Marriage: what does the Bible say ?

The Bible records the creation of marriage in Genesis 2:23–24: “The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman,” for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

God created man and then made woman to complement him. In the Bible marriage is God’s “fix” for the fact that “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18).
As the Bible describes the first marriage, it uses the word helper to identify Eve (Genesis 2:20). To “help” in this context means “to surround, to protect or aid.” God created Eve to come alongside Adam as his “other half,” to be his aid and his helper. The Bible says that marriage causes a man and woman to become “one flesh.” This oneness is manifested most fully in the physical union of sexual intimacy.

The New Testament adds a warning regarding this oneness: “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate”(Matthew 19:6).
Several of Paul’s epistles refer to marriage and how believers are to operate within the marriage relationship. One such passage is Ephesians 5:22–33. Studying this passage provides some key truths concerning what the Bible says marriage should be.

The Bible, in Ephesians 5, says a successful biblical marriage involves both the husband and the wife fulfilling certain roles: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior” (Ephesians 5:22–23). “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” ( Ephesians 5:25). “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church” (Ephesians 5:28–29). “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31).

When a believing husband and wife institute God’s principles of marriage in the Bible, a solid, healthy marriage results. A biblically based marriage keeps Christ as the head of the man and the wife together. The biblical concept of marriage involves a oneness between a husband and wife that pictures the oneness of Christ with His church.

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How can the Bible be infallible if it is written by fallible humans ?

There is no logical reason why this could not be true. After all, even fallible humans can get things right some of the time,especially if they are supervised by Someone who is infallible.

Christians do not claim that the humans who penned the books of the Bible were always accurate in everything they said or did. We simply believe that the Bible is right when it claims that God guidedthese men in their task of writing Scripture, in such a way that the result is an infallible book. The apostle Peter undoubtedly said some foolish things during his lifetime, but God did not allow him to clutter up the Biblewith any of those blunders.
2 Timothy 3:16 contains the classic claim that the Bible was produced by God, not just men:
All Scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

One standard explanation of the concept of “inspiration” is:

God’s superintendence of the human authors so that, using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error His revelationto man in the words of the original autographs

We do not know exactly how God accomplished His purpose of providing a totally accurate Bible. But 2 Peter 1:21 gives some insight:
No prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spiritspoke from God.

The word “moved” in this verse is also used in Acts 27:15 to describe the way a great storm blew the apostle Paul’s shipoff course across the Mediterranean. The people on board could spend the time as they chose (either bailing or wailing!), but the storm determined their destination of Malta. Similarly, God guided the writers of Scripture to produce exactly the message He wanted.

Author: Dr. John Bechtle

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Why does God allow innocent people to suffer ?

This is one of the most difficult questions for many Christians to answer.
It is atheism’s most potent weapon against the Christian faith.
All true science and history, if rightly understood, support the fact of God. This evidence is so strongthat, as the Bible says:

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

Most atheists, therefore, without any objective evidence on which to base their faith in “no God”, must resort finally to philosophical objections. And this problem of suffering is the greatest of these.
That is, they say, how can a God of love permit such things in His world as war, sickness, pain, and death, especially when their effects often are felt most keenly by those who are apparently innocent ? Either He is not a God of love and is indifferent to human suffering, or else He is not a God of power and is therefore helpless to do anything about it.

In either case, the Biblical God who is supposedly one of both absolute power and perfect love becomes an impossible anachronism. Or so they claim!

Everyone instinctively recognizes that “ good” is a higher order of truththan “bad”. We need also to recognize that our very minds were created by God. We can only use these minds to the extent that He allows, and it is, therefore, utterly presumptuous for us to use them to question Him and His motives.

“Shall not the Judgeof all the Earth do right ?” (Genesis 18:25).

“Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, why hast Thou made me thus ?” (Romans 9:20).

We ourselves do not establish the standards of what is right. Only the Creator of all reality can do that. We need to settle it, in our minds and hearts, whether we understand it or not, that whatever God does is, by definition, right.

Having settled this by faith, we are then free to seek for ways in which we can profit spiritually from the sufferings in life, as well as the blessings. As we consider such matters, it is helpful to keep the following great truths continually in our minds.

There is really no such thing as the “innocent” suffering.

Since “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”(Romans 3:23), there is no one who has the right to freedom from God’s wrath on the basis of his own innocence.
As far as babies are concerned, and others who may be incompetent mentally to distinguish right and wrong, it is clear from both Scripture and universal experience that they are sinners by nature and thus will inevitably become sinners by choice as soon as they are able to do so.
The world is now under God’s Curse (Genesis 3:17) because of man’s rebellion against God’s Word.
This “bondage of corruption,” with the “whole world groaning and travailing together in pain” (Romans 8:21-22), is universal, affecting all men and women and children everywhere. God did not create the world this way, and one day will set all things right again. In that day, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain” (Revelation 21:4).

The Lord Jesus Christ, who was the only truly “innocent” and “ righteous” man in all history, nevertheless has suffered more than anyone else who ever lived.
And this He did for us ! “ Christ died for our sins” (ICorinthians 15:3). He suffered and died, in order that ultimately He might deliverthe world from the Curse, and that, even now, He can deliver from sinand its bondage anyone who will receive Him in faithas personal Lord and Savior. This great deliverance from the penalty of inherent sin, as well as of overt sins, very possibly also assures the salvation of those who have died before reaching an age of conscious choice of wrong over right.

With our full faith in God’s goodnessand in Christ’s redemption, we can recognize that our present sufferings can be turned to His gloryand our good.
The sufferings of unsaved men are often used by the Holy Spirit to cause them to realize their needs of salvationand to turn to Christ in repentance and faith. The sufferings of Christiansshould always be the means of developing a stronger dependence on God and a more Christ-like character, if they are properly “exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11).

Thus, God is loving and merciful, even when, “for the present,” He allows trials and sufferings to come in our lives.
“For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

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How Does a Believer Discover his Spiritual Gifts ?

Everyone has at least one spiritual gift. How can a believer discover his spiritual gift or gifts ?
The Bible does not give us any formula for finding out what the spiritual gifts might be, yet there are certain things we can do.

Find Out The Gifts Available
First, one must find out what spiritual gifts are available. There are four passages of Scripture that lists the gifts ( 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, 28-30; Romans 12:4-8; Ephesians 4:7-12).

Pray For Guidance
Once the believer recognizes what gifts are available, he should then pray for God to show him his particular gift or gifts. The Bible encourages us to pray for guidance:
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened (Matthew 7:7,8).
James wrote, “You do not have because you do not ask” ( James 4:2).

Step Out In Faith
We should exercise, by faith, the gift or gifts we feel God has given us.
But without faithit isimpossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must first believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Get Feedback From Others
Once we start exercising our gifts, we should get feedback from others to see if we are edifying the body of Christ.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the profitof all(1Corinthians 12:7).
In exercising his spiritual gifts, the believer should realize that he has at least one spiritual gift and may have more than one but he does not possess all of them. His gift is essential to the smooth functioning of the body of Christ.

Not Relieve Responsibility
Furthermore, the lack of a certain gift in a believers life does not relieve him from the responsibility to obey the general commands of God. For example, all of us are told to give (1Corinthians 16:2) whether or not we have the gift of giving. Every believer is encouraged to show mercy (1Thessalonians 5:14) though he may not have the gift of mercy. Likewise we are all instructed to evangelize ( Acts 1:8) though we all do not possess the gift of an evangelist.

Therefore, to discover his spiritual gifts the believer should:

1).Find out what gifts are available.
2).Be available to receive.
3).Pray for Gods guidance.
4).Step out in faith.
5).Get feedback from others.

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Fallen angels: Why didn’t God give them chance of repentance ?

The Bible does not specifically address the issue of fallen angels having an opportunity to repent, but we can gain some insight from what the Bible does say.

First, Satan (Lucifer) was one of the highest angels, perhaps the highest ( Ezekiel 28:14). Lucifer—and all the angels—were continually in God’s presence and had knowledge of the glory of God. Therefore, they had no excuse for rebelling against God and turning away from Him. They were not tempted. Lucifer and the other angels rebelling against God despite what they knew was the utmost evil.

Second, God did not provide a plan of redemption for the angels as He did for mankind. The fall of the human race necessitated an atoning sacrifice for sin, and God provided that sacrifice in Jesus Christ. In His grace, God redeemed the human race and brought glory to Himself.
No such sacrifice was planned for the angels. In addition, God referred to those angels who remain faithful to Him as His “elect angels” ( 1 Timothy 5:21). We know from the biblical doctrine of election that those whom God elects to salvation will be saved, and nothing can separate them from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39). Clearly, those angels who rebelled were not “elect angels” of God.

Finally, the Bible gives us no reason to believe that angels would repent even if God gave them the chance ( 1 Peter 5:8). The fallen angels seem completely devoted to opposing God and attacking God’s people. The Bible says that the severity of God’s judgment varies according to how much knowledge a person possesses ( Luke 12:48). The fallen angels, then, with the great knowledge they possessed, are greatly deserving of God’s wrath.

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Are there contradictions in the resurrection accounts ?

The events surrounding Jesus’ resurrection might be difficult to piece together. We must remember two things:

First, the news of Jesus’ resurrection produced much excitement in Jerusalem, and in the ensuing chaos many people were going many different directions. Groups were separated, and several different groups paid visits to the tomb, possibly more than once.

Second, the writers of the Gospels did not attempt an exhaustive narrative; in other words, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John had no intention of telling us every detail of the resurrection or every event in the order that it happened.

In the battle with critics regarding Jesus’ resurrection, Christians are in a “no-win” situation. If the resurrection accounts harmonize perfectly, critics will claim that the writers of the Gospels conspired together. If the resurrection accounts have some differences, they will still will claim that the Gospels contradict each other and therefore cannot be trusted.

Even if the resurrection accounts cannot be perfectly harmonized, that does not make them untrustworthy. By any reasonable evaluation, the resurrection accounts from the four Gospels are superbly consistent eyewitness testimonies. The central truths – that Jesus was resurrected from the dead and that the resurrected Jesus appeared to many people – are clearly taught in each of the four Gospels. The apparent inconsistencies are in “side issues.”

How many angels did they see in the tomb, one or two ? (Perhaps one person only saw one angel, while the other person saw two angels.) To how many women did Jesus appear, and to whom did He appear first ? (While each Gospel has a slightly different sequence to the appearances, none of them claims to be giving the precise chronological order.)

So, while the resurrection accounts may seem to be inconsistent, it cannot be proven that the accounts are contradictory.

Here is a possible harmony of the narratives of the resurrection of Christ and His post-resurrection appearances, in chronological order:

Jesus is buried, as several women watch (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42).

The tomb is sealed and a guard is set (Matthew 27:62-66).

At least 3 women, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, prepare spices to go to the tomb (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1).

An angel descends from heaven, rolls the stone away, and sits on it. There is an earthquake, and the guards faint (Matthew 28:2-4).

The women arrive at the tomb and find it empty. Mary Magdalene leaves the other women there and runs to tell the disciples ( John 20:1-2).

The women still at the tomb see two angels who tell them that Jesus is risen and who instruct them to tell the disciples to go to Galilee (Matthew 28:5-7; Mark 16:2-8; Luke 24:1-8).

The women leave to bring the news to the disciples (Matthew 28:8).

The guards, having roused themselves, report the empty tomb to the authorities, who bribe the guards to say the body was stolen (Matthew 28:11-15).

Mary the mother of James and the other women, on their way to find the disciples, see Jesus (Matthew 28:9-10).

The women relate what they have seen and heard to the disciples (Luke 24:9-11).

Peter and John run to the tomb, see that it is empty, and find the grave clothes (Luke 24:12; John 20:2-10).

Mary Magdalene returns to the tomb. She sees the angels, and then she sees Jesus (John 20:11-18).

Later the same day, Jesus appears to Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5).

Still on the same day, Jesus appears to Cleopas and another disciple on their way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32).

That evening, the two disciples report the event to the Eleven in Jerusalem (Luke 24:32-35).

Jesus appears to ten disciples – Thomas is missing (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25).

Jesus appears to all eleven disciples – Thomas included (John 20:26-31).

Jesus appears to seven disciples by the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-25).

Jesus appears to about 500 disciples in Galilee (1Corinthians 15:6).

Jesus appears to His half-brother James (1Corinthians 15:7).

Jesus commissions His disciples (Matthew 28:16-20).

Jesus teaches His disciples the Scriptures and promises to send the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:4-5).

Jesus ascends into heaven (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:6-12).

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Resurrection: what is its significance ?

The Purpose and Promise
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies’” (John 11:25). The resurrection of Christ was foretold hundreds of years before His miracle birth. He also foretold this event to His disciples (though they didn’t initially understand). He is the Resurrection, as hundreds witnessed.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a gift from God and fulfillment of His promise. It is the very foundation of Christianity. Since the disobedience of Adam in the Garden of Eden, all mankind is born with a sin nature. The Lord tells us that there is a price to be paid for sin and that cost is death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
A life without Christ can only offer eternal death, but the acceptance of Jesus as our risen Savior gives us eternal life. Because eternal death is not what God wants for us, He provided a way of atonement through the crucifixion of His Son, Jesus, and His resurrection.

The Rewards of Faith
Through the resurrection, God has offered us the following:
A New Life
*.Romans 6:2-3 – Sin’s power is broken.
*.Romans 6:4 – Sin-loving nature is buried.
*.Romans 6:6 – Sin can no longer control us and hold us in bondage.

A New Nature
*.Romans 6:5 – We can now share Life with Christ through resurrection.
*.Romans 6:11 – Our old sin nature is dead and we have new, changed life in God.

A New Freedom
*.Romans 6:13 – We are no longer bound by sin and can give ourselves freely to God.
*.Romans 6:16 – We are free to choose our Master, God or Satan – our only two choices.

Through Christ’s resurrection, it is possible for us to become joint heirs with Him. What an awesome gift ! This means we too can defeat eternal death and be resurrected with a new life and spiritual body when our physical body dies.

Aren’t you grateful that through the resurrection of Jesus Christ all these things are offered to you ? If so, tell the Lord you are and accept His free gift.

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