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Watching how people develop their doctrine prompts me to write this with hopes that people will use caution in choosing their own doctrine. Many times a church will have a Bible Study and it is nothing more than a teaching of their organization's or some person's doctrine. While it is not wrong to understand other's doctrines, this is really not how you should establish your own personal doctrine.
A doctrine is a man made set of beliefs. Every person has some sort of doctrine whether it is worldly or religious. God desires that each of us develop our own doctrine based on what His word, the Bible says. Sounds simple enough but it is seldom how people actually develop their own personal doctrine. If one is in a church study and they are teaching doctrine and give scriptures supporting their view, many will choose to believe it as the gospel truth. Again this is not how God wants you and I to establish our personal doctrine. God wants us to determine doctrine from our own study, not from the study of others. Jesus said:
"And he (Jesus) saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ." John 1:14
God wants each of us to personally make the decision of who Jesus is. Since Jesus is the Christ, the living word(s) of God made alive in human flesh, God wants us to define our doctrine of who He is by our own understanding of His word. It is our responsibility to verify what we believe.
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1st Thess. 5:21
Since doctrines are a set of manmade beliefs that we make, they never have the same accuracy as the scriptures. Not even close. If we believe other people's doctrine without carefully searching the scriptures ourselves, what happens? Short term things appear just fine. It appears we are growing both to ourselves and also to church leadership. But what happens long term? Once a person chooses to believe a doctrine, wheather true or false, it is common the person will fight hard to protect their beliefs. Would they lie to protect them? Many do. Often they will twist the scriptures to make it sound like scriptures support their accepted beliefs.
Also long term what else can happen? Lets look at a common situation hypothetically. Lets say Mr. Forthright came up with a solid doctrine 100 years ago. He taught his doctrine to his church. When people are under a teacher they trust, many do not search out in the Bible what is taught them, they just accept the teaching as the truth. That is human nature. Then as people come and go over the next 100 years many believe and then teach others the doctrine. Do you think after a number of years much of the original doctrine is still being taught? Likely also the doctrine has been watered down to where it is not reconizable anymore. That is what happens when people accept other's doctrines, without digging in and studing out the scriptures to prove it before the make the doctrine their personal doctrine.
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A healthy marriage between one man and one woman provides the best foundation for strong lives, strong families, communities, cities, states, and countries. If marriages suffer, all of society suffers.
Yet, why are there so many marriages in a mess?
God made people to live and work in all types of relationships. God made men and women for marriage and made them to have a lifetime relationship together. All this is self evident. The quality of any relationship is dependent on which influences, desires, and beliefs a person follows when they respond to each other. You have the choice of how you are going respond to an. God has plenty to say about all three. God desires everyone to learn and believe the scriptures so they can avoid future problems.
Several questions arise when it comes to Marriage.
- How do I know if someone is the right one?
- What can I do to improve or fix my marriage?
- What do I do if my spouse left?
- How do I start over from a failed marriage?
Building Blocks of a Healthy Marriage
There are 5 things that make up an excellent marriage.
Couples in a healthy marriage work on all 5 areas.
Trust is absolutely necessary for a marriage to last. We discuss it in great detail below and we feel that everyone considering getting married should take the time to study at the very least, our discussion on Proverbs 31:11. Lack of trust opens the door for all kinds of attacks on a marriage. Building a marriage on trust is how God designed your marriage. Understanding and following God's perspective on trust will protect you from mountains of future emotion pain. Please do not take this topic lightly.
Love Love is the most important element of a marriage. Since lust is so predominate in our society, many confuse love and lust. If you have mutual Proverbs 31:11 trust and genuine love, the other aspects of a marriage can easily be worked out. Without proper trust and genuine love you probably should not continue in the relationship.
A person can fall in love or a person can make a choice to truly love someone. If a person falls in love, one has to be very careful to discern whether it is actually love, or an infatuation. (Infatuation is people thinking they are in love but when indeed it is just a deep lust or like for another person. urbandictionary.com/define-php?term=infatuation) Even if you fall in love, you should also make a conscience choice to love. What is interesting is true love is not a conditional love. It is far deeper than how you feel. Its love is not dependent upon anything. It just loves and keeps on loving.
There has been volumes and volumes written on intimacy. If you are wanting an in depth, mature understanding of intimacy from a clean Biblical view, we reccommend a book titled "Sheet Music" by Dr. Kevin Leman. The book was written for those mature enough to handle the topic and that want truth. It is not for kids at the tee-hee stage. Our modern society has worked overtime to destroy God's prospective of intimacy and marriage. The destructive consequences can be prevented if we learn God's plan early enough to avoid making some of life's most stupid mistakes. The reason we make those stupid mistakes is we believe and follow the dictates our old fleshly nature and the truth and righteness God intended us to live by, gets pushed aside.
In a good marriage, their intimacy emotionally feeds both husband and wife. This strengthing is necessary as each of them need this strength in dealing with the world.
A marriage without communication is like a machine with no lubrication. Things don't flow as they should and failure, including drastic failure, is not far away.
Life is hard going it alone. God made companionship to make life's journey interesting, safer, and to make us more emotionally stable.
A few years ago 7 married men from the church I was attending started a men's group / Bible study. The first evening each man was to tell who they were and what was currently happening in their lives. 5 of the seven had major marriage problems. Some time later I learned that the sixth man had a marriage for years with curt communication and no real intimacy. One of the 5 was even praying that his wife would get in a car wreck and never come home again. He was not a violent person, but there was so much emotional pain in his marriage that he wanted God to do away with her. While this a a small sampling of only seven men, it shows that there are severe widespread problems in marriages, even among the church. Yet God designed the marriage between a man and a woman, to be beautiful, exciting and emotionally strengthening of the family unit. Strong marriages are the backbone of a society. A marriage should have an ever growing love and a commitment that endures even the worst events of life and comes out stronger on the other side.
So why do we see 6 of these 7 married men, have such severe marriage problems?
What can be done to fix these marriages and the millions of others that are also in trouble?
Prior to marriage, many think that getting married will solve their problems. The want to be loved, they want companionship, and they want their physical needs met.
In all reality many get married expecting their spouse to be their savior.
No, they would not use the word savior, but in reality that is very often what they are searching for. A savior. Usually within one to three weeks of the marriage ceremony, reality sets in and a person realizes that they married another human with weaknesses and fears, just like themselves. For some it takes a little longer. While marriage is a blessing, it does not replace our need for God. God design marriage so we could have a committed friend, lover ,and companion with us as we go through life. God designed "true love" to be the glue to hold a marriage together. Many do not even know what true love is. Marriage is designed to provide an emotional fulfillment and stability to one's natural life. In addition a Godly marriage is a visual picture of the relationship between God and mankind. But many will say, pointing out the 6 0f the 7 men listed above, that Christianity does not guarantee a great marriage. No, it does not. Each person has been given a free will and are free to choose their own choices. That free will can bring a blessing or a curse. Just wanting a good marriage, won't make a good marriage happen. It takes each person choosing to be mate the other wants in line with God's word. If either one has a warped idea of what they want their mate to be, the relationship will be stressed. Sometimes things a person finds cute or attractive when they meet, are the things they detest later on in the relationship. This is why choosing to have a relationship based on how God instructs us, is the best choice. The Bible tells us that people live in darkness. They cannot see how to live when they follow anything other than God.
There are two very important lessons to be learned here.
First God has put in the Bible the instructions for the highest quality marriage obtainable.
Second, the example above shows the incredible lack of Biblical understanding and commitment that is common today, even in the better churches. Marriage will work for people who follow the Biblical concepts concerning marriage, whether a believer or unbeliever. The principles don't have to be understood to work, they just have to be lived out. You can follow Biblical principles without even realizing that they are Biblical. Many of God's marriage principles are self evident even to the unbeliever. (Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a good example. She had an incredible understanding of marriage and taught these principles on her radio and tv shows.) Obviously the more Biblical concepts a person embraces, the more likely their marriage will work well.
Like many other human problems, we often try to fix our marriage by going to the Bible, usually after exhausting the abundance of worldly wisdom that is so readily available. Some will even bypass most of the worldly wisdom and go straight to the Bible. Just finding a couple of scriptures and applying them, while good, may not, short term, do much to help restore a marriage. Sometimes they seem to help a little but don't really restore the marriage and sometimes they even seem to make matters worse. It may not be easy to not understand why.
The reason it can fail is the heart probably has not changed. Are we trying to fix the marriage or are we willing to take on a new life that when lived properly will support a healthy marriage?
If the Bible has the answers to marriage, why doesn't applying scriptures work? It does, but the answer is here.
"No man puts a piece of new cloth to an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse." [Matt 9:16]
"No man also sews a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up tears away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no man puts new wine into old wineskins: else the new wine does burst the wineskins, and the wine is spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined: but new wine must be put into new wineskins." [Mark 2:18-22]
What the scripture is saying is: if you are living a natural life under the dictates of your soul as your king, and you apply scriptures to your problems, the situation can be made worse. The scriptures are designed to work incredibly well when the person is knowledgeably living as a new creation in Christ. If living a natural life, scriptures can tear the situation, because the natural life is not strong enough to take the pressure.
The problem is God wants a person's whole heart. When we receive salvation in essence we give God all of us. Our entire life. When we apply a scripture here or there while we continue living naturally as we have from birth, do we really expect that it will work? We are trying to live both as a natural person and as a spiritual person. The problem also happens a lot for young believers who unknowingly are still living after their flesh. Their expectations can get shattered when they apply spiritual truths to their problems, then expect a fleshly response.
A few years ago I was talking with a 97 year old man. His wife had passed away and he said that he really missed her. He really liked his wife and missed her presence, but he said something that was an eye opener. He said that he never truly loved her.
The following scripture shows why such an approach fails.
Do we really know what kind of life we are living? To many reading this, their weak or broken marriage is their biggest problem. To God, marriage problems are a symptom of a larger problem. One's nurturing their marriage as the Bible instructs. Since it takes two to make a relationship, even if one changes, it may not be enough to bring the other back. The fleshly can be and usually is a quite strong force to deal with. While the kingdom of God is stronger, one has to realize that with a free will, some will resist God even to the grave. This is why the Bible has so much detail in what constitutes righteousness, so we can make wise choices in our relationships.
Some things we do are self evident if we realize that our relationship to God is like a real marriage. A man and woman giving all of themselves to the other. In a marriage where one does not give themselves wholly to the other, it is almost inevitable that there will be marriage problems. It is the same in our relationship to God. If we say we gave our life to Him and yet we don't live that way then when we add a biblical patch to our fleshly life, isn't it self evident that it isn't the right solution? No man also sews a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up tears away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no man puts new wine into old wineskins: else the new wine does burst the wineskins, and the wine is spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined: but new wine must be put into new wineskins.
What this is talking about gives us a parallel of a deeper spiritual concept. It is not logical to sew a new piece of cloth, a new patch, on an old garment. The word "old" means old, weakened. It is not just a figure of speech. We may call a garment we have worn 4 or 5 times an old garment, but that would not qualify as old according to this scripture. Here the word old means old, as in ancient, or of a weakened state. In other words if we sew a new strong piece of cloth on an old ancient weakened garment, we would not expect it to hold up as the weak cloth would give way.
What is the deeper spiritual concept?
The old garment represents us living after our old life. The new patch represents a Biblical truth that we would use to fix a problem we have. Does this apply to believers? Absolutely! For most believers, the majority of them are still living after the dictates of their fleshly nature just a they did before choosing to give their life to Christ. Yes, they are saved. They just have not come to an understanding on how to live as the new creation with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior in the Kingdom of God. While legally they are saved and the old natural life is not legally in control, the old natural life is still in control, due to their ignorance on how to live the new zoe life (zoe = Greek for a God centered life). We don't consider putting a new strong patch on old weak cloth and in like manner we should not try to patch up our old natural life. Instead we are to believe it dead, and believe that it is not I that lives in me, but Jesus Christ.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. [Galatians 2:20]
This is the new God centered (zoe) life. A new person with a new king, in a new kingdom.
Again Jesus concludes this spiritual concept by adding: And no man puts new wine into old wineskins: else the new wine does burst the wineskins, and the wine is spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined: but new wine must be put into new wineskins.
The answer is that the scriptures do work and they work far better that anything else. The new life is not the same as a cleaned up version of the old life. It is a real relationship with the one true God through Jesus Christ the living word of God, and through the Holy Spirit. However for most marriages one or both people are clueless or uncaring on how God has designed life and marriage to work. Christianity is really not a religion, it is a relationship between God and mankind. Most believers understand that concept, but they do not understand how it works. This ignorance often includes Bible believers that have been going to church for years. Yet the Bible does have the answer to marriage and to life. A Christian is a new creation, with old things (legally) passed away, with a new king Jesus Christ (the living words of God), and they now live in a brand new kingdom (the kingdom of God).
The new wine represents the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the same as our human spirit that provides our breath of life, our existence. Jesus is the living words of God. He provides the truth and detail of how things truly work. The Holy Spirit provides the power by which the details of the word of God is carried out. It does not matter whether the work is carried out directly by the Holy Spirit or assigned to angels.
The old wineskins are our old lives not the new (zoe) God centered life. The stresses of living with the Holy Spirit doing the will of God is not made for the old life, but instead for the new life that is in Christ. If we, as believers, revert back to living after the flesh and yet try to still include the Holy Spirit to guide and move in our life, the pressures of life will be extremely great and cause failure. We often call this straddling the fence. You don't walk with one leg on one side of the fence and one leg on the other side of the fence. We are instructed to live as God intended - a new life, with a new king, and in a new kingdom.
The Holy Spirit is a real part of the relationship with God. More on this in other lessons.
To sun things up, applying Godly bandages of truth to marriage problems, or any other problems, does not usually get the results God intended. God's word is designed to work for those who have chosen live the new life and are actively pursuing it. Also even if one in the marriage is doing the right thing, the spouse has a free will and they may not want to putting any effort into restoring the marriage. With out God given free will, we cannot force another to do the right thing, however we can pray. Don't underestimate the power of prayer. When you pray Godly prayers, God moves. Believe it. Don't doubt just because you don't see the results you expect. Trust that God is working behind the scenes.
How Can I Restore My Marriage?
You don't have the guarantee that you can do something and your relationship will be restored. However, you can do things to significantly improve yourself, and increase the possibility of restoring your marriage.
God has given you and your spouse or ex-spouse both a free will. It is in exercising your free will, that one or both of you have done things that were destructive to your marriage. Most likely both of you are guilty. It is so easy to put all the blame on the other person as they often have made the "destructive" decision. Yet the question is "what led up to that destructive decision?". If both spouses had been whole heartedly following Jesus, the marriage would not be need to be restored. That does not mean that Christians always have a better marriage. But because Christians have agreed to follow Christ, if they will actually fully follow Him without pulling back, then they should have the best possible marriage.
The most important thing in life is our relationship to God by faith in Jesus Christ. That means choose to believe the Bible. Many say they believe, then go on living how they want to live. If one truly believes, then the decisions they make daily will be different because of they are formed by what they believe.
© - Copyright 4BibleStudy.com 2009 - 2017
Suicide is not the answer!
You are actually in a VERY good place, you have realized your life needs to change. How you respond now, can determine whether you suffer pain for ever, or whether your life gets better.
Humans are eternal beings. Their soul does not quit existing when they die. Your soul is basically "you" without your physical body. Its eternal. Yes, you think, you feel, you have your being after you die.
God's plan is for you to have a pure and real overcoming life. God divides life into two basic types.
1.) Our natural life, which is just existing or
2.) A God centered life
Step back for a moment, and put yourself in God's shoes. You designed and made these humans and you gave them a free will. You knew that they would start their life using that free will, to do just as they felt, to live after the things they could think up and try to do anything they wanted. We humans, being such short sighted creatures, we wouldn't see the longer term consequences. Many of our decisions actually work to destroy our life and other people living like us create a cumulative negative affect. Then you being God had to show these short sighted creatures that living their way was not going to produce the quality of life most people inwardly desire. God has to allow the consequences of our decisions to create pain so that we can see that our lives need to change. Living like the world dictates just trashes us. When a person comes to that conclusion, then and only then would we humans be in a position to turn to God in a real way. Then, and only then, you as God would have a teachable person to show them how to live a pure, righteous, and loving life. They would not want the stench of the world, but the real truth, love, and righteousness that can only be found living in God.
God made and designed us to live a God centered life. It is interesting that when we live a life centered on God, we are more than overcomers because we actually have God with us and supporting us. The same God that spoke the universe into existence!
Down deep you know of a truth that you are not worthless no matter how bad things look. Hold on to that truth, as in it you have hope.
You have believed a lie from Hell to come to where you are at. Don't let Hell have you. That is worse than your current pain.
People, by design, come to the place in life where they realize there has to be more, and there is.
This is actually your appointed time to make a life changing decision
as now you are willing to do something about the direction of your life.
Make your decision, a decision for a life in God,
not an unknown eternity, possibly in Hell.
Before you hit the back button, listen to me, please. God says you are precious and beautiful, no matter what you think it looks like! Your life has value!
It is us going "our way", that causes the world to dump on us and for us to receive the consequences of failure. And dump on us it does!
God's plan for life is significantly different than our own. His way and our way are contrary to each other. The part of you that wants to live after the natural man, will fight God. That part is not looking out for our best interest. We give our whole heart to God to receive the beautiful life He has for us.
You may be thinking you have tried religion. I am not talking about a religion. I am talking about life, real life, pure life, as you were designed to live.
The God of the Bible has been waiting patiently all this time to where you would turn from what you thought constituted life, to what God says is life. YES, you are "at" the most important time of your life.
Absolute fact: you are beautiful and precious, not junk or trash!!!
Absolute fact: the past can change and you can redeem your life, into a FAR more pure, loving, overcoming, and righteous life than you have ever known. That kind of life is only found in God, not religion.
I am SO glad you agree you are not worthless !!!
In God you would need to learn how to live a completely new life. God calls you a brand new creation once you have given your life to him. You will start as a baby and have to learn to live life as God designed. The Bible, if believed will guide you.
If you are reading this, your heart is crying out for what is real, and it is only God that is real.
If this resonates with you, I would suggest two things to do, maybe three.
1.) Consider giving your life to God. Not to me, not to a religion, not to a church.
2.) I would suggest that you take some time to read the Bible. Start in the book of John, or Romans, or Galatians or even Proverbs, and let the truth of God confirm to you that He is real.
3.) Use this Bible study website. It goes into a lot of detail without adding or subtracting anything. It may seem too deep at first, but I believe you are bright, and it won't take too long to start grasping it.
It would be good to find a loving Bible based church and start attending. You do have to be careful, as the quality of churches has deteriorated over the last twenty years. Big name churches included. It is still good to seek out and attend a Bible based church. Learn how to live this new life.
PLEASE do not throw yourself off a bridge. It is totally good that you have come to realize that the natural life is not the good life you seek.
You are beautiful and precious, but before this God did not have the reins to your heart. Give them to Him.
© - Copyright 4BibleStudy.com - 2009 - 2017
What is Christianity?
Christianity stands separate from all other religions of the world. In fact, it really does not accurately fit the definition of a religion. It instead defines life. A pure, overcoming, and righteous life.
One does not have to look far to realize that mankind has an inherent dark side. Once past outward appearances, one finds that Christianity is the only religion that makes mankind into a new creation that has the ability to overcome the dark side or what we call the sin nature. It is a simple process to convert and live life as a Christian, but there is an extreme complexity, power, and detail behind it. Namely God himself. God's life is open to all people who will believe, regardless of their past or their origin.
With all the pain caused by deception, lust, hate and greed, how does God change people into truthful, loving, kind and compassionate people?
So how do people get so hurtful? For many it seems that it is always others that do things that hurt them. Is it possible that that mankind starts life with wrong thinking and just changing outward things does not really affect one's heart. There is so much pain in this world.
God is not the author of that pain. In God"s effort to make mankind so they could be truly free, God gave mankind a free will. You cannot be truly free without being given a free will. A free will is a powerful tool. When coupled with the ability to reason and communicate plus the ability experience emotion it has the power to change the course of history. With such power God intended mankind to also exercise it responsibly. When we see all the pain in the world we realize the pain is from people not using what they have been given in a responsible way. The decisions from self, whether it be from other people who have an influence or an authority over us or even our own selves, is the problem. This is the natural mindset we inherited from birth.
An unbeliever would say that the education received from one's parents and academia would teach people to not make poor decisions. However, that is not the reality that we see in the world today or through out history. Because self makes decisions from its point of view, how those decisions affect others is secondary to the gain or satisfaction of self. This goes far beyond taking care of life's necessities.
God knew how mankind was going to respond. Is it logical that God's plan would be complete different than man's. As such it is also logical that man would reject anything that differed from their own thinking. We reject things that do not line up to our thinking until the consequences of our decisions shock us into looking outside of ourselves for answers.
Yet many recognize that, yes they do have a free will but they may still be in bondage to different things. That free will allows us to make choices and our choices will all have consequences, some good and some bad.