Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage
Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage
I. The covenantal nature of marriage.
A. Two people are so bound as to be considered one. MAT 19:4-6.
B. No other is to be looked upon or thought upon as the object of marital love.
JOB 31:1 c/w GEN 20:16.
C. A spouse is deemed such by covenant or vow. MAL 2:14.
D. Husband and wife are bound together in marriage. ROM 7:1-3.
E. Marriage is a God-ordered contract, vow, or covenant between a man and a woman. Both
are bound by the law of God to be faithful to the contract and society is bound to respect that contract. EXO 20:14, 17; JOB 31:9-12.
II. The sanctity of marriage.
A. Marriage was instituted before sin entered the world. GEN 2:21-25.
B. Marriage reflects the relationship between Christ and His church. EPH 5:22-23.
C. It is declared to be honourable in all. HEB 13:4.
D. It ought not to be denied qualified adults. 1TI 4:1-3.
III. The purpose of marriage.
A. Companionship. GEN 2:18-22.
B. Procreation and dominion. GEN 1:28; 1TI 5:14; PSA 127:3-5.
C. Sexual gratification. 1CO 7:1-2, 8-9.
IV. Divorce and remarriage.
A. A sin which was caused by an unlawful divorce and remarriage that occurred in one's life
before coming to the knowledge of the truth is wiped away at conversion. 1CO 6:9-11.
B. The Lord God hates putting away or divorce. MAL 2:16.
1. Yet God has ordained legal divorce in His word.
a. Moses' law had a broad provision for divorce and remarriage.
DEU 24:1-4; MAT 19:3-8.
(1) Mark that God did not require divorce; He suffered it.
(2) God allowed this because of the hardness of their hearts.
(3) Divorce was not God's ideal in the beginning.
(4) God tolerated less than the ideal in allowing divorce in the Old
Testament but He put restrictions on it.
b. God still tolerates less than the ideal in the New Testament in that while He
commands no divorce, He allows it providing there is no marriage to another. 1CO 7:10-11.
(1) The laws respecting remarriage are tightened in the New Testament.
(2) There are two exceptions to the N.T. law forbidding divorce and
AA. Christ allows one to divorce and remarry if he puts away his
spouse for the cause of fornication. MAT 19:9.
BB. In addition, Paul allows a Christian to divorce and remarry
if the unbelieving spouse departs. 1CO 7:12-15.
2. However, all divorce is caused by someone's sin and violates the original ideal.
Hence, God hates it.
C. The covenant of marriage regards sexual faithfulness, knowing no one other than one's
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spouse sexually. JOB 31:1; ROM 7:2-3; EXO 20:14.
D. If one spouse commits fornication, then the innocent spouse is allowed to divorce the
guilty party and remarry. However, anyone who marries the guilty party who has been divorced commits adultery. MAT 5:31-32.
1. Believing couples who divorce because of something other than marital infidelity
must remain uninvolved sexually or maritally with any other. Their only valid
relationship is through reconciliation. 1CO 7:10-11.
2. The divorced who becomes involved sexually with a third party commits an act of
adultery since the covenant is still in force.
a. An act of adultery can be forgiven. REV 2:22.
b. An act of adultery puts the offender at the mercy of the offended since the
offended is then free to remarry, per MAT 5:31-32.
c. If the offended chooses to remarry, the offender is not released from
covenant and must remain single.
d. Remember that proven adultery of the heart is indeed adultery. MAT 5:28.
3. The divorced who unlawfully marries another commits adultery (MAT 19:9) and enters into a state of adultery.
a. A new covenantal commitment with another party is struck while the first covenant is still in force.
b. This action makes the new partner an adulterer per MAT 5:32, which proves that the first marriage covenant was still in force.
c. The remarried divorced person becomes an adulterous bigamist in God's eyes but frees the first spouse to remarry.
d. The remarried divorced person is now in a state of adultery, regardless of what the first spouse does or does not do.
e. How does one vow to think of none other as the object of marital love (the substance of the marriage covenant, JOB 31:1) to two people?
f. Appeals to texts like EZR 10:2-3 will not remedy this situation.
(1) We are under a New Testament with stricter rules for marriage.
(2) If undoing an adulterous marriage was in fact a simple matter of
admitting one's error and putting away the second spouse, this could be done over and over, making a mockery of N.T. directives for marriage.
E. Divorce is not considered covenant-breaking unless there is an unlawful relationship developed: fornication or remarriage. Therefore, divorce of itself is not grounds for disinheritance from the kingdom of God (the church).
F. If an unbeliever departs, a believer is no longer bound to the marriage (1CO 7:15). The believer may be divorced and remarried. This is not the case with the unbeliever, per MAT 5:32.
G. The rule is that divorced persons are not free to remarry unless:
1. death breaks the bond. ROM 7:2.
2. the divorce is because of fornication. MAT 5:32; 19:9.
3. the unbeliever departs, breaking the bond. 1CO 7:15 c/w 1CO 7:27, 39.
H. Consider the doctrine of divorce outlined in 1CO 7:10-15.
1. The word depart here translates the Greek chorizo (SRN #5563), which is rendered
put asunder in MAT 19:6 in which Christ was dealing with the issue of divorce.
2. However, depart in both Greek and English refers to departing a place
geographically (ACT 18:1-2, [chorizo]) and departing a condition
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(HEB 3:12; 7:26 [chorizo]; 1TI 4:1).
3. The wife who departs in v. 11 obviously departs the marriage since she is to remain
4. The phrase put away is also used in this passage. It is also used in MAT 5:31-32
and MAT 19:3-9, obviously referring to divorce.
5. Of course, a departure from the marriage by divorce entails a geographical
departure. DEU 24:1-2.
6. An unbeliever who departs geographically or who departs the marriage frees the
7. It matters not why the unbeliever chooses to depart. If he depart, let him depart.
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