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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
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      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 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.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

Pastoral Qualifications

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I see nothing they said as calling divorced people "second class". The fact that some things in a persons life might mean they can't serve in certain positions or areas doesn't make them "second class".

A person can be careful about the "legal" aspects while doing so with grace. They are not mutually exclusive and I don't see an absence of grace here.

Blossom said "they" wouldn't consider being a Sunday school teacher if they were divorced, not that there is a biblical command against such. There is actually nothing in Scripture about Sunday school, it's a rather modern concept.

If you look at what Christ said about the "exception" for divorce, He declared God hates it, it's a sin and the only reason God allowed even that "exception" was because of the hardness of the peoples hearts. Jesus never declared divorce not to be sin.

Scripture also tells us that if a person is saved and their spouse can't stand that and they divorce them, that saved person isn't guilty of sin. However, that only applies to that situation. In other situations a person is to do all they can to maintain their marriage or to reconcile it if it falls apart or they become divorced.

Remember, Scripture teaches that those who would consider leadership positions should really think about such because they come with high expectations, very high, and the Lord expects those who take on leadership roles to hold to those standards that are much higher for them than for others.
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I see nothing they said as calling divorced people "second class". The fact that some things in a persons life might mean they can't serve in certain positions or areas doesn't make them "second class".


Why don't you ask a biblically divorced person who has had to deal with this treatment all his life and see if he feels like he's being treated like a second-class Christian? Call it what you want, I'm just being real here.

A person can be careful about the "legal" aspects while doing so with grace. They are not mutually exclusive and I don't see an absence of grace here.

Blossom said "they" wouldn't consider being a Sunday school teacher if they were divorced, not that there is a biblical command against such. There is actually nothing in Scripture about Sunday school, it's a rather modern concept.


By saying what she said Blossom strongly implied that she doesn't think anyone who's ever been divorced can teach a Sunday School class. This is very common, and I'm wondering how many more privaliges of service will be stripped from them for something that God forgave them of (or didn't need to because they did nothing wrong) decades ago.

If you look at what Christ said about the "exception" for divorce, He declared God hates it, it's a sin and the only reason God allowed even that "exception" was because of the hardness of the peoples hearts. Jesus never declared divorce not to be sin.


If divorce is always a sin, that means that Jesus said it's okay to sin sometimes. If divorce isn't always a sin, then you're holding something against someone that God doesn't.

Scripture also tells us that if a person is saved and their spouse can't stand that and they divorce them, that saved person isn't guilty of sin. However, that only applies to that situation. In other situations a person is to do all they can to maintain their marriage or to reconcile it if it falls apart or they become divorced.


So now divorce isn't always a sin. Make up your mind, brother.

Remember, Scripture teaches that those who would consider leadership positions should really think about such because they come with high expectations, very high, and the Lord expects those who take on leadership roles to hold to those standards that are much higher for them than for others.


I agree, and no one should put a higher standard on something or someone than God does. That's what cults do when they tell certain people they can't marry, eat meat, or drink coffee. Edited by Rick Schworer
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You seem to more interested in picking things apart in order to find an argument when none is being presented.

For now, I'll only take the time to point out that just because someone "feels" they are being treated second class, that doesn't mean that's the case. Many people take offense far too easily and that's on them.

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Everyone, well not everyone, wants to argue with God on this matter. When all they can do is trust & obey the verses. The qualifications for a pastor have been stated, its right there in the Bible. You either accept it, or reject it.

I'm not mad, but I refuse to argue about it answering questions over & over & on & on about the same subject when its clear as a bell for those who accept God's Word as the final truth.

1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Tit 1:6 ¶ If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

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You seem to more interested in picking things apart in order to find an argument when none is being presented.

For now, I'll only take the time to point out that just because someone "feels" they are being treated second class, that doesn't mean that's the case. Many people take offense far too easily and that's on them.


John, The cut comes because of dislike for God's ways.
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Very disappointed in some of your hateful responses Rick. Just ultimately deciding that blossom has already decided to look down upon divorced people, that's an extremely fleshly response to another Christian.

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The Bishop (pastor) must be the husband of one wife. Well, since his wife divorced him and her married another, he is the husband of one wife. Divorce and remarriage does not disqualify one from pastoring. Period.


So, I guess there is no way you could be wrong about this. There is absolutely no possible way that God, who hates divorce would possibly mean that no one who has been divorced in the past is qualified to be a Pastor.
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I think even if you take these verses out of context you can come with a better meaning:

1 Corinthians 7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

Straight forward it says if you are loosed from a wife, seek not a wife.(period)

----------------------

1 Corinthians 7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

This is starting a new thought about marrying. It's saying you can marry if you like (it's not talking about re-marrying). It's saying there is no law concerning marriage (that you should or shouldn't). It's not talking about the last verse and being loosed then remarrying. That has already been covered by "seek not a wife".

I think you have made your argument weaker by stating these verses.

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Here is a commentary from Barnes that goes the other way from my opinion that I thought was interesting:


The husband of one wife. This need not be understood as requiring that a bishop should be a married man, as Vigilantias, a presbyter in the church at Barcelona in the fourth century, supposed, however desirable, in general, it may be that a minister of the gospel should be married. But, while this interpretation is manifestly to be excluded as false, there has been much difference of opinion on the question whether the passage means that a minister should not have more than one wife at the same time, or whether it prohibits the marriage of a second wife after the death of the first. On this question the Notes of Bloomfield, Doddridge, and Macknight, may be consulted. That the former is the correct opinion, seems to me to be evident from the following considerations:

(1.) It is the most obvious meaning of the language, and it would doubtless be thus understood by those to whom it was addressed. At a time when polygamy was not uncommon, to say that a man should "have but one wife" would be naturally understood as prohibiting polygamy.

(2.) The marriage of a second wife, after the death of the first, is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as wrong. The marriage of a widow to a second husband is expressly declared to be proper, 1Co 7:39; and it is not unfair to infer from that permission that it is equally lawful and proper for a man to marry the second time. But if it is lawful for any man, it is right for a minister of the gospel. No reason can be assigned against such marriages in his case, which would not be equally valid in any other. Marriage is as honourable for a minister of the gospel as for any other man, (comp. Cmt. on Heb 13:4; and, as Doddridge has well remarked, "circumstances may be so adjusted that there may be as much reason for a second marriage as for the first, and as little inconvenience of any kind may attend it."

(3.) There was a special propriety in the prohibition, if understood as prohibiting polygamy. It is known that it was extensively practised, and was not regarded as unlawful. Yet one design of the gospel was to restore the marriage relation to its primitive condition; and though it might not have seemed absolutely necessary to require of every man who came into the church to divorce his wives, if he had more than one, yet, in order to fix a brand on this irregular practice, it might have been deemed desirable to require of the ministers of the gospel that they should have but one wife. Thus the practice of polygamy would gradually come to be regarded as dishonourable and improper, and the example and influence of the ministry would tend to introduce correct views in regard to the nature of this relation. One thing is clear from this passage, that the views of the Papists in regard to the celibacy of the clergy are directly at variance with the Bible. The declaration of Paul in Heb 13:4, is, that "marriage is honourable in all;" and here it is implied that it was proper that a minister should be married. If it were not, why did not Paul prohibit it altogether! Instead of saying that it was improper that a bishop should have more than one wife, why did he not say that it was improper that he should be married at all! Would not a Romanist say so now?

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So, I guess there is no way you could be wrong about this. There is absolutely no possible way that God, who hates divorce would possibly mean that no one who has been divorced in the past is qualified to be a Pastor.
There is not a single verse in the entire Bible that says a remarried man cannot pastor.
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There is not a single verse in the entire Bible that says a remarried man cannot pastor.


Some would say husband of one wife means you cannot divorce and remarry as God still considers you married to the other. I would say that verse in 1 Timothy could be that single verse.
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We must examine what constitutes marriage in God’s eyes. Must a couple stand in a church and have a ceremony performed by an ordained minister? If so, what denomination does God accept? Does God recognize the marriage of a Baptist couple if the wedding was performed by a Methodist minister? What if it was officiated by a female Methodist minister…is the wedding valid in God’s eyes? Suppose the wedding wasn’t performed by an ordained person at all? What if the couple was married by the Justice of the Peace…Does God recognize this marriage?

When we examine the scriptures it becomes clear what God identifies as marriage. Marriage takes place when a man and woman come together in an intimate relationship. Notice how Isaac became married to Rebekah: Genesis 24:67And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death. Paul makes it clear: I Corinthians 6:16What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

Now, how many churches ask a pastoral candidate how many women he has been intimate with during his life? If we are to dig into one’s past, rather than examine his present, this must be asked. In fact, churches should begin questioning their current pastors about this immediately to ensure they are qualified. Of course I am being facetious here, but the principle applies.

Again, I feel the Bible is referencing a man’s current standing with God. Is he faithful to his wife as Christ is faithful to His? Just because a man only has one wedding ceremony under his belt does not mean he is always faithful to his wife. Also, is it reasonable to accept a man as pastor, who prior to salvation, molested children, murderer innocent people, yet has only been married once over a man who has been divorced? I realize God hates divorce, but does He hate it more than He hates other sins? Will God forgive murder and allow a man to pastor but forbid a man who has been divorced?

The question was raised how could a divorced pastor give sound advice to a struggling couple thinking about divorce? Well, how could a pastor who used to be an alcoholic give sound advice to someone struggling with alcohol? How can a pastor who was addicted to porn give Godly advice to someone addicted themselves? The answer for all three questions is simple -- Jesus.

Edited by chapabel
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We could sit here and try to list a bunch of sins and see what "level" they might be but there are times when we need to take the Bible at face value and just have faith that God has reasons for certain things. Can our limited mind understand all of these things? No. So, while murder might be right up there or worse than divorce (in my human mind I would consider murder worse than divorce)...we have to believe God knows what he's talking about when he says husband of one wife.

And yes, Churches should ask about the past relationships (marriage/divorce) when looking for a new Pastor. Just as they should ask point blank if the Pastor is saved, try to get as much out of him as possible so you can make a good judgement of his past/character/etc.

I have no problems with others believing it's only someones current situation but I will not be a part of a Church where the Pastor has been divorced (among other things). I would say with this, we should err on the side of caution. There is a chance (no matter how hard headed we can be about it and believe that we cannot be wrong about this particular issue) that God is talking about the other side of which opinion we are on. I see the argument for both but if we err on the side of caution, we should hold the Pastor to the higher standard and that higher standard would be the husband of one wife throughout his entire life.

Edited by DennisD
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If a man is not qualified to pastor because he has been divorced, is God worthy of our worship because He has also been divorced?

Isaiah 50:1 Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

Jeremiah 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

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Are you really going to use that argument? A spiritual divorcement and spiritual marriage. Does it not seem God is trying to explain in earthly terms what He did? Come on, it's strawman.

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No, it's Bible. Divorce is divorce whether spiritual or literal. It is a putting away. I understand your position, I really do. I do not comdemn any for holding this position. Like I said, I have heard this all my life. But I became more concerned with what God says rather than what man says. I believe that if God meant divorce He would have had Paul use the word for divorce "apostasion". It appears, to me, that God is more concerned with how a man is living his life right now, in the present tense.

It seems hypocritical, to me, to tell a lost world that God will forgive all sins if they accept Jesus then turn around and hold a sin over a Christian brother's head if God has forgiven that sin and removed the consequences for that sin. But it has been nice discussing this with you. :)

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Very disappointed in some of your hateful responses Rick. Just ultimately deciding that blossom has already decided to look down upon divorced people, that's an extremely fleshly response to another Christian.


Hateful? That's pretty strong. I wonder how a divorced Christian would feel about her stating that they're a bad example and can't even teach a second grade Sunday school class? Who cares if it happened twenty-years ago and they didn't do anything wrong? I'm not being hateful; I'm being honest about what she's saying. I do regret if I came across like I was picking on Blossom, that's not my intention. She's saying the same thing that many other good people say, and I'm sure she's a good person and a good Christian who loves the Lord - it's just that what she's saying is wrong. I wasn't trying to be hateful; I didn't do any name calling. I'm just tired of people saying, "I don't look down on someone who's been divorced..." only to follow that up with list of things they aren't good enough to do.

Now that you've said my comments were hateful, are you going to be consistant and assign a label to Jerry for habitually telling people they're arguing with God and His Holy Scriptures when they disagree with what he thinks? Or he safe because he agrees with you?

I'm not defending people who have their house out of order or are recently going through divorce proceedings. I'm defending people who have recovered from something like that years and years ago in which they were biblically divorced and have been showing Christian fruit in thier lives for years (and there's plenty of people like that).


Some would say husband of one wife means you cannot divorce and remarry as God still considers you married to the other.


Jesus wouldn't. He told the woman at the well that she had several husbands in her life. Jesus didn't consider her still married to her first husband, he recognized several different marriages as being separate and individual. From what you're saying, God only sees one spouse - unless that spouse dies. That not what Jesus said here.

John 4:16-18, "Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
17The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
18For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly."
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