Today is September 7, 2018

Verse of the Day — Psalm 19:1

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

You only have to look up to see the glory of God.


MINI BIBLE STUDY FOR THE DAY

Everyone who has looked up at the stars on a clear night sees how large and magnificent our Creator is. All but a handful of the starry lights you see with the naked eye are actually suns. And each sun has its own planets orbiting around it just as those in our solar system orbit our sun. With a high-powered telescope, the number of suns becomes innumerable—billions, trillions, or more.

O LORD, our Lord,
How majestic is Thy name in all the earth,
Who has displayed Thy splendor above the heavens!
—Psalm 8:1

Yet, God humbly said,

“I stretched out the heavens with My hands” —Isaiah 45:12

This gives us an inkling of how big our God truly is. He has placed the heavens right over our heads and declares that when you see this, you are without excuse.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. —Romans 1:20

QUESTION FOR THE DAY

We have a situation at our church that I don’t know how to handle. A single woman and a married man are living together. They come to church like nothing is wrong while the man’s wife and daughter and family sit only a few pews behind them. The man’s wife and her family are trying to cope with this situation. This is causing major problems for our church. Whose responsibility is it to confront this couple. The pastor, elders, deacons or who?


ANSWER:

The local church Elders, who would include the pastor-teacher(s), are responsible for dealing with church discipline issues. Therefore, if they are not aware of an ongoing adulterous situation in their church, they should be given the known facts.

The purpose of church discipline is for restoration, never punishment. Elders should always be humbly aware that, except for the grace of God, they too could find themselves in blatant sin.

After proper investigation, if the facts are found to be true, the Elders should oversee a meeting with an Elder or pastor with both the wife and the husband, separately. This one-on-one meeting is Step One, laid out in Matthew 18:15-18.

If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. —verse 15

The husband should be asked to repent of abandoning his wife, adultery, etc. The wife should be counseled on loving the sinner, not the sin. Both should be counseled that divorce is NOT an option, under any circumstance.

If the husband repents, an Elder should be assigned to work closely with him for accountability for as long as it takes to rebuild his scriptural armor, where he allows God to meet his needs. His root problem is not the adultery, but rather his being self-centered. He is not allowing God to be preeminent in his life so the Elder should provide scripture and be an encourager in this direction.

An older woman should come alongside the wife to help her deal with any emotional scars and to point to Christ as her sustainer, not her husband. It must be noted that where it is difficult to imagine how a wife could agape love her husband after adultery, she CAN learn to allow the Holy Spirit to love her husband through her.

If the husband will not repent, Step Two of Matthew 18 must be employed.

But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. —verse 16

Two or three Elders must go to him as a group and tell him clearly that what he is doing is unrepentant sin. And if he doesn’t repent, Scripture requires them to publicly notify the members of the church of his sin.

The purpose of Step Three, notifying the congregation of the adulterous actions, would be to allow for all the church members to pray and to notify any friends or family so they could possibly, by God’s grace, get through to him the seriousness of his sinful error.

If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; —verse 17a

If Step Three does not change the situation in a pre-determined, Elder-agreed time period, Step Four must be instituted: Church Discipline, or “disfellowship.”

and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. —verse 17b

A formal notice should be given to both the congregation and to the offender, in writing, including the offense, actions taking by those asking for repentance, and means of rectifying the problem (repentance).

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NOTE: A spouse in adultery does not give a “green light” for divorce in the Church Age. The statement Jesus made, except for immorality, was to the Jews under law, who did not have the power of the Holy Spirit living in them. Our instructions in the Church Age, where we do have the power of the Holy Spirit living in us, say we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me. Men are told to love their wives like Christ loves the Church, so that certainly rules out divorce!

There ARE situations that call for a woman or a man to leave the home to escape physical or emotional damage. But divorce is NEVER an option! We state publicly in our marriage vows “for better or worse.” Sometimes God allows “worse,” but we have the promise that all things work together for good . . .

As a balance to the above, we wrote an article in a past Compass Communique titled “Christians and Divorce.” It deals with people who have been divorced and how they are NOT second-class Christians! Their sins were nailed to the cross like the sins of everyone else.

You can download that Communique [Fall 2007] by clicking on the title below and then scrolling down the page to the Fall 2007 issue.
Fall 2007 – Christians and Divorce

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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.

Answers to questions in GML are intended to be supplementary and in the spirit of Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, and 26:26, which calls for believers to seek counsel from more than one person. Therefore, it is not recommended that any decision be based solely on GML’s answer, but rather it be considered one of several counselors when determining a course of action.

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