Ask Your Preacher

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More Than Half Full

Thursday, August 15, 2019
Why does 1 kings 7:26 say, “And it was a hand-breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup with flowers of lilies: it contained TWO thousand baths.”

And 2 Chronicles 4:5 says, “And the thickness of it was a hand-breadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup with flowers of lilies, and it received and held THREE thousand baths.”

Why would one say two thousand baths and one say three thousand baths? You wouldn't think it's a contradiction, would you?

Grasping For Gallons

Dear Grasping For Gallons,

1 Kgs 7:26 and 2 Chr 4:5 are talking about the actual contents of the sea of bronze and the maximum content for the sea of bronze.

1 Kings 7:26 tells us that the molten sea contained 2,000 baths of water while the 2 Chronicles passage tells us that it could receive and hold 3,000 baths.  2 Chr 4:5 adds another word to the passage that is the word you would use for something’s maximum capacity.  Therefore, 1 Kgs 7:26 is simply saying that the sea normally held 2,000 baths of water, and 2 Chr 4:5 tells us that it was capable of holding 3,000 baths – the thing was only filled to two-thirds capacity.  It is like saying my coffee cup holds 16 ounces of coffee, but I only fill it to 10 ounces because that’s all I want to drink.  No contradiction; just two different details about an amazing structure.

Off Target

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
What is sin?

Definition Please

Dear Definition Please,

Sin is disobeying what God says.  The very word ‘sin’ is defined as ‘missing the mark’.  God defines what a good life looks like in His Word.  We wouldn’t know who we ought to be if He didn’t tell us.  We are made in His image (Gen 1:26) and created for His glory (Col 1:16).  We are the creation, and He is the Creator.  Understanding His supreme authority is crucial.  We must realize and accept that we are designed with a purpose and that the Creator understands how to properly guide our lives to fulfill that purpose.

Sin can be doing something that God has condemned (i.e. David sleeping with Bathsheba – 2 Sam 12:13).  Sin can also be failing to do what you ought to (i.e. Jonah refusing to preach to the Ninevites – Jonah 1:3).  We must model our lives after God’s commandments and teachings.  Our lives must bear godly fruit (Jhn 15:12, Lk 3:8), and we must flee from wickedness (1 Tim 6:11).  It is our adherence to both the positive and negative commandments of God that shows our friendship with Him (Jhn 15:14).  The Bible is God’s roadmap for life; follow it to avoid the pitfalls of sin.

Wages Of Sin

Tuesday, August 13, 2019
     All right, so I have always considered myself a Christian, but lately, something has bothered me.  In the Old Testament, in order to make up for the things humans did, they would sacrifice things.  Jesus dying on the cross was supposed to be the ultimate sacrifice, right?  So, why would a loving and caring God want/need death or Jesus to die in order to make everything right?  Couldn't He have just forgiven us on His own out of the goodness of His heart?

Live And Let Live

Dear Live And Let Live,

God sent Jesus to die on the cross, so He could be both a just God and a loving God.  If God had simply forgiven us of our sins without paying for them, He would be a liar because God says that sin is deserving of eternal death (Rom 6:23).  It wouldn’t be right for Him to simply remove our guilt without paying for it.  It would be akin to a judge letting people go free simply because he liked them – a judge like that would be corrupt.

Instead, we see that God is both just and our justifier.  Jesus’ blood pays the price of our sin (1 Jn 1:7).  There are two ways to pay for sin.  We can pay for the sin ourselves by spending eternity in hell, or God’s blood can cover the cost of sin.  The Son of God came down and gave Himself to purchase us (Acts 20:28).  Rom 3:25-26 says that God sent Jesus, so He could show that He was loving and still righteous.

Have We Met Before?

Monday, August 12, 2019
     I have been told something strange by people I believe are sound brethren.  They have given me the verses for their belief, but I don't quite go along with what they are saying.  As far as I'm concerned, it is not a matter of salvation, but it's just that I have never heard this before, and I want to make sure I learn and understand ALL I can about God’s Word.  They say that our souls were with God before we are born.  We are sent here, so we can appreciate the love of God and make our "free will" decision to obey Him.

How Old Am I?

Dear How Old Am I,

God formed Adam from the dust of the Earth, and at that moment, He made Adam into a living soul (Gen 2:7).  The Bible teaches us that a person comes into existence in the womb, not a moment before (Zech. 12:1).  Several passages speak of God knowing people before they were born (Isa. 49:1; Jer. 1:5), but these verses do not refer to the person existing before having a body, just God’s plans for them.

These verses indicate that God know the plans that He has for a person even before that person exists, in comparison to how an architect would know the building he has designed before the foundation has ever been set. Only Jesus Christ spiritually existed before His physical incarnation (John 1:1-3, Jhn 1:14).

A Man Of Monogamy

Friday, August 09, 2019
     We went to a church that believed if you were married more than once you couldn't be a deacon or preacher. This is because the Bible says you can only be the husband of one wife.  Is this a correct interpretation?

Counting Criteria

Dear Counting Criteria,

The qualification you are referring to can be found in 1 Tim 3:12.  The phrase ‘husband of one wife’ literally means a ‘one-woman man’ in the Greek. He must be devoted exclusively and faithfully to his one wife. A man who is widowed and then remarried could still be properly described as a ‘one-woman man’ because he was completely devoted to his first wife until her death, and now is fully devoted to his current wife.

The question a congregation has to wrestle with is if a divorced brother has shown the character trait of monogamous fidelity. Why did he get divorced? Was it for infidelity? Was he always faithful to her? Did she leave him, or did he leave her? How does he behave with his current wife? How long has he been married to his current wife? The answers to these questions will help assess whether he is a faithful ‘one-woman man’.

Divorce is a red flag that should make us pause before appointing a man as a qualified deacon, but depending on the circumstances surrounding the divorce, the man may still be qualified.

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