Table of Contents
Best Woman Man’s Completion is a work by Best on the family, focusing on the woman. Their place in God’s scheme of things. Secondary focus depravity.
A degenerating society demands an explanation for an ever-increasing number of divorces, rapes, child molesters, murders, fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, disobedient children, etc. The answer is wrapped up in one word, depravity. ManII Tim. 3:13). Not only do depraved persons make it their trade to deceive others, but they themselves are deceived. Furthermore, the actions of a depraved nature change for the worse spontaneously if they are not changed and redirected for the better by God
See Special: Christian Women’s Topics
With the degeneration of God (II Tim. 3:7). Their human reasoning always sounds good to depraved minds. Wholesome teaching is not palatable to the unregenerate. Their ears are open to only the things that gratify their depraved desires. Hence, they choose for themselves teachers who reason from a hypothetical premise and draw an absolute conclusion from their point of view. Their depraved minds exchange exegesis for eisegesis. Exegesis is to take out of Scripture what is there, but eisegesis is to put into Scripture what is not there.
Content of Best Woman Man’s Completion
1. Man And Woman In Creation
2. Man And Woman In The Fall
3. Man And Woman After The Fall
4. Man And Woman In Marriage
The Divine Principle Of Marriage
False Views Of Marriage Considered
5. Man’s And Woman’s Perversion Of Marriage
The Problem Of Divorce Considered
The Problem Of Divorce Resolved
Explanation Of God’s Divorcing Israel
6. Man And Woman Instructed
Marriage And Celibacy
Marriage And Separation
Marriage And Happiness
Marriage And Expediency
Marriage And Remarriage
Fornication And Adultery Differ
7. Man And Woman In The Church
8. Man And Woman In Society
Consciences Must Be Void Of Offense
Unnatural Things In A Corrupt Society
Sample Chapter Chapter 4 – MAN AND WOMAN IN MARRIAGE
There are differing views, most of which are false, concerning what actually constitutes marriage. All the opinions embraced by men can be reduced to a few major concepts. These will be analyzed in the light of Biblical data. The subject of marriage is one of the most emotional subjects to be either taught or printed; nevertheless, it must be preached and published to counteract the degrading views that most religionists and non-religionists alike have of God’s institution. Many have corrupt concepts of marriage because they regard it as a human institution. People who have such a low view of marriage can easily believe in divorce.
Marriage is the only institution established before the fall of man. However, the blessing of marriage has been degraded by mankind in his depraved condition. Thus, the corrupt nature of mankind has been used by Satan to debase the original meaning of marriage. Although God’s original institution of marriage has been degraded, His principle of marriage remains the same for all people and for all time. God’s principles, as well as His character, are immutable.
The Divine Principle Of Marriage
Without discussing the various and contradictory interpretations of Romans 7, the point of emphasis in this study is the principle of marriage. Paul used this principle to illustrate the important doctrinal truth of the elect’s severance from the law and being joined to Jesus Christ. The apostle to the Gentiles assumed that the brethren at Rome were fully cognizant of the principle that the “law” (nomos), whether Mosaic or Gentile, has a mastery (present active indicative of kurieuo, which means to rule or have dominion over) over a man as long as he lives (Rom. 7:1). The word “law” in chapter 7 is used twenty-three times and has five different usages:
(1) in a general sense (vv. 1, 4-6),
(2) as the bond of marriage (vv. 2, 3),
(3) as the moral law (vv. 7-14),
(4) as the doctrine of God (v. 22), and
(5) as the principle of sin (v. 23).
Paul’s illustration of marriage is unclassified. This means marriage is neither assigned to a certain category nor restricted because of certain conditions. There is only one divine standard for marriage for all mankind: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). “For the woman which hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man” (Rom. 7:2, 3). Three things must be observed in Paul’s unclassified illustration:
(1) The marriage union is bound by law. The tense of the verb “bound” is important. It is a perfect passive indicative of deo, which means to bind. Paul’s use of the perfect tense signifies that the woman has been bound by the marriage contract, and she will remain thus as long as her husband lives. The indicative mood confirms the reality of the verb’s action.
(2) The marriage bond is dissolved only by death: “…if her husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.” The particle “if” (ean) is a third class condition used with the subjunctive “dies” (aorist active subjunctive of apothnesko, which means to die), indicating a possibility. The Greek verb for “loosed” is a perfect passive indicative of katargeo, which means to render null, to abrogate or cancel, or to free from. Hence, upon the death of her husband, the woman has been made free and stands free from all obligations of the marriage. The words “bound” and “loosed” are perfect passive indicative verbs. The perfect tense refers to the completed action with a resulting state of being. (3) The woman’s second marriage is made possible by her husband’s death.
The legality of remarriage by one who has been “loosed” by the death of his or her mate in Paul’s illustration must be considered in relation to the Biblical truth he was proclaiming. As there are many false religious unions, there are many illegal marriages. Paul had shown that every person is united to the law from which he cannot divorce himself. One who thinks he can be joined to Jesus Christ while bound by law or tradition is deceived. This would be an illegal union, but there is no unlawful union in the family of God. (See Mark 7:1-13.) The apostle did not use an illustration that was ineffective. As death alone can free one from the bond of marriage, death to the law that has dominion over a person must precede his union with Jesus Christ.
The principle of marriage is a lifetime contract from which none can divorce himself. Any Christian who has made the mistake of divorcing and remarrying before God saved him will not resent the truth presented on this subject. God’s union of Adam and Eve is the established principle for all time: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave [be glued together] unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Paul was aware of this principle, and the Holy Spirit inspired him to categorically state it in Romans 7:2-3. Whatever is stated in any other passage of Scripture cannot contradict this principle.
There is no contradiction between references where divorce is mentioned and references where the Biblical principle of marriage was first established (Gen. 2:24) and later confirmed by the Holy Spirit through Paul (Rom. 7:2, 3). One would be foolish to think the inspired apostle botched his illustration. Those who look for a loophole to satisfy their selfish desire run to three verses of Scripture (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; I Cor. 7:15). They fail to explain why “except for fornication” is used only by Matthew and refuse to show that divorce and remarriage are not under consideration in I Corinthians. These Scripture passages will be dealt with extensively in subsequent lessons, but that is not the purpose of this study. This lesson is to point out that neither the Lord Jesus Christ nor Paul could contradict himself.
The following erroneous reasons, which are palatable to a promiscuous society, have been given for divorcing and remarrying:
(1) When one is saved, he is free to remarry no matter how many times he has been married before he was saved; this is based on all sin of the Christian being under the blood (Rev. 1:5).
(2) Fornication or adultery gives the innocent person the right to remarry (Matt. 5:32; 19:9).
(3) The desertion of a married believer by the unbelieving partner gives the believer the right to remarry (I Cor. 7:15).
(4) Divorce dissolves the marriage relationship, giving the divorced person the right to remarry (Deut. 24:1-4).
(5) Since death breaks the marriage contract, it can be broken (Rom. 7:2, 3). Thus, while it may not be legitimately broken, it can be illegitimately broken. If divorce secures nothing more than legal separation, the persons involved would be deprived of the remedy for the lack of self-control expressed in I Corinthians 7:2.
This unchaste society is anxious to quote the law of Moses in defense of its promiscuity. Why does it fail to look at the penal side of the law? The following things should be considered:
(1) Under the law, adultery did not give the innocent mate the right to divorce. The law condemned the guilty person to death (Lev. 20; Num. 5). Hence, death, rather than adultery, terminated the marriage.
(2) Under the law, adultery is not mentioned in the matter of divorce.
(3) Under the law, Moses suffered divorce in the case of fornication (Deut. 24). The purpose of Moses’ legislation was to regulate and thus to make less severe what he could not fully control.
Divorce overlooks the very nature established in marriage:
(1) Divorce subverts the provision ordained by God for an orderly home. Marriage is an arrangement for life, and divorce opposes that arrangement.
(2) Divorce destroys the provision of nature for the welfare of children for which both father and mother are needed.
(3) Divorce leaves no opportunity for repentance and reconciliation.
(4) Since divorce is contrary to God’s original order, man, whether preacher, lawyer, or judge, must not originate a different arrangement.
Contrary to the Biblical teaching on the subject of marriage, a well-known “Christian psychologist” said three things must be considered in a marriage relationship:
(2) education, and
(3) religion. One can expect the order given by most psychologists to be contrary to Scripture. According to the aforementioned psychological order, before a young man or woman thinks about getting serious with each other, they should have an IQ test. If they are not on the same level of intelligence, they should stop seeing each other. Furthermore, on the first date, a young couple should make sure they are on the same educational wave link. According to most psychologists, the couple should then think about religion. Their opinion is that religion follows intelligence and education because it is of lesser importance. Religion in which men profit may come last, whether it is Judaism or any other man-made belief (Gal. 1:14); but religion which is pure and undefiled before God must take precedence over everything (James 1:27). The Greek word for “religion” in Galatians 1:14 is ‘Ioudaismos, which means Judaism; but the word “religion” in James 1:27 is threskeia, which means religion or piety. This Greek noun is used only four times in the New Testament (Acts 26:5; Col. 2:18; James 1:26, 27). The adjectives “pure” and “undefiled” distinguish true religion from worthless ritualistic practices. Hence, psychologists may be permitted to place worthless ritualistic practices last; but Christianity based upon the objective truth of God must take precedence over intelligence and education. When persons are rightly related to divine truth, everything else will fall into place. On the other hand, a couple may have much in common intellectually,
but the absence of relationship to divine truth will lead to serious problems.
False Views Of Marriage Considered
The following is a discussion of the false views of marriage embraced by people today:
FIRST—Marriage is one of the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church designed primarily for propagation. The word “sacrament” is not a Biblical word, but it is derived from the Latin word sacramentum. Hence, the word “sacrament” has come into use in ecclesiastical and theological language to indicate religious events. Roman Catholic theology has fixed the number of sacraments on the basis of its view that they constitute a series of supernatural acts that infuse supernatural grace into all of life from beginning to end. Her theology affirms that the sacraments are outward (visible) signs instituted by Christ to give grace. Their seven sacraments include baptism, confirmation, penance, holy eucharist, holy orders (the sacred duties of bishops, priests, and other ministers of the church), matrimony, and extreme unction. They allege that the sacraments are the seven mouths into which the stream of divine life of grace, which has its spring in the cross of Christ, empties itself in the wilderness of human existence. Therefore, Roman Catholics believe that sacraments possess efficacy because they are acts of Christ Himself.
Our purpose is not to discuss all seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. They have been mentioned to show that marriage, according to Romanism, is a means of conferring grace upon the marrying couple. Baptism and penance are called sacraments of the dead. They were made to give God’s life to souls which are dead in sin. Baptism is for pre-baptismal sins and penance is for post-baptismal sins. Since Roman Catholics believe supernatural grace given in the sacrament of baptism can be lost through mortal sin, they devised the sacrament of penance for restoration to a saved standing. The other five sacraments are called the sacraments of the living. Their purpose is to give more grace to souls already living in a state of grace. Hence, marriage, according to the Roman Catholic Church, is a sacrament for those who are living (members of the Roman Catholic Church) who desire to have more grace bestowed upon them. What a shame that the pope, cardinals, bishops, and priests miss out on this added grace! Although these religious leaders claim to be married to the church, there is no Scriptural proof that any of God’s redeemed were married to the church. But, there is Biblical proof of the redeemed in the church being espoused to Christ as chaste virgins (II Cor. 11:1-4). The Bible gives no evidence of religious leaders being married to the church. But Scripture teaches that the church which is espoused to Christ will be married to Him in the future (Rev. 19:7).
God’s principle of marriage is highly esteemed by those who have the proper respect for the One who instituted it. However, some make marriage to mean more than Scripture allows. It is neither a means of more grace nor is it designed primarily for propagation, which involves the idea of mating. Mating being the primary purpose of marriage is a low view of the divine institution of marriage. Marriage includes the propagation of the human race, but it means more than that.
To say that matrimony is the sacrament by which a baptized couple (man and woman) is indissolubly bound for life and by which they receive grace to perform their duties must be examined. One will miss the thrust of the statement if he ignores the Roman Catholic meaning of baptism. According to Catholicism, baptism by the Roman Catholic Church alone is valid. This is the reason a mixed marriage between a Catholic and noncatholic may be annulled, and the Catholic mate may remarry in the church. In the eyes of Catholicism, there was no first marriage. The couple was guilty of fornication.
The Roman Catholic Church requires every Catholic to be married in the presence of an authorized priest and two witnesses. A Catholic whose ceremony is performed by either a justice of the peace or a protestant minister is not married, but lives in sin. God will not forgive him unless he is married by a priest. If this is impossible because one of the mates refuses, the other should separate, even though children may be involved. Catholics are forbidden to be present at a noncatholic ceremony. They are also forbidden to send gifts to a Catholic who is married at a civil or noncatholic ceremony. If the marriage takes place at a religious ceremony and the Catholic person attends, he is excommunicated.
When Roman Catholic teaching on the subject of marriage is taken to its logical conclusion, there were no true marriages from Adam and Eve to Peter—who they claim was the first pope. Did God who instituted marriage before the fall reinstate it by committing it to the Catholic church? There is nothing in the New Testament about either the sacrament of marriage or its being made valid by the clergy. Therefore, men who do not speak according to God’s word are in spiritual darkness (Is. 8:20; I Pet. 4:11).
SECOND—In Mormon theology, marriage is a sacred union, divinely ordained. Under the authority of the Mormon priesthood, marriage is believed to be not only for life but also for eternity. They teach that two types of marriage are possible:
(1) Temple marriages are performed by only a few men delegated with such authority.
(2) Bishops and other officers may perform ordinary civil marriages. Their opinion is that those married in a temple are sealed to each other for eternity, and they will have the privilege of completing the full measure of their existence by having a posterity as innumerable as the stars of heaven. Whereas, those not married in a temple are married for time. Their marriage will be dissolved by death, and they will be single in eternity. They will live as angels but not as gods.
Mormons claim that until the time of Joseph Smith, marriage ceremonies performed by ministers stated “until death do you part.” However, with the revelation God gave to Smith, the Lord showed that the marriage covenant should be for both time and eternity. Their opinion is that “until death do you part” is a man-made doctrine. They assert that provision has been made for the dead. Living children can be vicariously married for the dead parents, even as they can be baptized for them. They are persuaded that with this fact, Mormons have something not only for which to live but also for which to die because God has promised the restitution of all things.
This heretical institution declares that although polygamy was sanctioned by revelation from God, Mormons admit that they will comply with the ruling of the United States Supreme Court. In this case, “revelation” does not mean much to Mormons. Observe the difference between them and Paul (Gal. 1:10-12; Acts 26:19).
Scripture plainly states that marriage is for man’s benefit in time: “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” (Matt. 22:30). Hence, the saints in heaven will be like the angels in one respect—not married. As angels do not have children, neither will glorified saints in eternity. Hence, the idea of the posterity of Mormons who marry in a temple being innumerable as the stars is the wishful thinking of perverted minds.
The Mormon’s interpretation of Christ’s answer to the Sadducees is contradictory to their claim that children can be vicariously married for their dead parents. They say what Christ meant was that in the resurrection there will be no marrying or giving in marriage because the marital status must be settled before that time. If the marriage status is settled before the resurrection, how can children be vicariously married for them after the resurrection?
THIRD—Marriage is a union in which two persons become one flesh. Love not only is the marriage of the affections but is also two bodies coming together in copulation, thus becoming one flesh. Marriage, therefore, is no mystical supernatural bond. Hence, the idea of a spiritual bond that cannot be broken creates a mythical bond that does not exist. The same bond of one body and one flesh is used to speak of one who is joined to a harlot and of a man joined to his wife. Therefore, this cannot be a spiritual bond. Those who advocate that the union is physical inform us that marriage is capable of being put asunder because it is an agreement between a man and a woman. They explain that marriage is not two agreements made one so that if one mate defaults, the other lives as though he or she is married forever; furthermore, one of the mates in a marriage contract can default because Christ said, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:6).
The first thing to be observed in the aforementioned view of marriage is the meaning of “one flesh.” This term is used by God at the institution of marriage (Gen. 2:24), by Jesus Christ when discussing the subject of marriage with the Pharisees (Matt. 19:5, 6; Mark 10:8), and by Paul when talking about an illegal copulation (I Cor. 6:16) and when discussing marriage (Eph. 5:31). God’s original institution of marriage provided for man and woman—not man and man or woman and woman. Moreover, no allowance was made for either polygamy or divorce. Attraction for the opposite sex is a natural part of God’s creation, but attraction for more than one woman or for a person of the same sex is unnatural. The unnatural relationship is the fruit of sin. Contrary to the opinion of our sin-sick society, unnatural relationships are not other forms of life-style that must be recognized. Our generation is filled with people who are “Without natural affection” (II Tim. 3:3). The Greek word for this statement is astorgos, which means devoid of natural affection. Paul used this same adjective in Romans 1:31. (See Rom. 1:24-31.) Thus, astorgos covers every kind of unnatural relationship, whether it is a homosexual relationship, having a multiplicity of women or men, or whatever.
The “one flesh” of Genesis 2:24 describes copulation in lawful marriage, but Paul used the same term to describe an unlawful sex union: “What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh” (I Cor. 6:16). This proves that marriage is more than copulation. If this were not true, one would be married to every person with whom he or she has had an unlawful sexual relationship. Paul warned the Corinthians about the misuse of their bodies which belong to the Lord. Therefore, believers must flee sexual impurity because that would be sinning against their own bodies. The whole person—spirit, soul, and body—belongs to Christ. Since the immaterial part of man has been redeemed, he must mortify his material part as long as he is a resident in time. The body will be redeemed in the resurrection.
There is more to marriage than lawful copulation. Judging from the manner of life of a sin-sick society, one would be led to believe that sex is the most important ingredient in marriage. There are several unions to be considered in a marriage contract:
1. There is the union of affections. The marriage of affections must not be confused with lusts. When a man and woman marry to legally satisfy their lusts, they are headed for big trouble. There is a lot of living in between the times when sexual passions are relieved. The word for “burn” in I Corinthians 7:9 is a present passive infinite of puroo, which means to be inflamed with passion. Unsaved people have natural but not agape love, which is the stronger of the two. The natural affection of two Christian people united in love for each other is reinforced by the love of God that has been shed abroad in their hearts (Rom. 5:5). True love destroys selfishness. Christians recognize that man and woman are the two halves of God’s image and there is no higher mode of living on earth than that of husband and wife in the Lord. Hence, their union is a type of Christ and His church. Persons who are united by only natural affections cannot understand this spiritual truth.
2. There is the union of commitment to each other in what we call engagement. Paul used the word “espoused,” an aorist middle indicative of harmodzo, which means to espouse or betroth (II Cor. 11:2). The middle voice indicates Paul’s interest in the Corinthians. His responsibility was to train and prepare them for marriage. To the Jews, this union of commitment was as binding as the actual marriage. Engagement should be a vital part of the marriage process of two people who have expressed the union of their affections for each other.
3. There is the union of marriage. This occurs when the man and woman who have expressed their love for each other and have committed themselves to each other by becoming engaged are joined in legal agreement. Jesus Christ was preeminent at the marriage in Cana. He added joy to the occasion by providing wine, the symbol of divine joy. Apart from Christ, human joy will soon fail because there is no lasting joy outside of Jesus Christ. Marriage was the first institution ordained by God, and Christ’s first miracle was performed at a marriage. The institution of marriage is the most beautiful analogy to the relationship of Christ with His church. As man existed before the woman, Christ existed before the church. As woman was made for man, the church is being made for Christ. Furthermore, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, man is to love his wife and care for her.
4. The two are made one flesh by copulation. However, copulation does not constitute marriage. It is only one, but not the most important, ingredient of marriage. Marriage is consummated before copulation, or else Scripture would not say, “…there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee…” (John 2:1). The Greek reads gamos (a wedding or marriage festival) egeneto (aorist middle indicative of ginomai—actual point action past time). Furthermore, Joseph and Mary were referred to as man and wife before they came together (Matt. 1:18-20). A union without the bond of affection plus marriage would be no different from being joined to a harlot (I Cor. 6:15, 16).
The idea of marriage consisting of mutual agreements between man and woman, one or both of which may be broken, fails to prove that God’s unchanging principle of marriage is severed. One who takes the view that marriage is nothing more than a human institution could believe that marriage consists merely of two mutual agreements. However, one who considers that God must be regarded in the marriage contract admits that the institution of marriage is of God. God’s institution of marriage remains the same regardless of the unfaithfulness of either or both of the mates involved in a marriage contract. Marriage is more than the bond of affections between a man and a woman which is consummated by a legal bond. What about the law of God? (Rom. 7:2, 3).
FOURTH—God has nothing to do with the marriage of unsaved people because true marriage is a symbol of Christ and the church. Contrary to this assertion, when two unsaved people are united in marriage, God binds them in an indissoluble bond. The information that Christ gave the Pharisees in Matthew 19:3-9 and Mark 10:1-12 was to the unsaved (Matt. 23:13-33). Hence, marriage is a permanent monogamous relationship for saved and unsaved alike.
The fall of man had no more effect on God’s original principle of marriage than on man’s responsibility. The appeal made today by many is that apart from grace man has no ability to comply with God’s original law of marriage. Their purely human reasoning is that what marriage ought to be and what it is are two different things; furthermore, marriage is not a god to crush man but God’s provision for fallen man. Contrary to this erroneous appeal, the following things are true:
1. Scripture is clear that no man in his depraved condition is either willing or able to comply with God’s righteous principles. Hence, he is not only unable to be willing but unwilling to be able.
2. God has made provision in grace for the elect. All informed Christians recognize that this does not release the nonelect from personal responsibility.
3. The original institution of marriage before the fall no more releases the nonelect from the principle of marriage than the fall releases them from responsibility. The immutable God has established divine principles from which He can never change, and marriage is one of those principles. God’s righteous laws are for the elect and the nonelect. Therefore, if the nonelect are not responsible before God’s righteous laws, the door is wide open for every kind of evil for them. This kind of conclusion is in direct opposition to Holy Scripture: “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Rom. 2:4, 5). “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4).
I have searched for information on Best, and about all that I can find is that he was a pastor in a church in Texas, and although I do not remember the name of the church, it gave no hint at their doctrine or affiliation. From the content of his books, I would say that Best is a very strong Calvinist, to the degree of almost being a cult. Use his material carefully.
theWord Modules by W.E. Best
- Best Woman Man’s Completion
- Best, W.E. – A Comprehensive View Of Romans Vol I
- Best, W.E. – Simply Faith A Misnomer
Best, W.E. - Woman Man's Completion is a work by Best on the family, focusing on the woman. There is a secondary focus on depravity.
|Date:||September 9, 2020|