Outline For Building-up And Equipping The Body Of Christ

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This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.

Site Navigation:This left-column outline contains links to website pages and sources pertaining to helping the Body of Christ gain the potential for which God designed it. The menu below pages down to the individual sections of this outline from which you can navigate to other web pages. There is a fourth level to some of the third level or decimal elements of this outline that is hidden, to view this level click on the symbol in the outline; to hide the fourth level, double-click upon it (I found out, the last time I checked, that Mozilla's Firefox browser doesn't support this fourth level expansion feature, sorry).

  • First Section
  1. Basic Spiritual Instruction for God's People
  1. Introduction to our Spiritual Growth series
  1. Spiritual growth is very important, not only to us but also to our Lord Jesus Christ. He has made adequate provisions in our behalf by giving special gifts and abilities to individual members of His body to accomplish this much needed task. Click to see, Introduction To Building Up And Equipping The Body Of Christ.
  2. Click to see, Explaining The Use And Expansion Of The Growth Outline.
  3. Click to see, The Importance God Places upon Spiritual Growth.
  1. The Godhead
  1. In the beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1).
  2. Jesus is right now seated at the right hand of God the Father, reigning and ruling with Him. Click to see website page, Jesus Exalted At The Right Hand Of The Father.
  1. The Holy Spirit was sent to the church to continue the education of the Body of Christ that Jesus had begun, and to empower them for the work that God’s people are to do. "But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you" (John 14:26).
  2. With all of man’s supposed wisdom and acquired knowledge, he has never been able to know or understand what life is, but God does, because He created it and has revealed what we need to know about it in His Word. This is what we will be exploring in this section concerning spiritual growth. Click to see Growth page, What Life Is All About, And God's Original Plans
  3. True Unity: "Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace. [There is] one body and one Spirit--just as there is also one hope [that belongs] to the calling you received--[there is] one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of [us] all, Who is above all [Sovereign over all], pervading all and [living] in [us] all" (Eph 4:3-6).
  4. The old hymn Living For Jesus, exemplifies our required commitment, and the article to see to acquire it is, Our Top Priority In Life.
  1. Living for Jesus a life that is true; striving to please Him in all that I do. Giving allegiance glad hearted and true; this is the pathway of blessing for me. Oh Jesus Lord and Savior; I give myself to Thee. For Thou in thine atonement; did give Thyself for me. I owe no other master; my heart shall be Thy throne. My life I give; henceforth to live. My God for Thee alone.
  2. This is a life-style of Trust and Obey; for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus; than to Trust and Obey!
  1. Dwelling in Christ by faith for victorious living
  1. Chapters fourteen thru seventeen of the Gospel of John contain some of the most intimate and informative teachings of Christ, and are a good starting point for learning about spiritual life.
  1. It is not an easy task to change the way that people have been accustom to think, reason and believe, nor can it be accomplished in a short time; but this was one of the main reasons of Jesus' earthly ministry. The transition from the old covenant to the new, or the Law to Grace, or the physical to the spiritual all speak of or refer to the same thing. This transition is still in process and must be understood from a Biblical perspective or it becomes very confusing and difficult. Click to see Growth page, Dwelling in Christ, part 1.
  2. It is interesting to recognize, not only in others, but in our personal lives just how long it takes for the facts we know to become a living reality to us, the time it takes is determined by the quickness and the quality of our spiritual growth. This is illustrated by the fact that those closest to Jesus during His earthly ministry failed to grasp the spiritual meaning of much of what He lived and taught. Therefore, about two years after His resurrection Jesus personally revealed Himself to Paul and then took him into Arabia (Gal 1:17) where Paul apparently spent about the same amount of time as the other disciples being instructed of the Lord regarding our further spiritual development. Click to see Growth page, Dwelling in Christ, part 2.
  1. Chapters five thru eight of the book of Romans explains in greater detail what Jesus introduced in chapters fourteen thru seventeen of the Gospel of John.
  1. It will help us to understand spiritual progression if we keep in mind these three points. (1) It was Jesus that first introduced new spiritual life and how it should develop in the normal Christian; (2) It was the apostle John that faithfully recorded the words of Jesus, about sixty years after the resurrection of Christ, in the book that we call the Gospel of John; (3) it was to the Apostle Paul that Jesus, about 2 years after His resurrection, personally revealed more details of how further spiritual development should take place in the Body of Christ (Gal. 1:11-18). No other writer of the New Testament speaks of the Church as the Body of Christ, and the many other details concerning spiritual life as does Paul. Therefore, the logical places for us to look for information about spiritual life is the books of the Apostles John and Paul, and the person we should appeal to, to guide us, is the Holy Spirit. Click to see Growth page, Dwelling in Christ, part 3.
  2. ROMANS 8:1-4.... THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. [John 3:18.] For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], [Lev 7:37.] So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit]. Click to see Growth page, Dwelling in Christ, part 4.
  1. Parts 1 thru 4 of Dwelling In Christ took us from the physical ordinances of the Old Testament that God first began to use to reveal His salvation plan for mankind, to the spiritual dimension that replaced the old physical ordinances. In part 5 we will consider another transition from how Christians are to live now, before the rapture, to how we might live during the Millennium and on into eternity. This gives a brief description of what we can expect and look forward to now and throughout eternity, don’t miss it.
  1. Most of us have wondered, probably on many occasions, what living with God in heaven is going to be like. Not so surprisingly, there is a great deal of information regarding this subject, but the following short article only makes use of a few, but very important and interesting portions of Scriptures available. Click to see Growth page, Dwelling in Christ, part 5.
  1. Sources to refer to:
  1. The essential teaching that is neglected in most Christian churches is that of dwelling in Christ Jesus by faith. For victorious Christian living this is not an elective, but an absolute requirement. It is very likely that most truly born-again Christians spend the majority of their time living by their own ability rather than the power and ability that the Holy Spirit makes available to God's people. This is the reason for failure and discouragement, and the reason that we are making this a priority study. Click to see website page, New Life In Christ And How To Live It.
  2. If Jesus has become our everything as described in 1 Cor. 1:30, why does it sometimes not seem true of us? Click to see website page, Perfect Righteousness Is Ours Only By Dwelling In Christ.
  3. What provisions has God made available to us to make freedom from sinful living a reality in this life? Click to see website page, Freedom From Sinful Living.
  1. Having learned how to Dwell In Christ, let's make sure that we stay there!
  1. There are three main books to study with regards to persevering in our faith in Christ: The books of Romans and Galatians, both written by Paul the apostle, and the book of Hebrews, possibly written by him also.
  1. There has been a long-standing disagreement among Christians of all ages, as to whether a true believer in Christ can fall away or lose their salvation; the Scriptures that we will present, seems to indicate that this is a real possibility. Click to see Growth page, Persevering In Our Faith In Christ.
  1. What provision has God made to prevent Christians from continuing to indulge in sin?
  1. Has God made it possible, through Christ Jesus our Lord, for us to live as Jesus lived when He was here in a human body that is, filled with the Holy Spirit and sinless? Click to see Growth page, How Can We Who Died To Sin Live In It Any Longer?
  1. A vital element of retaining our relationship to God is communicating with Him. God has provided the way for this communion to take place, and as usual Satan has his counterfeit substitutes; we will briefly examine these two opposing ways and means in this article. Click to see Growth page, Communion With God.
  • Second Section
  1. Practical Christianity from the book of First Corinthians
  1. 1 Cor. 1:1-4:21 <> In section one we learned about basic spirituality, in this section we will concentrate upon how we are to walk and conduct ourselves with this new spiritual life that God has given to us through Jesus Christ our Lord. "Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!" (2 Cor 5:17).
  1. The blending of our new life in Christ (spiritual) with our every-day walk (practical) presents us with some new issues to consider. The Bible teaches that Christianity is a relationship, not necessarily a religion, religion expresses itself by what we believe and the way we outwardly respond in our relationship with Christ Jesus and one another. Our religion can sometimes get in the way and hinder our spiritual progress.
  1. Click to see Growth page, Our Religion Can Hinder Our Spiritual Progress.
  1. 1 Cor. 1:1-9 <> The spiritual, but not necessarily the practical, condition or state of the Corinthian believers
  1. To affirm what we have already learned about our spiritual condition when we are dwelling in Christ, Paul states in 1 Cor 1:2a; "To the church (assembly) of God which is in Corinth, to those consecrated and purified and made holy in Christ Jesus, [who are] selected and called to be saints (God's people)."
  2. Evidence of God’s Devine grace 1 Cor 1:5; "[So] that in Him in every respect you were enriched, in full power and readiness of speech [to speak of your faith] and complete knowledge and illumination."
  3. 1 Cor 1:7a.... That you are not [consciously] falling behind or lacking in any special spiritual endowment or Christian grace
  4. 1 Cor 1:8.... And He will establish you to the end [keep you steadfast, give you strength, and guarantee your vindication; He will be your warrant against all accusation or indictment so that you will be] guiltless and irreproachable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
  5. 1 Cor 1:9.... God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
  1. 1 Cor. 1:10-4:21 <> In this section Paul instructs the people about the problem they were having with dissensions, factions and divisions among themselves; in the process he uses and touches upon several important issues or subjects that help to illustrate how the many details interrelate to give a better understanding of the overall picture.
  1. 1 Cor. 1:10-18 <> The preaching of the Gospel is proclaiming the message of the Cross of Christ, not about the group we belong to.
  2. 1 Cor. 1:19-31 <> The wisdom of God in contrast to the wisdom of men which is foolishness with God. The revealed Word of God that we will look at in the article below declares that the wisdom of this world is foolishness, but what does this world’s wisdom consist of? Basically it can be described as any wisdom or knowledge that is not based upon, or departs from, or is contrary to the revealed Word of God! Another words, any wisdom or knowledge that is based upon, and remains true to, and is according to the revealed Word of God is actually God’s truth and not something of our own making. Therefore, in order to distinguish between truth and error we simply check to see what God, in His Word, has to say about the subject in question. Click to see Growth page, This World’s Wisdom Is Foolishness.
  3. 1 Cor. 2:1-5 <> Paul uses himself as an example of how the Gospel should be presented and what it contains. "As for myself, brethren, when I came to you, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony and evidence or mystery and secret of God [concerning what He has done through Christ for the salvation of men] in lofty words of eloquence or human philosophy and wisdom; for I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified. And I was in ( passed into a state of) weakness and fear (dread) and great trembling [after I had come] among you. And my language and my message were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit and power [a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them], so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God."
  4. 1 Cor. 2:6-13 <> The Wisdom of God and how it is received and communicated
  5. 1 Cor. 2:14-3:4 <> The carnal or unspiritual Christian: Click to see website page, What Makes A Person Spiritual?, or Click to see website page, The Difference Between Spirituality And Human Effort.
  6. 1 Cor. 3:5-15 <> The way a faithful minister of the Gospel should be understood, and how he should function.
  7. 1 Cor. 3:16-23 <> Christians are God’s temple, and it should not be corrupted with the foolish wisdom of men.
  8. 1 Cor. 4:1-5 <> Paul gets back to the subject on the divisions that they had allowed to develop among them, and defends himself against those who improperly judge him.
  9. 1 Cor. 4:6-21 <> Paul shows that the real, basic problem is that the Corinthians think too highly of themselves, and secondly, that they are thinking of men contrary to the teachings of Scripture.
  1. 1 Cor. 5:1-6:20 <> Sexual immorality and lawsuits among Christians
  1. 1 Cor. 5:1-13 <> From what Paul says in this chapter the Corinthians were tolerant of sinful practices and those that committed them and were proud of it, instead of being ashamed and doing what was needful. They may have been this way because of ignorance, but now we know better because we have God’s Word to go by.
  1. We know what Jesus expects of us, but do we really want to live this way, and, do we understand how we can? Have you ever read what is commonly called the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7 of Matthew), or a similar account that may have been given at a different time (chapter six of Luke), and thought to yourself that it was impossible to live that way? Check out the following web pages to summarize the ground we have already covered concerning how to live for Christ. Click to see Growth page, Jesus Made It Possible For Us To Live As He Did, But, Do You Really Want To?, or Click to see website page, Human Authority And Christian Responsibility.
  1. 1 Cor. 6:1-20 <> This is an interesting chapter dealing with the subject of judgement, and is related to chapter five where they failed to practice proper judgement in regard to the person who was living with his stepmother. In this chapter they are reminded six times, "Do you not know or see," of things that they ought to know or be aware of; the last three are –
  1. 1 Cor 6:15-20.... Do you not see and know that your bodies are members (bodily parts) of Christ (the Messiah)? Am I therefore to take the parts of Christ and make [them] parts of a prostitute? Never! Never! Or do you not know and realize that when a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? The two, it is written, shall become one flesh. [Gen 2:24.] But the person who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him. Shun immorality and all sexual looseness [flee from impurity in thought, word, or deed]. Any other sin which a man commits is one outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, you were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.
  1. 1 Cor. 7:1-40 <> Marriage relationships
  1. The departure from the Biblical fundamentals of family life opened up the way for many of the destructive forces that have followed.
  1. The areas that we are going to touch upon in this article are highly contested in society today. We cannot expect those who have been indoctrinated into the present world mind-set and accustomed to this life style to quickly agree with what we are about to present, but if correction and restoration are to come, the truth of God’s Word must be faithfully and accurately proclaimed in order that new converts may learn the right way, and hopefully the older ones will come to their senses and gradually make the change back to a Biblical world-view. Click to see website page, Marriage, Sexuality And Authority.
  1. 1 Cor. 8:1-10:33 <> Food offered to idols, and the precautions required
  1. 1 Cor. 9:1-27 <> Paul defends himself against accusations
  1. 1 Cor 9:1-3.... Am I not an apostle (a special messenger)? Am I not free (unrestrained and exempt from any obligation)? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you [yourselves] not [the product and proof of] my workmanship in the Lord? Even if I am not considered an apostle (a special messenger) by others, at least I am one to you; for you are the seal (the certificate, the living evidence) of my apostleship in the Lord [confirming and authenticating it]. This is my [real ground of] defense (my vindication of myself) to those who would put me on trial and cross-examine me.
  1. 1 Cor.10:1-33 <> Paul warns the people further about idols by reminding them of what happened to the Israelites when they indulged in idolatry.
  1. 1 Cor. 11:1-34 <> Church order and the Lord’s Supper
  1. 1 Cor 11:1-3.... Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah). I appreciate and commend you because you always remember me in everything and keep firm possession of the traditions (the substance of my instructions), just as I have [verbally] passed them on to you. But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the Head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God.
  1. 1 Cor 11:20-21.... "So when you gather for your meetings, it is not the supper instituted by the Lord that you eat, for in eating each one [hurries] to get his own supper first [not waiting for the poor], and one goes hungry while another gets drunk." So what is the proper way to celebrate the Lord’s Supper? Click the red C to see.
  1. 1 Cor 11:23-29.... For I received from the Lord Himself that which I passed on to you [it was given to me personally], that the Lord Jesus on the night when He was treacherously delivered up and while His betrayal was in progress took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke [it] and said, Take, eat. This is My body, which is broken for you. Do this to call Me [affectionately] to remembrance. Similarly when supper was ended, He took the cup also, saying, This cup is the new covenant [ratified and established] in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink [it], to call Me [affectionately] to remembrance. For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are representing and signifying and proclaiming the fact of the Lord's death until He comes [again]. So then whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy [of Him] will be guilty of [profaning and sinning against] the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man [thoroughly] examine himself, and [only when he has done] so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discriminating and recognizing with due appreciation that [it is Christ's] body, eats and drinks a sentence (a verdict of judgment) upon himself.
  1. 1 Cor. 12:1-14:40 <> Spiritual gifts and administration
  1. 1 Cor 12:1.... Now about the spiritual gifts (the special endowments of supernatural energy), brethren, I do not want you to be misinformed.
  1. 1 Cor 12:7-11.... But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit. To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit; to another [wonder-working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit, to another the extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit; to another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight ( the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret [such] tongues. All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses.
  2. 1 Cor 12:27-31.... Now you [collectively] are Christ's body and [individually] you are members of it, each part severally and distinct [each with his own place and function]. So God has appointed some in the church [for His own use]: first apostles (special messengers); second prophets (inspired preachers and expounders); third teachers; then wonder-workers; then those with ability to heal the sick; helpers; administrators; [speakers in] different (unknown) tongues. Are all apostles (special messengers)? Are all prophets (inspired interpreters of the will and purposes of God)? Are all teachers? Do all have the power of performing miracles? Do all possess extraordinary powers of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and the choicest graces). And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all--love].
  1. 1 Cor. 13:1-13 <> The spiritual gifts of God only function properly when they are administered in love!
  1. 1 Cor 13:1-8.... If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God's love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers ( the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God's love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody). Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God's love in me), I gain nothing. Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy ( the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].
  1. 1 Cor. 14:1-40 <> The proper use of God’s gifts, and how our church services should be conducted
  1. 1 Cor 14:1.... Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire [this] love [make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy ( interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching).
  2. 1 Cor 14:26-35.... What then, brethren, is [the right course]? When you meet together, each one has a hymn, a teaching, a disclosure of special knowledge or information, an utterance in a [strange] tongue, or an interpretation of it. [But] let everything be constructive and edifying and for the good of all. If some speak in a [strange] tongue, let the number be limited to two or at the most three, and each one [taking his] turn, and let one interpret and explain [what is said]. But if there is no one to do the interpreting, let each of them keep still in church and talk to himself and to God. So let two or three prophets speak [those inspired to preach or teach], while the rest pay attention and weigh and discern what is said. But if an inspired revelation comes to another who is sitting by, then let the first one be silent. For in this way you can give testimony [prophesying and thus interpreting the divine will and purpose] one by one, so that all may be instructed and all may be stimulated and encouraged; for the spirits of the prophets (the speakers in tongues) are under the speaker's control [and subject to being silenced as may be necessary], for He [Who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order. As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God's people), the women should keep quiet in the churches, for they are not authorized to speak, but should take a secondary and subordinate place, just as the Law also says. [Gen 3:16.] But if there is anything they want to learn, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to talk in church [for her to usurp and exercise authority over men in the church].
  3. For a more detailed study of this chapter, see our website page, Action Required To Achieve Spiritual Maturity.
  1. 1 Cor. 15:1-58 <> A reminder concerning the Gospel and the resurrection
  1. 1 Cor 15:1-8.... And now let me remind you [since it seems to have escaped you], brethren, of the Gospel (the glad tidings of salvation) which I proclaimed to you, which you welcomed and accepted and upon which your faith rests, and by which you are saved, if you hold fast and keep firmly what I preached to you, unless you believed at first without effect and all for nothing. For I passed on to you first of all what I also had received, that Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed one) died for our sins in accordance with [what] the Scriptures [foretold], [Isa 53:5-12.] that He was buried, that He arose on the third day as the Scriptures foretold, [Ps 16:9,10.] and [also] that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the Twelve. Then later He showed Himself to more than five hundred brethren at one time, the majority of whom are still alive, but some have fallen asleep [in death]. Afterward He was seen by James, then by all the apostles (the special messengers), and last of all He appeared to me also, as to one prematurely and born dead [no better than an unperfected fetus among living men].
  1. 1 Cor 15:12-15.... But now if Christ (the Messiah) is preached as raised from the dead, how is it that some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not risen; and if Christ has not risen, then our preaching is in vain [it amounts to nothing] and your faith is devoid of truth and is fruitless (without effect, empty, imaginary, and unfounded). We are even discovered to be misrepresenting God, for we testified of Him that He raised Christ, Whom He did not raise in case it is true that the dead are not raised.
  1. 1 Cor 15:21-24.... For since [it was] through a man that death [came into the world, it is] also through a Man that the resurrection of the dead [has come]. For just as [because of their union of nature] in Adam all people die, so also [by virtue of their union of nature] shall all in Christ be made alive. But each in his own rank and turn: Christ (the Messiah) [is] the firstfruits, then those who are Christ's [own will be resurrected] at His coming. After that comes the end (the completion), when He delivers over the kingdom to God the Father after rendering inoperative and abolishing every [other] rule and every authority and power.
  2. 1 Cor 15:34-36.... Awake [from your drunken stupor and return] to sober sense and your right minds, and sin no more. For some of you have not the knowledge of God [you are utterly and willfully and disgracefully ignorant, and continue to be so, lacking the sense of God's presence and all true knowledge of Him]. I say this to your shame. But someone will say, How can the dead be raised? With what [kind of] body will they come forth? You foolish man! Every time you plant seed, you sow something that does not come to life [germinating, springing up, and growing] unless it dies first.
  3. 1 Cor 15:51-55.... Take notice! I tell you a mystery (a secret truth, an event decreed by the hidden purpose or counsel of God). We shall not all fall asleep [in death], but we shall all be changed (transformed) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the [sound of the] last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [in Christ] will be raised imperishable (free and immune from decay), and we shall be changed (transformed). For this perishable [part of us] must put on the imperishable [nature], and this mortal [part of us, this nature that is capable of dying] must put on immortality (freedom from death). And when this perishable puts on the imperishable and this that was capable of dying puts on freedom from death, then shall be fulfilled the Scripture that says, Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory. [Isa 25:8.] O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? [Hos 13:14.]
  1. 1 Cor. 16:1-24 <> Closing comments
  1. 1 Cor 16:21-24.... I, Paul, [add this final] greeting with my own hand. If anyone does not love the Lord [does not have a friendly affection for Him and is not kindly disposed toward Him], he shall be accursed! Our Lord will come! (Maranatha!) The grace (favor and spiritual blessing) of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love (that true love growing out of sincere devotion to God) be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen (so be it).
  1. 1 Cor 16:1-2.... Now concerning the money contributed for [the relief of] the saints (God's people): you are to do the same as I directed the churches of Galatia to do. On the first [day] of each week, let each one of you [personally] put aside something and save it up as he has prospered [in proportion to what he is given], so that no collections will need to be taken after I come.
  2. 1 Cor 16:13-14.... Be alert and on your guard; stand firm in your faith ( your conviction respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, keeping the trust and holy fervor born of faith and a part of it). Act like men and be courageous; grow in strength! [Ps 31:24.] Let everything you do be done in love (true love to God and man as inspired by God's love for us).
  • Third Section
  1. Church administration
  1. God has shown us in His Word how He intends to rule over His creation. If we have surrendered to His sovereignty, then we should examine His Word to see how we are to conduct ourselves in this world and as heavenly citizens. The word theocracy originates from Greek words meaning "the rule of God". This in turn derives from (theós, from an Indo-European root occurring in religious concepts), meaning "god," and (krátein), meaning "to rule."
  1. Policies that God has established in His Word that we are to adhere to:
  1. The way that God rules, and what He expects of us. Click to see our Growth page, Church Policy - Theocracy.
  2. There has been so much religious froth and foam added to modern-day church policy and practice that many have become totally unacceptable to Christ; God’s policy regarding the format of our church gathering, and how it should be conducted is one of them. Click to see our Growth page, Church Policy - Service Format.
  3. Many Christian groups and organizations have chosen the incorrect pathway of pleasing the people in contradiction to God’s Word, and have substituted the humanistic social gospel to try to correct the problem they helped create when they chose to please the people in the beginning; it’s a vicious cycle that goes round and round and never solves anything. Click to see our Growth page, Church Policy - Discipleship Versus Human Affection.
  4. How did various Christian groups and denominations get started? Let’s examine a few passages of Scripture for a clue as to how this happened, and, if it should have happened. Click to see our Growth page, The Origin Of Christian Denominations.
  5. This is a sequel to the above article explaining the cause and the cure for this present world of darkness and confusion. Click to see our Growth page, Our Only Hope In This Darkened World.
  1. Other Website pages to refer to:
  1. Contending For The Faith Or Gospel is required by church leaders. Click to see website page, Basic Instruction For The Local Church
  2. Our prayer is for the local shepherds, that God would give them wisdom and discernment in their charge over and feeding of their flocks, and the strength to resist what does not line up with His Word. Click to see website page, The Debilitating Effect Of Tradition.
  1. See the books of First and second Timothy and Titus
  • Fourth Section
  1. Keep the church informed about the dangers Christians face
  1. One-World Government, or New World Order, or Global Governance; they all mean and promote the same thing, the attempt by Satan to gain full control over the whole world.
  1. Do not neglect to familiarize yourself with the deception that is engulfing the whole world. Click to see Growth page, Only Jesus Can Dispel The Darkness That Is Engulfing The World.
  2. Sources to refer to:
  1. There are three sources of information or knowledge available to us: (1) That which God has revealed unto us in the Bible or His Word; (2) the lies which Satan tries to deceived us with; and (3) that which is derived from human investigation either from God's Word and God's creation, or from human investigation into the forbidden demonic spiritual realm. Obviously, to believe or put confidence in anything connected with Satan is the height of foolishness since Jesus has exposed his true character, "He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false" (John 8:44b). So anyone who believes what God has said should naturally dismiss Satan as a true source of information. Click to see Growth page, Global Governance Exposed.
  2. "The only global government authorized by God and His Word will be when Jesus Christ returns to planet earth at the second advent and rules the world with a rod of iron from Jerusalem. All other global government, no matter how "benevolent" its intention, is frowned upon by Scripture. Yet, the Bible teaches that God will allow evil to form a global government for three and one-half years during the second half of the tribulation for the purpose of our Lord's global judgment just prior to the second coming of Christ and the establishment of His global rule for 1,000 years upon earth. Thus, current moves toward globalism are preparation for antichrist, not for Jesus Christ, and should be opposed by Bible-believing Christians." The Emerging Global Community, by Dr. Thomas Ice. . . . UPDATE: The above was written in 2005 by Dr. Ice, so he might have a slightly different opinion at the present (Oct. 23, 2010) regarding when this World Government will commence because some information indicates that this system has already been formed, it has just not been fully implemented.
  3. Gary Kah?s book, En Route To Global Occupation, by Huntington House Publishers - 1992
  1. Rival religions, cults, movements, false teachings and practices
  1. 2 Cor. 10:3-6.... For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed one), being in readiness to punish every [insubordinate for his] disobedience, when your own submission and obedience [as a church] are fully secured and complete.
  1. Whenever God starts something, Satan immediately attempts to infiltrate, corrupt, weaken, and eventually destroy (ICWD) it. Shortly after God created all that is, the enemy began his ICWD plan; you can read about it in the third chapter of Genesis. As soon as Jesus began His earthly ministry, the enemy unsuccessfully tried his ICWD plan on Him (Lk. 4:1-13); and as soon and since Jesus established The Church, Satan has been aggressively using his ICWD plan to infiltrate, corrupt, and weaken, with an intense desire to destroy it. Click to see our Growth page entitled, How The Present-day Church Has Been Deceived By Satan.
  1. The previous page to be added to our website was entitled, How The Present-day Church Has Been Deceived By Satan. This page attempts to explain how Satanic deception can be avoided by being of the same mind, and how that can be accomplished. Click to see our Growth page entitled, A Christian’s Proper Manner Of Life.
  1. Gal. 1:1-14; Rev. 2:6, 15, 20-23
  1. Evolution, psychotherapy, (New Age, Purpose Driven and Emerging Church movements), the Positive Confession or Faith movement
  2. Eastern religions, Islam, the Roman Catholic Church, the cults and the occult
  1. Sources to refer to:
  1. It is hoped that this article will be a convenient help to enable God's people to recognize and avoid the deception and bondage that Satan intends to bring upon the unwary. Click to see website page, Satan's Vast Network Of Deception & Opposition
  2. When we turn from trusting God to equip us to live, and rely instead on the schemes of men, no matter how educated and well meaning, we have rejected the path to true wholeness. Click to see website page, The Christian's Battle Against Gnosticism
  3. Basically, we could say that Biblical Christianity believes, trusts and relies upon what God has revealed to us in His Word; while Secular Christianity puts more confidence in human ability and understanding, and feels free to disregard or explain away the Word of God. Click to see website page, What Is Biblical Christianity?
  4. "In the 1930s, the reality of influence in the schoolroom spurred John Dewey, the father of American progressive education, to write My Pedagogic Creed. In it, Dewey depicts public education as a massive behavior-shaping tool. Dewey knew that you could sway the beliefs of a whole generation in the classroom and thereby alter the course of a nation." Click to see website page, The Battle For Truth Is Almost Lost
  5. Satan's attacks upon our minds come to us from all directions, but modern twentieth-century psychological counseling/therapy with its roots in occultism has been one of Satan's most potent schemes to lead people away from the truths and help of God's Word. Click to see website page, Spirit, Soul And Body Under Siege
  6. Never before, in the history of mankind, have there been so many and varied themes and schemes for distracting and conforming or shaping the minds of men, that mold or shape our character, or the person that we become. Click to see website page, Who Or What Are You Being Shaped By?
  7. The revealed Word of God that we will look at in this article declares that the wisdom of this world is foolishness, but what does this world's wisdom consist of? Basically it can be described as any wisdom or knowledge that is not based upon, or departs from, or is contrary to the revealed Word of God! Another words, any wisdom or knowledge that is based upon, and remains true to, and is according to the revealed Word of God is actually God's truth and not something of our own making. Therefore, in order to distinguish between truth and error we simply check to see what God, in His Word, has to say about the subject in question. Click to see Growth page, This World's Wisdom Is Foolishness.
  8. See the website series on "Developing A Biblical Worldview"
  1. Individuals
  1. It is hardly ever pleasant to contend, not even for the faith delivered to us by the Lord Jesus Christ, but it is absolutely necessary and here are some Scriptures that verify the practice. 1 Tim. 1:18-20; 2 Tim 2:15-18, 4:14-15; Titus 1:10-14; Rev. 2:2, 20-23; 3 Jn. 1:9-10
  1. By T.A. McMahon: "The history of the social gospel is, in nearly every case, a sincere attempt by Christians to do those things that they believe will honor God and benefit humanity. In every case, however, the practical working out of "benefitting humanity" has compromised biblical faith and dishonored God. Why is that? God's Word gives no commission to the church to fix the problems of the world. Those who attempt to do so are starting out under a false premise, "...a way which seemeth right unto a man," not God's way. So where can it go from there? "The end thereof are the ways of death," i.e., destruction (Proverbs 14:12). Furthermore, the problems of the world are all symptoms. The root cause is sin." Click to see the internet page from The Berean Call, The Shameful Social Gospel.
  2. By T.A. McMahon: "Why am I making an issue of this? Because the world and, sadly, much of the church are caught up in a temporal delusion: clinging to this earth rather than hoping for heaven. It's part of Satan's strategy to deceive the world into building his kingdom. For thousands of years, he has seduced both professing and true Christians into joining his labor force, with the goal of establishing his own religion, which will be headed by his puppet ruler, the Antichrist. As the intensity of his program increases in these last days, particularly in Christendom, the leaven of this apostasy has been deposited in all theological camps: charismatics, Calvinists, conservatives, liberals, Pentecostals, Baptists, left-leaning Christians, supporters of the Emerging Church Movement, promoters of the "social gospel," et al." Click to see the internet page from The Berean Call, The Temporal Delusion.
  3. The choices we make direct our path and our life toward a particular destination for either good or evil. God’s Word tells us the right choices to make, but unfortunately, some people and organizations, who are recognize or believed to be Christian, have compromised God’s Word and have brought confusion and deception into the Church. Click to see Growth page, Our Choices Can Tremendously Effect Our Life.
  4. How can we possibly hope to have confidence and be committed to Jesus unless we are convinced that we can completely rely upon Him and what He has declared. To find out, click to see Growth page, We Need To Know Him, In Order To Trust Him.
  5. The apostle Peter’s second letter gives us some good advise about what to be aware of and watch for when we attend church. Click to see Growth page, Peter’s Warnings And Encouragement.
  1. Retain Biblical Basics
  1. Spiritual rebirth, God’s salvation plan
  1. What Spiritual rebirth is; why it is needed; what it accomplishes; and how is it gained.
  2. There is nothing surer in all heaven than the salvation of every person who believes what God has declared in His Word, and trusts and relies upon Christ Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior; thus having the death penalty that he deserved payed for and cancelled by Jesus on the cross of Calvary (1 Cor. 1:30), and justified, declared righteous and put into a right relationship with God by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Rom. 4:25). We can forsake and forfeit this salvation (Heb. 6:4-8; 10:26-31; 2 Peter 2:20-22), but God never will (Rom. 8:28-39). I’m a born-again child of God only through faith in the salvation provided by Jesus when He shed His blood on the cross to pay for my redemption and rose from the dead for my justification (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Rom. 3:24).
  3. Click to see, Spiritual Rebirth.
  1. Stand firm and true to God's Word, Jesus and the Gospel
  1. To prepare God’s people to stand up to this kind of last-days deception that we presently face, our churches and or personal lives need to be patterned after the model that Jesus and Paul established. Click to see our Growth page entitled, Stand Up For Jesus.
  • Fifth Section
  1. Church History, present condition, and Future destiny
  1. The Church that Jesus is building, and its offshoots. In an endeavor to dispel some of the confusion that has caused much concern among God’s people, we will in this series of articles examine God’s Word for some understanding and answers to such questions as: (1) the pattern Jesus gave us to follow when gathering together as His Church; (2) why there are so many offshoots of the original pattern; and (3) what is the basic cause for all the deception and conflicting opinions?
  1. Examine from Scripture how God designed the Church and meant it to be and function. Consider how a church is formed; also who God entrusted with the most information about the Church, and how he received it. Click to see website page, Jesus Said, I Will Build My Church
  2. Learn about the spiritual basics of Biblical Christianity and the invisible Church; how we can learn to live this way; how this enables us to rule and reign with Jesus now; and church structure and functions. Click to see website page, Biblical Christianity And The Invisible Church
  3. Consider some of the many branches or offshoots we have of the originally designed invisible Church that now constitutes the visible churches, and some of the problems this has created. Click to see website page, Offshoots Of Biblical Christianity Or The Visible Churches
  4. Examine a modern controversy, and how and why it developed. Click to see website page, The Basic Cause For Deception In The Churches
  5. See how God will respond to the choices we make, and also the example Paul gave us to live by. Click to see website page, God Makes His Appeal To Us Through The Apostle Paul
  1. Church History
  1. Most church history merely reports the facts known about that segment of Christianity that attached itself to the Roman Empire and then became apostate, and the Reformation that followed. But we need to be aware that there were groups of Christians that refused to go along with the false teachings and practices of the Roman church and remained true to Christ, and then, not only to know but learn to interpret the history of all these groups in light of the Word of God.
  2. The book of Acts
  3. Sources to refer to:
  1. Today there are numerous religions, cults, protestant denominations, movements and written agreements that are moving us back into the failed policies of the dark ages, once again world leaders, secular and religious, are attempting to bring the Church into an allegiance with world government. Click to see Growth page, A Brief Survey of Church History
  2. This is a much longer article, briefly mentioning the whole of history from the very beginning. Click to see website page, The Bible, History And Western Development
  1. Present Condition
  1. Sources to refer to:
  1. By reading what Jesus had to say to the seven churches in the book of Revelation, we can better understand what He expects from us. Click to see website page, Evaluating The Churches
  2. We are very reluctant to consider or attempt to do anything about the truth that many Christians no longer believe in true Biblical Christianity or have walked away from it all together. Click to see Growth page, Why People Are Leaving The Churches
  3. Jesus came to make us law-abiding citizens of His heavenly Kingdom, but most Christians today are trying to apply our spiritual heritage to this earthly realm. Click to see Growth page, What Is The Composition Of American Christianity?
  1. Future destiny
  1. Sources to refer to:
  1. Have you ever wondered what this life is all about and what living with God in heaven is going to be like; this is what we will briefly consider in this article. Click to see Growth page, The Reason For Our Present Earthly Existence
  • Sixth Section
  1. Eschatology or end-time events
  1. Daniel chapters 2, 7-12
  2. Matt. chapter 24
  3. 2 Peter chapter 3
  4. Revelation
  1. One world government, economy and religion under the antichrist
  1. Rev. chapters 13-14, 17-18
  1. The thousand-year Millennial reign of Christ
  1. Rev. chapters 19-20
  1. The Eternal state
  1. Rev. chapters 21-22
  1. Sources to refer to:
  1. In the following article we will try to establish where we are in this plan of God's, and some of the details of it. Click to see website page, How Far Along Are We In God's Plan?
  2. The very first thing that Jesus mentioned that will be characteristic of this period leading up to and including the end is deception. Click to see website page, The Beginning Of The End
  3. The events leading up to the Antichrist's end-time exploits. Click to see website page, The Role Of Antichrist
  4. Prophecy is a very difficult and imprecise discipline, but since about one-quarter of the Bible is prophecy and we have every reason to believe that God gave it to us to understand and be encouraged by, we should spend a corresponding amount of time in an attempt to discover the true meaning of it. Click to see website page, A Brief Look At The Book Of Revelation
  • Seventh Section
  1. Obedience to God can bring trouble and persecution
  1. Matt. 10:21-39, 24:9-13; Mark 13:9-13; Jn. 7:7, 15:18-25
  1. Sources to refer to:
  1. The Roman Empire persecuted the early Christians mainly because they refused to participate in their religious activities and worship the gods of the empire; the global system being formed today will do the same thing for the same reasons. Click to see website page, The Reasons Christians Have And Continue To Be Persecuted
  2. As people increasingly become as Jesus described in Matthew 24:9-14, it will become extremely difficult to live as the Lord would have us to. It is easy to love kind and generous people, but when they begin to malign, deceive, cheat and mistreat you it is much more difficult. Click to see website page, Prepare Yourself For Difficulties
  1. Comfort and encouragement in difficult times
  1. Sources to refer to:
  1. The way that we learn to trust and be comforted is to read and meditate upon what He has promised us until it becomes a firmly held conviction in our heart that dispels all fear because we know that God is in complete control and nothing escapes His notice, and that He does indeed care about us affectionately. Click to see Growth page, Comfort In The Midst Of Difficulties


Marriage, Sexuality And Authority

The departure from the Biblical fundamentals of family life opened up the way for many of the destructive forces that have followed. The areas that we are going to touch upon in this article are highly contested in society today. We cannot expect those who have been indoctrinated into the present world mind-set and accustomed to this life style to quickly agree with what we are about to present, but if correction and restoration are to come, the truth of God’s Word must be faithfully and accurately proclaimed in order that new converts may learn the right way, and hopefully the older ones will come to their senses and gradually make the change back to a Biblical world-view (2 Tim. 2:24-26).

1 CORINTHIANS 6:12-20.... Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power. Food [is intended] for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will finally end [the functions of] both and bring them to nothing. The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but [is intended] for the Lord, and the Lord [is intended] for the body [to save, sanctify, and raise it again]. And God both raised the Lord to life and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not see and know that your bodies are members (bodily parts) of Christ? Am I therefore to take the parts of Christ and make [them] parts of a prostitute? Never! Never! Or do you not know and realize that when a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? The two, it is written, shall become one flesh. But the person who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him. Shun immorality and all sexual looseness [flee from impurity in thought, word, or deed]. Any other sin which a man commits is one outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own. You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

Clearly, what we do with our bodies is a very important issue, what we take into them, how we take care of them, and how we use them. Paul was determined that he would never become a slave to any of the desires of the flesh, or anything else except Christ. These fleshly desires will one day lose their attractiveness when we receive our new immortal bodies; apparently even food and drink will not be necessary at that time, and it is doubtful that toilets or sewer systems will be needed in heaven or the New Jerusalem. Our new bodies will evidently be of flesh and bone as was Jesus’ resurrection body, but without the blood system that nourishes and removes waste material from our present bodies (1 Cor. 15:49-51). We are so accustom of thinking only in terms of this life that it is hard for us to realize just how significantly different eternity with Christ will be. We will probably not be able to understand how or why we were so strongly tempted to satisfy the desires of our previous bodies.

One of the bodily appetites that we humans possess is the desire for sexual gratification. This is an area very successfully exploited and perverted by the devil and mankind; and the one that is most prevalent in Paul’s instructions to us in chapters five through seven of 1 Corinthians. God probably gave this strong desire so that we would be sure to carry out his command to multiply and populate the earth (Gen. 1:28; 9:7; 35:11), it is doubtful that it was given primarily for pleasure. It is probably true that most men would rather hunt and fish than raise a family, so the incentive they received from God gave them a strong attraction and appreciation for the female body; females seem to be more stimulated by wardrobe and words of affection. These characteristics and differences are intended to bring us together to carry out God’s will for our lives. The wording of Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 6:18 and 7:2 forbid all kinds of sexual perversion – "Shun immorality and all sexual looseness" (6:18), and "the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality" (7:2). So the subject of sexuality is pretty well covered in these three chapters, along with the basics of marriage relationships in every or most situations. We will consider individual conduct of husband and wife, a little further, in the next section on authority structure.

As we consider God’s instructions through His servant Paul regarding marriage, sexuality and authority we will see how very important it is to carefully examine all issues before we enter into a marriage covenant. It is doubtful that many couples examined and agreed upon these issues before the wedding, or even after.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:1-7.... Now as to the matters of which you wrote me. It is well [and by that I mean advantageous, expedient, profitable, and wholesome] for a man not to touch a woman [to cohabit with her] but to remain unmarried. But because of the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality, let each [man] have his own wife and let each [woman] have her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights (goodwill, kindness, and what is due her as his wife), and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have [exclusive] authority and control over her own body, but the husband [has his rights]; likewise also the husband does not have [exclusive] authority and control over his body, but the wife [has her rights]. Do not refuse and deprive and defraud each other [of your due marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves unhindered to prayer. But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire. But I am saying this more as a matter of permission and concession, not as a command or regulation. I wish that all men were like I myself am [in this matter of self-control]. But each has his own special gift from God, one of this kind and one of another.

Paul seems to be saying that the sexual urge is so strong in most people that the only way that an unmarried person can avoid immorality is by the special grace of God. No one has ever been known to die from a lack of sexual activity, but they may feel like they are going to.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:8-11.... But to the unmarried people and to the widows, I declare that it is well (good, advantageous, expedient, and wholesome) for them to remain [single] even as I do. But if they have not self-control (restraint of their passions), they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame [with passion and tortured continually with ungratified desire]. But to the married people I give charge – not I but the Lord – that the wife is not to separate from her husband. But if she does [separate from and divorce him], let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband. And [I charge] the husband [also] that he should not put away or divorce his wife.

Marriage is a permanent arrangement; I see no permission given in the New Testament, regardless of the circumstances, for another marriage while a previous partner still lives. There are however, passages that might be understood or taken to give permission in special cases, which we will examine, briefly, in the following passages.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:12-16.... To the rest I declare – I, not the Lord [for Jesus did not discuss this] – that if any brother has a wife who does not believe [in Christ] and she consents to live with him, he should not leave or divorce her. And if any woman has an unbelieving husband and he consents to live with her, she should not leave or divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is set apart (separated, withdrawn from heathen contamination, and affiliated with the Christian people) by union with his consecrated (set-apart) wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart and separated through union with her consecrated husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean (unblessed heathen, outside the Christian covenant), but as it is they are prepared for God. But if the unbelieving partner [actually] leaves, let him do so; in such [cases the remaining] brother or sister is not morally bound. But God has called us to peace. For, wife, how can you be sure of converting and saving your husband? Husband, how can you be sure of converting and saving your wife?

MATTHEW 19:3-9.... And Pharisees came to Him and put Him to the test by asking, is it lawful and right to dismiss and repudiate and divorce one’s wife for any and every cause? He replied, have you never read that He Who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be united firmly (joined inseparably) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder (separate). They said to Him, why then did Moses command [us] to give a certificate of divorce and thus to dismiss and repudiate a wife? He said to them, because of the hardness of your hearts Moses permitted you to dismiss and repudiate and divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been so [ordained]. I say to you; whoever dismisses his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

It has been argued that in the two above situations; where an unbeliever has walked out or where adultery has been committed (Matt. 5:32), Jesus would not only allow divorce but a remarriage as well, but this is debatable; 1 Corinthians 7:39 says, "A wife is bound to her husband by law as long as he lives." Special cases like this would have to be taken to and decided in the following way by the Lord Himself, as would be the following subjects.

It might be well, at this point, to give some thought to sexual techniques or practices such as: foreplay, fondling, handling, caressing, and positions during intercourse. There is no specific instruction in the Word of God on these subjects, except caressing which we find in Song of Solomon 2:1-7 & 8:1-4. In making a determination about any of these or other practices, we must be sure that we do not violate any instruction in God’s Word that would have a bearing on, or that would regulate that particular activity.

There are many things that we need to do in private, in the normal course of living: such as bathing, eliminating bodily waste, and sexual intercourse between husband and wife, but God knows, sees, and approves. It is expected of us, in our daily walk with the Lord through prayer and Bible study, that we should find out what is or isn’t acceptable to Him, and then to make the proper adjustments in order to please Him and live a good life. "And try to learn [in your experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [let your lives be constant proofs of what is most acceptable to Him]" (Eph.5:10).

As already stated, if we indulge in any of these practices, we must be certain that we do not violate any of God’s commandments, such as, "But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matt. 5:28). To think about, or fantasize about an illegitimate sex partner while preforming any of these activities is clearly prohibited by this commandment, and the same is true of indulging in any other sexual perversion mentioned in the Bible such as sodomy. If the Bible clearly prohibits it, or we are not convinced of its approval by God and our hearts condemn us, that settles it, it is forbidden to us.

The general teaching that regulates all our thoughts, words, and actions is found in the following Scriptures: "I know and am convinced as one in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is [forbidden as] essentially unclean (defiled and unholy in itself). But [none the less] it is unclean to anyone who thinks it is unclean. But if your brother is being pained or his feelings hurt or if he is being injured by what you eat, [then] you are no longer walking in love. [You have ceased to be living and conducting yourself by the standard of love toward him.] Do not let what you eat hurt or cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died! Do not therefore let what seems good to you be considered an evil thing [by someone else]. [In other words, do not give occasion for others to criticize that which is justifiable for you.] [After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. He who serves Christ in this way is acceptable and pleasing to God and is approved by men. So let us then definitely aim for and eagerly pursue what makes for harmony and for mutual upbuilding of one another. You must not, for the sake of food, undo and break down and destroy the work of God! Everything is indeed clean and pure, but it is wrong for anyone to hurt the conscience of others or to make them fall by what he eats. The right thing is to eat no meat or drink no wine [at all], or [do anything else] if it makes your brother stumble or hurts his conscience or offends or weakens him. Your personal convictions [on such matters] – exercise [them] as in God’s presence, keeping them to yourself [striving only to know the truth and obey His will]. Blessed is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves [who does not convict himself by what he chooses to do]. But the man who has doubts (misgivings, an uneasy conscience) about eating, and then eats [perhaps because of you], stands condemned [before God], because he is not true to his convictions and he does not act from faith. For whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin [whatever is done without a conviction of its approval by God is sinful]" (Rom. 14:14-23).

As can be seen from the Scripture above, it would be wrong to endanger someone else’s relationship with God by condoning or condemning any of these questionable practices by your personal approval or disapproval. These are all very personal and private interactions between the married couple and God, or the individual and God; also, it would be very inappropriate and potentially harmful to use oneself as an example or to discuss with others, your personal convictions in these areas, others could be wrongfully influenced to decline or participate and could suffer as a result.

Tell It To Jesus Alone

Do the tears flow down your cheeks unbidden?

Tell it to Jesus, Tell it to Jesus.

Have you sins that to men’s eyes are hidden?

Tell it to Jesus alone.

Tell it to Jesus, Tell it to Jesus.

He is a Friend that’s well known.

You’ve no other such a friend or brother.

Tell it to Jesus alone.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:25-38.... Now concerning the virgins (the marriageable maidens) I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion and advice as one who by the Lord’s mercy is rendered trustworthy and faithful. I think then, because of the impending distress [that is even now setting in], it is well for a person to remain as he or she is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you do marry, you do not sin [in doing so], and if a virgin marries, she does not sin. Yet those who marry will have physical and earthly troubles, and I would like to spare you that. I mean, brethren, the appointed time has been winding down and it has grown very short. From now on, let even those who have wives be as if they had none, and those who weep and mourn as though they were not weeping and mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they did not possess anything, and those who deal with this world [overusing the enjoyments of this life] as though they were not absorbed by it and as if they had no dealings with it. For the outward form of this world (the present world order) is passing away. My desire is to have you free from all anxiety and distressing care. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord – how he may please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly matters – how he may please his wife – and he is drawn in diverging directions [his interests are divided and he is distracted from his devotion to God]. And the unmarried woman or girl is concerned and anxious about the matters of the Lord, how to be wholly separated and set apart in body and spirit; but the married woman has her cares [centered] in earthly affairs – how she may please her husband.

35Now I say this for your own welfare and profit, not to put [a halter of] restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly and in good order and to secure your undistracted and undivided devotion to the Lord. But if any man thinks that he is not acting properly toward and in regard to his virgin [that he is preparing disgrace for her or incurring reproach], in case she is passing the bloom of her youth and if there is need for it, let him do what to him seems right; he does not sin; let them marry. But whoever is firmly established in his heart [strong in mind and purpose], not being force by necessity but having control over his own will and desire, and has resolved this in his heart to keep his own virginity, he is doing well. So also then, he [the father] who give his virgin (his daughter) in marriage does well, and he who does not give [her] in marriage does better.

I doubt that there has ever been a time in history when the average citizen has had more distractions to contend with, and most people seem to think that they are unavoidable. But I think that the real reason that people don’t live a more simple and godly lifestyle, without all the worldly things and involvement, is because they really don’t want to. We are not willing to disengage from worldly practices and part with its merchandise. We want things and do things without giving adequate thought to the consequences. Whatever we acquire we become responsible for; there is the original cost, sometimes insurance, upkeep, storage, and disposal; in marriage we have to add the human factor, additional time spent in negotiation and appeasement. Most people are not willing to make the required commitment to Christ in order to avoid the trouble that accompanies a worldly lifestyle.

Paul was concerned that the distractions of married life would be so great for some people that their devotion to the Lord would be grievously affected. And I believe that the divorce rate among "Christians" is good evidence that his fears were warranted, Christians who love the Lord learn to love one another. We must first be one with Christ, before we can be one with one another. Too often our so-called fellowship in Christ is no more than mere human association. How much time do we really spend prayerfully searching the Scriptures to examine our lifestyle or to make future decisions, and to seek God’s will instead of our own? What are the things in our lives that keep us from growing in grace? These are more than distractions; they are idols.

God is not suggesting that we should abandon our wives or our businesses (verses 29-31), but that we should be watchful against becoming overly occupied with the things of this world. Our first love and consideration should be the Lord Himself and His will for our lives, not the things of this world. "Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him." (1 Jn. 2:15). If both marriage partners put God first, then we can know a little bit of heaven on earth, but if one begins to lavish undo affection upon the things of this world the opposite becomes true. God designed the family structure so that we would be able to prevent the world from having an undue influence upon the members of our families, in the next section on authority we will see how this can be accomplished.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:39-40.... A wife is bound to her husband by law as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she will, only [provided that he too is] in the Lord. But in my opinion [a widow] is happier (more blessed and to be envied) if she does not remarry. And also I think I have the Spirit of God.

Authority Structure At Home And In The Church

GENESIS 3:1-19.... Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden, except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity.

6And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable and pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate. Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apron like girdles.

8And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you? He said, I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself. And He said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat? And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me -- she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate. And the Lord God said to the woman, What is this you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled (cheated, outwitted, and deceived) me, and I ate.

14And the Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all [domestic] animals and above every [wild] living thing of the field; upon your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust [and what it contains] all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel. To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children. Yet your desire and craving will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. And to Adam He said, Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you; in sorrow and toil shall you eat [of the fruits] of it all the days of your life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return.

At the time that God established this order and function for husband and wife, He would undoubtedly also have given them the distinguishing qualities or traits to carry them out. To the females He gave traits wherein they would recognize their need to rely upon their husband for leadership, protection and sustenance; traits also to love, nurture and care for children. Men would need the traits enabling them to be the leaders, protectors and providers that they should be. Whatever God requires of us He has also given us the ability to do.

God seems to have given the men greater ability to reason unhindered by the subjective feelings and emotions that women have and need to love their husbands, nurture their children, and manage the home. This equips the men to be the leaders God meant them to be by being able to make objective decisions based upon the facts instead of subjective feelings and emotions. This type of leadership protects the whole family from rash and hasty judgements such as Eve made when tempted by the devil. The husband is warned by Adam’s example not to allow the undue desires of his wife to sway his judgement, and the wife is cautioned by Eve’s example to rely upon her husband instead of going her own way.

Having been equipped to function in the above manner, it seems very evident that life would be better for us if we remained within these roles in obedience to God. We shall see in the following Scriptures that God’s intentions for male and female remains the same, God has not changed and neither does He want us to in this regard.

1 CORINTHIANS 11:3-16.... But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the Head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God. Any man who prays or prophesies (teaches, refutes, reproves, admonishes, and comforts) with his head covered dishonors his Head (Christ). And any woman who [publicly] prays or prophesies (teaches, refutes, reproves, admonishes, or comforts) when she is bareheaded dishonors her head (her husband); it is the same as [if her head were] shaved. For if a woman will not wear [a head] covering, then she should cut off her hair too; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her head shorn or shaven, let her cover [her head]. For a man ought not to wear anything on his head [in church], for he is the image and [reflected] glory of God [his function of government reflects the majesty of the divine Rule]; but woman is [the expression of] man's glory (majesty, preeminence). For man was not [created] from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created on account of or for the benefit of woman, but woman on account of and for the benefit of man.

10Therefore she should [be subject to his authority and should] have a covering on her head [as a token, a symbol, of her submission to authority, that she may show reverence as do] the angels [and not displease them]. Nevertheless, in [the plan of] the Lord and from His point of view woman is not apart from and independent of man, nor is man aloof from and independent of woman; for as woman was made from man, even so man is also born of woman; and all [whether male or female go forth] from God [as their Author]. Consider for yourselves; is it proper and decent [according to your customs] for a woman to offer prayer to God [publicly] with her head uncovered? Does not the native sense of propriety (experience, common sense, reason) itself teach you that for a man to wear long hair is a dishonor [humiliating and degrading] to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her ornament and glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. Now if anyone is disposed to be argumentative and contentious about this, we hold to and recognize no other custom [in worship] than this, nor do the churches of God generally.

1 CORINTHIANS 14:33b-38.... As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God's people), the women should keep quiet in the churches, for they are not authorized to speak, but should take a secondary and subordinate place, just as the Law also says. But if there is anything they want to learn, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to talk in church [for her to usurp and exercise authority over men in the church]. What! did the word of the Lord originate with you [Corinthians], or has it reached only you? If anyone thinks and claims that he is a prophet [filled with and governed by the Holy Spirit of God and inspired to interpret the divine will and purpose in preaching or teaching] or has any other spiritual endowment, let him understand (recognize and acknowledge) that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. But if anyone disregards or does not recognize [that it is a command of the Lord], he is disregarded and not recognized [he is one whom god knows not].

EPHESIANS 5:22-33.... Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless]. Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members (parts) of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church. However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].

COLOSSIANS 3:18-19.... Wives, be subject to your husbands [subordinate and adapt yourselves to them], as is right and fitting and your proper duty in the Lord. husbands, love your wives [be affectionate and sympathetic with them] and do not be harsh or bitter or resentful toward them.

1 TIMOTHY 2:11-15.... Let a woman learn in quietness, in entire submissiveness. I allow no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to remain in quietness and keep silence [in religious assemblies]. For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and it was not Adam who was deceived, but [the] woman who was deceived and deluded and fell into transgression. Nevertheless [the sentence put upon women of pain in motherhood does not hinder their souls' salvation, and] they will be saved [eternally] if they continue in faith and love and holiness with self-control, [saved indeed] through the Childbearing or by the birth of the divine Child.

This Scripture gives credibility to our previous comments to the effect that God did not equip women to confront or be confronted by this evil world system. Eve was deceived and tricked into making a disastrous decision, Adam probably choose to go along with Eve because of his concern for her. Eve apparently thought that no harm would result, and that some good would come from eating of this fruit; Adam was not deceived, he knew better. There is no sadder or truer example of – we may get what we want, but not like what we get; and wives should remember this before they put undue pressure upon their husbands in an attempt to change his mind.

The whole of God’s Word shows that God neither equipped nor sanctioned women to hold leadership or teaching positions over the men, either in the home or Church, and this should be a pattern for all of society.

2 TIMOTHY 3:6-7.... For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses. [These weak women will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth.

TITUS 2:3-5.... Bid the older women similarly to be reverent and devout in their deportment as becomes those engaged in sacred service, not slanderers or slaves to drink. They are to give good counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble, so that they will wisely train the young women to be sane and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kind-hearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited).

1 PETER 3:1-6.... In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives, when they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes; to respect, defer to, revere him -- to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband]. Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; but let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God. For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them]. It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you].

REVELATION 14:1-5.... Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 [men] who had His name and His Father’s name inscribed on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of great waters and like the rumbling of mighty thunder; the voice I heard [seemed like the music] of harpists accompanying themselves on their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne [of God] and before the four living creatures and before the elders [of the heavenly Sanhedrin]. No one could learn [to sing] that song except the 144,000 who had been ransomed (purchased, redeemed) from the earth. These are they who have not defiled themselves by relations with women, for they are [pure as] virgins. These are they who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These are they who have been ransomed from among men as the firstfruits for God and the Lamb. No lie was found to be upon their lips, for they are blameless (spotless, untainted, without blemish) before the throne of God.

There were no women writers of the Holy Scriptures, and Jesus never chose any women to be disciples or to be in places of leadership, although there where other ministries that they performed. Neither are there any women among these 144,000 that God chose, because it specifically says that these were those who had not had any relations with women.

The testimony of the whole Word of God is that, except for very rare occasions, God has ordained that men, not women, should be in leadership positions. Some have tried to use Galatians 3:22-28 to support their claim that the Scriptures that we have just reviewed no longer are true and valid. Let us examine this passage to see why their assumption is a false one.

GALATIANS 3:22-29.... But the Scriptures [picture all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [the inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe [who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him]. Now before the faith came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed, so that the Law served as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified by and through faith. But now that the faith has come, we are no longer under a trainer. For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For as many as were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ. There is [now no distinction] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham’s Seed], then you are Abraham’s offspring and [spiritual] heirs according to promise.

To begin with, this passage is not speaking of earthly functions or administration, but with the spiritual benefits of salvation. As regards our earthly life there is still male and female, we can usually still recognize the difference. It is still wrong to have same sex sexual relations, and it is still wrong for the woman to usurp authority over the man. Jesus, in this earthly economy, was not inferior to God or any less than God, but He was subordinate to, submissive to, and obedient to the Father. In fact, that is the exact position that the early Church took in explaining the doctrine of the Trinity.

Philip Schaff has an excellent paragraph on this subject in his History of The Christian Church: "Notice, too, the moral effects of the gospel in the female characters of the New Testament. Christianity raises woman from the slavish position which she held both in Judaism and in heathendom, to her true moral dignity and importance; makes her an heir of the same salvation with man, (1 Pet. 3:7; Gal. 3:28) and opens to her a field for the noblest and loveliest virtues, without thrusting her, after the manner of modern pseudo-philanthropic schemes of emancipation, out of her appropriate sphere of private, domestic life, and thus stripping her of her fairest ornament and peculiar charm." To know our God-given place and station in life and to remain there is not demeaning, but rather a glory to God as well as to ourselves.

Secondly, to incorrectly interpret Galatians 3:28 to nullify all the previous Scriptures violates several rules of hermeneutics or Scriptural interpretation. We have already mentioned the first one, but have not explained the rule. Proper interpretation of Scripture demands that we draw out (exegesis) of the passage the true meaning, not read into (eisegesis) the passage something that is not there. The area where male and female distinctions no longer exist is in regards to salvation, but the distinctions still exist in regard to our earthly existence.

Another primary rule of interpretation is "Scriptural harmony," or Scripture is to interpret Scripture. This rule states that no part of Scripture can be interpreted in such a way as to render it in conflict with what is clearly taught elsewhere in Scripture. This also has been alluded to in the above paragraph, and is a clear example of the violation of this rule.

Also illustrated in the preceding comments, is a third primary rule: the implicit is to be interpreted by the explicit, and nothing could be more explicit than for the apostle Paul to say that the instructions in 1 Cor. 14:32-38 are the commands of God! Also, the Scriptures given to affirm the headship on man are very explicit in this regard, therefore, they should be used to arrive at a correct understanding of Galatians 3:28.

The following is from Walter Martin’s book, The Kingdom of the Cults 1985 edition, which was left out of the 1997 edition edited by Hank Hanegraaff.

It should be remembered that the Apostle Paul strictly enjoined the Christian Church to forbid women to usurp the authority of her male head, and leadership roles should more properly be filled by men where available to meet this need:

"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression" (1 Timothy 2:11-14).

It can be clearly seen from the study of non-Christian cults, ancient and modern, that the female teaching ministry has graphically fulfilled what Paul anticipated in his day by divine revelation, and brought in its wake, as history tells us, confusion, division and strife. This is true from Johanna Southcutt to Mary Baker Eddy to Helena Blavatsky and the Fox sisters, all of whom were living proof of the validity of our Lord’s declaration that "if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch" (Matthew 15:14b). (pp. 249-250)

Hank Hanegraaff, by removing Walter Martins’s above comments has contributed to the disregard for the clear teaching in God’s Word concerning the woman’s role in the home and church. The following paragraph, from the foreword of Harold O. J. Brown’s book Heresies, points out the reason and the dangers of such conduct. The foreword was written by George H. Williams, professor of Divinity at Harvard University.

Heresies is the work of an irenic Evangelical scholar who deplores the cruel treatment meted out to past heretics and heresiarchs with torture, fire, and sword but who also strongly deplores heresy and the facile toleration of it and the failure on the part of mainstream Protestantism and other groupings to recognize that in updating the creeds under various pressures, including the women’s liberation movement, to eliminate the gender terminology in Triadology, Christology, and elsewhere, they could unwittingly forfeit the essence of the faith as a system of coherent beliefs, which was cast in language once acceptable to women as well as men in less sensitized age.

The following is from Norman L. Geisler’s book, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics.

Creation Grounds Roles and Authority. Male leadership or headship is a contentious issue in churches where members hold to the biblical view of creation. It is not that conservative Christians (men and women) are misogynists (haters of women), as feminist-rights advocates frequently charge. Equal value and respect of men and women and an order that stresses male headship are taught in Genesis and applied to the church in the New Testament.

Paul states the principles strongly in 1 Timothy 2:11-14: "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner." In regard to the family authority structure, Paul wrote: "Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God . . . . For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man" (1 Cor. 11:3, 8-9). It is evident here that the order of creation is given as one basis for the authority structure within a family.

Both by order of creation and Adam’s role as head of the covenant between God and humanity, the authority structure in home and church was established through the male. Adam’s was the ultimate responsibility to keep the provisions of the covenant. It was his sin that brought death to the human race (see, for example, Rom. 5:12-14).

In a brief mention of a complex issue, it must be stressed that this mandate must not be considered grounds for denying the essential equality of male and female (see above). God’s plan for separate roles does not speak to relative importance or value in the spiritual body of Christ where "there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). p. 170.

Another excuse that is frequently used to suggest that God approves of female leadership is the example of Deborah and Barak (Joshua 4:4), where Deborah, a prophetess and also a judge of Israel, advised Barak to attack the enemies of Israel. Barak refused to go unless Deborah went with him, which can be seen as an illustration of the condition that the men of Israel were in at that time. It is a sign of God’s judgement upon a people when women and children rule over them, as the following passage reveals.

ISAIAH 3:1-13.... FOR BEHOLD, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff [every kind of prop], the whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water, the mighty man and the man of war, the judge and the [professional] prophet, the one who foretells by divination and the old man, the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the expert craftsman and the skillful enchanter. And I will make boys their princes, and with childishness shall they rule over them [with outrage instead of justice]. And the people shall be oppressed, . . .

8For Jerusalem is ruined and Judah is fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of His glory and defy His glorious presence. Their respecting of persons and showing of partiality witnesses against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil [as a reward upon themselves].

10Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with them, for what their hands have done shall be done to them. As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people, your leaders cause you to err, and they confuse (destroy and swallow up) the course of your paths. The Lord stands up to contend, and stands to judge the peoples and His people.

Paul and Peter, though undoubtedly well aware of the Old Testament account of Deborah and Barak, were moved by the Holy Spirit to pen the several passages we have already examined to prove without a doubt God’s commandments in this regard. Many believe that just because there have been several prominent women’s ministries in the history of the Church, therefore, God must now approve of women in leadership. There has been a great deal of mischief recorded in the Bible and in Church history that God has not approved of, that has caused much harm and grief to the cause of Christ. Just because something seems to work at the time, does not excuse our disobedience to the revealed will of God in His Word. We are to live by every word that has proceeded out of the mouth of God, and not by tradition! Any departure from God’s instructions displeases God, and will have a harmful effect, and will eventually lead God’s people astray and into excess as it has done in these days. You can’t force people to live by God’s Word, they must be taught the necessity; if they will not be taught there is nothing you can do but pray.

Scriptures That Illustrate The Problem

EXODUS 4:24-26.... Along the way at a [resting] place, the Lord met Moses and sought to kill him [made him acutely and almost fatally ill]. [Now apparently he had failed to circumcise one of his sons, his wife being opposed to it; but seeing his life in such danger] Zipporah took a flint knife and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it to touch Moses's feet, and said, Surely a husband of blood you are to me! When He let Moses alone [to recover], Zipporah said, A husband of blood are you because of the circumcision.

EXODUS 18:1-6.... Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, and that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after Moses had sent her back [to her father], and her two sons, of whom the name of the one was Gershom [expulsion, or a stranger there], for Moses said, I have been an alien in a strange land; and the name of the other was Eliezer [God is help], for the God of my father, said Moses, was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh. And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with Moses' sons and his wife to the wilderness where he was encamped at the mount of God [Horeb, or Sinai].

NUMBERS 12:1-14.... Now Miriam and Aaron talked against Moses [their brother] because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite woman. And they said, Has the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Has He not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek (gentle, kind, and humble) or above all the men on the face of the earth. Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, Come out, you three, to the Tent of Meeting. And the three of them came out. The Lord came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the Tent door and called Aaron and Miriam, and they came forward. And He said, Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make Myself known to him in a vision and speak to him in a dream. But not so with My servant Moses; he is entrusted and faithful in all My house. With him I speak mouth to mouth [directly], clearly and not in dark speeches; and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses? And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and He departed.

10And when the cloud departed from over the Tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. And Aaron looked at Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous! And Aaron said to Moses, Oh, my lord, I plead with you, lay not the sin upon us in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, already half decomposed when he comes out of his mother's womb. And Moses cried to the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech You! And the Lord said to Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed for seven days? Let her be shut up outside the camp for seven days, and after that let her be brought in again.

We may speculate that the reason Miriam only was smitten with leprosy and not Aaron was -- while Aaron was wrong, Miriam was completely out of her element or sphere of activity.

NUMBERS 30:10-13.... And if she vowed in her husband's house or bound herself by a pledge with an oath and her husband heard it and did not oppose or prohibit her, then all her vows and every pledge with which she bound herself shall stand. But if her husband positively made them void on the day he heard them, then whatever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows or concerning her pledge of herself shall not stand. Her husband has annulled them, and the Lord will forgive her. Every vow and every binding oath to humble or afflict herself, her husband may establish it or her husband may annul it.

ISAIAH 3:12-14.... As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people, your leaders cause you to err, and they confuse (destroy and swallow up) the course of your paths. The Lord stands up to contend, and stands to judge the peoples and His people. The Lord enters into judgment with the elders of His people and their princes: For [by your exactions and oppressions you have robbed the people and ruined the country] you have devoured the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.

When this is allowed to happen wrongdoing and confusion reign, and judgement follows -- being the price that we must pay. How much better and richer the whole world would be if we would just live according to God’s instructions.