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"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

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Friday, May 29, 2020

Colossians 3:22-24 (L 24)

Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
WWW. 2Tim215.Net

Established November 2008                                      Published: May 29, 2020

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
Colossians 3:22-25  (L 24)

In Colossians 3, Paul is teaching the Colossians (and us) about how their union with Christ transforms their relationships with one another.  The true Believer has died with Christ, and have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life, and their life is now hidden with Him in God (3:3).  Thus, they are no longer who they used to be.  They are no longer a slave to sin and death.  Having been set free from these things, they are to walk worthy of the calling with which they have been called to the glory of God the Father (1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 4:1-3).

Our apostle Paul introduced these saints to God’s design for the marriage and family relationship two areas they have dealings with on a daily basis, as do we.  He began by instructing the weaker vessel and then the stronger saying, “Wives submit to your own husbands;” “husbands love you wife;”  “Children, obey your parents in all things;” and “Fathers, don't provoke your children.”  Now Paul is about to instruct servants and their masters, which speaks of the employee employer relationship in the workplace of today and again he directs his attention to the weaker vessel first saying, “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh…”

Please open your Bible at Colossians 3:22-25.

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”

Servants and Masters

This scripture passage becomes more significant when you realize the word “servant” used 125 times in the N.T. has nothing to do with a paid servant but with a bond slave.  If you know ancient history, then you’re aware that there were slaves, i.e., people taken and forced to serve in some capacity against their will.  For example, a slave could be found in a home cleaning the soiled feet of houseguests or they could find themselves fighting for their life in the games, so let’s be clear there’s a huge difference between a slave and a bond servant.  A person became a bond servant by choice, in a manner of speaking, so it was legitimate.  That probably needs explaining, so, when a man was forced into bankruptcy in Paul’s day, there was no chapters 7 or 11 to ward off financial ruin.  The laws back then were not as gracious as they are today.  This meant they had to sell himself as a slave so that their master could pay off his debt.  In Roman times, the term bond servant or slave could refer to anyone who voluntarily served others.  But it usually referred to one who was held in a position of servitude until his debt was paid in full.  Under Roman law, a bond servant was considered the owner’s personal property.  On the other hand, slaves essentially had no rights and could even be killed with impunity by their owners.

Sometimes masters were careful and considerate of their servants.  A biblical example is Philemon and his servant Onesimus.  Things were running smoothly in Philemon’s household, so to speak, until something happened to change their relationship, marked by Onesimus running away (See Paul’s letter to Philemon).   One of the things we learn from this account is some masters were thoughtful and gracious, while others could be quite disagreeable, but no matter their situation Paul said obedience in all things is required:      

“Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh (3:22a) first we note Paul did not instruct servants to “demand their rights;” or “to rise up and flee oppression.”  Far from it.  Paul said, “obey in all things your master,” whether your master is just or unjust because it’s the right thing to do.  God is not unaware of their situation, so render your master obedience, not with “eyeservice, as menpleasers;” (looking to see if their master is around), but with “singleness of heart, fearing God:”  Whatever you do, do it heartily, remembering, you are doing it not for your master, but for the Lord (3:23), “knowing” that one day future there will be an accounting: 

Verses 3:24-25:

Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Please take note of the fact that there is no master and servant with God; both are equal in respect to persons (3:25b).  By that Paul means to say even the master of a slave has a has a Master in heaven, so obey your master in all things and God will reward you. 

Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” – as this phrase implies, every saved saint has a future divine appointment with the Lord Jesus Christ.  On that day He will judge the members of the Body of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:17, 5:9).

According to John 5:27, God the Father has placed all judgment into the hands of His dear Son for He alone is the perfect, righteous Judge.  Even though the revelation of the mystery was still a secret when the events of John chapter five occurred, the principle of Christ’s judgeship certainly applies during the dispensation of Grace.  In Colossians 2 Paul said, “In Him (Christ Jesus) dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”  As God, therefore, He knows the innermost thoughts and motives and the intent of one’s heart.  But it’s also true He took upon Himself the form of a human servant and dwelt among us (Philippians 2:5-8).  Therefore, no saved saint will be able to stand before Him at that time and say, “Lord you just don’t know the half of what I was going through at that particular time…”  He does know and He understands my friends.  The Lord Jesus Christ suffered in all points, as we, and yet committed no sin:

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). 

The prophet Isaiah identified the suffering Savior as a man of sorrows: “He is despised and rejected of men; A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:” (Isaiah 53:3). 

Returning to the question, “What reward,” Paul is referring to one of the prominent church doctrines of the N.T., i.e., the Doctrine of Rewards at “the Judgement Seat of Christ.”  It is a doctrine often ignored today, or when taught, it is misinterpreted because of the term, “judgment.”  Some folks have drawn the wrong conclusion about the nature and purpose of this divine evaluation witnessed by their teaching that God will mete out a just retribution for the sins in the Believer’s life and assign some form of punishment as a result.  However, that’s not what this book says.  Let’s review 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 again:

Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Paul used the pronoun “we” 26 times in chapter 5, and in every instance he included himself in this teaching, as well as every true Believer in Christ, for the Corinthian letter is addressed to the saints (Believers) at Corinth.  For the record, the judgment spoken of here is for saved individuals only (see 1 Corinthians 1:1-3), no unbeliever will be present at the Judgment Seat of Christ. 

The Koine Greek word for Judgment Seat is Bema.  In Paul’s day it was a raised platform, with ascending steps, where rulers handed down decisions (Acts 18:12-16).  It was also the place where the judges presided over the Greek games, such as the Isthmus Games near Corinth, Greece.  From this vantage point they could see the entire field of events.  If an athlete was summoned to the Bema Seat it meant one of two things; either the participant was disqualified for disobeying the rules or rewarded with a garland for winning their particular event.  Based on that analogy when we appear before the Lord Jesus Christ to receive our reward or possibly suffer loss of reward, it in no way implies the Believer will lose their salvation.  Unlike the Great White Throne Judgment, condemnation is not the issue at the Judgment Seat of Christ:

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1).

This judgment will not be a trial to see whether the judged are innocent (saved) or guilty (unsaved), because the sin question was answered once and for all by Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross.  This examination will be like the judges stand at the county fair or at a high school track meet, where “rewards” are handed out to successful contestants.  Therefore, it is not a judgement for sin, but for “works.”  This judgment is described in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15:

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.  But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

I repeat, for emphasis, this judgment has zero to do with one’s salvation.  That reckoning will occur at the Great White Throne Judgment; this is where the lost will be judged and sentenced.  At the Judgment Seat of Christ the Believer’s “works” or their service for the Lord will be reviewed (see Ephesians 2:8-10).  At this point, the Believer reading this ought to be asking themselves how they, as “God’s workman,” have built upon Paul’s foundation (see 2 Timothy 2:15).  Is the Body of Christ, the Church, today, as far as its workmanship is concerned, built mostly of “gold, silver, and precious stones,” or of inferior building materials here identified as “wood, hay, stubble?”  Has it been built undispensationally with materials taken from the Mosaic Law, the Sermon on the Mount, Pentecost, or with the eternal truths of the finished, all-sufficient redemption wrought by Christ, “the preaching of the cross,” and the riches of God’s Grace that flows from Calvary?  Now you know why I repeatedly stress the practice of 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

For those who are considering putting this reality on the back burner for now, so to speak, should understand this judgement could occur at any time.  No one knows when the risen, Lord of glory will come to take away His Church and then examine every man  and every woman’s “work” to see if it passes His inspection (verse 13).  So then, don’t be counted among those who find themselves at this judgment thinking, “Should have, could have, and would have,” instead be more concerned about being an “approved workman for God,” proclaiming His Word using right division.      

Let’s return to the text under study:

 “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons” (3:22-25).

In plain language, the Lord is going to compensate both labor and management for the good they have done and whatever wrongs they may have committed.  Every Believer in Christ can expect to receive a reward for good conduct and suffer loss for wrong- doing.   Little wonder Paul added the statement: “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences” (2 Corinthians 5:11).

While the Corinthians lived as though there was no tomorrow, Paul cautioned them re: the “terror of the Lord;” for the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge; it’s not defined as wisdom until you do something with the knowledge.  Please don’t misunderstand what Paul means to say about “fearing God”  (3:22b).  Look at it this way, your name has been called and there you are standing before the Lord who has perfect recall of every idle word, thought and deed during your lifetime.  Paul’s saying we should fear the possible devastating consequences not only of a misspent life, but the close, divine, scrutiny of that life.  It is with this thought in mind Paul sought to persuade the carnal Corinthians of the gravity of the occasion.  In short, Paul is passionately trying to exhort them to “walk worthy of the calling in which they had been called” (Ephesians 4:1-3).  Why?  There will be an accounting!

Today’s Workplace

Paul’s instructions most certainly apply to every saved saint in the dispensation of God’s grace or this present age, but with greater significance, because practically everyone is paid a wage for their services and/or the work they do.  So, Paul’s instruction, “obey your master,” when applied to the workplace of today might read, obey your employer, executive secretary, shop foreman, supervisor, etc.” bearing in mind God requires obedience, because God has ordained rank and file in the Believer’s workplace, understanding there is order with God.  Therefore, obey your superior, do what he or she tells you to do, and do it heartily as unto the Lord, because you are really doing it for God, “knowing” He will with any and all offenders. 

This command, again, is directed to every saved saint in Christ; the lost or those who are earthly in nature march to the beat of a different drummer, so to speak.  However, our marching orders come from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the body, the church (1:18), through our apostle Paul.  Paul is showing the Colossians (and us) it’s possible to have an ideal work situation, but we must “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom and teaching…” (3:16) or remain in the forefront.  Then he gives the employer (master) something to think about: 

Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven” (4:1).

In layman’s terms, Paul’s saying, since there’s no respect to persons, “Pay your servants (employees) that which is just and equal for one very good reasonyou have a Master in heaven,”  and you want Him to be just and fair with you, right, so treat those in your employ equitably and equally. 

Surely, the regenerated wife and husband, child and parent, servant and master will come to realize that God’s wisdom greatly surpasses human knowledge, i.e., the wisdom of the world.  The Lord Jesus Christ has shown us the true way to enjoy harmonious human relationships and the key is “obedience” to God’s design for married couples, the family, and the workplace. 

(To be continued)

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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 22, 2020

Colossians 3:20 (L 23)

Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
WWW. 2Tim215.Net

Established November 2008                            Published: May 22, 2020

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
Welcome to HBS and thank you for being here.

Last week we left Colossians momentarily for the book of beginnings (Genesis) to show the LORD God (Jehovah) is the architect of marriage not man.  Therefore every Believer is to understand their God-given roles in the marriage relationship and when problems arise they are to seek guidance from the Lord Jesus Christ.  These instructions are found in Paul’s epistles, previously identified as “the word of Christ:”

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another…” (3:17).

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them” (3:18-19).

As I recall, we also looked at Ephesians 5:21-28 where Paul’s expounded on this teaching say, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord (wives that’s the key to success) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (Ephesians 5:21-28).

In Ephesians 5:25 we learn the husband’s role in the marriage relationship is to “love his wife, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…”  Now, we could devote the rest of this lesson, and several future lessons to the study of that subject alone.  Suffice to say the relationship between husband and wife speaks of agape (sacrificial) love.  When you bring this motivation into that same relationship as the Church is to Christ and Christ is to the Church, between wives and husbands, there’s no place for abuse of this God-given authority.  Apparently many people are unaware of this fact or they are paying no attention to it because the divorce rate for both secular marriages and Christian marriages in the U.S.A. is about 50%.  Speaking for myself, both my ex-wife and I knew these Bible verses existed, but any attempt by me  to exercise them in our marriage was hindered by my wife.  When I tried to explain these Bible passages to her, she said, “That’s your opinion; I have my own…  So, let’s be clear, this isn’t my opinion it’s the word of Christ, so the goal of every married couple is to make the Lord Jesus Christ the Head, the Counselor, and their Guide not just in marriage but also in their lives.  When you do, you’re not only in compliance with Christ’s commands above (1 Corinthians 14:37) you’re in compliance with His command in Colossians 3:17: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (See Colossians 3:23)

Please open your Bible at Colossians 3:20.

Children and Fathers

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.  Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. 

We have new visitors to this Bible study every day, so I’d like for them to know right off-the-bat Colossians is one of the most Christ-centered books of the Bible.  Anyone who has ever searched for an answer to the question, "Who is Jesus?" will eventually find themselves reading Colossians.  Why?  Colossians answers that question with: "Christ is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, therefore, He is supreme over all persons and things!"  Since this is true, then He is sufficient for every spiritual need, most importantly your salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Having dealt with the wives and husbands roles in the marital relationship, Paul now turns his attention to the children saying, “…obey your parents in all things: (why?) for this is well pleasing unto the Lord” (3:20). 

Here Paul presents the reason why children are to obey their parents in all things that morally line up with what God has said, dispensationaly speaking.  It’s beneficial to know the world-at-large doesn’t know this biblical teaching exists, while others know of it but stand in opposition to it, but we’ll address that issue later on.  Thinking back, I remember asking my mother once or twice why I had to do something; her standard response was, “Because I said so,” so that was my motivation - she’s the boss.  Here Paul said the reason why this is done is because, “…this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Not only is this an entirely different response, Paul’s instruction surpasses the worldly (earthly) view of most people, one of which is, “Because Santa knows whose naughty and nice.”

Please know Paul’s instruction mirrors the teaching found in the Ten Commandments.  In Exodus 20:12 the LORD God addressed the children through His servant Moses saying, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”  When our apostle Paul addressed the children in Ephesus, he combined this same command with his message: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (why?) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth (Ephesians 6:1-3). 

So, Paul is definitely addressing children in this passage, but he did not mention a specific age group.  One might assume Paul’s referring to little children, but not so much.   The Koine Greek word for “children” in 3:20 is not from teknia (little children), but from teknon which means offspring.  You and I are teknon, i.e., the offspring of our parents not yet of age.  What does this mean?  As previously stated, our parents relinquish responsibility for their children when they marry and leave their home to start one of their own.  Thus, this command to obey your parents no longer applies when wives and husbands establish their own home, or come of age.       

Why did Paul issue this command to children?  Permit me to illustrate:  An Indian was asked why his son disobeyed him and refused to listen to reason.  He answered him saying, “Two dogs live in man; one good and one bad.  The dominant dog is the one that is fed regularly.”  So then, make sure you’re feeding the good dog with the word of Christ every day (Psalm 119:105; Colossians 1:9-12).  We’ve covered this topic in previous lessons, so we now know everyone possesses two natures, one good; one bad, including children.  As for children sin is manifested in multiple ways, such as, deceit, impertinence, mean-spiritedness, rebellion against authority, etc., in short, children can be downright obnoxious.  If you’re a parent, then you know exactly what I mean.  Children can be loveable and loving at times, but then there are those trying times when you consider whether or not to gag them and lock them in their bedroom until they turn twenty-one. 

Digging Deeper we learn in Paul’s day the then known world lived under Roman rule, consequently, the father possessed supreme power over his children, and their children, etc., in accordance with “Roman Family law.”  The purest example of this truth is found in “patria potestas” which is defined as “the power of the father.”  The male head of the family wielded supreme power over his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on, whatever their age, as well as over those brought into the family through adoption.  This power meant he had control over the persons of his children, even the right to inflict capital punishment, if he so chooses.  He alone had any and all rights pertaining to private law.  Succinctly said, the child and their acquisitions became the property of the father.  He might allow a child (as he might a slave) certain property to treat as his own, but in the eye of the law it continued to belong to the father.

Bringing this information into our Bible study, the ancient city of Colosse was built on a major trade route through the Lycus River Valley in the Roman province of Asia Minor (in the southwest corner of modern-day Turkey).  Paul had spent two years planting a church in Ephe­sus, and in Acts 19:10 we learn that, radiating from that center, “all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.”  It’s understood from the Colossian text Paul did not visit or preach the truth of the gospel to the saints there.  Instead, it’s highly likely that church was established by Epaphras (1:7), and from verse 1:21 it’s safe to say it was comprised mainly of gentile Believers. 

It’s in this environment Paul issued the command “Obey your parents” to children who have not as yet come of age.  The reason why is, “for this is right;” (See 3:17), and since it’s the right thing to do, “…this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” (3:20b).

Loving parents are called to guide their children in the path of righteousness.  They are to lead them to the Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation that is found in Him alone, that they might trust Christ Jesus as their personal Savior.  What’s more, they are to plant the word of the Lord in their hearts and minds, in order for them to build a firm biblical foundation for their lives and their children, and so on down the line.  A good example of this biblical teaching is Paul’s protégé young Timothy, so let’s read it together:

When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also” (1 Timothy 1:5).

Here Paul revealed the positive influence elder family members have upon their offspring.  Timothy had been taught elements of the faith of God by his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois.  Notice only these two female family members are praised and acknowledged for the excellent example they provided at home to Timothy, which begs the question, “Where’s dad?”  Timothy’s father was a gentile and not a believer in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:1-3).  Yet, beginning with Timothy’s grandmother Lois, and then his mother Eunice, they were able to make a difference in teaching Timothy as a boy, after which he would grow up to be one of the early ministers of the Body of Christ, a.k.a. the Church, and a faithful companion and coworker alongside Paul. 

I can relate to this personally because my father was an unbeliever.  In short, he was a Christian going through the motions but is heart wasn’t in it.  My mother, on the other hand, was a woman of faith and earned my respect early on.  She didn’t just talk the talk; she walked the walk.  It was her heartfelt desire to see us children grow up to be men and women of God and hopefully share the gospel with others and lead them to the Lord.  This should be the heartfelt desire of every married couple that follows the apostle Paul,  who in turn follows the risen Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 11:1).  That thought leads us to verse 3:21:

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, (Why?) lest they be discouraged.”  Said, differently, “Fathers bring the children up; don’t tear them down.”  There’s a companion Bible verse in Ephesians 6:4:  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Here Paul addressed the head of the family, “fathers,” and gives them a negative instruction followed immediately by a positive one.  First, he tells fathers to “provoke not your children to anger.”  This refers to everyday family life, and a repeated pattern of maltreatment, a way of living that, over time, has a tearing-down effect on the child.  This repeated provoking over time often leads to a built-up, deep-seated anger and resentment within the child.  Provoking children to anger happens in a number of ways  such as:  breaking promises, constant criticism, discouragement, fault finding, inconsistency, partiality, neglect, , overreacting, sarcasm, unreasonable demands, etc. None of these things build a child up. 

Instead of provoking their children to anger, God wants fathers to provide their children with a loving, nurturing, and godly home.  This verse demonstrates the father has the primary responsibility before God to raise his children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  He is to be the spiritual leader  of the home.  God wants children to learn from their father’s example of what it means to love the Lord and to live for Him.  Studies show when the father is an active Believer, there is about a 75% likelihood the children will follow suit, as they say.  But if only the mother is a Believer, this possibility is dramatically reduced to about 15-20%.  I’ve seen this statistic played-out in my family.  Of us six children only three follow after our mother.  That’s 50% by my reckoning, but of those three only one of us follow the revelation of the mystery, i.e., the teachings of Paul, (Romans 11:13, 16:25-27; Galatians 1:11; Ephesians 3:1-3).

In verse 3:21, Paul gives Fathers the key to the wise rearing of children; it’s to be in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Paul means to say parenting and training children is not to be carried out by obeying earthly (worldly) wisdom but according to what God has revealed to us in the dispensation of grace.  The Lord is everyone’s teacher, and this includes the children, so fathers are to look to Him for guidance.

Many people today think this is wrong.  They maintain the child ought to be able to express themselves or they’ll be inhibited, that is, unable to reach their full potential.  To that I say, “Nonsense.”  I was disciplined by my father and on a few occasion received a spanking not with a belt or paddle but with his hand applied to my backside.  I can also honestly say I know what a bar of soap tastes like…  The one thing missing in that is my father failed to discipline in love.  It takes a loving parent to discipline a child in love.  My mother spanked me once, and I saw tears in her eyes after that.  That’s when I knew she corrected me because she loved me.  All this to say, been there, done that, and I’m a better person for it.  But, as I said, many people consider corporal punishment to be nothing less than a criminal act.  It may surprise some of you to know parents have and are being arrested and incarcerated for disciplining their children in the home.  Some time ago I read a child that had been spanked called the local sheriff and reported his mother had “beat him.”  Evidence shows she “spanked” him.  Hardly a beating.  This speaks of the day, evidently, that we are currently living in.  Even though 2 Timothy was written circa 68 AD, it’s message rings true for this present evil age:  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than the lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

I pray you and your children desire not be counted as one of these, for as I said, they are indicators that we are indeed living in the last days of the dispensation of God’s Grace.  The disobedience of children to their parents is one of the indicators.  So, children, if not for your parent’s sake, at least for your own sake, as well as for the Lord’s, “…obey your parents in all things for this is well pleasing unto the Lord” (3:20).  For the obedience given to parents is obedience given to Christ Jesus.

I’ll close with this:  One winter day in the Colorado wilderness, a man found it necessary to go see a neighbor who lived beyond a steep and rugged mountain range. He lived alone and was very ill.  The man climbed the dangerous trail for some time through the drifted snow not realizing that his son had been following him.  Suddenly, as he was trudging and struggling through the deep snow, he heard a young voice behind him call out, “Be careful, daddy, I’m walking in your steps!”  Fathers, our children are walking in our steps and, as fathers, we should take great care in how we live and ever mindful of the example we present to them, furthermore, we need to raise them in accordance with Paul’s command in 3:17: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

Summing up, the principle here is for Christ and His word to be central in a family’s life.  The Lord is to be the Head, the Counselor, and the Guide and at the forefront in our homes.  God wants our homes so full of His Word and the acknowledgement of Him that our children can’t help but think of Him, while saying, “I want to be just like my father, because he wants to be like Christ.”  

(To be continued)

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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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Friday, May 15, 2020

Colossians 3:18-25 (Lesson 22)

Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
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Established November 2008                                            Published: May 15, 2020

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
Colossians 3:18-25  (L 22)

Welcome back to HBS where the Light of truth is always on.

Let’s refresh our memories.

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Colossians 3:15-17).

Every saint in Christ Jesus has “peace with God” and therefore “have the peace of God.”  This is in regard to their relationship to God the Father that is expressed elsewhere as “justification.”  Justification is the divine act of making someone right with God; all their sins have been deleted.  It’s just as though they had never sinned.  This takes place when God declares those who place their faith in Christ to be righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21).  In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ became our substitute on the cross so that we could be made “just” or right with God through Christ, through faith.  Because of His righteousness before God the Father we “have peace with God.”

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:8-11).

Because of justification we are no longer considered enemies of God; we are known instead as His beloved children; co-heirs with Christ.  We’re no longer under divine judgment and wrath, as Believers positioned in Christ, we now stand in the never ending flow of God’s Grace.  So then, it is “the peace of God” that is to “rule in our hearts.”  Since this is true, Paul is saying it ought to affect every thought, word, and deed or how we interact with one another and those currently outside of Christ.

Paul closed this section of scripture with this summary statement:

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (3:17)

He Paul presents the recipe for Christ-like living.  This Bible verse ought to guide our every thought, word, and deed.  This is one of the beneficial aspects produced by “the word of Christ dwelling in you richly in all wisdom;”  That being the case, Paul said if what you’re doing glorifies God, then it’s the right thing to do.  On the other hand, if what you’re about to do dishonors God and your testimony, then flee from it:

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.  Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles (nations), nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many (to what end), that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:31-33; 2 Timothy 2:19).

Please know Satan, the god of this world, would have you walk in darkness, fear and uncertainty thereby preventing the light of the glorious gospel of Christ from shining unto the hearts of all mankind:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” (See Colossians 1:12-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; ).

God countered Satan’s threat not with manmade traditions, religious rules and human philosophies, but with the shed blood of His Beloved Son for the sins of the world.  This knowledge is revealed to us in “the truth of the gospel” and “the word of Christ” (printed in black ink not red) in the writings of our apostle Paul.  These are directed to every saved, sanctified saint in Christ.  Therefore, walk as His ambassadors here on earth, in all knowledge and wisdom (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

Please open your Bible at Colossians 3:18-25.

Pauline Doctrine Pertaining To Human Relationships

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.  Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.  Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.  Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”

God’s grace amazes me 24/7/365; because it never runs out on us and because there is no list of do’s and don’ts attached to it.  In response to the lost sinner’s faith in Paul’s gospel, the Grace of God takes the vilest sinner and gives them a place at His right hand in the heavenlies in Christ (Colossians 3:1 Romans 2:16); “he hath made us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6),” and declared us complete in Christ” (Colossians 2:10), and proclaimed us to be “blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).  But there’s so much more.  In chapter three of Colossians we find the Lord Jesus Christ condescending further by interceding in the lives of every saint and teaching them the proper way to conduct themselves so as to live amicably with one another and glorifying the Father in the process (3:17).

That’s what should be, however, based on what I’m seeing and experiencing most people are oblivious to these instructions in Colossians 3 and that’s directly attributed to a lack of Bible knowledge and resulting in wisdom.  Although the Bible is a best seller year after year, it remains the most cherished, unread book of all time.  Instead of looking to Christ Jesus for answers people derive their knowledge from the world around them which explains why their lives are chaotic resulting in cynicism and dismay.  In almost every bookstore you’ll find a section devoted to the humanities; that is, the study of all languages and literatures, the arts, history, and philosophy and the like.  If that’s not enough on T.V. you’ll find reality programs such as Dr. Phil at one end of the spectrum and Jerry Springer at the other.  A great deal is written about human relationships these days, but nothing compares with Paul’s letter to the Colossians in its divine wisdom, and nothing that works as well, brings about such positive results, and glorifies God.

In Paul’s writings we find vastly different instructions from those which we read in the world’s books on human relations, even religious books on the subject.  In the world, the cry is constantly, “Give me what’s rightfully mine,”  thinking if they get their wish, they’ll be happier for it.  In contrast to that mindset, God said do what is right and you’ll be better for it.  So, instead of demanding “your rights,” seek “righteousness,” and its fruit, “peace” and “joy” will certainly be yours.   

So then, in Colossians 3:18-25 Paul, who was inspired by God the Spirit when he put his thoughts to paper, directs them to wives and husbands, first, then to children and fathers, and finally to servants and their masters, and please note he mentions the weaker vessel first, then the strongest.  That thought brings to mind Paul’s instructions in his second letter to young Timothy:    

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Timothy 2:20-21).

Paul is telling Timothy how to deal with what appears to be some difficult problems resulting in conflict in the church at Ephesus where he was ministering.  In the verses just before, he exhorted him to use the scriptures properly, not as Hymenaeus and Philetus, whose false teaching had led some of the brethren astray.  He reminds Timothy, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.  And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19).

Now he urges Timothy to be a cleansed man who flees sin and pursues godliness, summed up under four qualities: righteousness, faith, love, and peace with the Lord’s true people, for “the Lord knoweth them that are his.”  He accomplished this by using the illustration of a large house that uses different kinds of vessels.  The gold and silver vessels are kept clean so that they may be used for honorable purposes, such as celebratory dinners and special occasions.  The other vessels made of wood and earthenware are used for dishonorable purpose, such as in the performance of menial tasks in the kitchen and for carrying out the garbage at day’s end.  These often become broken or blemished and are cheaply replaced.  The point Paul’s making is the large house represents the Body of Christ, a.k.a. the Church.  Some of it’s members are truly new creatures walking in newness of life.  Others, namely, Hymenaeus and Philetus are described as being false teachers, and they therefore are the vessels of dishonor.  Paul’s saying this should not be said of Timothy or of any one in the Body of Christ.   

That scripture text reveals the kind of person God uses.  You may think God only uses people who have impressive abilities and gifts, such as a winning smile, good looks, excels in public speaking, and so forth.  I’m not saying certain spiritual gifts do not play a part in “the ministry of reconciliation,” but that’s not the criteria God looks for or uses.  The world pursues such notions but God uses those who pursue righteousness and godliness.  Case in point, almost every time I turn the news on there’s a negative story about a pastor or youth minister caught up in a scandal of some sort, so they obviously are not pursuing righteousness and their iniquity does not glorify God.  They have disgraced the name of Christ, so these folks are dishonorable vessels as well. 

You might also be thinking God only uses those who have graduated from seminary.  While institutes of higher learning have a place, I can name several people who have been to seminary and graduated but they’re preaching is so far removed from what God is doing with His Church today that there’s zero resemblance to “the word of Christ.”  They like Hymenaeus and Philetus are leading people astray.  Paul said Timothy is not to be counted among them, and the same is true for every saved saint: 

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” (Philippians 2:13-15).

Verse 3:18-19.

Wives & Husbands

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 

Before we examine this passage let's review and remember what Paul wrote in 3:17:

And whatsoever ye do in word of deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

Paul continued his thought in 3:17 by telling the wives the first thing they are to do “in the name of Christ Jesus,” that is, “submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.”  Among other things, this Bible verse discloses the importance of the marital relationship in our society.  Please note it’s the very first thing Paul thought of when he reflected on what it meant to “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” 

Colossians 3 instructs the Believer in Colosse (and us) about how their union with Christ richly benefits them in their relationships with others from all walks of life.  The self-serving practices which characterized their earthly nature are to be “put to death,” not simply because they are injurious to others, but because they are fundamentally inconsistent with who and what they are in Christ.  Our Bible text then continues to speak of practical sanctification.  Paul is showing the Colossians where “the rubber meets the road,” so to speak.  The three areas Paul mentioned are where we have contact with opportunities to show the difference “the word of Christ” has made in our lives.  They are areas almost all of us have dealings with, namely, the marriage relationship, our homes, and the workplace.  You might wonder why Paul began with the marriage relationship and the wives.  To answer this question properly we need to go now to the book of Genesis; a.k.a the book of beginnings or origins.   

There are essentially two models of how life came to be on the earth.  You either believe the biblical record of creation, that God created all things (Colossians 1:15-16), or you believe the theory of evolution.  Both are basically faith systems in that neither can be proven scientifically.  Each of these systems of belief, however, has a distinct effect on one’s worldview.  If you hold to evolution, for example, humanism will guide your life and marriage.  In the grand scheme of things, it’s a philosophy that says there are no absolutes.  Morals, justice, right and wrong are all determined by human reason.  On the other hand, if you believe God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, then “the Word of Christ” should govern all your relationships, including marriage. 

The very first verse in Genesis is a profound declaration to all who will hear and believe what God has said, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).  Interestingly, the Hebrew name for God here is Elohim (El-o-heem), which expresses the idea that God is supreme and all-powerful.  He created all things in heaven and earth without so much as lifting a hand; He merely spoke and worlds came into being.  God then shows His power is limitless: 

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).

Here, with the term “the Lord God,” we are introduced to a new name of God: Yahweh or “Jehovah,” the self-existent One who now is about to make Himself known to His creation.  In short, He becomes the divine Communicator between God and His creation.  This clearly shows a change in purpose.  As God, He desires to relate personally to His creation.  This is seen in His discourse with Adam and Eve and then His long-standing relationship with Israel.  We must bear in mind that Jehovah, the Lord God of the Old Testament, is the Lord Jesus Christ in the N. T.  As in time past, He desires to have a personal relationship with all those who call on His name and believe His word.  He is interested in every detail of your life including your marriage and your family.  After all, God is the divine architect of both.  It has been correctly said that there is a vast difference between a Christian home and a place where Christians dwell.  Simply because a number of family members know the Lord does not mean they have “the peace of God,” resulting in an harmonious climate in that particular home.

Unfortunately, we are witnessing some very troubling trends today when it comes to the Christian home.  Many marriages are in trouble and much of the secular counsel given by the world is unsound having omitted or disregarded “the word of Christ.”  Said differently, many couples have departed from God’s original design and therein lies the problem.  His blueprint for marriage has either been changed or ignored altogether.  I liken this to the blueprint of a home.  It gives a detailed description of the structure.  It shows the floor plan, the dimensions of the rooms, and the materials that are to be used in constructing it, and so on.  In like manner, “the word of Christ” found in the writings of our apostle Paul  gives us the blueprint for marriage.  Since marriage and the home originated with God, we can avert many problems by simply following His original design.

It isn’t surprising that when a couple departs from the divine Architect’s guidelines, their marriage fails to pass the test of time.  It’s the equivalent of ignoring the blueprint for a minefield.  But there is hope!  Paul’s writings are recognized as scripture.  They provide the answers for us!  That being said, we need to faithfully commit to our children and grandchildren what God requires of them when they become adults and enter into the marriage relationship.  Who teaches this today?  Exactly!  The solution is really quite simple: we must submit ourselves to the Author and Finisher of our faith, who designed marriage in the beginning.  Of course, the skeptic is quick to point out that there are no easy answers to deeply rooted marital problems that are related to: pride, stubbornness, carnality, coveting, and failure to apply God’s roles consistently in the marriage relationship.  The Christian home is far from being a perfect environment.  Why?  Imperfect sinners live there; sinners who are saved by the grace of God.  Thus, it should be a place where wives and husbands desire to be conformed to the image of Christ, and when problems arise (and they will) they go to “the word of Christ” together to find a biblical solution.

Verse 3:18-19.

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

It’s worth mentioning Paul issued a similar command to the Ephesians, but he added a few details that are not found in the Colossian passage:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” (5:22-25).

Problem Solving 101

Once again, married couples in Colosse were experiencing marital problems, the honeymoon was over, so to speak, and now they have to deal with reality.  The reality is life is not fair and they are still capable of sinning.  But Paul’s saying there’s a biblical solution.  Permit me to illustrate:  let’s suppose you own an old Chevy that has a major electrical issue.  You consult your next door neighbor, who is a backyard mechanic, but he’s completely baffled.  So you take it to your mechanic where most of your repairs are done.  But he is unable to resolve the problem.  Finally you go the GM dealership where you purchased the vehicle.  The dealership represents the company that designed and built it.  They diagnose the problem and the matter is resolved, simply because they engineered and assembled the electrical circuits that originally went into the vehicle, in short, they know the car inside and out. 

Similarly, since the LORD God (Jehovah) designed the institution of marriage, wouldn’t it be prudent to consult Him concerning the blueprint of the marriage relationship instead of Dr. Phil or whomever?  I pray you answered yes because Jehovah a.k.a. the Lord Jesus Christ has established roles within the relationship that, if obeyed, will ultimately bring harmony otherwise known as marital bliss.  I consistently hear the phrase, “A happy wife means a happy life,” but I disagree.  Happiness is often determined by “what is happening,” therefore, it is fleeting.  Although this may seem rather simplistic, perhaps one should recognize it was meant to be.  Fact of the matter is most marital problems can be traced back to a failure to acknowledge and follow God’s original blueprint or design for marriage.

The addition of humanistic resolutions have proven they fall well-short of the goal. 
With this in mind, wives and husbands must ask themselves if they are fulfilling their God-given roles.  Husbands are to love their wives with agape (sacrificial) love and, in so doing, they emulate the love of Christ for His Church.  Wives, on the other hand, are to submit themselves to their husbands in everything, which symbolizes the Church’s submission to Christ’s divine authority alway.  This does not mean that she is to obey his every whim or grovel at his feet.  She is not his step-and-fetch, in other words.  Many husbands have confused their role with that of a tyrant in the home.  Therefore, perhaps we should examine a few general principles God has established re: marriage.

God’s Creative Genius

 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:26-28).

That man is created in the image of God is significant for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, God is a Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  When God molded man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, He created him a triune being as well, i.e., possessing a body, soul, and spirit (I Thessalonians 5:23).  Second, God possesses the characteristics of personality; therefore, He created the man with an intellect, emotions, and free will.  In these two senses, it can be correctly said that the man and the woman are created equal.  The woman as well as the man is a triune being, which means she too possesses a personality consisting of intellect, emotions, and will.  But here is where equality gives way to diversity.  In many ways, men and women are as different as fingerprints. 

In regard to the roles that God gave to the man and woman to uphold in marriage, they are equally important, but they are not identical.  We should carefully note from the above passage that “in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. In other words, the woman (the weaker vessel) is also created in His image and, to abuse her in any way, whether physically or emotionally, is to show contempt for the image of God.  Peter wrote, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being theirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7).

It is the responsibility of the husband to know everything there is to know about his wife.  He should be familiar with everything about her, such as her fears, her strengths and weaknesses, and her likes and dislikes.  A husband should also be sensitive to his wife’s emotional makeup, which is considerably different from his own.  She often wears her emotions on her sleeve, as they say, and can be brought to tears simply by reading a sad novel or by watching a romantic movie.  That’s how God made her.  Husbands who thoughtlessly say, “You’re being ridiculous” are gluttons for punishment.  Such insensitivity will usually leave a husband searching for the right Hallmark card and flowers afterwards.  So, a word to the wise as they say should be sufficient.  

Peter adds husbands are to honor their wives “as unto the weaker vessel” (verse 7b).  I know this isn’t PC (politically correct) today, but there are only two genders (men and women) and they are not designed the same.  They possess different abilities and strengths.  For example, men and women think differently.  You may have heard of the secular book titled: “Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus.”  Although the jury is still out, medical science has discovered that a man tends to think with only one hemisphere of the brain at a time, whereas a woman uses both hemispheres at the same time.  Have you not heard of the wife who is capable of “multi-tasking?”  This may help to explain why men are so focused.  Case in point, ladies, have you noticed when you attempt to communicate with your husband while he’s reading the newspaper it’s as though you were talking to a tree?  Dialogs might resemble one or more of these, “Dear, how was your day?”  “Fine.”  “Did you call the doctor for an appointment?”  “No.”  You son drove your new car into the lake.  The car is totaled but he’s okay.”  “That’s  nice.” Once again, ladies, he’s focused. 

On the other hand, the mind of a woman is similar to a scanner.  She’s able to handle three or four things at one time and that’s because she’s a multi-tasker.  While planning a long-distance car adventure, I could usually be found studying the road atlas and tuned out to everything else going on around me.  That’s because I’m focused.  In contrast to that my wife (now ex-wife) could be found paying bills online, conversing with one of her children on the speaker phone, while watching the weather report, and pointing to the mailbox reminding me to get the mail before we head out.  So then, if a wife understands her husband is not necessarily ignoring her or being disrespectful, but merely being focused, it will save both of them a tremendous amount of anxiety and frustration.  Wives must learn the importance of getting their husband’s attention and establishing eye-contact before addressing any issue.  Next, the husband who helps his wife at home with all the things she needs to accomplish will win her affection on a daily basis.  Aim to be thoughtful and not thoughtless in this department.  This may seem like a small matter to some, but if husbands and wives are attentive to the fact that they function on different wavelengths, it will greatly ease tension within the marriage relationship and result in harmonious living conditions, a.k.a. marital bliss. 

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:21-24).

Here we have the first surgical procedure in history that required some form of anesthesia, “the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam.”   He then surgically removed a rib from Adam’s side, “and the LORD God made he a woman.”  

Interestingly, the Hebrew word for “rib” here is plural and literally denotes “Adam’s side chamber.”  In short, the LORD God removed both bone and flesh from the man’s side and created the woman.  Whereupon Adam states, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman.” Adam recognized the woman was literally taken from him, and like him was a person created in the image of God, possessing emotion, intellect, and free will.  Thus, the woman was a suitable “help meet,” that is, fit for the man, one who would not be the same as he but a perfect complement to him.  In the fullest sense of the word, she completes the man physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  We should also note here that by order of creation the man is given the position of headship.  In addition to God’s creative genius, He ordained the institution of marriage.  Marriage was not a product of primitive man, often portrayed as dragging a woman by the hair with one hand and carrying a club in the other.  The evolutionist believes this to be the beginning of a monogamous  relationship.  But not so much.  Mankind has indeed established many institutions; however, marriage isn’t one of them.

God established the marriage relationship and gave us the regulations to govern it.  In fact, God Himself walked the first bride down the aisle, so to speak, “and brought her unto the man. Consequently, marriage is not to be entered into or taken lightly by anyone; instead, it must be approached soberly and reverently, and “in the fear of God.”  The goal of every married couple should be to understand their God-given roles, pursue righteousness, and permit the Author and Finisher of our faith to instruct and guide them not just in the marital relationship but in all our relationships.   

(To be continued)

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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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