Vol. 6, No. 9
Priscilla's Page *Editor's Note*
~ Page 16 ~
From time to time God blesses me with the opportunity to speak at ladies' retreats, ladies' days, seminars and workshops. I was on one of these speaking engagements when the couple who was my host told me about an incident with one of the members of the congregation.
The lady was a widow at the time, and was about to marry a man who was NOT a member of the Lord's church, or a member of anything religious. He had been married before and had lived with other women as well, out of wedlock. At this time he was living with this particular sister in Christ.
The elders called the sister and her friend in to visit with them about this situation. The elders tried to get into their home to study from the Bible about their situation; however, they would not agree to that. This elder opened his Bible and read 1 Corinthians 7:39, which reads, "A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord." He said, "I believe that verse means what it says, a widow is free to marry but only to a man who is a member of the Lord's church."* At that point she asked very nonchalantly, "Ah, who wrote that?" Not too often was this elder caught speechless, but that almost did it.
It is truly amazing to hear the responses given when we are confronted with what the Bible says. In order to justify our position, there are virtually no limits to the bounds to what we will say or do!
Did this sister have a valid question, or was she seeking to justify her position and the lifestyle she had chosen? Giving her the benefit of the doubt, there most certainly is an answer to her question and all other questions like that.
The Word of God addresses this issue of "who wrote that?" Psalm 119 is a treatise on the Word of God--the commandments, statutes, testimonies, precepts, judgments, ordinances, laws, way, truth, word and righteousness.
God's commandments are orders that provide the comprehensive boundaries of obedience and submission (Psalm 119:10-11).
God's statues are his instructions that are marked, traced out and fixed (Psalm 119:117).
God's testimonies are his truth that is solemnly declared to the world (Psalm 119:2).
God's precepts are his rules that have been prescribe to us (Psalm 119:104).
God's judgments are his regulations that enable us to determine right over wrong and to act accordingly (Psalm 119:75-76).
God's ordinances govern and rule (Psalm 119:89-91).
God's laws direct, guide, teach and show us what is right and what is wrong (Psalm 119:142).
God's way demands that we walk in obedience to his prescribed manner of life (Psalm 119:30).
God's truth is settling to make steady and constant because he cannot lie (Psalm 119:151).
God's word is the entire body of divine and inspired revelation (Psalm 119:89, 160).
God's righteousness reveals his holiness to do justice because his righteousness is all holy, just and good (Psalm 119:172).
For us to have the respect, submission and commitment to what the Bible says, we must have some degree of understanding of who God is and how he thinks and deals with us. God deals with us based upon our attitude and commitment to the truth, not what we want or think we ought to have! God speaking of himself said, "Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like Me" (Isaiah 46:9). God also lets us know he does not think the way we do. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9).
"Who wrote that" regarding the conditions under which a re-marriage can take place? Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. This is made clear in 2 Peter 2:20-21, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
"Who wrote that" in regard to how we are to live our lives in accordance with God's will? "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
"Who wrote that" which states God's word is the first and last authority? "Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words; lest He reprove you, and you be found a liar" (Proverbs 30:5-6).
"Who wrote that" which says, what if there is a difference between what we believe and practice and what the Bible says? We are the ones who are wrong and we will always be wrong! Paul makes that very clear in his letter to the church in Rome. "For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Let God be true but every man a liar" (Romans 3:3-4a).
God's Word is our guide to abundant living. Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10: 10b). That abundant life Jesus speaks of is in the "here and now."
When any truth from the Word is brought to our attention, the only appropriate response is submissive obedience. God's Word is designed to affect our emotions and regulate our will. The apostle Paul said, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). When we are living our lives in submissive obedience to the Bible, we will never ask the question, "Who wrote that?"
*[Not all Christian students of the Bible concur with that understanding, but compare similar phrases between 1 Corinthians 7:39 and Ephesians 6:1. ~ Editor]