Archive for the ‘Divorce and Remarriage’ Category

The Question of Divorce, Part 4

August 25, 2008

Title: The Question of Divorce, Part 4

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Text: 1 Corinthians 7:10-16

Time: August 11, 2008

For the past few weeks we’ve been examining what the Bible has to teach about marriage, divorce and remarriage. We’ve looked at some key passages in God’s Word dealing with these topics, such as Matthew 5 and 19, and Romans 7. Now today, I’d like to deal with another important passage on marriage, divorce and remarriage – 1 Corinthians 7:10-16, “To the married I give this command (not I but the Lord): a wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): if any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” Now there’s a lot in this passage – some of which we won’t get into today. But there is also much we can explain because it deals directly with the questions of marriage, divorce and remarriage. In previous messages I explained that God’s original intent for marriage was one man, one woman, for one lifetime. Divorce is not in God’s plan for marriage. There is no mention of divorce in the original bringing together of Adam and Eve in the first marriage. That’s because divorce was to have no role in that marriage or any marriage. But due to human selfishness and sin, divorce happens sometimes, so God makes an allowance for it in certain strict circumstances. Now today, divorce is done for any reason or no reason at all. Today there really doesn’t have to be any reason other than one or both spouses don’t want to be married anymore. Well, that is not God’s plan. Due to human sinfulness, God allows for divorce in cases of adultery and abandonment. But even in these cases, God doesn’t command divorce, he just permits it as a last resort. So let me spend a little bit of time explaining the allowance by God for divorce in the case of abandonment – that is, when an unbelieving spouse refuses to live with the believing spouse and simply leaves the home. What can a believing spouse do in such a case? God permits divorce and remarriage under such circumstances. Let’s examine this further. (more…)

The Question of Divorce, Part 3

August 25, 2008

Title: The Question of Divorce, Part 3

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Text: Romans 7:1-3

Time: August 10, 2008

We are talking about what the Bible says about divorce and remarriage, or rather, what God says about divorce and remarriage, because the Bible is the very Word of God. Last week we talked about Matthew 5 and also Matthew 19; two verses that explain what marriage is and what divorce is, and what is allowed and what isn’t allowed. This week let’s look at what the Apostle Paul says about marriage, divorce, and remarriage, since it isn’t just the teachings of Jesus we follow in the Bible, but also we follow the total revelation from God to us through the apostles and prophets in the whole Bible. So what does the Apostle Paul says about this important topic we are studying. He talks about it in at least two places, in Romans 7 and in 1 Corinthians 7, but today we’ll focus in on what he says in Romans 7:1-3, “Do you not know, brothers – for I am speaking to men who know the law – that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.” Here we see the simple principle of marriage that is found in the traditional marriage vows of the Christian church: “I John take thee Jane to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my troth.” I take thee till death us do part. The original purpose of God for a man and woman in marriage is one man, one woman, one lifetime, no divorce, no separation, only one man, one woman, for a lifetime. But that isn’t what we see happening today is it? Instead of one man, one woman, married for a lifetime, we see men and women marrying, divorcing, marrying again, maybe even divorcing again, remarrying or maybe not even bothering to marry, just living together as man and woman without the benefit of marriage at all. We live in a spiritually confused time, a morally bankrupt age, where people would rather follow their own foolish instincts and feelings rather than the clear and plain teachings from God concerning marriage. Well, it’s up to the Christian church to explain very clearly what God’s teaching is on marriage, divorce, and remarriage, and in addition to teaching it, also enforcing it in the lives of its church members. So with that responsibility let me attempt today to explain a little more God’s teachings on marriage from Romans 7. Three observations from the passage. (more…)

The Question of Divorce, Part 2

August 25, 2008

Title: The Question of Divorce, Part 2

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Text: Matthew 5:31-32

Time: August 10, 2008

We are talking about what the Bible says about divorce, or rather, what God says about divorce, since the Bible is God’s Word. Last week I dealt with the passage found in Matthew 19 on divorce, but this week I’d like to focus on what Jesus teaches on divorce in Matthew 5:31-32; it’s a little different. It says essentially the same thing, only it adds some extra bit of information that’s important for us to understand. We can also see that already again in the same book of the Bible Jesus is dealing with the issue of divorce. Now some people think that the Bible is irrelevant for today, that it teaches things that are outdated, that it has no connection with the modern world. But I can’t think of a more relevant topic than that of divorce. Over the last 25 years we’ve seen the divorce rate skyrocket. Never before in the whole history of mankind has there been such an increase in divorce in any society such as what we are now experiencing. Just 100 years ago divorce was rare. Most small rural small towns were unaffected by it. Most people could count on their two hands the number of people they knew who had been divorced; it was that rare. But today practically everyone knows family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, even themselves who have gone through a divorce. And not just one, but sometimes multiple divorces. It’s gotten to the point now that hardly anybody notices it, it’s so common. It’s gotten to the point now that couples don’t even bother with marriage at all, they just live together or cohabit or as it’s also known, shacking up. We have gotten so far from God’s intent and purpose for couples today that we are lost and we don’t even know we are lost. Lots of couples don’t know anything other than multi-marriages, cohabiting, etc. They think that’s just how relationships are done. Our challenge today is to teach God’s plan and purpose for marriage, and constantly remind people what the Bible teaches about all these things – marriage, divorce, and remarriage. So today I’d like to talk further about the subject of divorce and explore what Jesus says about this in Matthew 5:31-32 (read). It’s pretty much the same as Matthew 19:1-12 except that it emphasizes the important point that not everything that people call divorce is really divorce, because a person isn’t divorced unless God considers them divorced. Or in other words, just as God defines who is married and who isn’t, God also defines, ultimately, who is legitimately divorced and who isn’t. Now why does this matter? Because only a person who is legitimately divorced can be legitimately remarried. Now do you see how important it is to have God’s recognition of both marriage and divorce? If not, one could be living in a state of adultery and not even know it. So it’s very important to know what is and what isn’t a legitimate divorce in the eyes of God. Let me mention three things. (more…)

The Question of Divorce, Part 1

August 8, 2008

Title: The Question of Divorce

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Text: Matthew 19:1-12

Time: August 3, 2008

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of our time is not the terrorist attack on 9/11 or the AIDS epidemic, or the many other events that have shocked and saddened our world recently, but perhaps the greatest tragedy is the tragedy of divorce. Currently around one-half of all marriages will fail and end in divorce. Millions of couples will quit their marriages this year, hurting themselves along with millions of children, family members, relatives and friends in the process. The single adult population in the United States continues to climb at alarming rates, primarily because of all the divorced adults in society. Unattached men wandering through life, along with millions of unattached women, creates a very unstable social situation. But it’s not just that people get married, fail, divorce, and remain single for very long; they don’t. They usually jump right back into another marriage, which, unfortunately, usually fails and ends up in divorce eventually also. So for millions and millions of people, there are multiple marriages and divorces in their lives. Multiply all the hurt, pain, and chaos that all these relationship failures cause, and we can begin to see the picture of society as a whole in the 21st century – it’s a social mess, it’s a chaotic pool of tangled and mangled relationships, with children mixed up in the middle of it all. Only the Lord knows what the next generation will look like, the children of today’s divorces. In the midst of this social chaos, is there anything that can be done? Are there answers to these huge problems between men and women today? The good news is “Yes” there are answers, they come from God Almighty, and all we have to do is listen to God’s answers and follow His directions in life to avoid many or even most of the problems of divorce in our society today. God addresses the issues of marriage and divorce, He knows that without clear direction from heaven people on earth will come to ruin in their relationships. That’s why God gives us directions on how to be married and how to avoid divorce. We would be wise to listen to him, instead of all the marriage experts and psychologists and psychiatrists and secular counselors. These so-called experts are partly to blame for all the confusion within marriages today, by their giving fundamentally foolish advise about relationships. Only God can be fully trusted to deliver us the truth concerning marriage and divorce, only God can be trusted with our lives and relationships. So lets’ turn today to Matthew 19:1-12 where we’ll find Jesus teaching on marriage and divorce. There are three questions that come up in this short teaching, three questions that can help us as we seek the answers that the Lord gives. So let’s turn to Matthew 19:1-12 (read) and find out what God has to say about marriage and divorce. (more…)