"Sound Doctrine" - (Titus 2:1)

"Let Them Marry"

Bryan Matthew Dockens

"Let them marry" who have never before been married. It is these to whom our primary text is addressed. In a chapter devoted to the subject of marriage, the apostle Paul wrote, "But I say to the unmarried... let them marry" (1 Corinthians 7:8-9). Due to a "present distress" at the time of his writing (1 Corinthians 7:26), the apostle actually discouraged marriage in this context (1 Corinthians 7:1, 7, 25-38), but elsewhere he warned "that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons forbidding to marry" (1 Timothy 4:1, 3). Knowing that Paul considered it apostasy to forbid marriage, one may rightly conclude that although it is not advisable in every circumstance, marriage is permitted among those who have never before been married. We are assured that "Marriage is honorable among all" (Hebrews 13:4).

"Let them marry" who are widowed. Within his address to the unmarried, Paul included widows, as well, writing, "But I say to the unmarried and to the widows let them marry" (1 Corinthians 7:8-9). Marriage is designed to last a lifetime, but the union ceases at death. "For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man" (Romans 7:2-3). Not only is remarriage permitted among the widowed; it is encouraged, as Paul further penned, "Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry" (1 Timothy 5:14). It is written, "A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 7:40).

"Let them marry" who have divorced fornicators. That a marriage has ended in divorce does not necessarily qualify either party for remarriage. "Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife" (1 Corinthians 7:10-11). Although one may become "unmarried" by departing from or divorcing a spouse, the liberty to remarry is not automatically granted. Repentance demands that such "be reconciled". If reconciliation is rejected by the former spouse, then they must "remain unmarried". This is the command of the Lord, who also said, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery" (Luke 16:18). As a rule, remarriage is prohibited following divorce, with but one limited exception: the one who divorces a fornicator may subsequently remarry. Jesus said, "whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9). Only those who divorce their spouses for fornication are permitted to remarry. The divorced fornicator may not marry again. Those who divorced for reasons unrelated to fornication may not marry again.

Papal Pride Exposed

Bryan Matthew Dockens

"Pride goes before destruction" (Proverbs 16:18), and the following reveals nothing if not the pride of the man called "pope".

The etymology of the word "pope" can be traced through Latin and Greek and has the meaning "Father", but Jesus taught, "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven" (Matthew 23:9). Anyone claiming "papal" authority usurps the supremacy of God.

The man Catholics call the "pope" claims the title "bishop of Rome". The scripture says, "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife" (1 Timothy 3:2), yet Catholics don't allow their priests, much less their "pope", to marry. They are required to take a vow of celibacy, but Paul wrote, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry" (1 Timothy 4:1-3). How can any man be a bishop who does not meet the qualifications for that office?

The "pope" also wears the title "universal bishop". However, it is Jesus Christ Himself who is the "Bishop of your souls" (1 Peter 2:25).

The etymology of the word "pontiff" suggests "way", "passage", or "bridge". Christ said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). He also said, "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved" (John 10:9). It is Jesus Christ who provides exclusive access to God the Father.

The "pope" is presumed to be the "head of the church" on earth, but no such thing is taught in scripture. It is written, "And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence" (Colossians 1:17-18). Did the "pope" create all things? Did the "pope" rise from the dead? No, Christ did those things! Christ's body, which is His church, has but one head: Christ Himself.

The "pope" is also called the "vicar of Christ". The word "vicar" means "substitute". By it, Catholics mean that the so-called "pope" is Christ's representative on earth, but nothing is authorized in scripture concerning a Christ substitute. However, Jesus did warn that "false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24).

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