DIVORCE & REMARRIAGE
Joy Evang. Free Church December 6, 1995
1. Is there grounds where divorce is never permitted? Yes.
2. Is Divorce permitted?
a. What does the Old Testament say?
b. What do the Gospel's say?
c. What does Paul say?
1]. what about unbelieving mate?
2]. what about the children?
3. Is Divorce the unpardonable sin?
4. Is Remarriage permitted?
THE PROBLEM OF BALANCE.
* We as Evangelicals are different than the liberals.
They hold that one passage contradicts the other, and therefore as an example, if they disagree with Paul, they say he is wrong.
We believe that the Bible is without error or mistake or contradictions.
When it seems to contradict, it is not the Bible's fault but our understanding.
The Old Testament did not teach one thing and then Jesus teaches something else and then Paul something else. It is all woven together.
a. Don't divorce
<if divorced remain single------------------It is better to marry than to burn with sexual desire>
DIVORCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
describes two circumstances where divorce is proscribed.
One was the case where the husband "turned against" his wife and sought to justify a divorce by accusing her of premarital unchastity. Assuming the charge was false, the verdict was clear; "And she shall remain his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days v19
The other circumstance involved intercourse with an unbetrothed virgin. In this instance the man was required to marry the girl and never to divorce her v 29
The betrothed couple wee legally considered as husband and wife in most respects.
As the betrothal, the bridegroom, personally or by deputy, handed to the bride a piece of money or a letter, it being expressly stated in each case that the man thereby espoused the woman. From the moment of betrothal both parties were regarded, and treated by law as if they had been actually married, except as regarded their living together" Alfred Edersheim. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah 1:354
DEUT. 22:19 NO DIVORCE 22:28-29
'SHE SHALL BECOME HIS WIFE BECAUSE HE HAS VIOLATED HER; HE CANNOT DIVORCE HER ALL HIS DAYS. DEUT. 24:1-3
This passage does not institute divorce but deals with practice already known.
1. NOT ADULTERY = They would receive the death penalty for that
2. Lit, Nakedness of a thing
a. immodest exposure
b. unwomanly conduct.
3. v 4 Protection of 2nd marriage.
requires all the men to divorce their foreign unbelieving wives.
The reason was their wives led them away from the Lord and into all types of abominations.
Incest, child sacrifices, worship of sex god, adultery with the pagan priestess.
Worship of Molech,
Idolartry and immorality.
EZRA 10:1-3, 10-19.
In order to marry foreign wives, some Israelites had divorced their Jewish wives, a sin Malachi severely denounced. God hates divorce, he declared, and no exception was made for so-called legitimate divorces.
Malachi said divorce does:
1. It breaks fellowships so that the Lord did not accept the offerings Mal. 2:13
2. It breaks the marriage covenant v 14
3. It violates God's original intention for marriage v 15
4. It incurs God's hatred v 16
The Old Testament teaches that marriage should be:
2. pure free from incest and heathen entanglements
3. permanent. Divorce was practised but not prescribed. It was proscribed in certain instances
as was the remarriage of a previously divorced partner. And God declares His hatred of divorce.
DIVORCE V MATTHEW 5:31-32
Our Lord dealt with the issue of divorce in great detail in Matthew 19:1-12
The Mosaic law requirement of a bill of divorce in Deuteronmy was a civilized act at the time, for the men of Israel were dismissing their wives too easily.
From Deut 24 forward a man must provide the women he divorced with at least the dignity of a document indication the divorce was his decision, not hers, thus declaring in a formal way that the women could be married again. Deut. 24:
The paper of Deut. 24 at least put a legal right into women's hands it not a sense of self-respect into their hearts.
The problem of divorce is not new. It was a problem back even before Christ.
I think it was a problem even during the 400 years of Intertestatmental period.
RABBI SHAMMI - Hard school of Divorce.
RABBI HILLEL - Easy school of Divorce.
RABBI AQUIBA - The easy easy school of Divorce
These two men and their disciples fought in the first century between their schools, and the battle can be summarized as a war over two words in DEUTERONOMY 24:1
'IF THEN SHE FINDS NO FAVOR IN HIS EYES BECAUSE HE HAS FOUND SOME INDECENCY [ERVATH DAVAR] LITERALLY "NAKEDNESS OF A THING.' BDB 789 IN HER.
The Liberal RABBI HILLEL stressed the word "Davar" and said Moses mean "indency" indecency such as bad housekeeping, wart on her face, a blemish spot, burning the leftsa, or toast."
The Conservative RABBI SHAMMAI stressed the word "INDECENCY " [ervath" nakedness" and said Moses meant only the ultimate indecency of MARITAL INFIDELITY.
AQUIBA stressed the still earlier words in Deuteronmy 24:1 that said "IF THEN SHE FINDS NO FAVOR [HEN], i.e.
GRACE, BEAUTY, IN HIS EYES BECAUSE HE HAS FOUND SOME INDECENCY IN HER.'
He interpreted this to mean "IF SHE NO LONGER SEEMED BEAUTIFUL TO HIM " or if another woman seemed more beautiful to him, he could divorce. MISHNAH P 307-321
The School of SHAMAI
says: A man may not divorce his wife unless he has found unchastity in her,
for it is written, BECAUSE he hath found in her indecency in anything.
And the School of HILLEL
say: [He may divorce her] even if she spoiled a dish for hi, for it is written, BECAUSE he hath found in her indecency in anyting.
says: Even if he found another fairer than she, for it is written, And it shall be if she
find no favorer in his eyes..
here with the CONSERVATIVE RABBI SHAMMAI
, saying that divorce is prohibited
except on the very serious ground of unchastity."
** In the minds of the old people of God, men did not commit adultery against women;
[a] a woman committed adultery against her husband, or
[b] a husband committed adultery against another husband.
Husbands, in other words, were the only victims of adultery. Jesus reverses this conviction drastically in this his earliest teaching on marriage.
Remember up until this time a woman was like a piece of property or an animal.
A husband could divorce his wife, but a woman could not divorce her husband.
If a man committed adultery it was against another man.
If a women committed adultery it was against her husband.
Jesus elevates the women to be equal with the man.
'BUT I SAY TO YOU THAT ANY MAN DIVORCING HIS WIFE FOR ANY OTHER REASON
THAN SEXUAL INFIDELITY [PRNEIA] DRIVES HER INTO ADULTERY."
Jesus says the disciple does not so much divorce an unfaithful spouse as he or she recognizes a fact:
a divorce has already occurred; the unchaste spouse simply does not live as a true marriage partner any longer. A divorce has already happened in reality [de fact]; thus a legal [de jure] divorce recognizes in law what is already true in the life and home.
When infidelity has occurred
LUTHER GIVES THIS ADVICE:
"To those who really want to be Christian's: `Try to stay together. If the guilty party is humbled and reformed, the innocent party should try to forgive. But if there is persistently loose behavior,Christians should not forgive, for "one oversight is still pardonable, but a sin that takes mercy and forgiveness for granted is intolerable.'"
'ANY MAN WHO DIVORCES HIS WIFE AND MARRIES ANOTHER WOMAN
ADULTERATES HIS WIFE, AND IF WHO HAS DIVORCED HER HUSBAND MARRIES
ANOTHER MAN COMMITS ADULTERY."LUKE 16:18 "
EVERY DIVORCING HIS WIFE AND MARRYING ANOTHER WOMAN COMMITS
ADULTERY, AND WHO MARRIES A WOMAN DIVORCED FROM HER HUSBAND
I COR. 7:10-16
"TO THE MARRIED I GIVE THIS RULING, WHICH IS NOT MINE BUT THE LORD'S;
A WIFE MUST NOT SEPARATE HERSELF FROM HER HUSBAND; IF SHE DOES, SHE MUST
EITHER REMAIN UNMARRIED OR BE RECONCILED TO HER HUSBAND; AND THE
HUSBAND MUST NOT DIVORCE HIS WIFE. TO THE REST I SAY THIS, AS MY OWN WORD,
NOT AS THE LORD'S'; IF A CHRISTIAN HAS A HEATHEN WIFE, AND SHE IS WILLING TO
LIVE WITH HIM, HE MUST NOT DIVORCE HER; AND A WOMAN WHO HAS A HEATHEN
HUSBAND WILLING TO LIVE WITH HER MUST NOT DIVORCE HER HUSBAND....
OTHERWISE YOUR CHILDREN WOULD NOT BELONG TO GOD, WHEREAS IN FACT THEY
DO. IF ON THE OTHER HAND THE HEATHEN PARTNER WISHES FOR A SEPARATION,
LET HIM HAVE IT. IN SUCH CASES THE CHRISTIAN HUSBAND OR WIFE IS UNDER NO
COMPULSION; BUT GOD'S CALL IS A CALL TO LIVE IN. THINK OF IT; AS A WIFE
YOU MAY BE YOUR HUSBAND'S SALVATION; AS A HUSBAND YOU MAY BE YOUR WIFE'S
SALVATION. I COR 7:10-16 NEB
In 1 Cor. 7
Paul is dealing with the questions concerning marriage, and divorce.
In Corinth the immature carnal Christian had followed their flesh and produced two dangerous extremes concerning the proper Christian view of marriage.
The church was dividing over the
Gentile Christian view of sex - dualism
Jewish Christian view of sex - a godly life meant not only marriage but children.
1. THE PURITY OF MARRIAGE 7:1-7
2. THE PROBLEM OF SINGLE 7:8-9
The issue of self-control
3. THE PROBLEM OF DIVORCE 7:10-11
4. THE PROBLEM OF MIXED MARRIAGES 7:12-24
5. THE POWER OF MARRIAGE 7:12-16
6. THE PRIVILEGE OF CHASTITY 7:17-35
BUT SUPPOSE THE UNSAVED MATE LEAVES THE HOME?
1 Cor. 7:15 gives the answer: The Christian partner is not obligated to keep the home together. We are called to peace, and we should do all we can to live in peace (Rom. 12:18); but there comes a time in some situations where peace is impossible. If the unsaved mate separates from his or her partner, there is little the Christian can do except to pray and continue faithful to the lord.
Does separation then give the Christian mate the right to divorce and remarriage?
Paul did not say so.
What if the unconverted mate ends up living with another partner?
That would constitute adultery and give grounds for divorce. But even then, 1 Cor.
7:10-11 would encourage forgiveness and restoration. Paul did not deal with every possible situation.
He laid down spiritual principles, not a list of rules.
He did not give us 20 commandments concerning marriage.
We are prone to think that a change in circumstances is always the answer to a problem. But the problem is usually within us and not around us. The heart of every problem is the problem in the heart.
You have seen and I have seen couples go through divorce and seek happiness in new circumstances, only to discover that they carried their problems with them.
A Christian lawyer once said. "About the only people who profit from divorces are the attorneys!"
Wives of alcoholic husbands divorce and marry another alcoholic.
A wife who is an enabler, will marry a man just like her ex-husband.
HERE IS HOW THE CASE STANDS:
Matthew gives a exception.
Mark and Luke give exception.
Paul give a SPIRITUAL exception.
The question is simple: Are there rules that allow for marriage's to be dissolved?
Matt 5 sees divorce as forcing the into adultery.
Matt 19 not Matt 5 sees adultery committed not with divorce, but with REMARRIAGE
(while the other partner is still living).
THE CLEAR TEACHING ABOUT DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE MEANS:
1. There are situations where living together under the same roof is not possible.
The issue is the lesser of two evils.
It is better to allow a divorce than to a murder.
There are couples who if forced to stay together one will be murdered.
"BUT GOD'S CALL IS A CALL TO LIVE IN PEACE. Not peaces.
2. The divorce is caused by the
HARDNESS OF THE HEART.
Someone is not willing to forgive.
Divorce shows that there has been a spiritual murder.
It shows that someone does not want to forgive or someone does not want to be forgiven.
WHAT IS A HARDENED HEART?
What would the opposite be? = A heart that is soft, mellow, gentile, open.
Scripture refers many times to people who hardened their hearts.
Ill. An O.T. is Pharaoh. Moses was sent to Pharaoh and told to give God's message. Let my people go. When Pharaoh heard that he Hardened his heart.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
= That he determined to handle it his own way.
He determined to respond to his fleshly human thinking rather than God, he did what he felt
like doing in the situation, that would benefit himself. He demanded it be done his way, no other way.
A person with a hard heart refuses to even come half way. They refuse to change.
My brothers 1ST. wife. She had a boy friend, she was into running and he was into running. She would spend time with her boy friend, until a problem then come home to my brother.
Finally when a number of Christian friends told my brother to give her an ultimatum, its either Barry or Andy,
one or the other. She refused to chose, she wanted both.
Not what was best for my brother. But what was best for her.
I know of men who have been alcoholics.
They do not want what is best for their family, or their mate.
They want all the money so they can spend it on booze.
They want the privileges but none of the responsibilities.
Peter says to the Husbands: "HUSBANDS, DWELL WITH YOUR WIVES ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE."
Do not merely react to them; but understand why they are acting the way they are. Dwell with them according to knowledge; give affection to them, restore them, love them share yourself with them, try to understand them.
Every women is different so study your wife to see what make her tick, and then live with her according to that knowledge.
The purpose of marriage is for 2 sinners to live together to work out the problems areas, the difficulties, the offensive things that bother each other.
Moses grated divorce, Jesus said, in order to make clear the hardening of the hearts that was going on in the family. A divorce shows that one or both of them has a hardened heart.
REMEMBER KEEP YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN BEFORE MARRIAGE, AND HALF CLOSED AFTER MARRIAGE.
A few years ago 40% of those married for the second time divorced again.
But now between 60-70% get a divorce the 2nd time.
Jesus does not want divorce 5:31-32
But if there must be divorce.
Jesus does not want
Matt 19: Mark 10 Luke 16; I Cor. 7:
Jesus abhorred divorce and remarriage.
Malachi 2:16 was also in Jesus' Bible. '
FOR I HATE DIVORCE, SAYS THE LORD THE GOD OF ISRAEL...
Paul teaches that "IT IS BETTER TO MARRY THAN TO BURN WITH LUST.
*** THE TWO SIDES OF COIN. ***
1. It is better not to remarry if divorced.
2. It is better to remarry than to burn with sexual desire.
I believe God has placed a very high fence around marriage.
He has made it as high as possible to keep you in.
The world wants to make the fence as low as possible.
God designed marriage and is trying to protect it and the children, and the culture.
When the marriage breaks down the family breaks down, the community breaks down, the crime rate increases.
If you want your kids to say out of trouble with the law - don't Get divorced.
If you want your kids to graduate from High School - Don't Get a divorce.
If you want your kids to have a happy marriage - Don't you get a divorce.
If you want to live in a safe community - Don't get a divorce.
THE BIG QUESTION?
Can God's blessing rest upon a remarriage?"
Another way of saying it:
IS THERE FORGIVENESS FOR SINS IN THE CHURCH.
THE ANSWER TO BOTH QUESTIONS IS, YES!
* Jesus Christ forgives only sins and sinners.
* He does not forgive mistakes or musketeers or those who seek prematurely to forgive themselves.
* He does not forgive victims.
* He does not forgive those who say its all the other person's fault.
He forgives those who confess their sin, and humble themselves.
** DIVORCE IS NOT THE UNPARDONABLE SIN!
The question I ask a person is; What part did you play in the destruction of the marriage?
Do you believe you are guilty before God?
Have you confessed your sin?
What have you learned from your past mistakes that you will not repeat again?
There are churches that permit the divorced or the divorced-and remarried to become church
members but not church officers. This does not seem right for it is close to saying "We will forgive
but we will not forget."
The passage acknowledges the existence of the practice of divorce; it regards the second marriage as legal; and it forbids the reinstitution of the first marriage even after the death or divorce of the second spouse. In particular it forbids the remarriage of the first spouse on the ground that the one flesh bond with that first husband still exists, even though divorce has been effected.
I knew of young men who married his high School sweetheart just out of high school.
He went to collage and there was a divorce. He went on to seminary. But because of his divorce he was not allowed to pastor a church.
I know of another young man that was immoral in collage, having sex with any girl he could.
He never married. He went on to Seminary. He married after Seminary. He was allowed to become a pastor.
Which was the most Godly?
Deut. No divorce is allowed for any reason for couples who have had sex before marriage.
ANOTHER BIG QUESTION
DOES BIBLICAL GROUNDED DIVORCE ALLOW FOR REMARRIAGE?
"WHEN A MAN TAKES A WIFE AND MARRIES HER, AND IT HAPPENS THAT SHE FINDS
NO FAVOR IN HIS EYES BECAUSE HE HAS FOUND SOME INDECENCY IN HER, AND HE
WRITES HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND PUTS IT IN HER HAND AND SENDS HER
OUT FROM HIS HOUSE, AND SHE LEAVES HIS HOUSE AND GOES AND BECOMES
ANOTHER MAN'S WIFE AND IF THE LATTER HUSBAND TURNS AGAINST HER AND
WRITES HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND PUTS IT IN HER HAND AND SENDS HER
OUT OF HIS HOUSE, OR IF THE LATTER HUSBAND DIES WHO TOOK HER TO BE HIS
WIFE, THEN HER FORMER HUSBAND WHO SENT HER AWAY IS NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE
HER AGAIN TO BE HIS WIFE, SINCE SHE HAS BEEN DEFILED; FOR THAT IS AN
ABOMINATION BEFORE THE LORD, A ND YOU SHALL NOT BRING SIN ON THE LAND
WHICH THE LORD YOUR GOD GIVES YOU AS AN INHERITANCE."
Matt ch 19 deals with 2 issues
Will Rogers said that you can tell how rich a nation is by how many divorces.
Poor people can't afford to get divorced. They stick together.
Many divorces are caused by the issue of money.
Jesus' disciples are to be characterized socially by a counterculture warfare against their own and
society's temperamental and sexual laxities.
A godless culture is actively at work to wreck marriages. Seduction, fornication, and adultery are the
erotic engines at the core of the entertainment and advertising industries.
In mortal combat with culture, disciples hear Jesus commanding the protection of God's one flesh
Marriage is like gluing 2 pieces of paper together.
Divorce is like trying to separate those two pieces of paper. If you try you will damage both terribly.
** Marriage brings about one flesh. Matt 19:6a
Anger and unfaithful lust have been the enemies in the social commands.
What unites these disobediences?
In anger we would like to prove to ourselves and to others that we are right;
In lust we would like to prove to ourselves and to others that we are attractive.
In both we manifest a deep uncertainty about ourselves. In both we seek a "justification" of our
Cheap popular culture teaches us that the angry person is the vital person
Cheap popular culture teaches us that the seductive person is the real man or woman.
But in fact deep personal uncertainty of one's own vitality unties the drives of anger and unfaithful
lust and prompts us to seek to bring others under our control.
By the angry feeling or words we can put others in their place;
by the lustful stare, act, and stratagem we hope we can bring other under our power.
MATTHEW ON DIVORCE
Bible Study on Divorce
Joy Evang. Free Church January 3, 1996
DO NOT DIVORCE
The Apostle Paul is certainly
teaching that the unbelieving wife or husband is "
being married to a Christian.
The Christian wife will not make an alcoholic husband sober.
She will not make a man who is croaked in business honest.
She will not make a man who is immoral into a moral man.
THEN WHAT DOES HE MEAN?
Israel as a nation was set apart for special privileges, but special responsibility.
They were to evangelize the world.
The unbelieving mate is
to a position of privilege. He or she is in a relationship with a
believing mate that may ultimately lead to his or her salvation.
The unbeliever in that marital union is "
" as the prayerful object of the believer's concern.
Paul Van Goder writes "My father was still an unbeliever when my mother trusted Christ. Not only an unbeliever
but an agnostic, my father despised the Bible and tried to persuade my mother not to attend church, not to take
my sister to S.S. My mother prayed for him faithfully. He was
as an object of her intercession. The
very day and hour that he trusted Christ, my mother and a group of ladies in our home praying for his conversion.
If the believing mate leaves, the opportunity to win the unbeliever is lost.
Surely the circumstances can be difficult. The time may come when you think you cannot possibly go
on another day. But if you leave, the opportunity for Christian testimony is gone. You may forfeit the
potential of seeing that unsaved husband or wife come to receive Christ.
HERE IS WHERE I WOULD EMPHASIE THE COVENANTAL VIEW.
The Calvinist, or the Reformed view, is:
When Children are born into a family and are baptized they come under the Covenant.
Baptizim does not save them but they come under the blessing of God.
Instead of being under the curse.
The believing parent breaks that curse.
There is a curse that is handed down from one generation to another.
The non-beleiver is in the kingdom of Satan. He is under the curses and packs of Satan, He or she has
no power over Satan, or his forces.
The sins of the fathers are passed on down the line from generation to generation.
The sinful characertists of the parents are passed down to the children.
But if one mate accepts Christ as Savior and Lord, that curse can be broken.
Now you come under the covenant of the Grace of God.
Instead of being under Satan's bondage you now come under Christ Freedom.
You are sanctified, set apart from the evil one and his claims on your life and your children's to
coming under the blessing of God.
You were signed over to Satan
I announce that my name is now written in the Lambs's Book of life.
2. I renounce any ceremony where I may have been wed to Satan.
I announce that I am the bride of Christ.
3. I renounce any and all covenants or agreements with Satan
I announce that I have a new covenant with Christ.
4. I renounce any sacrifices that were made for me where Satan could claim ownership of me.
I announce that I belong to God because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for me.
5. I renounce ever giving my blood in satanic ritual.
I trust only in the shed blood of Jesus for my salvation.
6. I renounce ever eating flesh or drinking blood in satanic worship.
By faith I eat only the flesh and drink only the blood of Jesus.
7. I renounce all guardians and surrogate parents who were assigned to me by satanists.
I announce that God is my Heavenly father and the Holy Spirit is my guardian.
8. I renounce every sacrifice made on my behalf by satanists by which they may claim ownership of me.
9. I renounce any ceremony in which I was assigned to be high priest or priestess for satanic service,
and I renounce Satan's possession of me.
I announce that in Christ, I am of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. I am a
person for God's own possession. I belong to Him.
2. PHYSICAL BLESSINGS
The Blessing of the Lord is upon the family because of the believing spouse.
WHAT IS THE BLESSING
Instead of Satanic curse, the family comes under the blessing of God.
The result of the blessing.
was blessed because of Jacob
house was blessed because of Joseph.
There are the guardian
that protect the family.
God blesses many believing families with
God blesses many believing families
Now some of them waste it, they make stupid decisions, but that is not God's fault.
You will find the Christian families better off than the non Christian why?
In India during the famine when Billy Graham was going to have a crusade they send men to find if there were any
Christian who had physical needs. They couldn't find any.
If they obey the scripture, they don't waste their money & time on sinful habits.
You are one of God's children, you are now no longer under the curse.
You have a loving heavenly father who promises to provide all your needs through Jesus Christ.
I am not talking about health and wealth herisy. Which say you can name it and claim it.
I am talking about God pouring out his blessing.
God has obligated himself to us if we are his children.
Those who reject Him and curse his name, he is not obliged to care for.
They are of their father the devil.
Mr. Max Jukes lived in the state of New York. He did not beleive in the Christian religion.
He married a girl of like faith, and from this union there were 1,026 descendants.
300 of them died prematurely...
100 were sent to the penitentiary for an average of 13 years..
190 were public prostitutes.
100 were confirmed alcoholics
The family cost the state of New Yourk $5,200,000.
They made no contribution to society.
About the same time Jonathan Edwards also lived in the state of New York. He beleived in God and the Christian
way of life. He married a girl of like character. From this union there were 729 descendants. Out of this family
have come over
65 college professors,
13 university professors,
60 authors of good books
1 U.S. Senator
3 U.S. Congressmen.
1 Vice-President and except for Aaron Burr (a grandson of Jonathan Edards) who married a woman of
questionable character, the Edwards family has not cost the state of New York a single dollar.
(From the congressional Report of 1966)
3. MENTAL BLESSING
You will find that Christian families have less mental illness than non- Christian.
Pagan Culture of N.T. times.
A community without a Gospel preaching church is pagan.
Immorality, drunkenness, sloth, Occult, superstition, Fear, bondage.
Negative view of life, defeat,
But were the Gospel is preached it removes these.
II. WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?
In any marriage between saved and unsaved, deep concern should be shown for the children of that union.
That Apostle says,
FOR OTHERWISE YOUR CHILDREN ARE UNCLEAN, BUT NOW THEY ARE HOLY.
I COR. 7:14
The same word formerly translated "
" is used and here translated "
" For clarity, it
should be translated in both instances "
Children in the marriage of a Christian and unbeliever are in the place of privilege as long as either
mate does not put away the other.
But says some Christian wife, "It would be better for me to leave and take the children with me, than
to let them remain under the unwholesome influence of my unbelieving husband."
First of all, that would be in violation of what Paul has already said, "
LET HER NOT LEAVE HIM."
But if the believing wife should leave and have custody of the children, the opportunity to win them
for Christ is lessened. For, if what the believer professes to have as a Christian is not able to see him
or her through this difficult situation, then the children will doubt its reality. Or, if the children should
go with the unbelieving mate, the believer's influence will be lost entirely.
OTHERWISE THE CHILDREN WOULD BE UNCLEAN,
If both parents are non Christian's then the children are unclean.
It is as though they are illegitimate, and still under Satan kingdom.
THE CURSE OF THE SIN OF THE FATHERS IS REMOVED
because of the believing wife.
The passage comes from the question should a Christian leave a non Christian spouse.
Paul is dealing with the benefits that come upon the husband & children because of the faith of the
wife or the faith of the husband.
Don't divorce, because if you do the curse rests upon your ex mate and children.
The children are legitimate.
Illegitimate children have no rights, they are bastards.
THE BIG THEOLOGICAL QUESTION.
What about the death of children of unbelievers.
Will they go to heaven?
They are not under the covenant!
If you take that position, it drives you to become involved in Evangelism.
To pray for the non Christian to become converted.
It drives you to rescue children and start Christian orphanages.
It drives you to adopt children so they may come under the blessing.
UNDER THE COVENANTAL BLESSING
1. Spiritual blessing
2. Physical health
4. Protection from occult.
If the wife divorces, the children do not have a father and are consider illegitimate, they then come
under the curse.
I PET 3:1
IN THE SAME WAY, YOU WIVES, BE SUBMISSIVE TO YOUR OWN HUSBANDS SO THAT
EVEN IF ANY OF THEM ARE DISOBEDIENT TO THE WORD, THEY MAY BE WON
WITHOUT A WORD BY THE BEHAVIOR OF THEIR WIVES,
HOW?= AS THEY OBSERVE YOUR CHASTE AND RESPECTFUL BEHAVIOR.
Then he goes on to tell you ladies if you want to win your husbands don't do it just by dressing up in
the latest style, the latest jewelry, and the fanciest dress.
v4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart,
Its not the outside make up that wins your husband
Its the inside attitude & action that wins them.
There is nothing wrong with make up & jewelry & pretty dresses.
Prov. says don't put a gold ring in a pig's snout.
Don't dress like miss piggy on the outside
and then act like miss piggy on the inside.
I COR. 7
- <page> -
I Cor. 7
Joy Evang. Free Church January 24, 1996
1. DIVORCE WAS PERMITTED ON THE GROUND OF "UNCLEANNESS."
This word uncleanness could not refer to marital infidelity because the law provided that the
adulterer be stoned (Deuteronomy 22:22). But the woman who is guilty of "
" is not
stoned, but is set free to go her way and remarry.
The Hebrew expression "
" is used in Deuteronomy 23:12-14 to refer to uncovered
stools: in Genesis 9:21-23 to Noah's nakedness; and in Lamentations 4:21 to Edom being under the
figure of a drunken woman. While the meaning of the word "
" is not entirely clear,
it apparently refers to some moral or sexual uncleanness apart from adultery.
It could mean "
It was over this word that the two schools of
What improper behavior was serious enough to cause a man to give his wife a certificate of divorce?
While we are not sure of the answer to that question, Christ seems to clarify the issue by stating that
porneia was the only cause.
2. THE PERSON WHO IS DIVORCED COULD REMARRY DEUTERONMY 24:2
Early Church view:
It is interesting to note that the controversy over divorce in Jewish circles up to the time of Christ
centered on the "
Today the focus of the evangelical community today is on the question of "
never questioned the right to remarry once divorce occurred.
For them, the very idea of divorce implied the right to remarry.
The evangelical community, on the other hand, has often forbidden remarriage but does not
question the right to divorce under certain circumstances.
Deuteronomy 24:2 proves that divorce dissolves a marriage and gives the right to remarry.
It does not require remarriage but grants the right if the party wishes to do so.
3. REMARRIAGE TO THE FIRST PARTNER IS BANNED AFTER A
REMARRIAGE TAKES PLACE TO ANOTHER.
Deut. 24:3,4. If she is divorced by her first husband, and then is divorced by her second husband, she
cannot go back to the first husband, though the law would allow her to take a third husband. The
reason for this stipulation is not clear but one observation is that it is a warning to a man that he had
better not divorce his wife in the heat of anger, for he may later find that the has lost a good thing,
and will not be able to gain her back. This seems to be the first indication in scripture of what we call
"a cooling off period."
In other words, a man is to think twice before he divorces his wife even for what seems to be a good
reason. He might want her back, but if she has married again, he cannot have her.
4. PAUL'S TEACHING ON DIVORCE.
The central passage on the subject from Paul's pen is I Cor. 7:10-16.
The question is this: "Does I Cor. 7:10-16 authorize divorce for the desertion of a believer by an
That is the question scholars have wrestled with over a period of years.
I Cor. 7:10-16 deals primarily with the situation arising after one partner in a marriage relationship
becomes a convert to the Christian faith, but the other does not.
Because of the complete change in outlook and ideals on the part of the newly saved spouse, sharp
differences of opinion with the unsaved mate are bound to arise. Because of a desire to lead a holy
life, the new Christian may be tempted to feel that it would be better to separate from his or her
spouse and thus terminate the problems arising from disagreements and misunderstandings which
divide the home.
It is in this light that we are to understand vs 10-13, which direct the Christian husband not to send
away (aphienai) his unconverted wife, and the Christian wife not to "leave" (khoristhenai opo)
literally means "be separated from" her unbelieving husband. In other words, the initiative from
separation must always come from the unsaved mate, not from the Christian .
What I Cor. 7 teaches is that a spiritually divide household is not obliged to remain together under
the same room if there is such alienation or bitterness that the unsaved spouse no longer is willing to
remain with his Christian mate.
V.13 says: "
YET IF THE UNBELIEVING ONE LEAVES, LET HIM LEAVE; THE BROTHER OR
THE SISTER (
i.e. the Christian spouse)
IS NOT UNDER BANDAGE IN SUCH (
), BUT GOD
HAS CALLED US TO PEACE."
In the following verse Paul goes on to point out that there is no iron-clad guarantee that things will
get better if the Christian partner elects to stay on and endure the persecution and abuse of the
recalcitrant unbeliever. Even such a self-sacrificial devotion may turn out to be completely
unavailing, so far as the conversation of the unsaved mate is concerned.
THE QUESTION IS HOW DOES THIS PASSAGE APPLY TO DIVORCE.
Does I Cor. 7:10-16 refer to divorce at all?
Some scholars think so, some do not. There is good scholarship on both sides of the question.
Dr. Gleason Archer says that this passage does not refer to divorce at all-just to separation.
1. SCRIPTURE PERMITS SEPARATION BUT NOT DIVORCE.
The Matthew passages speaks of remarriage after the original couple has broken up (under the Law
of Moses the guilty party in such a case was to be executed by stoning, along with the paramour Lev. 20:10; Deut.
22:24). But this passage her makes no reference to a second marriage on the part of the innocent partner.
On the contrary, it says quite specifically in v.11: "
BUT IF SHE
(the separated wife who is a Christian) does
leave, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband." Unquestionably the same would be true of
a husband who was compelled by his unconverted wife to leave her. But such a requirement, to remain unmarried or
be reconciled to the same spouse again, does not amount to a ground for divorce, at least not according to the
law of Christ-which is of course final and binding for every practicing Christian.
Separation is permitted if the two cannot live together in harmony, but divorce is definitely not permitted on
the ground of desertion alone. It will normally happen that when such a separation has occurred and continues for
a lengthy period of time, the unbelieving mate will obtain some sort of divorce under the provisions of the civil
courts and will marry someone else. That of course, would constitute adultery under the rule of Matt 5:32 and
19:9, and the innocent party would then be free to marry again. But until that happens, no second marriage is
possible without rejection of the authority of Christ. Mere desertion, by itself, is not a ground for divorce.
2. DEATH ALONE DISSOLVES THE MARRIAGE.
There are those who hold the above interpretation who insist that death alone dissolves the
marriage. They base this on Romans 7:2
These scholars would say that this passage means that a Christian is free to let the unbelieving
partner go, but not free to remarry.
However, we must remember that in Romans 7:2, Paul is not addressing himself to the subject of
divorce and REMARRIAGE.
USING AN ILLUSTRATION TO CREATE DOCTRINE IS A PROBLEM
He is simply using the unique situation of the woman under the law in which only death could loose
her from her husband, to illustrate as believers complete dependence upon Christ's vicarious death
to loose him from the claims of the law. Paul was aware that under the law the husband had the
option of divorcing his wife Deut. 24:1-4, which was not available to the wife.
Only death could loose her from the law of her husband.
Sound principles of exegesis will not permit one to assume that Paul's view ON T his subject of
divorce and remarriage appears here in Romans 7.
3RD. DIVORCE GIVES FREEDOM TO MARRY IF THE PERSON CHOOSES.
The plain meaning seems to be that the believer is set free (not enslaved) to marry if he (or she) so
This interprets the words "not enslaved" to mean that a divorce has occurred dissolving the contract
and is the basis for dissolving the covenant too, setting the believer free to marry again if he (or she)
so chooses. Again, remarriage is not commanded, but is allowed.
As you can see, there are two key words in this passage--"
" and "
enslaved). The question is: "Is the
anything more than just separation from bed and
board?" "Is the freedom (not enslaved) more than freedom from the is harmony and unhappiness of
a spiritually divided home?"
1ST. The central character of the marriage relationship is covenantal.
It is a solemn, binding covenantal and contractual relationship between a man and a woman
witnessed to by both God and mean and consummated by the conjugal act which creates "one
No party to the covenant has the authority to break the covenant. In fact, they cannot break the
covenant even if both human parties agree to it.
Divorce is the legal word used to describe the dissolution of the legal contract of marriage but not
necessarily dissolving the covenant of marriage. The only Biblical provisions made for the
dissolution of the covenant of marriage by Jesus is in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 "porneia" and that of
God through Paul in I Cor. 7:10-16 that of desertion of a believer by an unbeliever.
When a divorce and remarriage occurs, is the OFFENDING PARTY living in adultery?
A remarriage which is entered into wrongly does indeed constitute an "act of Adultery" against the
previous covenant. Why?
Because of the very nature of marriage as being a covenantal relationship joined together by God
that can be broken only by the provisions of God revealed through Jesus Christ and Paul the
apostle. So then, God who joins the couple together has revealed only two specific conditions under
which the marriage covenant may be terminated. In the case of both porneia and willful desertion by
the unbeliever, the offender has already broken the covenant pledge and only if the offended party
consents to the dissolution of the marriage covenant is that marriage dissolved in God's sight. In
summary of the two God-given provisions for divorce, therefore, let us make the following
observations about the teaching of divorce and remarriage in the Bible.
The Bible allows for (but does not require) divorce on two grounds:
1ST. GROUNDS OF BIBLICAL DIVORCE
The first basis for Biblical divorce is immorality involving illicit sexual acts and practice (Matt 5:32;
19:1-9). The exception clause in Matthew's Gospel is not a textual emendation or addition, but is
part of the best manuscripts. It is not limited to the Jews only as a corrective to their mishandling of
In this passage, porneia refers to immorality that could occur both before and after marriage.
While MOKEIA, "
" is consistently used in the New Testament (Luke 18:11; John 8:3; I
Cor. 6:9; Heb 13:4) to denote illicit intercourse with someone else's spouse, Porneia cannot be
limited only to sexual acts between unmarried partners (John 8:41; Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25; I Cor. 5:1;
6:13, 18; 7:2; Eph 5:3; Col. 3:5; Rev. 2:21; 9:21; 21:8). Thus the exception clause embraces all types
of illicit sexual behavior including adultery, homosexuality.
The word "
" used by our Lord in Matt 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11, 12; and Luke 16:18 is
. This same word is used of Mary in Matthew 1:19 -"
meaning has been positively identified now from AD 124 Murabbacat Cave II Scroll. This is not a
" or "
" but a divorce that is in view.
2ND. GROUNDS OF BIBLICAL DIVORCE.
The second reason for a Biblical divorce is willful, final and irreconcilable desertion by an unbeliever
I Cor 7:15.
Paul states that willful and final desertion of a believer by an unbeliever equals divorce. While this
goes beyond Jesus' teaching on the subject and is specifically admitted by Paul, what he says is also
revelational in its character I Cor. 7:10, 12). If an unbelieving partner willfully abandons his believing
marriage partner and insists on "
," that believer "is not bound" I Cor. 7:15; v27, 39 and
Romans 7:2 where the word "
" is used by Paul to indicate the permanency of a marriage).
Likewise the words, "
" in six of its 13 New Testament usages refers
to the marriage union (Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9; Acts 1:4; 18:1,2; Romans 8:35,39; I Cor. 7:10,
11,15; Philemon 10, 13; Hebrews 7:26). Thus if the unbeliever demands a divorce, the believer may
consent; they are bound. The teaching of Paul therefore is very clear: believers are not to "
" their marriage covenant, but should the unbelieving spouse insist on divorcing the
believing spouse the believer is not bound but is set free to remarry.
In these two Biblical cases where divorce is allowed, the marriage is terminated and the unoffending
believer is granted the privilege of remarriage, though it is not commanded. In both cases,
remarriage is implied. Jesus said: "
AND WHOSOEVER SHALL MARRY HER
..." while Paul implies
the right of remarriage I Cor 7.
3. WHAT ABOUT DIVORCE BEFORE CONVERSION
We believe sin is covered by the forgiving grace of God through the redemptive process of the cross.
The Apostle Paul makes clear the standing of these people before a holy God.
"DO NOT BE DECEIVED; NEITHER FORNICATORS, NOR IDOLATORS, NOR ADULTERERS,
NOR EFFEMINATE, NOR HOMOSEXUALS, NOR THIEVES, NOR GREEDY GRASPERS, NOR
DRUNKARDS, NOR FOUL MOUTHED REVILERS AND SLANDERERS, NOR
EXTORTIONERS SHALL INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
" I Cor. 6:9.
But verse 11 goes on to say:
'AND SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU; BUT YOU ARE WASHED, BUT YOU ARE SANCTIFIED,
BUT YE ARE JUSTIFIED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND BY THE SPIRIT
OF OUR GOD."
What about a believer who divorces his mate without Biblical grounds and then remarries?
Our Lord's teaching in Matthew 5 and 19 indicate that an "act of adultery" has been committed in
the new relationship, but forgiveness is available through the blood of Christ and that person is
expected to be faithful to the new covenant.
REMARRIAGE DEUT 24:2
- <page> -
Matthew 5:31-32 - Divorce
1. What commitments do adults commonly make?
4. Why did Jesus need to say this about marriage and divorce? (5:31-32)
5. What is the best way to think about marriage and divorce? (5:31-32)
13. What conditions are placed on divorce? (5:32)
16. Why is it important to try to hold a marriage together?
22. In what ways can people show respect for marriage?
27. What can you do this week to strengthen your marriage or the marriage of a friend?
For Bible Study questions