Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
Topic: Marriage Passage: Matthew 5:31–5:32, Matthew 19:1–19:10, 1 Corinthians 7:10–7:16
Divorce and remarriage are commonplace in our society and, sadly, among believers today. We know how unbelievers view marriage, divorce, and remarriage, but what does God have to say on the subject?
During Jesus’ earthly teaching ministry, there was disharmony among the religious leaders of the day. The Pharisees were falsely interpreting the law. (Matthew 5:21, 27, 33, 38, 43) Jesus repeated, “You have heard…,” and then proceeded to clarify each Old Testament commandment.
The Pharisees’ Two Schools of Thought Regarding Divorce:
- House of Shammai
- They held to a stricter view on divorce and believed that you could divorce only for a serious transgression such as adultery.
- House of Hellil
- They were more liberal and believed you could divorce for any reason at all.
Our decision-making filter is the Word of God, not society.
Christ Clarifies His View of Marriage:
God’s Establishment of the Permanency of Marriage (Matthew 19:4-6; Genesis 5:2, 2:24)
- Marriage is one man for one woman for one lifetime.
- Don’t break apart what God has put together. (Malachi 2:16)
God’s Exceptions to the Permanency of Marriage
- Sexual Immorality (Matt. 19:9)
- “Porneia” refers to any illicit sexual intercourse outside of marriage including adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, and incest.
- The exception clause for divorce also applies to remarriage.
- Abandonment of an unbelieving spouse. (1 Corinthians 7:10-16)
- A Christian should not divorce his/her spouse. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)
- Being married to an unbeliever does not give grounds for divorce so long as the unbeliever is willing to stay.
- Desertion of an unbeliever gives freedom to divorce and remarry.
What do I do if I have been divorced or remarried without biblical grounds?
- Confess your sin to God. (1 John 1:9)
- Ask your current spouse to forgive you for leading them into adultery.
- Ask your former spouse to forgive you.
- If you have children, ask them to forgive you.
- Realize the person you are currently married to is now God’s will for you.
- After getting right with God, you can now build a Christ-honoring marriage.
- If you have been divorced without biblical grounds and you are single, rely on God’s grace to live for Him as a single adult.