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What Is God's Definition Of A Family?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What Is God’s Definition Of A Family?

Jarrod Jacobs

            Why ask the above question? First of all, because the home and family are Bible subjects! God established the home in Genesis two and continued to speak of the necessity of the family all the way through the Bible. Secondly, we ask this question because society continues to try to “redefine” what a family is. Third, it is a necessary to ask this question because if we do not teach our children the truth about the home and family, no one else will do it!

            Friends, let us realize that there is a definite, concrete answer to the question in our title. The problem with many today is that they have allowed the wrong ones in our society to answer the question, “What is a family?” If we are going to get the correct answer to this question, doesn’t it make sense that we ask the Author of the family what constitutes a family? It makes sense to me, too! What is God’s definition of a family?

            God’s definition of a family is revealed in Genesis two.  After seeing that man was alone, He said, “I will make an help meet for him…” (Gen. 2:18). In making this helper, God created a woman for the man (Gen. 2:21-22). In seeing her, the man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:23-24). Please take note that at this early point in the history of man, we have already learned about a man marrying a woman. We also have here mentioned for the first time “father” and “mother.” In the first century, Jesus spoke about this event as He taught the Pharisees and others the truth in Matthew 19:4-6.

            Yes, there is a Bible answer to the question, “What is a family?” A family constitutes a man married to a woman, who within this relationship may legitimately bring forth and raise children (Heb. 13:4; Eph. 6:4; Titus 2:4; etc.).

            Having said this, it is clear that what folks in our country have termed “the nuclear family” (husband, wife, children) is not a product of western society. It is not the product of “1950’s America”. It is not the product of the “Puritans”, or any other group of people. Rather, this is what God designed from the beginning!

            Some who have tried to define a family absent of God’s definition, have said that a family is any group of people who love one another. While loving people is a wonderful thing, is this what constitutes a family? What is their relationship to one another? How are they connected? Just because two men (or three or four) decide to live in the same house, this does not make them a family any more than if the same number of women decided to do that. A group of strangers living under the same roof does not constitute a family! In addition to this, homosexual relationships do not fit God’s definition of marriage and family (Rom. 1:26-27).

            Therefore, let us respect God’s definition of the family. God’s ways are higher than man’s (Isa. 55:8-9), and He knows what is best. Are we willing to accept what God has said and live by it?

"Where Could I Go But To The Lord?"

Friday, March 03, 2017

Where Could I Go But To The Lord?

Jarrod Jacobs

            A song I grew up singing had the above title. In every verse, after naming various things we might see and enjoy in this life, the writer declares that when we face difficulties in life, we must ask, “Where could I go but to the Lord?” This is a good question that demands a response from all of us. Where could I go but to the Lord? Truly, there is no one else who loves us like He does. There is no one else who is interested in saving us from sin. There is no one else who cares for us (I Pet. 5:8). Where could I go but to the Lord?

            Sadly, some folks turn to others for the solutions to life’s problems, and they are disappointed. Jesus Christ does not disappoint! Thankfully, Peter recognized he could not go to anyone else. In John 6, we see that after Jesus told the people things that they did not really want to hear, the Bible says, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (Jn. 6:66). When the people left, Jesus asked His disciples if they were also going to leave Him (Jn. 6:67). Peter responded: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn. 6:68). In this, we see the answer to our needs as well! To whom shall we go? There is no one else that has the words of eternal life. There is no one else who loves us as Christ does. There is no one else who would so willingly sacrifice for those who are so unworthy (Matt. 20:28; Rom. 5:8; I Pet. 1:18-19). Where could I go but to the Lord?

            In Psalm 73:25, David expressed a similar thought: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” David reveals something that ought to be true in each one of us. Our true desire upon earth ought to be for Christ and for pleasing Him. Like the deer that pants for the water (Ps. 42:1), we need to long for the Lord! To whom can we turn except to the Lord? No one has control in this life (Prov. 27:1). Therefore, let us cling tightly to the Lord for our strength and refuge (Ps. 46:1). In addition to this, no one is prepared for death and eternity if we have turned our backs upon the Lord! We are told that “now is the accepted time” and “now is the day of salvation” for a reason (II Cor. 6:2). Yet, who is it that will save us? There is only One who can save us, and this is the One who said He came to give His life a “ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). Where could I go but to the Lord?

            Let us take a moment for self-examination. Have we become so self-sufficient that we think we can handle all problems, and solve all difficulties? James 5:13 reminds us that we need to turn to the Lord and lean upon Him. It says, “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms.” Regardless of our outward circumstances, whether in joy or in heaviness, we need to be leaning upon Christ. Sing to Him! Pray to Him! In all things, lean upon Him! Where could I go but to the Lord? Christ deserves our praise and thanks when times are good. He deserves our trust and faithfulness when times are bad. Let us say with David, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Ps. 23:4). May we never become so self-sufficient that we take no comfort in the things of the Lord!

            Where can we go but to the Lord? Do we trust Him? Are we living a life to His honor and glory (I Cor. 15:58; Rev. 2:10)? Our pilgrimage in this life is short (Jas. 4:14; I Pet. 2:11), and it demands that we place Christ first in our lives. When we do not, we are setting ourselves up for many problems. Are you in the Lord (Gal. 3:27)? Where else can we go?

Getting An Answer You Don't Want

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Getting An Answer You Don’t Want

Jarrod Jacobs

            An old saying often repeated is: “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” In like manner, be careful when asking a question, you just might get an answer that you do not want! Is this not what happened when the rich young ruler came to Jesus asking what to do to inherit eternal life (Matt. 19:16)? Jesus answered him, but the man received an answer he did not want, and so he abandoned Jesus (Matt. 19:22).

            What about us? Do we sometimes get an answer from God’s word that we do not want? How do we react when we learn that a thing we have been doing (or would like to do) is not authorized of God in the Bible? Do we become defiant, saying, “I’m going to do it anyway”? Do we get mad, or sad? Do we say, “That doesn’t make sense to me”? Such responses do not change what God said. Getting mad, sad, protesting, or substituting our ideas for God’s does not change what has been written. Let us take a moment and examine ourselves (II Cor. 13:5). How do we react to God when His answers are not what we want?

            For example, some do not like God’s answer to the question, “What must I do to be saved?” The Lord’s answer is to have faith in Christ, repent of sin, confess our faith in Christ, and be baptized (Heb. 11:6; Acts 17:30; Rom. 10:10; I Pet. 3:21; Acts 2:22-38; etc.). Will you accept God’s answer to this important question, or will you turn away like the man in Matthew 19?

            Some ask, “What kind of music does God accept in worship?” God’s answer is vocal music (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 13:15; Jas. 5:13; etc.). Yet, this is not the answer men give to us! Therefore, whose answer will we accept? God’s or man’s?

            Others ask, “Did Christ really establish one church?” The answer from Scripture is that Christ promised to establish a church (Matt. 16:18), and this church began on the Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection (Acts 2:41, 47). Before Acts 2, the church was spoken of in promise, but after Acts 2, the church was spoken of as being in existence on earth. This church belongs to Him and not man (Rom. 16:16; Acts 20:28). This is the Lord’s answer. However, is this the answer we want, or the one we have been taught? When was your church established?

            Another common question asked is whether or not the kingdom is in existence. Jesus said the kingdom was “at hand” when He was on earth (Matt. 4:17). He promised some would not “taste of death” until they saw the “kingdom of God come with power” (Mk. 9:1). He equated the kingdom with the church in Matthew 16:19. Thus, the kingdom was brought into existence in Acts 2 when folks heard the gospel, believed, obeyed it and were saved (Acts 2:36-41). As further proof of the kingdom’s existence, the apostle Paul said folks who are saved are “transplanted” into this kingdom (Col. 1:13). The apostle John said he was in the kingdom (Rev. 1:9).

            These and many other questions are answered by God in the Bible. Therefore, what is the proper response when we get an answer from God’s word that we do not want? The answer is to be honest, and accept what the Lord says (Jer. 10:23; Col. 3:17). There are times when God’s answers do not make “sense” to us, but this does not give us license to change the answer (Rom. 3:4). Let us submit our will to God’s, and let us be ready to accept what He says always (I Pet. 4:11), knowing that God’s ways are best (Isa. 55:8-9; I Cor. 1:20-31).

The Bible Touches Men's Lives

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Bible Touches Men’s Lives

Jarrod Jacobs

            I continue to be amazed at how “up-to-date” the Bible is. Though it was completed some 2000 years ago, it is still as relevant as ever! Please consider a few examples in the Bible that touch our lives to this day.

            First, consider the fact that sin has been with man since Genesis 3. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned against God (v. 6), sin has been in this world and harming men and women, physically and spiritually. The Bible addresses the problem of sin as well as its remedy. The Bible describes sin as a transgression, or an omission of God’s law (I Jn. 3:4; Jas. 4:17). James reminds us that sin occurs as a result of man yielding to temptation (Jas. 1:14-15). John adds another “layer” to our study when he reminds us that a person who yields to temptations through the lusts of the flesh or eyes, or the pride of life has succumbed to sin, just as Adam and Eve did (Gen. 3:6). This sin then leads to spiritual death (separation from God, Rom. 3:23).

            Therefore, does sin still exist today? And if so, is there a remedy for sin? If we answer “Yes”, then we must admit to the relevancy of the Bible because the Bible describes both sin and its remedy in great detail (Rom. 6:23, 6:3-6, 16-18).

            It is the Bible that describes God’s plan for salvation in sending His Son to this earth for the remission of sins (Jn. 3:16; Matt. 20:28; Lk. 19:10). Not only this, but God also describes how one can meet the requirements for accepting Christ’s salvation. This is done through faith in Christ, repentance of sins, confession of Christ as the Son of God, and being baptized for the remission of sins (Heb. 11:6; Jn. 8:24; Lk. 13:3; Acts 17:30; Rom. 10:10; I Pet. 3:21; Acts 2:36-38). Then, as a child of God, we need to be faithful (I Cor. 15:58; Rev. 2:10), avoid temptation and the pitfalls of sin (I Cor. 10:13; Jas. 4:7-8), and pray for forgiveness when we fall (Acts 8:22; I Jn. 1:9), so that we can have a home in Heaven one day.

            It is high time we were honest and admitted the true place the Bible has in the lives of men in the 21st century. It touches us. It is relevant and furnishes us completely for every good work (II Tim. 3:17).

            Long ago, God made a promise to Abraham. He called Abraham to be the father of many nations, and that his seed would be like the sand of the sea and the stars of heaven (Gen. 13:16, 15:5, 22:17). As we study the life of Abraham, there is no question that God fulfilled His promise to Abraham physically. Yet, in our study, we see something else. Namely, God fulfilled His promise to Abraham spiritually!

            What do we mean? Let the Bible answer. In Galatians 3:26-27, it says that baptism makes us children of God by faith. Paul also says, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29). Did you see that? In addition to being Christ’s when baptized, the Bible also connects us with Abraham when we are baptized!

            Every time someone becomes a Christian, the promise God made to Abraham that his seed would be like the “sand,” and “stars” in multitude is fulfilled. Abraham has a family that increases daily because of God’s promise. Yes, the Bible touches our lives because Christians are recipients of a blessing that God had promised in the days of Abraham! How amazing is that? Yes, the Bible touches our lives daily!!

Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Romans 1:16-17

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Romans 1:16-17

                   “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” The apostle Paul declares the power of the gospel in his letter to the Romans. This is the power of God to save all men. Salvation is not reserved for a select, predestined few, but for all mankind. “To the Jew first and also to the Greek tells us that all mankind has the opportunity to hear and obey if we will do it. Let us thank God that we have this blessing. We have the opportunity to be saved and can look forward to Heaven one day because of God and His love (Jn. 3:16). Let us not hide this message, nor be ashamed (II Tim. 1:8, 12), but speak out and live the gospel every day (I Pet. 4:11; Matt. 5:14-16). Much good will be accomplished, including saving ourselves and those who hear us (I Tim. 4:16)!

- Jarrod Jacobs

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