Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Faithful Preaching

Our calling as preachers is really very simple. We study, we stand before our people, we read the text, and we explain it. We reprove, rebuke, exhort, encourage, and teach—and then we do it all again and again and again.

- Mohler, He Is Not Silent, 64.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Exception Clause

What is the "Exception Clause" in Matt. 19:9?

Matthew 19:7-10, They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?  (8)  He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.  (9)  And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.  (10)  His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

The “exception clause” in Matt. 19:9 extends to Gentiles as well as Jews in the Sanhedrin [Matt. 19:3]. Some believe this clause is not for us today but the Jews in the Sanhedrin finding out their bride was not a virgin.

What does verse 9 say?

1. “Fornication” covers a multitude of sins not just pre-marital sex. It also covers extra-marital sins.

2. There is no mention of the “betrothal stage” in the text as some believe putting it in relation to the Jews in the Sanhedrin.

3. The disciples asked Jesus, not just the Jews.

(1) Matt. 19:10-12

(2) Matt. 5:31-32, note here that the context is the Sermon on the Mount which is written to believers in kingdom living.

4. Note Matt. 5:31 where Jesus is talking about Moses but in v. 32 he says, “you.” In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is talking about how our inner righteousness must exceed the outward righteousness of the Jews. “You,” refers to the disciples not just the Jews.

Therefore we believe this is one of the two Biblical reasons for divorce, the other one being desertion (1 Cor. 7:10-16).

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Born of Water and of the Spirit

What does "Born of Water and Spirit" mean?

John 3:3-5, Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  (4)  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?  (5)  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus had no glue what Jesus was talking about. He thought Jesus was talking about being born twice physically, being physically born a second time.

Different views...

(1). John's baptism.

Jesus nowhere makes John's baptism a requirement for salvation. John's baptism was preparing them for the Messiah.

(2). Christian baptism.

Some say water baptism but this would be meaningless to Nicodemus before the church was even born at Pentecost. Water baptism is not a condition for salvation nor was it instituted at this time.

(3). Human birth.

Some say "water" refers to the amniotic fluid of human birth. One has to be born physically before he could be spiritually born (note it is water and spirit).

(4). Regeneration by the Spirit or the cleansing by the Spirit through the Word of God (Ezek. 36:25-26).

Ezekiel 36:25-26, Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. (26) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.” (27)  I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances.

I want to give 4 reasons it is probably the latter view...

1. Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; water is not baptism or physical birth.

2. Eph. 5:26, "To make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.

3. The Context of vs. 6-8- Wind and the spirit are the same Greek word, pneuma, which means in English, breath or pneumonia.

In creation everything is after its kind- flesh begets flesh and Spirit begets spirit.  The wind can't be controlled and is invisible but the effects of the wind can be seen and witnessed. The proof of the Spirit's work can be seen and evidenced.

4. The Lord's rebuke in 3:9-10- Nicodemus did not understand. It had something to do with OT Scriptures which Nicodemus should have known.