the Heavens and the Earth, which are now (refers to the present Heavens and Earth as restored to a second perfect state in the days of Adam [Gen. 1:3; 2:25; Ex. 20:11]), by the same Word are kept in store (refers to the fact that all Creation is dependent solely on the Will of God), reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and Perdition of ungodly men. (This refers to the coming “Great White Throne Judgment” [Rev. 20:11–15]. At this time, the Heavens and Earth will be renovated by fire.)

8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing (considering that we have the Word of God, there is no reason for the Believer to be ignorant concerning spiritual things), that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (A human promise may be weakened or destroyed by time. However, a Divine Promise is as certain of fulfillment in a thousand years as in one day.)

9 The Lord is not slack concerning His Promise, as some men count slackness (if it seems as though God delays the fulfillment of His Promises, it is for the purpose of getting more people into the Kingdom of God); but is longsuffering to us-ward (God suffers long with man, attempting to bring him to a place of Repentance), not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to Repentance. (The dispensation of the Cross has been the longest of all, and it is that because God keeps calling after sinners to be saved. He has made a way through the Cross for all to be saved. Most, however, refuse His Way.)

~Jimmy Swaggart Ministry – Expositor’s Study Bible