The Institutions of God (Marriage & the Church)

By Timothy Sparks
tdsparks77@yahoo.com
http://www.timothysparks.com

Those who love God must be zealous for what God has created and must be eager to do God’s will. In discussing those things that God has created and what God’s will is, it is necessary for us to understand the institutions of God. We begin with a definition from Oxford Dictionaries of “institution”:

1 An organization founded for a religious, educational, professional, or social purpose.

‘an academic institution’

‘a certificate from a professional institution’

1.1 An organization providing residential care for people with special needs.

‘about 5 per cent of elderly people live in institutions’

1.2 An established official organization having an important role in a society, such as the Church or parliament.

‘the institutions of democratic government’

1.3 A large company or other organization involved in financial trading.

‘City institutions’

2 An established law or practice.

‘the institution of marriage’

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/institution

If an institution is from God, we should be able to answer these following five questions from Scripture:

(1) What is the institution?

(2) When did God institute it?

(3) Where did God institute it?

(4) Why did God institute it?

(5) How did God institute it?

From Scripture we can clearly identify at least two divine institutions:

(I) Marriage/Family (Genesis 1-2)

(II) The Church (Acts 2)

We can answer the questions what, when, where, why and how God instituted them:

(I)

(1) What is the institution?

Answer: Marriage/Family

(2) When did God institute it?

Answer: The Beginning, the sixth day of Creation (Genesis 1:26-31)

(3) Where did God institute it?

Answer: The Garden of Eden (Genesis 1-2)

(4) Why did God institute it?

Answer: Companionship and reproduction (Genesis 1-2)

(5) How did God institute it?

Answer: God brought the woman to the man (Gen. 2:22-23).

(II)

(1) What is the institution?

Answer: The Church

(2) When did God institute it?

Answer: The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2)

(3) Where did God institute it?

Answer: Jerusalem (Acts 2)

(4) Why did God institute it?

Answer: Human salvation and to glorify God (Acts 2; Ephesians 3)

(5) How did God institute it?

Answer: Based on the perfect life, sacrifice and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus, those who believed, repented and were immersed into the forgiveness of their sins God added to the church (Acts 2:36-47)

Can you think of other institutions that are from God?

Some have suggested the following two:

(I) Polygyny

Definition: “The practice of a man having more than one wife at the same time”

(II) Divorce for sexual immorality (fornication/adultery)

Many recognize that divorce is not an institution of God since God instituted marriage and humans cannot divide (with divorce) what God united (Mt. 19:6). Also, many realize the truth that God did not institute divorce and God actually hates such a human institution (Mal. 2:16). However, many believe God did start the practice of divorce in the case of an unfaithful, sexually immoral spouse.

In our following attempt to answer the questions of what, when, where, why and how to the two previously mentioned (as we seek to test whether or not they are from God), we will notice some difficulties in providing answers from Scripture:

(I)

(1) What is the institution?

Answer: Polygny

(2) When did God institute it?

Answer: ???

(3) Where did God institute it?

Answer: ???

(4) Why did God institute it?

Answer: ???

(5) How did God institute it?

Answer: ???

(II)

(1) What is the institution?

Answer: Divorce for sexual immorality (fornication/adultery)

(2) When did God institute it?

Answer: ??? The Beginning? Deuteronomy 24? Jeremiah 3 or Ezekiel 23? God did not institute it; men did?

(3) Where did God institute it?

Answer: ??? The Garden of Eden? The Wilderness Wanderings? God did not; men did?

(4) Why did God institute it?

Answer: ??? The hardness of human hearts? To punishment the sinner? To free the faithful spouse to remarry in order to be happy?

(5) How did God institute it?

Answer: ??? Through Moses? Through God’s Son Jesus? God did not; men did?

It should become clear that God did not institute polygyny or any other form of polygamy. It should be equally clear that God did not institute divorce or any of its forms, such as divorce for fornication. Polygamy and divorce are not institutions of God. They are not from God.

1 Comment

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One response to “The Institutions of God (Marriage & the Church)

  1. mingluis

    Thank you for sharing this simple but convincing argument. I pray many evangelists, disciples, pastors, elders, and teachers of the Word of God read this, confirm it with the words spoken by JesusChrist Himself, and understand that many congregations have their souls in danger for not studying this topic more carefully.

    Like

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