INTRODUCTION: FOUR OUT OF TEN MARRIAGES WILL END IN DIVORCE IN THE UNITED STATES. EVERY HOME IN THE OUR COUNTRY HAS BEEN TOUCHED IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER BY THE EPIDEMIC OF DIVORCE. THIS EPIDEMIC HAS LEFT THOUSANDS OF BROKEN HOMES, ABUSED AND ABANDONED CHILDREN, AND COUNTLESS SHATTERED DREAMS.
MANY OF OUR STATES HAVE RESPONDED TO THIS CRISIS BY MAKING DIVORCE EASIER TO GET. THIS HAS BEEN PROMPTED BY THE MISTAKEN NOTION THAT IF IT EASIER TO GET LESS PEOPLE WILL SEEK AFTER IT. THIS HAS ONLY CAUSED THOUSANDS MORE TO SEEK QUICK "NO-FAULT" DIVORCES.
THIS WAVE OF QUICK AND EASY DIVORCE HAS EVEN INVADED THE CHURCH OF OUR LORD. IN MANY CONGREGATIONS DIVORCE IS TACITLY BEING ACCEPTED AND EVEN JUSTIFIED FOR ALMOST ANY CAUSE.
BUT IN THE MIDST OF THIS EPIDEMIC FEW HAVE ASKED "WHAT DOES GOD THINK ABOUT DIVORCE?" IS THE BIBLE SILENT CONCERNING THIS PROBLEM? IS IT EVER RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD TO DIVORCE AND REMARRY? AND IF SO, FOR WHAT CAUSE?
I. WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY CONCERNING GOD'S ATTITUDE TOWARD DIVORCE?
A. God wants us to dwell with our original mates for a lifetime.
1. Malachi 2:15-17 "Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none dead treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously."
2. Romans 7:1-3
B. Divorce was never in the original plan of God.
1. Matthew 19:7,8- "They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, 'Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away you wives: but from the beginning it was not so.'"
C. Christians who are married to non-Christians should respect the sanctity of their marriage vows."
1. I Corinthians 7:12-14
II. BUT THE BIBLE RECOGNIZES THAT THERE WILL BE THOSE WHO WILL NOT RESPECT NATURE OF THEIR VOWS-- WHAT THEN?2. I Peter 3:7
A. There is only one lawful cause for divorce and remarriage.
1. Matthew 5:31,32- "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commiteth adultery."
2. Matthew 19:9- "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her which is put away doeth commit adultery.
B. What may we learn from these two passages?
1. There is ONLY ONE scriptural reason for divorce of an original mate and remarriage-- FORNICATION.
a. All other grounds for divorce and remarriage are unlawful in the sight of God.
2. That one scriptural grounds is fornication, not just adultery.
a. Fornication is any form of illicit sexual intercourse.
b. It would not only include adultery but also include sodomy, incest, and beastality.
c. All adultery is fornication, but not all fornication is adultery.
3. Only the innocent part may be free to remarry without sin-
a. if they have been innocent.
b. if they marry one who has the right to marry.
4. Those who are the guilty party, or those who divorce for any cause, are guilty of sin.
5. Those who marry one who has been put away as a guilty party, or one who marries a person who has divorced for any cause, are guilty of committing adultery.
III. SOME OBJECTIONS TO OUR LORD'S TEACHINGS CONSIDERED.6. As long as the unlawful marriage continues the adultery continues.
A. Some claim that Baptism cleanses all sins.
1. A verse used as "proof."
a. I Corinthians 7:20-- "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called."
b. But this is not talking about conditions that are wrong before baptism.
2. Baptism must be predicated by repentance.
a. Acts 2:38
b. Repentance is a turning away from sin.
3. Baptism does not dissolve a sinful relationship.
a. I Corinthians 6:9-11
b. If one may continue in an adulterous relationship after baptism, why can't one continue in a homosexual relationship after baptism.
B. Some hold that non-Christians are not subject to God's marriage laws until after their baptism.
1. While not everyone accepts the authority of Christ, all are subject to it.
a. Matthew 28:18
b. John 17:2-- "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."
2. Acts 17:30-31
3. God's marriage law predates both Christ's law and Moses'.
a. Matthew 19:8
C. Some hold that Paul gives another reason for the Christian to lawfully divorce and remarry-desertion of the unbelieving spouse.
1. The passage usually cited.
a. I Corinthians 7:15-- "But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace."
2. Often called the "Pauline privilege."
3. The greek word for "Bondage" here is used 133 times in the New Testament and not once refers to the marriage bond.
a. It is used to denote slavery.
4. The greek word for the marriage bond is used in verses 27 and 29.
5. The passage is not saying that the marriage bond may be broken without sin but is saying that a Christian is not under obligation to follow his/her spouse into a sinful condition.
a. Acts 5:29-- "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."
D. Some contend that the sin of adultery is simply a one-time action.
1. The claim is that since it is a one time action a person only needs to be forgiven of the one time sin and afterwards may continue to dwell with the person then married.
2. But the word "committeth" denotes continuing action in the present time.
a. Literally means to "keep on committing."
3. Romans 6:1-2
E. Some say that the guilty and innocent are free to remarry in a divorce involving fornication.
1. It is said that after the marriage bond is broken, each is free to marry whomever he/she wills.
2. Even a cursory look at this position tells us that it is false.
a. This position would reward those who were guilty of violating their wedding vows and would penalize those who would seek to remain faithful.
b. This violates the clear intent of Matthew 19:9, i.e., the outlawing of all divorces and remarriages except on the part of the innocent party.
c. It would destroy the principle of reasoning from the lesser to the greater.
3. It would not allow remarriage for divorce for any cause but would allow such for fornication.
F. Many will say, "With your teaching you are seeking to break up good homes."
1. We must realize that we are not seeking to break up good homes.
a. What has been taught is the Lord's teaching.
2. The same statement could be used to justify polygamous and homosexual households.
3. The Bible gives an example of what some who had married unlawful spouses were commanded to do.
a. Ezra 10:1-3
4. Mark 10:1-3
CONCLUSION; WE DO NOT CLAIM TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS TO EVERY PROBLEM CONCERNING MARRIAGE/DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE. NEITHER ARE WE SEEKING TO BREAK UP HOMES. WE ARE SIMPLY TRYING TO DO WHAT THE INSPIRED WORK OF GOD TELLS US TO DO. INSTEAD OF LOOKING FOR EXCUSES AND LOOPHOLES LET US TEACH OUR CHILDREN THAT MARRIAGE IS FOR LIFE AND THAT IT SHOULD BE ENTERED INTO SERIOUSLY.5. Matthew 10:37-- "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me."
LET'S TEACH AND LIVE THE TRUTH ON MARRIAGE/DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE JUST
LIKE TRUTH ON ANY OTHER SUBJECT. WE HONOR GOD BY DOING SO AND INSURE HEAVEN
AS A HOME BY LIVING FAITHFUL TO HIS WORD.
Copyright 1999 by Grady
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