published by

The Mt. Baker church of Christ

Bellingham, WA

March 5, 2000 -- Volume IV Number 01

Editor: Joe R. Price



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In this issue:

-Why Do People Reject The Gospel?

-Do Christians Have "Many" Sins?







J. T. Smith


Many good and conscientious brethren believe that the desertion of a believer by an unbelieving mate gives the believing mate the right to remarry without committing sin. It is sometimes called the "Pauline privilege."

Context and Remarriage

First of all you will notice that there is nothing said in the text or the context about remarriage. The thought that is being expressed in the context involves the departure of a mate generally, and the text itself seems to answer the question (though the question is not stated), "Well, then, what about a believer who is married to an unbeliever? Should they continue living together? If so, what if the unbeliever decides to leave the believer?"

Is Paul Quoting Jesus on Matthew 19:9?

It has been suggested that in 1 Cor. 7:10-11 Paul is simply quoting the Lord (from Matt. 19:9), and since Paul said he, not the Lord, in giving instructions regarding the believer and the unbeliever, then what Jesus taught in Matthew 19 only involved believers and not unbelievers. In other words, Jesus' teachings in Matthew 19 are not applicable to aliens. Again I say, there is nothing in the text or context of 1 Cor. 7:10-15 that would suggest such a thing. The fact of the matter is, Paul is not discussing remarriage at all. If one is to know anything about God's law on the subject of remarriage, he will have to go to another passage.

What Does 1 Cor. 7:15 Teach?

First of all, there are two different Greek words that are translated "bondage" and "bound" used in the New Testament. The word "bound" is from the Greek word deo. That word "bondage" is taken from the Greek word dedoulotai, and is 3rd person singular, perfect, passive, indicative of douloo, which is from the Greek word doulos. Doulos, or a form of the word, is found 133 times in the New Testament (Smith's Greek-English Concordance, page 93). The word means, according to Bagster's Analytical Greek Lexicon, page 107, "To reduce to servitude, enslave, to oppress by retaining to servitude, Acts 7:6; II Pet. 2:19; met. to render servitude, I Cor. 9:19; pass. to be under restraint, I Cor. 7:15..." "To make a slave of, reduce to bondage; In I Cor. 7:15, to be under bondage, held by constraint of law or necessity, in some matter" (Thayer, Page 158). "Originally the lowest term in the scale of servitude, came also to mean one who gives himself up to the will of another" (W. E. Vine's Expository Dictiona ry of New Testament Words, Volume 1, Page 139). In no reference does douloo ever refer to the Marriage Bond (unless it can be proved that it is so used in 1 Cor.7:15, which cannot be done).

The literal rendering of the Greek words ou dedoulotai is "has not been enslaved" (Nestle's Greek-English Interlinear, Page 673). This expression does not carry with it the idea of something that is to take place in the future ("if the unbeliever depart"), for as we have already noted it is in the perfect, passive tense. "The Greek" perfect tense denotes the present state resultant upon a past action. There is no English tense corresponding to the Greek perfect" (Machen's Greek Grammar, Page 187, Article 451, 452). For an example, Mr. Machen used the following illustration. "It is written" which means, "it stands written." That is, it has been written in the past, and it remains written at this present time. Thus the force of the statement in 1 Cor. 7:15 is that she is not under bondage NOW because she HAS NEVER BEEN under whatever bondage Paul has under consideration.

The kind of bondage that a person cannot become involved in, as it relates to another person, is found in 1 Cor. 7:23. "Ye are bought with a price; be ye not the servants of men." We are not to forfeit our obligation to Christ for any service to any man, thus becoming enslaved to him. In doing that, one would, of necessity, have to forsake Christ which is what the person would have to do in order to remain with his mate, as per 1 Cor. 7:15. The unbelieving mate is leaving because of Christianity, and his spouse's allegiance is to Christ. Thus she is not her husband's servant (slave) to the neglect of Christ because she never has been. So we can see beyond any shadow of doubt from this aspect also, that Paul is not speaking of the marriage bond; because she has been (and still is) bound to her husband in the sight of God as far as the marriage bond is concerned. Thus she is neither "held by constraint of law or necessity" (Thayer, Page 158); her allegiance is to Christ.



For the complete text of this sermon visit BIBLE ANSWERS at:



Scripture Reading: Acts 13:44-52

1. In NT, when people rejected the gospel it is said they judged themselves unworthy of eternal life. When people heard, believed & obeyed gospel it is said they had been appointed to eternal life - Acts 13:44-49.

2. Christ has always been precious to some & offensive to others - cf. 1 Pet. 2:6-8; 1 Cor. 1:23-24.

3. Bible examples of rejecting the gospel warn us to not reject our only means of salvation! {2 Cor. 4:3-4}

I. THE JEWISH RULERS: Hatred, Envy, Pride & Tradition.

A. Their Deception About Jesus Was Powerfully Refuted & Multitudes Were Being Converted - Matt. 27:62-66; 28:11-15; Acts 4:4, 14-17.

B. Jealousy Prompted Their Rejection Of Truth - Acts 5:17; cf. Acts 5:33 with Acts 2:37; Jas. 1:21.

II. THE ATHENIANS: Human Wisdom - Acts 17:16-34.

A. To Them Gospel Was Not Comparable To Their Philosophies - 17:18-20; 1 Cor. 1:18-25.

III. THE EPHESIAN CRAFTSMEN: Material Wealth - Acts 19:23-27.

A. People Who Obey The Gospel Cease Their Sinful Practices - v. 25-26 (cf. 19:18-19); Matt. 19:20-24.

IV. FELIX: The Opportunist - Acts 24:24-26.

A. Truth Cannot Penetrate A Selfish Heart.

B. Your Motive For Obeying The Gospel Must Be Pure - Lk. 14:26-27; Phil. 3:7-8.

V. AGRIPPA: Sensuality & Worldly Power - Acts 26

A. Love For This World Blinds Many To The Gospel - 1 Jno. 2:15-17; Phil. 3:7-8; Eph. 4:17-24.

Concl. Will Christ be a rock of offense or a rock of salvation to you?! Are you worthy of eternal life?



For the complete text of this sermon visit BIBLE ANSWERS at:



Scripture Reading: 1 John 3:4-10

1. We sometimes here Christians pray: "Lord, forgive us our "many" sins."

2. While it is absolutely true that we all sin (Rom. 3:23), it is not unavoidable that Christians will or should have "many" sins. (Are we tempted to make excuses for sin in our lives & in others because we expect to sin?)

3. Discuss the Christian's relationship to sin - cf. Phil. 2:12-16; Matt. 5:14-16.


A. Sin Is The Violation of God's Will - 1 Jno. 3:4; 5:17; Jas. 4:17; Rom. 14:23; Isa. 59:1-2; Rom. 6:23.

B. Without Forgiveness, The Sinner Is Eternally Lost (Psa. 32:5; Rom. 6:23).

II. WHO HAS "NO" SIN? - Rom. 3:23; 1 Jno. 1:8, 10.

A. Nobody Except Jesus - 1 Pet. 2:22.

B. Since All Have Sinned, All Who Have Not Been Saved Are Under The Condemnation Of Sin - Rom. 3:23; 5:12; 6:23.

C. If We Say We Have No Sin.... - 1 Jno. 1:8, 10.

III. WHO HAS "MANY" SINS? Those who are lost!

A. The World - Eph. 2:1-3. (A way of life, habit)

B. The Spiritually Dead Practice Sin! Rom. 6:2; 1 Jno. 3:6, 8-9

**Are Christians (to be) described in the same way? Are we to be practicing sin?.....having the habit of sin? in sin? - Titus 3:3

IV. WHO IS TO PUT AWAY (Not Practice) SIN?

A. The Christian - 1 Jno. 2:1-2; Rom. 6:1-2, 6, 12-14; Col. 3:5-10; 1 Jno. 2:29; 3:6-10.

B. The Christian Has God's Seed In Him - 1 Jno. 3:9; 2:24, 27 (gospel, 1 Pet. 1:23; Jno. 16:13).

C. The Christian Practices Righteousness - 1 Jno. 2:29.

D. The Christian Is To Purify Himself - 1 Jno. 3:3.

E. The Christian Is To Live According To The Spirit - Rom. 8:5-6.

Concl. 1 Jno 2:1; Matt. 7:13-14 - Practice righteousness.




(Current events in the light of Scripture)


Baptism By Cattle Trough

Saturday, February 26, 2000

Compiled by Peggy Fletcher Stack (Salt Lake Tribune)

When pastor James Pope leads a baptismal service, it's hardly a routine affair. Invitations are sent to friends of the baptismal candidates, people pack the church house and the new believers are immersed in a cattle trough. North Arundel Baptist Church in Glen Burnie, Md., was founded seven years ago with an emphasis on growing a church to reach unchurched people, and baptism is a key part of the outreach.

"In Bible times, new converts were immersed in high-traffic places as a witness to the watching world," Pope said. At North Arundel Church, new believers are baptized once a quarter in a special Sunday evening service, in part because the cattle trough is heavy and cumbersome. By the time the pre-arranged date rolls around, there are between 15 to 20 candidates waiting to be baptized. - Baptist Press



Joe R. Price

At least one thing in the article above resembles Bible baptism - immersion. Beyond that, there are no similarities. Since "pastor" James Pope appealed to "Bible times" to support the cattle trough baptisms of the North Arundel Baptist Church, please note some of the problems which exist when compared to the Bible:

1. Neither the concept nor the holding of a "baptismal service" is recorded in the Bible. No "pre-arranged date" for baptizing people can be found in God's word. Whenever sinners believed the gospel they repented and were baptized - immediately (Acts 16:33). No special baptismal service was organized (Acts 2:40-41). Nobody is found "waiting to be baptized" in the Bible (Acts 22:16). People should not be made to wait to be baptized into Christ!

2. Although this Baptist Church invites people to come to their baptismal services, NT Christians were inviting people to be saved through believing the gospel and being baptized (Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 8:4).

3. The Baptist Church teaches one is saved before and without water baptism, but the Bible says baptism "now saves us" (1 Pet. 3:21).

4. Mr. Pope says baptisms in Bible times occurred in "high traffic places" as a "witness to the watching world." Was there high traffic in the desert when the Ethiopian was baptized? (Acts 8:38) Was there a "witness to the watching world" in Philippi well past midnight as the jailer and his house were baptized? (Acts 16:25-34) Lydia and her household were baptized at a place of prayer -- hardly a "high traffic" area (Acts 16:13-15). Simply put, Bible baptism is not a display or performance for the world (although we are happy when those in the world see a soul baptized into Christ).

5. This Baptist Church baptizes people four times a year on pre-arranged dates. Bible baptism was urgent, immediate, and obeyed without delay (Acts 2:38; 16:33; 22:16).

That which is "heavy and cumbersome" is not the cattle trough, it is the Baptist church's false doctrine about Bible baptism!



The Spirit's Sword is a weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA

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