Ask Your Preacher
What does Galatians 6:8 mean?
Looking For Logic
Dear Looking For Logic,
Gal. 6:8 explains that what we put into life is what we get out of life. If we sow spiritual things, we reap spiritual things. If we sow worldly things, we will reap worldly things. ‘Sow’ is a farming term that means ‘to plant’, and ‘reap’ means ‘to harvest’. When a farmer plants corn seeds, he can expect to harvest corn. If he plants potatoes, he can expect to harvest potatoes.
Our lives are the same way. If we spend our lives on things that don’t matter and things that are sinful, we will reap meaningless and sin-cursed futures. Instead, God wants us to invest in our souls and the eternity that awaits those who plant the Bible deep in their hearts and lives.
The Bible says in the old times men had two or three wives. How can that be true because of the Ten Commandments?
Dear Two Many,
The Ten Commandments, which are found in Ex. 20:1-17, never address the issue of polygamy and polygamy was part of life in the Old Testament. The New Testament teaches that Christians should honor God through monogamy (1 Cor 7:1-2, 1 Tim 3:2). There are scores of examples of monogamy being God’s preference for man:
- Adam & Eve were designed monogamously (Gen. 2:24).
- No polygamy existed until 7 generations after Adam (Gen 4:19).
- Noah, the last righteous man of his day, had only one wife (Gen 7:13).
- Qualification for an elder (Tit 1:6)
- Qualification for a deacon (1 Tim 3:12)
- Qualification for a worthy widow (1 Tim 5:9)
- Every New Testament command for a husband or wife assumes monogamy in the commandments (Mk 10:12, 1 Cor 7:3, Eph 5:33, etc.).
- The comparison of Christ and the church to a husband and wife relies on a monogamous design for marriage (Eph 5:22-23).
Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading? Does this refer to preachers not getting paid? Or people in the ministry serving? Not being compensated? Forgive me, but I don’t have the context of what Paul is saying here.
Dear Cattle Call,
In 1 Cor 9:9, Paul says, “Don’t muzzle an ox when he is treading out the grain.” Oxen were often used to break up the grain and grind it using a giant wheel or other similar methods that employed animal power to break up the grain. In the Old Testament, God commanded that an ox that was being used to work the grain should be allowed to eat while it worked (i.e. it shouldn’t be muzzled – Deut 25:4). In 1st Corinthians 9, Paul is comparing that command given for the benefit of working animals to the attitude we should take toward those who are preaching the gospel (1 Cor 9:10-11). Just like an ox that treads the grain deserves a bite of that grain from time to time, preachers who dedicate their lives to the gospel have every right to be paid for their work (1 Cor 9:14).
At what age was Jesus baptized?
Dear Water Wonderer,
Jesus was baptized right before He began preaching. In Luke 3:21-22, we see that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Luke 3:23 says that Jesus was about thirty years old when He was baptized and started preaching.
About the prodigal son in Lk. 15, you said that it is important to God that we all come back, so He can forgive us. But then why can’t all people just be, like, crazy, and in the end of their lives, go to God and ask for forgiveness and all will be fine? What is the argument that keeps someone from doing that?
Last Minute Convert
Dear Last Minute Convert,
The easiest way to answer this question is by referring to Gal 6:7 which says that God can’t be “mocked”. This means that we can’t trick God or fool Him into believing we have changed when we really haven’t. Rom 8:27 says that God searches our hearts, and 1 Jhn 3:20 says that God knows all things. When we come to God for forgiveness, God expects us to not only want forgiveness, but to change our mind about sin. The word ‘repent’ means ‘to change your mind’, and repentance is a requirement for salvation (Acts 2:38). If we attempt to live a sinful life and just “fool” God by asking for forgiveness at the end, it won’t work. God knows whether or not we have truly repented of our sins and are truly sorry for the sins we have committed. It isn’t enough to want forgiveness; you have to hate sin and really believe that you were in the wrong. Our faith in God must be a sincere faith (1 Tim 1:5). If it isn’t sincere, God will know, and He won’t be tricked.