Sunday, January 19, 2020

Clear Proof that Premarital Sex is Forbidden in Scripture


This short, concise Bible study explains why premarital sex is clearly forbidden in Scripture. #BibleLoveNotes #PremaritalSex #BibleStudy

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 porneuĆ³ 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

This short, concise Bible study explains why premarital sex is clearly forbidden in Scripture - even when couples are engaged. #BibleLoveNotes #PremaritalSex #BibleStudy
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."


Engaged Couples

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.' "


Living Together

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

Thursday, November 21, 2019

True and False Confidence

This short Bible study addresses false confidence and godly confidence. It inspires us to trust God's Word. #BibleStudy #Bible #Jesus

Please read the 1-minute devotion False Confidence as an introduction to this study.

First Timothy 1:7 explains that false teachers often exude confidence. 

Sadly, when doctrinal errors are repeated often enough, we not only believe them, we also defend them with confidence. 

We can avoid believing and promoting errors by reading our Bibles, studying them in context, and avoiding materials written by those who teach selfish doctrines.(1) 

2 Timothy 2:15: "Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth. We have confidence to come boldly to God because we have faith in Christ." (AMP)

I encourage you to read the entire context of 2 Timothy 2:15 which gives a fuller understanding of what it means to correctly handle God's Word: 2 Timothy 2.

To avoid putting confidence in false teaching, we must let God's truth permeate every area of our thinking and living. Then, as the passages below state:

We will find confidence in the Lord, not in ourselves.
Jeremiah 17:7: "Blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence." 

Our righteousness will give us confidence and peace.
Isaiah 32:17: "This righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever." 

We will have confidence to come to God because we have repented of our sins and have a clean conscience.
1 John 3:21: "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God."

We will have confidence in our salvation because God's love is evident in our lives.
1 John 4:16-17: "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus." 

We have confidence in our prayers because we want God's will, not our own.
1 John 5:14: "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." 

This short Bible study addresses false confidence and godly confidence. It inspires us to trust God's Word. #BibleStudy #Bible #JesusWe will have confidence because we are persevering in our faith.
Hebrews 10:35-36: "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised." 

We will have confidence that we are doing valuable ministry in the lives of others because we are relying on Him and not on ourselves.
2 Corinthians 3:3-5: "You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God."


We will have confidence that God is going to complete His work in our hearts and minds as we yield to His lordship
Ephesians 3:12: "Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence." 

May God increase our confidence in all of these areas and reveal any areas where we have placed confidence in error.
Philippians 1:6: "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."
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(1) For more insights, see: 
Dwelling on Scripture 
Context Adds Clarity 
Don't Trust Teachings that Distort God's Word
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Copyright 2019, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Debunking Feminist Views of Matthew 15:21-28

Matthew 15:21-28 can be a difficult passage to understand. This short Bible study allows us to look between the lines and see a most wonderful message. #BibleStudy #Bible #BiteSizeBibleStudy

As an introduction to this study, please read A Serious Feminist Error.

"Christian feminists" claim that Matthew 15:21-28 is the story of a Gentile woman teaching Jesus not to be chauvinistic and bigoted. This claim is contrary to everything taught in Scripture about the character and nature of God.

However, the conversation in this passage can leave us with questions at first glance, so we're going to study it carefully.

Not everything we need to know is in the actual text of this passage. We need to combine it with other scriptural truths to understand the story written "between the lines" of the actual text. Some of what I share will be my educated opinion.

But we know this for sure: the story "between the lines" perfectly reflects Christ's perfect character, perfect purity, perfect love, perfect goodness, and perfect wisdom. 

Below you will find Scripture in bold letters and my comments in italics after the verses. 

Matthew 15:21-28: Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 

Why did Jesus choose to withdraw to a Gentile area? Some people believe He was taking a break from the Jewish criticism He so regularly encountered. But He could have found privacy elsewhere if He had no other purpose in traveling to Tyre and Sidon. After all, He could walk on water, perform miracles, and slip away unnoticed in the midst of an angry crowd (John 8:59). Jesus came to this city for more than refreshment. He had a divine appointment with this woman.

22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 

Christ's silence was a test for both this woman and His disciples. His Jewish disciples were raised with a prejudice against the "unclean" Gentiles. When Jesus didn't answer the woman, they immediately assumed He wasn't going to help her. They thought Jesus should send her away, but Jesus had different purposes in mind.

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 

Jesus ignored His disciples and spoke to the woman. This was another test for the disciples and the woman. But it was also true: From the time of Abraham, God set the Jews apart so they could bless the world with God's salvation (Genesis 18:18). Jesus served as the final and most important link in that mission. And even though most Jews rejected Jesus, the gospel was first proclaimed through the Jewish-born Jesus and Jewish-born apostles. That's why Christ's first mission was to the Jews who would take the gospel into all the world (Matthew 28:16-20). And part of Christ's mission to the Jews was to show them they were going to reach out to the non-Jewish world with the message of salvation. He was teaching His disciples about their mission by talking with this woman.

25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 

Matthew 15:21-28 can be a difficult passage to understand. This short Bible study allows us to look between the lines and see a most wonderful message. #BibleStudy #Bible #BiteSizeBibleStudy
This woman was persistent. She was proving her faith. 

She'd experienced the demonic activity of her country's pagan religions firsthand. And somehow, she'd heard Jesus could cast out demons. She seemed to understand He was her only hope.

This woman's persistence reminds me of a parable Jesus told in Luke 18:1-8 about a persistent widow who wore down an unjust judge until he gave her justice. But don't mistake Jesus for the unjust judge. In Luke 18 He explains:

“Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Persistence is a necessary element of faith. Are you willing to persevere in prayer when you don't see immediate results?

 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 

According to the Greek, the word Jesus used for dog was one that would be used for a pet dog, not a street dog. But a softer word for dog doesn't adequately explain Christ's answer. It still seems harsh at first glance. 

We need to remember this important truth: Jesus is not only perfectly good, He's also all-knowing (examples: Matthew 9:4; John 1:44-51; John 4:17-19; John 13:21-33). He knew this woman's heart. He understood her background, her situation, her thoughts, and her needs. He spoke the words she needed to hear in response to her plea for help. He knew His words would strengthen her faith, not dissuade her. 

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” 

  This woman's humble persistence was a lesson to Christ's disciples, a good confirmation for the situation that happened in the first half of this chapter of Scripture.

In the preceding verses (verses 1-20), Jesus clearly explained that what makes a man clean or unclean is not food, cleansing, or other external activities. It's a man's heart that makes him clean or unclean. 

The Jews had lost an understanding of their mission to bless all nations. They were using Old Testament laws to self-righteously separate themselves from "unclean" Gentiles. Christ's disciples showed no compassion for this Gentile woman. In another encounter, the disciples wondered why Jesus would even talk to a Gentile woman (John 4:4-44, esp. v.27). I believe her humble answer softened the disciples hearts and helped them understand Christ's love for all people.

It was no mistake that Jesus chose to travel where He would find this humble, persistent Gentile woman.

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Can you imagine having Christ say this to you? Instead of wondering why Christ's previous response to this woman was challenging, we need to concentrate on this compliment about her faith. I'm not sure any Jewish man is praised this highly in Scripture. 

Christian feminists make proud demands about the value of women, but this situation clarifies the scriptural truth that humility exalts us, not proud demands. See Proverbs 29:23, Matthew 23:12, 1 Peter 5:6, and James 4:6

When feminists propose that Jesus was prejudiced and this woman taught Him to give up His bias, they show an unjustified disrespect for Jesus and an unjustified respect for themselves. The humble faith of the woman in this passage is a fitting rebuke to their pride.

I'm a woman, and I'm so glad God included this passage in His Word!

For a very thorough, scholarly explanation of this passage, see Bible.org

copyright 2019, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

Bite Size Bible Study