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Earendel
Member



Joined: 2009/3/17
Posts: 308
Central Alberta, Canada

 Re:


Jesus once told the religious leaders of Israel abut God’s ideal plan for marriage: “So, then, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6 NKJV). Divorce is not a deliberate part of God’s plan from the beginning. In fact, God says He hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).

Divorce has crept into human marriage relationships, however, and today has become rampant. Approximately one out of every two marriages in America will be broken by divorce, and the rate is increasing. To those who believe in Jesus Christ, this is a disconcerting state of affairs. It is also a state of affairs that demands a clear understanding of what the Bible teaches about divorce and especially remarriage.

The purpose of this website is to explain in a concise way what God says in the Bible about divorce and remarriage. Certainly every case involving a divorce and/or remarriage must be considered individually, but the principles explained herein should provide a biblical framework to evaluate each individual case.

This explanation operates on the following assumptions:

1. The Bible is the Word of God, inerrant, infallible, and authoritatively binding in every age and culture on earth.

2. The Bible is to be interpreted literally and unless the context clearly indicates that it should be taken otherwise.

3. More specifically related to the issue of divorce and remarriage, it is assumed that whenever God grants permission for a legitimate divorce, He also grants permission for a legitimate remarriage. If God did not desire to grant permission to remarry, He could prescribe permanent separation only (1 Corinthians 7:11). Therefore, since in some cases God does permit divorce, it is assumed that wherever He does, He also permits remarriage.

I. MARRIAGE BETWEEN TWO BELIEVERS
The general principle for a marriage between two actively professing Christians is stated by Paul in his first letter to the church at Corinth: “A wife is not to depart from her husband. But if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:10, 11 NKJV).

The principles here are very clear:

1. No divorce is permitted to a Christian couple.

2. Separation is allowed in severe circumstances (e.g. physical cruelty or abuse, life threats, etc.) but never divorce or remarriage.

The only exception to this principle is found in Matthew 5:32. “Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced (i.e. for any reason other than sexual immorality) commits adultery” (NKJV).

Since sexual relations form a bond of oneness between two people (1 Corinthians 6:16), sexual sin on the part of one marriage partner is grounds for divorce. The Greek word translated “sexual immorality” (pornea) is a general term and would include adultery, homosexuality or any type of sexual perversion. It should be noted that Jesus does not insist upon divorce in such cases nor command it -- nor even encourage it. Considering the Scriptures as a whole, it would seem that divorce should be a last resort, reserved only for cases of repeated and/or flagrant sexual violations. Short of this, forgiveness and reconciliation are to be sought after and the marriage preserved. If a divorce is obtained because of sexual immorality, remarriage is permitted.

II. MARRIAGE BETWEEN A BELIEVER AND AN UNBELIEVER
The Bible speaks directly to this kind of situation in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16: “But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to dwell with him, let him not divorce her. And the woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to dwell with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. “For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?”

The principles here are also very clear:

1. If the unbelieving partner desires to preserve the marriage, the believing partner has no freedom to divorce him/her.

2. If the unbelieving partner chooses to leave and sue for divorce, the believing partner is to let him/her depart. In such cases the believing partner is free to remarry, but “only in the Lord”. (1 Corinthians 7:39)

III. SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS
Every situation does not fit neatly into these categories. There are a number of varied situations that can and do arise. Many are of such a unique nature that general principles cannot be formulated for them. However, there are a few special cases that tend to reoccur regularly, and these are considered below:

A. When any divorce is obtained on non-biblical grounds, and one of the parties remarries ,that person has committed adultery since God never recognized the divorce as legitimate (Matthew 5:32; Mark 10:11). Since the remarried partner has “committed adultery,” the marriage bond in now broken and the remaining partner is free to remarry.

B. In the case of a person who has just accepted Christ as his/her Savior, that person becomes a “new creature” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). This does not mean that God immediately erases all painful memories, bad habits or underlying causes of past marital problems, but that He begins the process of transforming the believer through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Nor does this mean that the new believer is automatically freed from nature that general principles cannot be formulated for them. However, there are a few special cases that tend to reoccur regularly, and these are considered below:

1. If the new believer is presently separated from his/her spouse, he/she must seek genuine reconciliation with the estranged partner (1 Corinthians 7:11). If the partner refuses, and seeks and receives a divorce, the believer is free to remarry in the Lord according to 1 Corinthians 7:15.

2. If the new believer is presently divorced, he/she must seek genuine reconciliation with the divorced partner (1 Corinthians 7:11). If the partner refuses, the believer is free to remarry in the Lord according to 1 Corinthians 7:15.

3. If the new believer is presently divorced and his/her former spouse has since remarried, the marriage bond has been broken and the new believer is free to remarry in the Lord. To have the remarried partner obtain a second divorce to reconcile with the new believer would be a violation of the Scriptures (Deuteronomy 24:1-4).

4. If the new believer’s former spouse has remarried and is now divorced again, the new believer is not allowed to take the former spouse back (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) but is allowed to remarry in the Lord.

5. If the new believer is presently remarried, but his/her original divorce was not biblical, he/she should not dissolve the present marriage to seek reconciliation with the former partner. To do so would be a violation of the Scriptures (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). The new believer should confess his/her sin, receive God’s forgiveness, and make his/her present marriage honoring to God.

C. It is assumed that the grace of God becomes operative in any attempt to reconcile a marriage. Two people who repent and confess their sin, and seek God’s power and strength, can once again experience the joy of a healthy marriage relationship. A true sign of repentance and salvation will be a sincere desire to restore a former marriage whenever possible.

D. If the innocent party in a legitimate, biblical divorce is seeking remarriage, it is preferable that he/she waits until a spouse who is unwilling to reconcile has remarried. The purpose of such a wait is so as not to preclude any possibility of reconciliation. However, this is not to be a hard and fast rule, but will depend upon a number of factors that must be evaluated by each person in such a situation (e.g., purity of life and thought, time, children needing a father/ mother, etc.)

IV. DIVORCE AND SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP
The church has a responsibility to uphold the biblical ideal of marriage, especially as exemplified by its leadership. In cases where there has been a divorce in a person’s past, the church has an obligation to restrict, for a period of time, the person’s involvement in leadership until it is proven that the person’s life-style and/or present marriage exemplifies godliness, pure devotion and sacrificial love.

On the other hand, divorce is no greater sin than any other, and must not be placed in a unique category that is not in keeping with the Scriptures. 1 Timothy 3:2, 12 does not prohibit previously married men from serving as elders and deacons. Such an interpretation would bar widowers from such service as well as divorced men, and this would be a clear contradiction of the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 7:39: Romans 7:1-3). Where there has been repentance, confession and forgiveness from God, a believer’s qualifications for leadership must be evaluated on the qualities, which currently characterize his/her life. The Bible does not see divorce as a sin that is to follow a person all his/her life or permanently disqualify him/her for all spiritual service.

Borrowed from:
http://www.mcleanbible.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=3723


_________________
David

 2009/3/19 16:06Profile
murrcolr
Member



Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Wind_Blows said

Quote:
Perhaps its not a one size fits all kind of answer but it is what I am seeing at this time.



There you go we can't fit God into a box. He'll have the answer in your situation to meet the need you have and will do it a way that would seem impossible to you. Keep lifting up your Father in prayer because your prayers will be answered.

Also remember your Father in heaven is not like earthly Father remember the promise in Deuteronomy 31:8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

For he is with you.....

Oh I wish, I could give you a hug.

Love Colin


_________________
Colin Murray

 2009/3/19 16:08Profile
dunlow64God
Member



Joined: 2008/5/6
Posts: 61


 Re:

by ccrider on 2009/3/19 12:49:19

Quote:
I don't think there is one person on this thread who thinks divorce is the answer to a marital problem. And I don't think there is anyone here who does not think divorce is a sin. Wires are getting crossed here in my view.


Quote:
The other view is: "I've sinned in many ways including divorce and or remarriage and it's not something I'm proud of but I'm a living example of God's mercy which also endureth forever."


Quote:
But I also think those who have been divorced and or remarried react emotionally to these issues as it pertains to sin and may take what someone is saying out of context in a defensive posture. Some may just be pointing out that divorce is sin, remarriage is sin, and that we must speak against it as such as sin but not as a sin that is unpardonable. Some, I know have this view, but I'm not speaking of them... just those who feel it is important to speak of obedience with the same importance and weight as God's mercy. Both are for the Christian, both are necessary, both (in their PROPER CONTEXT AND PERSPECTIVE)glorify God.


Thank you ccrider! This is exactly how I feel! I was not condoning sin when I replied to this post! I was not feeling conviction either. I was merely giving a testimony as someone who is both divorced and remarried to God's love, mercy and grace. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you! For I know the words in your post came from Him! Please continue in letting Him use you!
In Christ,
Wendy :-)

 2009/3/19 16:18Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471
Mississippi

 Re:

Quote:
“It’s very easy to come to Bible conclusions in your study; it’s when people get involved that things get much more complicated”



It is this very thing that blinds people to the truth of the WORD. People want to get to heaven with out repenting: just say sorry! and continue on your merry way.

The issue of divorce and remarriage is not the issue: it is simply the symptom of a greater heart issue that has never been dealt with. All sin is like that. I have never seen a divorced and remarried person who was otherwise. All sin, regardless of the act is a manifestation of an abiding sin. And not only that, there will be a host of other active sins present in the life of that individual. Consider: have you ever been guilty of ONLY one sin? No! There will be a host of others present and working. So it is with divorce and remarriage.

Quote:
do you have sources for your claim that "the exception clause" was added after 1000?



I provided a link in my original post on this thread where this is discussed. In fact I became aware of this recently on a thread posted by another brother here on SI.

I repeat: Listen to "Ten Indictments" by Paul Washer. Do as I do: burn it onto a CD, put it in your cars' CD player and listen to it - often. It ministers to heart/mind/spirit issues ...

ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2009/3/19 23:07Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Please listen to "Ten Indictments" by Paul Washer and then come back.

Not at all interested in what Paul Washer has to say. Don't know him, don't want to. But thanks for the invitation though.

 2009/3/19 23:18









 Re:

The "exception" clause remains. I don't care what scholars say about it and who wrote up the claim that it doesn't belong there. There are too many of these "words" being taken out of the bible and/or the greek word making it something else entirely. All were telling people that the bible is not to be trusted because there are too many mistakes in it. The great revivalist had no problem with the bible as is, and the Spirit of God fell, what is wrong with our generation? Why can't we just leave well enough alone. Our Textus Receptus Bible is fine, leave it alone.

 2009/3/19 23:36
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

Greetings Deep thinker

Its to bad that your not willing to listen to Paul Wahser message "Ten Indictments" it is a really awesome teaching that really opened up my eyes and heart as well. Regardless of where you stand on this subject Paul Washer teaching is worth the time to listen to.

For anyone else who has not heard it I have to say it is really good and filled with truth, for sure its worth listening to.

God Bless
Maryjane

 2009/3/19 23:41Profile









 Re:

Hi MaryJane, I started to listen to him when the Indictments was first sent out, but I've heard all my life all the problems there is with the church, I simply couldn't stand to hear any more, that's all. Nothing against Brother Washer, just don't want to be bothered hearing anymore negativity. Just tired of it. :-o

 2009/3/19 23:50
Earendel
Member



Joined: 2009/3/17
Posts: 308
Central Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Quote:

ginnyrose wrote:


It is this very thing that blinds people to the truth of the WORD. People want to get to heaven with out repenting: just say sorry! and continue on your merry way.


ginnyrose



I can assure you GinnyRose that this is not the case. Perhaps you need to understand what repentance is.

I have a question for you and would like an honest answer. Are you a Roman Catholic? And do you attend a Catholic Monastery?


_________________
David

 2009/3/20 1:43Profile
MrBillPro
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3238
Texas

 Re:

Quote:

DeepThinker wrote:
Hi MaryJane, I started to listen to him when the Indictments was first sent out, but I've heard all my life all the problems there is with the church, I simply couldn't stand to hear any more, that's all. Nothing against Brother Washer, just don't want to be bothered hearing anymore negativity. Just tired of it. :-o



I tried to listen to this person Paul Wahser last night I thought I would just give him a try, I did not finish. His message probably was pretty good, but he just cannot minister to me, it's just the way he talks I guess, it was terrible. I am more of a Charles Stanley person, now he can minister to me and has for 20 years. I personally think having someone that can minister to us, we listen more closely, and get more out of there message, but this is just my personal opinion.


_________________
Mr. Bill

 2009/3/20 8:17Profile





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