Buddies, Beer, and Bibles

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Trending on social media the last few days is the controversy raised by a campaign and a conversation. This was a conversation that involved Buddies, Beer, and Bibles. The Bible Society of Australia is celebrating their 200th Anniversary and in commemoration of this occasion, Coopers Brewery will produce a special batch of limited edition light beer cans. A part of this celebration from the Bible Society’s end is the launch of a campaign called “Keeping it Light”. This was to be a series of “light discussions on the heaviest topics. Starting with the topic of same-sex marriage”. Continue reading Buddies, Beer, and Bibles

Making Much of Marriage

Groom and Bride

Marriage is the oldest human institution. It didn’t come as a result of tradition, the Church didn’t invent it, nor is it something reserved for conservative Christians. Marriage was established and designed by God. The Bible provides clarity concerning the definition of marriage being between a man and a woman with the purpose of procreation (Gen. 1:28a), pleasure (Proverbs 5:18-19), partnership (Gen. 2:18) and productivity (Gen. 1:28).  Continue reading Making Much of Marriage

We Cannot be Silent (Book Review)

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Dr. R. Albert Mohler is the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. For those who take time to read his blog or listen to The Briefing, you will know that Al Mohler is up-to-date with events and issues, and how he provides biblically informed clear thinking from a Christian worldview. It is for this reason I was very excited when I heard about the release of We Cannot be Silent and for a friend who surprised me with a copy of it a few days ago. Continue reading We Cannot be Silent (Book Review)

Marriage Under Attack: Adultery, Divorce and Homosexuality

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In my last post I looked at the sins of pornography, premarital sex and cohabitation. In this post I will now consider three more sins that are an attack on marriage. Continue reading Marriage Under Attack: Adultery, Divorce and Homosexuality

Marriage Under Attack: Pornography, Premarital Sex and Cohabitation

Under Attack

The attacks on marriage are manifold and they strike at marriage in many different ways. There are attacks that occur in someone’s life before marriage (premarital sex and cohabitation). There are attacks that happen within a marriage (adultery and divorce). There are attacks that happen in both (pornography). And there are attacks that try to redefine marriage (homosexuality). Continue reading Marriage Under Attack: Pornography, Premarital Sex and Cohabitation

Marriage Under Attack

Bride and Groom

Marriage is under attack. Of course this is not hot off the press news. Since God first instituted marriage back in , the institution of marriage has been criticised and contorted by many. There are those who verbally mock the institution, others will sabotage it and some have tried to redefine it. Continue reading Marriage Under Attack

2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

What is Marriage?

marriage

What is marriage? From the earliest chapters of Scripture along with others we learn that marriage was created and instituted by God. Marriage became a part of this world by means of Divine design and definition. Scripture is clear that it was between a man and a woman with the purpose of procreation (a), pleasure (), partnership () and productivity ().  Continue reading What is Marriage?

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

18 Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

A Word to those who are Single IV: Satisfied Singles

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What does God require of those who are single? Whether you are a satisfied or struggling single it is God’s will that you be the person He desires you to be for His glory. This means that you submit your life and desires to the Lordship of Christ and walk according to the will of God.

When it comes to those who are single, it was said in the first post in this series “being single means different things for different people. For some, the condition of being single is satisfying whereas for others it is a struggle“. In this post, I will be considering the state of the satisfied single.

I call them satisfied not because they experience spiritual satisfaction and other singles don’t or can’t. I use this designation because they are satisfied with being single and don’t desire to marry. Granted, some who will one day marry may for a time be a satisfied single, but their singleness clearly is not a permanent state. Those who are single and desire to remain single are the satisfied singles. They are individuals that the Lord has granted the gift of singleness. What is the gift of singleness? The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of individuals with this gift as those “who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (). This here describes an individual who voluntarily remains single and abstains from sexual activity by virtue of their gifting from the Lord. The purpose of this is “for the sake of the kingdom“. The apostle Paul stated,

“I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am” ().

Satisfied singles, you have a gift from the Lord. It is essential that you know how to use it and not waste it. Don’t allow your satisfied state to lead you down a path that wastes and destroys your productivity for the glory of God. Being gifted in singleness is not an excuse to be unproductive for the kingdom of God. Here are three things to keep in mind if you are a satisfied single:

Firstly, don’t let your singleness lead to a life of being a hermit or a recluse. You will naturally be alone a lot of your time, but don’t avoid Christian fellowship, godly friendships and relationships with others. Make it your determined plan to be a faithful contributor to the life of the local church. Faithfully be a part of Sunday worship, make use of the ability to stay longer and chat with the saints after Sunday services. Long to be a part of fellowship during the week in Bible studies or prayer meetings. Don’t remain alone but seek genuine fellowship.

Second, don’t allow your singleness to allow you to behave like a child. In other words, be mature and behave like a responsible adult. Yes you can have fun, but be productive to the glory of God. Being single is not a license to behave with immaturity; rather it is a providential opportunity for extended service.

Thirdly, don’t allow your singleness to lead you in becoming completely independent of others. The temptation of someone who is single is they learn to get through life by themselves. Yes, you are responsible for your own life, but don’t forget that as a Christian you belong to the body of Christ (). You need others to build you up. Single ladies, learn from godly older women and single men learn from godly older men. Don’t function separate from the body, but be a part of it. Remember, your ability to be a satisfied single is a gift from the Lord (). Your gift is given so as to contribute and benefit the body () and who need that to be reciprocated.

12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”

I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

A Word to those who are Single III: Challenges of being Single

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Sure, being single has it advantages, but it also has it challenges. Those that aren’t single can tend to think that because people are not married they are carefree and don’t have a worry in the world. It certainly is true that singles don’t have the same responsibilities or concerns as married people, but there are unique challenges for those who are single. I believe we all need to be sensitive to this and provide support and prayer for those who are single.

What are the challenges of being single? I think there could be many answers to this practical question, but I will confine myself to two broad challenges that cover many issues.

Sexual Desire

Firstly, there is the temptation of sexual desire (). Sexual temptation is not limited to those who are single, but the temptation singles face is particular to their situation. Sexual desire is natural; however it is God’s will that it take place in the confines of marriage as defined and regulated by God’s Word (; ). Let’s be frank, sex is a gift from God. But sex occurs outside of the marriage between one man and one woman it is sin (sexual immorality). Now all singles (satisfied and struggling) will face the temptation of sexual desire. However, if this temptation becomes too much it is clear that the individual is not gifted to remain single and they should prepare to marry. Here is what Paul said on this matter,

“Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: ‘It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.’ But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband” ().

A few verses later Paul again commends the state of being single (), however, he is quick to say, “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (). Paul is not saying that marriage is to be viewed simply as an outlet for sexual passion – it is far more than that. Marriage is an arena for procreation (Gen. 1:28), pleasure (Proverbs 5:18-19), partnership (Gen. 2:18) and productivity (Gen. 1:28). What Paul is saying in this text is that if you are not gifted to be single you should marry. The sexual desires you have are to be fulfilled within the confines of marriage. This does not mean that Christian singles should marry the next available person they find! Discernment and biblical principles need to be applied (more on the criteria of finding a future spouse in a forthcoming post). Furthermore, struggling singles must also deal with their desires biblically (). Sin is never to be excused because of one’s state. This means you are to be pure in thought and deed.

Loneliness

Secondly, there is the issue of feeling lonely. A married couple has each other to support, encourage, build up, care for and protect. When you are single, it is just you. The reality is, at times being single can be a very lonely experience. For some singles, loneliness is not too much of an issue and they are quite content in not joining their lives with another individual in marriage. If you are single and content in not getting married, don’t allow this to become an excuse to become a hermit and neglect fellowship with God’s people. On the other hand, if you are feeling lonely, make sure you surround yourself with the people of God. One of the gifts that God gives to His people is that He has made them a part of the body of Christ (). You are not the only believer! This is why it is important to be part of a local church that is committed to the Word of God and loves the fellowship of God’s people (). But when you are alone, understand that God knows your struggle (; ).  Look to Him and seek His comfort knowing that He loves you (), is with you () and has you on the appointed pathway for His purpose and your final good ().

Knowing then that being single has certain challenges, if you are considering the option of remaining single, it is important that you discern if this is indeed God’s calling on your life. Remaining single is a gift from God () and though it is a valid state it is not the norm. It is the clear teaching of Scripture that if you are not gifted in this area then you ought to marry (). In the next two posts, I will look at how both satisfied and struggling singles should be living their lives now. Also, the issue of desiring to marry (even though there may not be any options) will also be addressed.

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:9

But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

7:1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.

But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;

13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

139:1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.

10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:9

But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.