Dear Bite Size Bible Study subscribers:
I am not sure why my Feedburner delivery tool has been sending you extra Bible studies from the archive from time to time.
I did not schedule these to go out, but I pray that God may use these mistakes for His purposes. In fact, if God somehow used the arrival of one of these older studies in your life, I'd love to hear about it. Just click reply to this email and tell me!
Occasionally Feedburner appears to "burp" and send something unscheduled.
When this happens, please ignore it.
The next Bite Size is Scheduled for Tuesday, March 31st, and I hope you will enjoy it. It's called "The Bible: Nothing Can Compare!"
God bless you! Gail
Friday, March 20, 2020
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Please read the 1-minute devotion Hisses and Whispers as an introduction to this study.
When Adam and Eve sinned God put his plan of redemption into place. The Old Testament is filled with "whispers and clues" of Christ's coming (See Jesus in the Old Testament).
But Adam's sin changed mankind's standing in significant ways:
1. After the fall of man, all men and women were born in Adam's image.
Secular psychology teaches that we are born good and then corrupted or improved by environment. Environment has an important impact on us, but the Bible tells us we are born fallen. We still bear the image of God; but that image was corrupted by Adam, and we are born in Adam's image.
Genesis 5:1-3: "This is the written account of Adam’s family line. When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind" when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image...."
2. Men and women became too corrupted for heaven.
God will not corrupt heaven with sin. Heaven would not be heaven if it was inhabited by unrepentant sinners.
Genesis 3:22: "And the LORD God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.'”
What does God mean when He says, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil"?
This is an area where Bible scholars disagree:
↪ Some believe God was saying this in sarcasm because it was what the serpent promised Eve if she ate the fruit (Genesis 3:1-5).
↪ Others believe the Hebrew in this verse is best translated "was like one of us," meaning pure and sinless before eating the fruit.
↪ I tend to believe the third option: when they ate the fruit, for the first time they understood evil, something God has always understood. However, they understood evil because they had committed evil. God understands evil because He knows everything.
3. Every man and woman deserves condemnation.
Adam and Eve were created innocent, but untested. When tested, they chose to sin, and this damaged God's perfect world. Would we have made the same bad choices as Adam and Eve? We like to think otherwise, but we probably would have.
Theologians propose that Adam was our representative. This is called federal headship. This means we inherited sin from our father, Adam. But we are also sinners in our own right. We inherit condemnation and we earn it.
Romans 5:12: "Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned...."
4. God offers us something we don't deserve:
We can overcome our father Adam's wrong choice by making the right choice to follow Christ.
When we choose Christ, we again are given what was lost in the garden: the right to eat from the tree of life and live forever.
Revelation 2:7: "Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God."
Copyright 2013, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
Bite Size Bible Study
Sunday, January 19, 2020
As an introduction to this study, please read Premarital Excuses.
Is Premarital Sex Forbidden in Scripture?
Some modern Christians claim premarital sex is not prohibited in Scripture, but this is usually based on their misunderstanding of the word translated “sexual immorality” in Scripture.
The passages below use the Greek words porneuó and porneia which mean “fornication.” Fornication describes ANY sex outside of marriage, but it's most often used for premarital sex.
“Sexual immorality” is an accurate translation because only those who are trying to find a loop-hole would think premarital sex isn't included in sexually immoral behavior.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."
1 Corinthians 6:18: "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body."
Ephesians 5:3: "Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people."
Claiming something is approved simply because it's not specifically mentioned in Scripture is a poor argument.
For example, many forms of murder, theft, and deception are not specifically mentioned in Scripture. Nor are pedophile acts and group sex specifically mentioned in Scripture.
God's Design Throughout Scripture
God makes it explicitly clear from the beginning that sexual intimacy is reserved for the marriage of a man and woman:
Genesis 2:24-25: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."
If you have any doubts that Genesis 2:24-25 is talking about marriage, Jesus quotes it in Matthew 19:5: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."
Other passages also address sexual intimacy as an exclusive right of the married:
1 Corinthians 7:2: "Since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband."
1 Corinthians 7:8-9: "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."
Hebrews 13:4: "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."
Some people try to claim that premarital sex is appropriate for engaged couples.
In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul talks about marriage and in verses 8-9 he says: "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."
Paul is saying that in certain circumstances, it's better not to marry; but he adds this important truth in verse 36 that clarifies that sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage, not engagement:
1 Corinthians 7:36: "If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married."
Anything of value is worth waiting for, and marriage is certainly a thing of value. Married life requires self-control in many areas. If we can't control ourselves sexually, perhaps we are not ready for marriage (1 Corinthians 9:25; Galatians 5:22-24).
In addition, having sex when engaged violates the following passages which tell us not to make assumptions about the future. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
Proverbs 27:1: "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring."
James 4:13-15: "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.' "
Some claim that living together is a good "test" for the relationship. Besides being against God's loving commands, there's no evidence that this "test" is helpful. Some studies show that living together decreases your chances for a good marriage. Other studies show no significant difference. When couples break up after living together, they suffer the same emotional and spiritual problems as those who divorce. All intimacy outside of marriage affects our souls (1 Corinthians 6:15-16).
God designed sexual intimacy to bring us blessings. When we reject His design and have sex outside of marriage, we choose less, not more. We open ourselves to physical, emotional, and spiritual damage. If you are having premarital sex, I encourage you to repent and find a mature Christian friend who can keep you accountable. I also encourage you to memorize some of the passages above.
copyright 2020, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
Bite Size Bible Study