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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : 1 Cor 7:15

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Bruisedreed
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Joined: 2009/1/12
Posts: 1


 1 Cor 7:15

Could someone please help me with 1 Cor 7:15-when scripture says: "A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases:" What is Paul saying that bondage is, in what context?? Can someone please help me to understand this verse. Thank you.

 2009/1/12 22:58Profile
prof
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Joined: 2009/1/23
Posts: 5
on the Mississippi

 Re: 1 Cor 7:15

Paul prefaces these words by saying that they are not from the Lord (vs 12), rather speaking as a chosen apostle of the Lord; neither do I claim to have "a word from the Lord" on this issue.

In the context of vs 12-15, I understand that Paul is saying that a believing spouse is not under obligation (bondage) to the Lord to continue in a marriage with an unbelieving spouse where the unbelieving spouse wants the marriage dissolved. Put is contemporary language, the believing spouse is not obligated to fight the dissolution because of his/her Christian faith. Rather, "God has called us to peace."

 2009/1/24 13:21Profile
pastorfrin
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Joined: 2006/1/19
Posts: 1406


 Re: 1 Cor 7:15

Taken from Eleven Reasons Why I Believe All Remarriage After Divorce Is Prohibited While Both Spouses Are Alive
By John Piper

9. 1 Corinthians 7:15 does not mean that when a Christian is deserted by an unbelieving spouse he or she is free to remarry. It means that the Christian is not bound to fight in order to preserve togetherness. Separation is permissible if the unbelieving partner insists on it.

1 Corinthians 7:15: If the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace.

9.1 There are several reasons why the phrase "is not bound" should not be construed to mean "is free to remarry."

9.11 Marriage is an ordinance of creation binding on all of God's human creatures, irrespective of their faith or lack of faith.

9.12 The word used for "bound" (douloo) in verse 15 is not the same word used in verse 39 where Paul says, "A wife is bound (deo) to her husband as long as he lives." Paul consistently uses deo when speaking of the legal aspect of being bound to one marriage partner (Romans 7:2; l Corinthians 7:39), or to one's betrothed (l Corinthians 7:27). But when he refers to a deserted spouse not being bound in l Corinthians 7:15, he chooses a different word (douloo) which we would expect him to do if he were not giving a deserted spouse the same freedom to remarry that he gives to a spouse whose partner has died (verse 39).

9.13 The last phrase of verse 15 ("God has called us to peace") supports verse 15 best if Paul is saying that a deserted partner is not "bound to make war" on the deserting unbeliever to get him or her to stay. It seems to me that the peace God has called us to is the peace of marital harmony. Therefore, if the unbelieving partner insists on departing, then the believing partner is not bound to live in perpetual conflict with the unbelieving spouse, but is free and innocent in letting him or her go.

9.14 This interpretation also preserves a closer harmony to the intention of verses 10-11, where an inevitable separation does not result in the right of remarriage.

Taken from Eleven Reasons Why I Believe All Remarriage After Divorce Is Prohibited While Both Spouses Are Alive
By John Piper

http://www.desiringgod.org./ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1986/1488_Divorce_and_Remarriage_A_Position_Paper/

 2009/1/24 16:24Profile









 Re: Marriage & Divorce



As much as I like John Piper, I will have to disagree with him on this one.

This is my understanding of Marriage & Divorce in regards to what Scripture has to say about it.

Matthew 5:32 says a divorce is permissible where there is 'sexual immorality' involved. If your marital partner has committed adultery, that is what has defiled the marriage. In this case you are permitted to remarry.

[b]“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 committeth adultery.” Matthew 5:32[/b]

The Bible says that God divorced Israel over her immorality, so we can be quite sure this same standard applies to God's people today. (See Jeremiah 3:8)

[b]“And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of Divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.” Jeremiah 3:8[/b]

Matthew 19:9 is saying the same thing. The Lord allows divorce when the covenant of marriage has been defiled. The reason is because divorce itself is not what actually breaks the spiritual bond of a marriage. [b]Adultery does this[/b]. So the spiritual bond was broken before the divorce. (Of course repentance and forgiveness can also have a part in this.)

[b]“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9[/b]

1 Corinthians 7:15 is dealing with a different situation. If a believer has an unbelieving spouse, and the unbelieving spouse wishes not to live with the believer, and leaves, then the marriage covenant is no longer "binding". [b]This simply means that the believer is not under bondage in a marriage to an unbeliever. The believer can remarry, but only in the Lord.[/b]

[b]“But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.” 1 Corinthians 7:15[/b]

Sincerely,

Walter
:-)

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


pastorfrin wrote:
Taken from Eleven Reasons Why I Believe All Remarriage After Divorce Is Prohibited While Both Spouses Are Alive
By John Piper

Deleted

 2009/1/25 1:26
pastorfrin
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Joined: 2006/1/19
Posts: 1406


 Re:

Taken from Eleven Reasons Why I Believe All Remarriage After Divorce Is Prohibited While Both Spouses Are Alive
By John Piper

http://www.desiringgod.org./ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1986/1488_Divorce_and_Remarriage_A_Position_Paper/

4. Matthew 5:32 does not teach that remarriage is lawful in some cases. Rather it reaffirms that marriage after divorce is adultery, even for those who have been divorced innocently, and that a man who divorces his wife is guilty of the adultery of her second marriage unless she had already become an adulteress before the divorce.

Matthew 5:32: But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

4.1 Jesus assumes that in most situations in that culture a wife who has been put away by a husband will be drawn into a second marriage. Nevertheless, in spite of these pressures, he calls this second marriage adultery.

4.2 The remarkable thing about the first half of this verse is that it plainly says that the remarriage of a wife who has been innocently put away is nevertheless adultery: "Everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her (the innocent wife who has not been unchaste) an adulteress." This is a clear statement, it seems to me, that remarriage is wrong not merely when a person is guilty in the process of divorce, but also when a person is innocent. In other words, Jesus' opposition to remarriage seems to be based on the unbreakableness of the marriage bond by anything but death.

4.3 I will save my explanation of the exception clause ("Except on the ground of unchastity") for later in the paper, but for now, it may suffice to say that on the traditional interpretation of the clause, it may simply mean that a man makes his wife an adulteress except in the case where she has made herself one.

4.4 I would assume that since an innocent wife who is divorced commits adultery when she remarries, therefore a guilty wife who remarries after divorce is all the more guilty. If one argues that this guilty woman is free to remarry, while the innocent woman who has been put away is not, just because the guilty woman's adultery has broken the "one flesh" relationship, then one is put in the awkward position of saying to an innocent divorced woman, "If you now commit adultery it will be lawful for you to remarry." This seems wrong for at least two reasons.

4.41 It seems to elevate the physical act of sexual intercourse to be the decisive element in marital union and disunion.

4.42 If sexual union with another breaks the marriage bond and legitimizes remarriage, then to say that an innocently divorced wife can't remarry (as Jesus does say) assumes that her divorcing husband is not divorcing to have sexual relations with another. This is a very unlikely assumption. More likely is that Jesus does assume some of these divorcing husbands will have sexual relations with another woman, but still the wives they have divorced may not remarry. Therefore, adultery does not nullify the "one-flesh" relationship of marriage and both the innocent and guilty spouses are prohibited from remarriage in Matthew 5:32.


11. The exception clause of Matthew 19:9 need not imply that divorce on account of adultery frees a person to be remarried. All the weight of the New Testament evidence given in the preceding ten points is against this view, and there are several ways to make good sense out of this verse so that it does not conflict with the broad teaching of the New Testament that remarriage after divorce is prohibited.

Matthew 19:9: And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.

11.1 Several years ago I taught our congregation in two evening services concerning my understanding of this verse and argued that "except for immorality" did not refer to adultery but to premarital sexual fornication which a man or a woman discovers in the betrothed partner. Since that time I have discovered other people who hold this view and who have given it a much more scholarly exposition than I did. I have also discovered numerous other ways of understanding this verse which also exclude the legitimacy of remarriage. Several of these are summed up in William Heth and Gordon J. Wenham, Jesus and Divorce (Nelson: 1984).

11.2 Here I will simply give a brief summary of my own view of Matthew 19:9 and how I came to it.

I began, first of all, by being troubled that the absolute form of Jesus' denunciation of divorce and remarriage in Mark 10:11,12 and Luke 16:18 is not preserved by Matthew, if in fact his exception clause is a loophole for divorce and remarriage. I was bothered by the simple assumption that so many writers make that Matthew is simply making explicit something that would have been implicitly understood by the hearers of Jesus or the readers of Mark 10 and Luke 16.

Would they really have assumed that the absolute statements included exceptions? I have very strong doubts, and therefore my inclination is to inquire whether or not in fact Matthew's exception clause conforms to the absoluteness of Mark and Luke.

The second thing that began to disturb me was the question, Why does Matthew use the word porneia ("except for immorality") instead of the word moicheia which means adultery? Almost all commentators seem to make the simple assumption again that porneia means adultery in this context. The question nags at me why Matthew would not use the word for adultery, if that is in fact what he meant.

Then I noticed something very interesting. The only other place besides Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 where Matthew uses the word porneia is in 15:19 where it is used alongside of moicheia. Therefore, the primary contextual evidence for Matthew's usage is that he conceives of porneia as something different than adultery. Could this mean, then, that Matthew conceives of porneia in its normal sense of fornication or incest (l Corinthians 5:1) rather than adultery?

A. Isaksson agrees with this view of porneia and sums up his research much like this on pages 134-5 of Marriage and Ministry:

Thus we cannot get away from the fact that the distinction between what was to be regarded as porneia and what was to be regarded as moicheia was very strictly maintained in pre-Christian Jewish literature and in the N.T. Porneia may, of course, denote different forms of forbidden sexual relations, but we can find no unequivocal examples of the use of this word to denote a wife's adultery. Under these circumstances we can hardly assume that this word means adultery in the clauses in Matthew. The logia on divorce are worded as a paragraph of the law, intended to be obeyed by the members of the Church. Under these circumstances it is inconceivable that in a text of this nature the writer would not have maintained a clear distinction between what was unchastity and what was adultery: moicheia and not porneia was used to describe the wife's adultery. From the philological point of view there are accordingly very strong arguments against this interpretation of the clauses as permitting divorce in the case in which the wife was guilty of adultery.

The next clue in my search for an explanation came when I stumbled upon the use of porneia in John 8:41 where Jewish leaders indirectly accuse Jesus of being born of porneia. In other words, since they don't accept the virgin birth, they assume that Mary had committed fornication and Jesus was the result of this act. On the basis of that clue I went back to study Matthew's record of Jesus' birth in Matthew 1:18-20. This was extremely enlightening.

In these verses Joseph and Mary are referred to as husband (aner) and wife (gunaika). Yet they are described as only being betrothed to each other. This is probably owing to the fact that the words for husband and wife are simply man and woman and to the fact that betrothal was a much more significant commitment then than engagement is today. In verse 19 Joseph resolves "to divorce" Mary. The word for divorce is the same as the word in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9. But most important of all, Matthew says that Joseph was "just" in making the decision to divorce Mary, presumably on account of her porneia, fornication.

Therefore, as Matthew proceeded to construct the narrative of his gospel, he finds himself in chapter 5 and then later in chapter 19 needing to prohibit all remarriage after divorce (as taught by Jesus) and yet to allow for "divorces" like the one Joseph contemplated toward his betrothed whom he thought guilty of fornication (porneia). Therefore, Matthew includes the exception clause in particular to exonerate Joseph, but also in general to show that the kind of "divorce" that one might pursue during a betrothal on account of fornication is not included in Jesus' absolute prohibition.

A common objection to this interpretation is that both in Matthew 19:3-8 and in Matthew 5:31-32 the issue Jesus is responding to is marriage not betrothal. The point is pressed that "except for fornication" is irrelevant to the context of marriage.

My answer is that this irrelevancy is just the point Matthew wants to make. We may take it for granted that the breakup of an engaged couple over fornication is not an evil "divorce" and does not prohibit remarriage. But we cannot assume that Matthew's readers would take this for granted.

Even in Matthew 5:32, where it seems pointless for us to exclude "the case of fornication" (since we can't see how a betrothed virgin could be "made an adulteress" in any case), it may not be pointless for Matthew's readers. For that matter, it may not be pointless for any readers: if Jesus had said, "Every man who divorces his woman makes her an adulteress," a reader could legitimately ask: "Then was Joseph about to make Mary an adulteress?" We may say this question is not reasonable since we think you can't make unmarried women adulteresses. But it certainly is not meaningless or, perhaps for some readers, pointless, for Matthew to make explicit the obvious exclusion of the case of fornication during betrothal.

This interpretation of the exception clause has several advantages:

It does not force Matthew to contradict the plain, absolute meaning of Mark and Luke and the whole range of New Testament teaching set forth above in sections 1-10, including Matthew's own absolute teaching in 19:3-8
It provides an explanation for why the word porneia is used in Matthew's exception clause instead of moicheia
It squares with Matthew's own use of porneia for fornication in Matthew 15:19
It fits the demands of Matthew's wider context concerning Joseph's contemplated divorce.
Since I first wrote this exposition of Matthew 19:9 I have discovered a chapter on this view in Heth and Wenham, Jesus and Divorce and a scholarly defense of it by A. Isaksson, Marriage and Ministry in the New Temple (1965).

 2009/1/25 12:52Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7440
Mississippi

 Re: 1 Cor 7:15

Bruisedreed,

I agree with Pastorfrin's interpretation of this verse.

However, I would like to add another perspective.

A married person is under obligation to please his/her partner. The husband is duty bound to support his wife in every sense of the word. The wife is to render to her husband the duties expected of a wife. Now if a spouse leaves, it will mean your obligation to that person ceases. It is a self-inflicted excommunication. "You go, but I will not support you in any way." It is as though the Christian has to get out of the way so God can deal with him/her. If you pursue this person, make a pest of yourself, you will drive him/her further away.

This is the practical application as I understand it. It has nothing to do about allowing anyone to remarry after a divorce because that would contradict other scriptures.

Hope this makes sense..

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2009/1/29 21:05Profile
graceamazed
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Joined: 2008/11/3
Posts: 77
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 Re:

God hates divorce. Someone made reference to the idea that God divorced Israel, but did He? Did He not take for Himself a remant and restore her and cleanse her? I often think of the illustration from the 16th chapter of Ezekial, which speaks of Israel's "adultery" and how she "spread her legs for every passerby", and the Lord did allow her to be disgraced and humilitiated, but in the end He restored her, not because of her faithfulness but because of His faithfulness to His covenant.

I don't believe the scripture in 1 Cor 7 gives provision for a divorced spouse to remarry another person so long as their original spouse is still alive, nor do any other scriptures, so far as I can tell.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her." How often have you and I committed adultery against our Lord and yet what is His response? Does He give us a letter of divorce, or does He draw us back to Him and wait patiently for us to reconciled? I believe we should have the same attitude toward our spouses as Christ has toward His church, even giving up our lives for those who are mistreating us.


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Buck Yates

 2009/1/29 22:40Profile
ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

Greetings all,



"A common objection to this interpretation is that both in Matthew 19:3-8 and in Matthew 5:31-32 the issue Jesus is responding to is marriage not betrothal. The point is pressed that "except for fornication" is irrelevant to the context of marriage.

My answer is that this irrelevancy is just the point Matthew wants to make. We may take it for granted that the breakup of an engaged couple over fornication is not an evil "divorce" and does not prohibit remarriage. But we cannot assume that Matthew's readers would take this for granted."


But who were his readers? Would they have read Deuteronomy 22:23-24?


If all of this reasoning were the case, why wouldn't the Lord Jesus have made this perfectly clear, and reffered to those [b]who were [u]betrothed[/u] in Marriage[/b], instead.



From Matthew 1:18...


[b]espoused[/b](from Strong's greek dictonary)

G3423
μνηστεύω
mnēsteuō
mnace-tyoo'-o
From a derivative of G3415; to give a souvenir (engagement present), that is, betroth: - espouse.


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/1/29 23:38Profile
ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

Quote:
Therefore, as Matthew proceeded to construct the narrative of his gospel, he finds himself in chapter 5 and then later in chapter 19 needing to prohibit all remarriage after divorce (as taught by Jesus) and yet to allow for "divorces" like the one Joseph contemplated toward his betrothed whom he thought guilty of fornication (porneia). Therefore, Matthew includes the exception clause in particular to exonerate Joseph, but also in general to show that the kind of "divorce" that one might pursue during a betrothal on account of fornication is not included in Jesus' absolute prohibition





Do I understand this correctly, that the author is suggesting that [b]Matthew[/b] inserted a clause here that the Lord Jesus Christ did not make Himself? Is he suggesting that these are Matthew's words, that he added for clarification?



If this is the case, why didn't Matthew make this abundantly clear, and [b]add[/b] the word for espoused also?


Did I misunderstand this?


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/1/29 23:46Profile
ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

Quote:
Porneia may, of course, denote different forms of forbidden sexual relations, but we can find no unequivocal examples of the use of this word to denote a wife's adultery.









[b][color=660000]And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. [/color][/b]

- Matthew 19:5-6(KJV)




[b][color=000000] What? know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. [/color][/b]

- 1 Co 6:16(KJV)



See greek definition for [i]harlot[/i](v16) and [i]fornication[/i](v18)


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/1/30 0:27Profile





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