Thursday, November 17, 2005

More Questions Answered

Question # 1) If Christians are to "love their enemies" as is told us in the Scriptures, does that mean we are to love satan as well?

It is interesting that Jesus told us to "not resist an evil one", by which he means human authorities (like the police or governments) that use their authority to harm us. So in that context, we are not to "resist" them, (the word is antisthmi, which literally means "stand against"-- the Strong's number is 5629) which means that we are to submit to their authority and harm them in no way. That is Matthew 5:38-41. But for Satan, the same word is used in a number of contexts, but just the opposite counsel is given-- we are to "resist" or "stand against" Satan and all evil powers of the heaven. We can see this in Eph 6:13; James 4:7; I Peter 5:9. Thus, Scripture is clear-- while we do not harm humans in any way-- even if they harm us-- we are to cause Satan and his forces as much damage as possible. Note also, that though we are not to take part in warfare with humans, we are to throw ourselves into warfare against Satan and the evil powers of heaven-- Eph 6:11-12; II Corinthians 10:3-4.

Question # 2) If a woman's husband dies, is she still considered a "Mrs"?

When a spouse dies, the marriage commitment is lapsed-- the couple is no longer considered married. This is clearest in Romans 7:2-3.

Question #3)Actually, the real question is: If a woman is divorced, is she still considered a "Mrs."?

Oh, that's different.

I am assuming that you are speaking in the eyes of God, not in the law, and so I will answer it that way.

Jesus statement about this is as follows: (Matthew 19:3-9-- NAS)

Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?" 4 And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5 and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH '? 6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." 7 They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?" 8 He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."

This has been interpreted many times and ways over 2000 years of Christians trying to get out of what it clearly says. Let me summarize it as clearly as I can:

Divorce, according to Jesus, does not break a marriage that God established. Divorce is a human institution, not a God-made one. The commitment to marriage is for life, and a divorce does not break that. Thus, if a divorcee marries another person, then they are probably committing adultery-- because the original marriage isn't actually broken.

However, there is a circumstance in which a marriage is broken: adultery. In other words, if either partner in a marriage-- whether there is a divorce or not-- has sex with someone who is not their spouse, then they have broken their marriage. The commitment is null and void. The "innocent" partner can forgive the lapse and the marriage can be established anew, but the commitment is broken at that point and it is up to the partner that did not break it to determine that.

This is a difficult thing to hear-- even as the disciples said-- but much of what Jesus said is like that.

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