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Monday, January 25, 2010

ARE YOU MARRIED?

 
    "Turn O backsliding children, saith the Lord, for I am married unto you..." (Jeremiah 3:14). This verse teaches us that the physical nation of Israel was spiritually married to God. Furthermore, it was the OT Law that was the "marriage contract" between them.
    However, while married, Israel had forgotten her vows and obligations, thus committing spiritual adultery. "Thou hast played the harlot with many lovers" (Jer. 3:1). "Thou hast forsaken Me" (Jer. 2:13). Even the preachers in God's Israel were committing spiritual adultery by preaching falsehood (Jer. 23:13-16). As a result, God divorced physical Israel and refused to take them back. In Jer. 7:16, God told Jeremiah, "Don't even pray for these people, for I will not hear thee!" 
    In God's law, there are two situations that allows for re-marriage. One of them is the death of the marriage partner. In Romans 7:4, we learn that since "God" died (in the form of Jesus), the Jews were freed from their first marriage covenant, so they could marry again.
    Before the marriage, there is the betrothal. In 2Corinthians 11:2, "For I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a pure virgin to Christ"  How? By adorning them in "sound doctrine." We are told, "Adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things" (Titus 2:10).  Without the adornment of the doctrine of Christ, man does not have God with him (2John 9).
   Has the "Bride's attire," i.e. "sound doctrine," been forgotten today?  Paul warned, "the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine..." (2Timothy 4:3). It's only TRUTH that will set man free (John 8:32), nothing else!
    Glamorous preachers, with smooth tongues may recite cute nursery rhymes, bedtime stories, quote poems, give dissertations on philosophy, and shallow sermonettes, but such things will never convict any man of his sins, or convert him to Jesus Christ.  Today, as always, there is a need for preaching sound doctrine.  Think of the consequences if Peter had preached a nicely polished, generalized sermonette on the day of Pentecost, rather than telling the people they were guilty of crucifying the Son of God (Ax 2:23).  A tragedy today is that many good and honest people are not being told what they must do to be saved, and being misinformed, they are never married to Christ.
    God was greatly concerned when Israel forgot the Brides Attire (sound doctrine), and He charged the priests and prophets with spiritual adultery, with walking in lies, and compromising His word! (Jeremiah 23).  Do you think God's attitude has changed when modern preachers do the same thing? or do you believe "Our God changeth not" (Malachi 3:6).
    By adorning one's self with the doctrine of Christ, the sincere penitent believer surrenders his life to Christ to love, honor, and obey throughout this life.
    One is not spiritually married to Christ until his relationship with the world is changed, and that relationship changes when one believes, repents, and is baptized in the right way for the right reason (Romans 6:3-7; Galatians 3:27). Baptism is the completion of the marriage "ceremony."
    As the wife is subject to her "head" (1Corinthians 11:3), so is the church subject to her "Head" (Christ - Ephesians 5:24). There is no authority on this earth that has any authority over the true church that is "of Christ" (Colossians 2:20-22).  He has "all authority" (Matt. 28:18), and He is Head over all things to the church (Ephesians 1:22-23), and all things are to be done according to His authority (Colossians 3:17). If things in the church are not done according to His authority, the conclusion is simple: It is NOT His church!                               - - Toby Miller

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