September 22, 2019
In this issue: The Second Proof of the Resurrection by Robert F. Turner | Marriage and Fornication by Lowell Sallee
by Lenny Chapman
How many times a day do you take a peek in a mirror? What would life be like if suddenly there were no more mirrors? Can you imagine getting ready in the morning without the time spent in front of the mirror shaving, getting our hair just right, and for that last look at the total outfit before we step out for the day? What about going to the store to buy new clothes? Could you deal with a system of trying on an outfit and then coming out of the dressing room asking people "How do I look in this one?" Recently I watched a group spend a considerable amount of time at a sunglasses display trying on glasses, looking in the mirror, trying on another pair, and looking in the mirror over and over. Imagine walking up to the display of sunglasses and pulling one off saying "These look good, I'll buy them!" If it doesn't matter how they look and feel why do we spend so much time picking "just the right" pair out?
Well, of course life would surely be different without mirrors. It is quite amazing when you think about it, how a piece of reflective glass can expand our vision so dramatically. Mirrors help us see behind and beside us while we drive our automobiles. When placed properly, mirrors can help one to see around a corner, or above us, or below us. However, one of the most important functions of a mirror and perhaps the most widely used purpose is to see the reflection of one's self! The time we spend in front of the mirror helps us to present ourselves in the best possible way to others, and also helps boost our own self-confidence. When looking in a mirror we can see in advance how we look (outwardly) to others! Wouldn't it be great if there were a way to see our reflection inwardly?
The Bible is our "looking-glass" to see our reflection as it pertains to the inward man. The apostle Paul told Timothy that, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). So it is that the scriptures are to be used as a mirror. The Christian should be able to see his own reflection as he reads the Word of God.
Certainly for a newborn Christian the reflection may not be as clear as it will be for the mature Christian. However, Paul wrote to those in Corinth encouraging them to continue in their study of the scriptures, and that by applying the lessons learned, they will soon grow to know the full meaning of the Christian lifestyle "For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known" (1 Cor. 13:12). Just as we make that second or third pass in front of the mirror each morning for "fine-tuning," we also should be "fine-tuning" our spiritual condition. As a test, would you consider changing your morning preparations for one week? In this test, start out on Monday looking in the mirror as many times as you like until noon. Then refrain from looking in any mirror until Thursday morning. What would the results be from this test?
Sadly, there are many who do this very thing with their spiritual condition. They will set down their Bible for days at a time without ever even missing it. Why would one feel that the inner man is not affected by this type of action? Of course we are affected, and in many cases, much more deeply than one would want to consider. The scriptures tell us that, "bodily exercise is profitable for a little; but godliness is profitable for all things," (1 Tim. 4:8), it is the inner man that we should place the most effort for improvement. "Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:17-18). We can see that it is by application of God's word that we become the image of godliness! So, let us realize the importance of our inner man and check our spiritual condition as often as we check our outward condition by looking into Holy Scriptures, "the mirror" that brings forth everlasting life! ~
In our study, we have learned that God's purpose for the Home is 1) Companionship and 2) Procreation. We learn a third purpose for the home in Paul's letter to the Corinthians. "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband" (I Corinthians 7:2).
Fornication means "illicit sexual intercourse in general" (Thayer, pg.532). Adultery, homosexuality and sodomy are each the sin of fornication. Paul says, "to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband" (I Corinthians 7:2). Notice the Holy Spirit said through Paul, that a man and a woman should be married. When a man has a man spouse or partner or a woman has a woman, these relationships are called by God, fornication.
Why should we "avoid fornication"? The Word of God teaches, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).
The Home was established by God so that men and women might lawfully satisfy their sexual desires and not be fornicators. The writer of the book of Hebrews says, "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers (fornicators, NASB) and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).
Sexual unfaithfulness is destroying homes and marriages all over the world. Paul said, "Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency" (I Corinthians 7:3-5). The Wise man of old said, "The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense" (Proverbs 6:32 NASB).
Paul teaches, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it...So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself" (Ephesians 5:25, 28). The Wise man says, "rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated (Lit., intoxicated) always with her love" (Proverbs 5:18-19 NASB). The Word of God also teaches, "An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels" (Proverbs 31:10 NASB). Did you hear that husbands?
Men and women need to respect God's purposes for the Home. Sexual gratification can only be in the Home, that is, in a godly, scriptural marriage. That means that if you are not married, you are NOT to have any sexual relationships with anyone. If you cannot control your sexual desires, GET MARRIED. ~