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  • #3785702

    I would like to share a  6-part course I attended on divorce and remarriage.  (There are only 5 parts listed as the 6th was a review and  not downloaded).   As we all know, the Bible’s intent is found in knowing it’s original language, context, and intent.  We can find this by using scripture to interpret other scripture.  Please understand that this is intended to be one interpretation; and you may disagree; that is okay, but the lesson is backed up with other scriptural references.  I hope this helps someone find peace who was not the author or the catalyst for divorce; and can still be made whole again in Christ.

    (see comments for  the rest of the study)


    GOD BLESS< pryrwaryr<





    Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Ps 119:18


    Let us begin with an open Bible and an open mind.




    This study is NOT designed for those considering divorce. Nor is it designed to be a divorce-care mechanism. Rather, our intent is to get a clear understanding of all that God says about remarriage, and how to apply it to our world today. In doing so, we will strive to accomplish the following:


    • To closely examine the traditional teaching of the church in light of Biblical instructions.
    • To help those who are considering remarriage, and those considering marriage to a divorced person, to fully comprehend their options according to the will of God.
    • To instruct those who have been remarried as to their standing in the Church and in the Kingdom.
    • To revisit the issue of qualifications for service in the church.




    Society, and unfortunately the Church as well, have trivialized divorce. Marriage is under attack as never before. Approximately 3000 couples divorce each day. Today, 65% of new marriages will ultimately end in divorce, and sadly, the divorce rate is as high in the Church as among unbelievers. As a result, the Church must learn how to address, in a Biblical manner, the growing numbers of those affected by the tragedy of divorce.


    Unfortunately, in most churches those who have been sorely wounded by the one they most trusted, come to church only to discover that the church views them as some sort of step-child in the family of God. They find they are reluctantly accepted in some areas and ostracized in others. The denominational condemnation and discrimination only add to their feelings of failure and lack of self esteem.




    Every passage must be viewed in light of three critical issues: context, truth, and grace.


    1. Context

    God’s truth is revealed in historical context. It is crucial to understand the culture of the people to whom it is being directly addressed, and the circumstances surrounding the sharing of Truth. For instance, Paul says in 2 Tim. 4:13. “Bring my cloak and my books that I left at Troas.” Obviously, God does not intend for us to follow that instruction. Although this example is absurd, it nevertheless illustrates the necessity of understanding who the passage is addressing.




    It is equally important to consider the complete context. For example, James 4:7 says “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Yet many of us can testify of times when we earnestly resisted the enemy, only to utterly fail. What was wrong? Did the Bible lie? No, a careful examination of the entire passage will reveal that James is rebuking worldliness. In verses 6-10 he discusses humility: “God resisteth the proud but giveth grace to the humble,” “purify your hearts,” “humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord.” In fact, the first part of verse 7 itself says, “Submit yourselves to God.” Now, in context, if we humble ourselves, purify our minds, submit ourselves to God, we can know with confidence that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us. Context is important!


    1. Truth

    We cannot develop doctrines based on isolated “proof texts.” Rather, every passage must be viewed in light of the revealed Word, the “whole counsel of God.” Paul says in First Corinthians 2:13, “we speak not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” In other words, let Scripture interpret Scripture.


    Mark 16:16 says “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Taken at face value, this would indicate that baptism is required for salvation. Yet, Eph 2:8, Acts 16:31, and countless other texts clearly teach that salvation is by faith alone. The entire Biblical teaching on regeneration supercedes one isolated statement.


    1. Grace

    By grace, I mean far more than the “unmerited favor of God,” Grace is the essence of God’s saving act in Jesus Christ, flowing freely from his sacrificial, vicarious death. Grace is the basis for relationship between God and man, and not only brings us to God, but continues to operate after we are saved. Our Lord knows when we sin, but He chooses to relate to us, not according to Law, but through grace and forgiveness.




    2 Tim. 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God…..rightly dividing the Word of God


    Note: Study takes effort, more than just reading, more than just listening to others.

    If the Word can be “rightly divided,” then it can be “wrongly divided.”


    We will STUDY nine different Bible passages that address divorce/remarriage.


    Gen 2:24 Mt 5:31-32 Lk 16:18

    Deut 24:1-4 Mt 19:3-12 Rom 7:1-6

    Mal 2:6-16 Mk 10:2-12 1 Cor 7: 10-17


    Since the Bible is a progression of revelation we will study these texts in order of their appearance in Scripture


    Three Dangers

    1. Scripture interpretation cannot be influenced by compassion for hurting people
    2. Personal experience cannot affect interpretation of Scriptures.
    3. Do not interpret these passages while misunderstanding the texts.




    To understand remarriage in the Scriptures, one must first understand all that is entailed in divorce. To comprehend divorce, one must have a clear understanding of precisely what is involved in Biblical marriage. We begin in Gen 2:22-24, which incidentally was before the appearance of sin and before the giving of the Law. Three words describe marriage as presented in these verses.


    1. Leave “therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother

    This involves a public act recognized and regulated by society. The man must first “stop being a son,” in order to become a husband. This new relationship takes priority over all others, except his relationship with God.


    1. Cleave “and shall cleave unto his wife

    The word “cleave” means “to adhere to.” It indicates a permanent bond— the relationship is intended to be life-long..


    1. Weave “and they shall be one flesh

    The word for one is “echad”, and is the same word used in Deut 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord your God is ONE Lord.” The very same word He used to describe the intimacy of the Godhead, he used to describe the marriage relationship! He wants the husband and wife to be one, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one! Although the word in Gen 2 does include the sexual union, He wants man and wife not only to be one physically, but spiritually and emotionally as well. Marriage is not two worlds coming together, rather, it is the end of two worlds and the birth of a brand new world. A holy uniting of a man, a woman, and God almighty to produce a holy tri-union, a “three-fold cord.”


    The Biblical marriage agreement is a covenant, not a contract (Mal. 2:14). A contract is based on suspicion, contains various conditions and limitations, contains certain “outs,” and is bound by courts. A covenant is based on trust, is unconditional, without limits, unending, and bound by character.


    The Hebrew word for covenant is “beriyth” and means “a solemn agreement with binding force.” It comes from a root word which means “to cut,” and Bible covenants involve the letting of blood. For instance God’s covenant with Abraham was accompanied by circumcision; the Old Covenant involved animal sacrifices, and of course the New Covenant was accomplished at Calvary. A Biblical marriage covenant assumes the bride is a virgin, and therefore the consummation involves a letting of blood. Marriage is therefore a blood covenant and intended to be without end. God’s clear intention for matrimony has always been one man, one woman, as long as they both shall live


    Therefore, divorce is not something to be considered lightly. Next week we will begin to study what the Bible says about divorce.

    Week 1 – 1 –


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    • #3785706

      WEEK TWO





      Last week we looked at the covenant of marriage, designed by God to be between one man and one woman, and intended to be for life. Today we will begin to look at divorce, which by definition is “the dissolution of a marriage”.


      We determined that it is imperative that each passage we visit is studied within the context in which it is set. For example, 1 Cor. 14:34 says “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak.” This is taken literally by many churches today who will not permit a woman to even say “amen” in the church. However, when studied in context, it will be noted that Paul in chapter 14 was addressing the problems the church at Corinth was having with spiritual gifts. In verse 26, he begins to give regulations for the exercising of the gift of tongues, or languages, in the church. He says things should be done in orderly fashion, that an interpreter should be present, and that as pertains to “speaking in tongues,” women were to be silent. To forbid women to speak in church is to totally misconstrue Paul’s instructions. Context is critical.


      DEUT 24:1-4


      To properly understand divorce in the Old Testament, we must first view it in its historical context. In those days, the wife was in total submission to the husband. In fact, she was viewed as little more than property, only a notch above livestock. She had no rights and was virtually at the mercy of her husband. This social setting has a bearing on the proper comprehension of Old Testament divorce.


      Also, the text in Deut. 24 must also be viewed in literary context. The book of Deuteronomy contains the addresses that Moses gave during the final months of his life, when the Israelites were encamped in the plains of Moab prior to entering the Promised Land. Sometimes called the “second giving of the law”, this book is a sort of constitution of the Theocracy of Israel.


      In chapter 22, verse 19, the Law stipulated that a man, who had accused his wife of infidelity, and the accusation proven false, could never divorce his wife. In verse 29, it is stated that a man who seduced a virgin had to marry her, and “he may not put her away all his days.” The presence of these two prohibitions infers that divorce in cases other than these, was permitted.


      The pagans of the day would divorce their wives simply by saying “I divorce thee” three times. Jewish history indicates this practice was beginning to appear among the Israelites. In Deut. 24:1-4, God, thru Moses, provides a proper procedure for divorce.


      • Verse 1 – The meaning of the term “some uncleanness” is much debated. The Hebrew term is “ervah-dover,” and many believe that the term refers exclusively to sexual impurity, or adultery. This interpretation is unlikely, as the previous chapters indicate that adultery was arbitrarily punished by stoning. Dr Eldersheim, noted Hebrew scholar, states the meaning as “every kind of impropriety, including flirting, brawling, poor hygiene, mistreating in-laws, and having a bad reputation in general.”


      The term “divorcement” means to “loose, sever, set free, undo a bond.” Obviously in this context it referenced dissolution of marriage, not just a separation.


      • Verse 2 – Throughout Jewish history, every divorce decree found has included permission to remarry. Likewise, remarriage is permitted here. The only debate concerns the grounds for divorce, not remarriage.


      • Verses 3-4 – “Her former husband” indicates that the divorce was recognized as a total dissolution of the marriage contract. Therefore they were not “still married in God’s eyes.” This truth is also reflected in Jesus’ words to the woman at the well. When she said she had no husband, Jesus told her she was speaking truthfully, but that she had been married five times. Either all five husbands had died, which is highly unlikely or Jesus recognized her five divorces.


      • Verse 5 – The law here required a one-hear honeymoon!


      Old Testament Law established a divorce procedure that for fourteen centuries served as Israel’s one and only divorce bill. Evidence is clear and strong that the divorce signified absolute dissolution of marriage accompanied by the right to remarry. This bill of divorcement was in essence freedom papers for the discarded wife, protecting her dignity and declaring her freedom to remarry.


      Though God obviously designed marriage to be a life-long relationship, the entrance of sin greatly complicated life. The Law did not prohibit, but regulated divorce.


      This passage is quoted by Jesus in Matthew 19, and we will revisit these verses as we study the Lord’s words.



      MALACHI 2:10-17


      Malachi wrote around 450 to 400 B. C., about 100 years after the return of the Jews to Palestine. The people and the priests had backslidden and become very lax in the observance of the law. Accordingly, stoning had become infrequent. It appears that by this time in Israel’s history, when a wife was caught in adultery the husband had three options. He could forgive her, as in the case of Hosea and Gomer; he could divorce her privately and send her away, as was Joseph s intention when he assumed Mary had been unfaithful; or he could charge her publicly and have her stoned.


      In the days of Malachi divorce had become more prevalent. Intermarriage with pagans was also becoming more common. He addressed these marriages in verses 10-12. Beginning in verse 13 the prophet decries the divorces of his day. Three times, verses 14, 15, and 16 he rebukes “dealing treacherously with the wife of thy youth”. Mature men had begun to divorce their wives, who had been faithful for many years, in order to take a younger wife. In verse 16 he states, “For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away:” In other words God hates divorce! He hates divorce for the same reason Jerry Hoover hates cancer; because Jerry watched the disease destroy the one he loved; he watched it rob her of health and happiness; and he watched as it broke the holy covenant they had made. God hates divorce because He sees how it damages those He loves.


      But does God hate every divorce? Remember that this passage was dealing with men who in their lust discarded their wives for newer models. I do not believe that we can assume God hates every divorce in every circumstance. In fact, God commanded the people in Ezra’s day to divorce their pagan wives. Further in our study we will find other instances of divorce that God surely did not “hate”.


      Next week we will begin our study of divorce in the New Testament, beginning with the words of Christ in Matthew 5:31-32.

      Week 2 – 1 –


      The Hebrew word for covenant is “beriyth” and means “a solemn agreement with binding force.” It comes from a root word which means “to cut,” and Bible covenants involve the letting of blood. For instance God’s covenant with Abraham was accompanied by circumcision; the Old Covenant involved animal sacrifices, and of course the New Covenant was accomplished at Calvary. A Biblical marriage covenant assumes the bride is a virgin, and therefore the consummation involves a letting of blood. Marriage is therefore a blood covenant and intended to be without end. God’s clear intention for matrimony has always been one man, one woman, as long as they both shall live


      Therefore, divorce is not something to be considered lightly. Next week we will begin to study what the Bible says about divorce.

      Week 1 – 1 –

      Pryrwaryr Admin

    • #3785707

      Week Three



      There are four passages in the Gospels recording the words of Jesus concerning divorce: Mt 5:31,32; Mt 19:1-12; Mk 10:1-12; and Lk 16:18.


      Since Jesus is not only our Savior, but also our Lord, his words are authoritative and must be obeyed. But before we can obey his instructions, we must first understand them. As mentioned in the previous studies, it is imperative that we view isolated passages in light of their context. What are the circumstances? Who is being addressed? What is the subject being discussed? With this in mind, and with open hearts and open Bibles we will begin.


      MT 5:31-32




      It should be remembered that the Gospel according to Matthew was written to Jews to answer their questions about Jesus of Nazareth who claimed to be their Messiah. Accordingly, Jesus is presented as the Son of David, the King of the Jews. In chapter four, verse seventeen, Jesus “began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” As He went about Galilee, teaching, preaching, and healing, his fame grew and great crowds began to follow him. In chapter five, we have recorded a lengthy discourse that we call The Sermon on the Mount. The Lord is not here discussing the way of salvation, but the way of righteous living.


      In the first twelve verses Jesus explains that his kingdom will not come by force, but will be given to the meek, the merciful, the oppressed, the peacemakers. In verses 13-16 he compares kingdom members to salt and light, and rebukes phonies.


      Verses 17-20 are extremely important, as they tell us how to understand the remainder of the chapter. The Pharisees had accused him of breaking the law, but He explains that He has come to fulfill the law, not to destroy it. To the Jews, the law was their whole existence, their only way to attain greatness. Jesus tells them they can never keep the whole law, and therefore could never become righteous through the law.


      At this point, verse 21, Jesus proceeds to give six illustrations to correct their attitude about the law. Each begins with “ye have heard”, and is followed by “but I say unto you.” The Old Testament laws they had “heard” dealt with actions. The sayings of Jesus are dealing with the heart, or motive.


      Having said all this, we are now ready to study.



      • First Illustration: The Law of Murder – Verses 21-26

      Jesus explains that not only is murder wrong, but also equally wrong is holding unjust anger or hatred against another. In fact, he warns that even calling someone a fool or a moron places one in danger of hell fire. Further, reconciliation to your brother is necessary before God will accept your offerings.


      • Second Illustration: The Law of Adultery – Verses 26-30

      The law says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”, but the Lord says that to even look on a woman in lust constitutes adultery of the heart. Therefore, he explained that if your right eye offends you, pluck it out. If your right hand offends you, cut it off. It is better to be maimed, he says, that to be whole and go to hell.


      • Third Illustration: The Law of Divorce – Verses 31-32

      The law taught that divorce required a “writing of divorcement”, but Jesus said divorce was forbidden except for reasons of fornication. He further stated that anyone divorced for any other reason was not, in fact divorced, but still married, and therefore any subsequent marriage was adulterous.

      *Note: we will study these two verses in more detail later in this lesson.


      • Fourth Illustration: The Law of Oaths – Verses 33-37

      Jesus says we should not swear, or take an oath. We should live in such a way that our word would be sufficient.


      • Fifth Illustration: The Law of Nonresistance – Verses 38-42

      Although the law clearly taught “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, Jesus tells the people that if attacked, they were not to retaliate, but to turn the other cheek. And if someone asks for your coat, give it to him, and your cloak also. If someone asks to borrow anything from you, this passage teaches you are not to turn him away.


      • Sixth Illustration: The Law of Love – Verses 43-48

      Law commands us to love our neighbor, but Jesus said we are also to love our enemies; to bless them; to do good unto them; and to pray for them. He commands us to be perfect, or mature, as our heavenly Father is perfect.




      Jesus here gives what has come to be known as the “exception clause”, which has become the Protestant view on divorce. The word “fornication” is the translation for the Greek word “porneia”, from which we get our word, pornography. There is much debate concerning the meaning of this word. Those who believe that marriage is insoluble and divorce never permitted, affirm that the meaning is “sex between singles” and references only the “divorce” of engaged couples when one discovers the other has been unfaithful. Others say it refers only to “kinship marriages” which were prohibited in Numbers. They say “porneia” cannot refer to adultery, as adultery was punished by stoning. However, we learned last week that by this time in Jewish history, the Jews had become very lax in some areas of the law, especially in cases where stoning was required. In fact, a man who found his wife unfaithful had three options: he could forgive her, as in the case of Hosea and Gomer; he could divorce her privately, as in the case of Joseph and Mary, or he could have her stoned. The three foremost Greek scholars, Vine, Thayer, and Eerdman, all define “porneia” as being a generic term for sexual impurity, including rape, incest, prostitution, bestiality, sodomy, and adultery. On numerous occasions in the New Testament writings, the same word is used, translated as “fornication”, in contexts that clearly do not refer to sexual sins committed solely by those who are unmarried. (1 Cor 5:9,11; 10:8; 2 Cor 12:21; Acts 15:20,29; Jude 7; Rev 2:14)


      Clearly, Jesus here tells us that in cases of infidelity, the innocent party has a right to divorce. And if the divorce is lawful, then remarriage is permitted. Some disagree with this view, but the Greek grammar indicates there is only one subject for both verbs. The one who divorces wrongly is the same one who commits adultery by remarrying. Since, in order to commit adultery, one must still be married, it can be understood that Jesus here indicates that these wrongful divorces, were not recognized by God, and therefore subsequent marriages were adulterous. This is the only plausible interpretation allowed by the texts, if one takes these verses literally.


      However, are these verses intended to be understood literally? Remember the context. This is but one of six illustrations Jesus used to correct their legalistic approach to the law. The first, concerning murder, indicates that angrily calling someone a fool or a moron, could doom the offender to hell. Is this to be taken literally? Or is Jesus teaching that God is concerned not just with our actions but also with our motives, our hearts?


      The adultery illustration teaches that the man who has a problem with lust should pluck out his eye. Again, intended literally? No, obviously a man with one eye could still have a problem with lust. He was actually advocating the removal of the inward cause of lust, which left unchecked, would ultimately lead to adultery.


      What about the prohibition of vows? Should we refrain from taking an oath in court? In fact, in Mt 26:29 Jesus himself takes an oath, as does Paul in 2 Cor 1:23. Obviously, a literal interpretation is not possible.


      The same principle is present in the prohibition of retaliation. God does not desire his children to be “door mats” for the wicked.

      Jesus, in using these illustrations is obviously using hyperbole, a type of speech common in that day in which rhetorical exaggeration is used to make a point. For example, in Mt 23:24, when Jesus says, “you strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.” Or again in Mt 7:3, “the beam that is in thine own eye.” A modern day example might be “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!”


      If, then, we agree that five of these illustrations are not to be taken literally, why then do we insist on taking the sixth, on divorce and remarriage, and interpret it literally? And in so doing, we condemn multitudes of saints who have been divorced for reasons other than adultery, regardless of their circumstances.


      Legalistic pronouncement or rhetorical hyperbole? If literal, those who divorced wrongly have sinned, but even then forgiveness is available. If hyperbole, we learn that divorce is not to be taken lightly, especially for casual reasons. You may want to wait until our study is complete before you decide. In any event, Jesus’ intention was to correct the attitude of the Jews toward the law. He did not intend this discourse to be included in the social and legal code of Israel—nor of the Church, for that matter.










      Week 3 – 1 –

      Pryrwaryr Admin

    • #3785708




      MT 19:1-12




      Remember, Matthew is writing to the Jews, presenting Jesus as the Messiah, the son of David. In chapter 18, the disciples begin to argue about who will be the greatest in the kingdom. Jesus calls a little child to him and begins to teach the disciples about humility. He tells them they must become a child and he teaches them to forgive those who offend them. In chapter 19, he enters Judea and “great multitudes followed and he healed them.”


      In the third verse, the Pharisees confront him with a question designed to trap him. You recall from previous studies, the Pharisees were consumed with the Law, believing therein to be their only means of attaining salvation. They feared Jesus was going to destroy the law and it was their desire to discredit him in order to destroy his ministry.


      This incident is also recorded by Mark and Luke, but Matthew’s account is more complete, and it is there we begin today’s study.


      • Verse 3 – “tempting Him”; “Is it lawful”; “For every cause”

      “tempting Him” – Their desire was not to know truth, but to solicit a response from Jesus that would anger the Jews and therefore discredit Him.


      “is it lawful” – Pay close attention to the issue at hand. Is it lawful?


      “for every cause” – This term comes from Deut. 24:1 where the term “some uncleanness” is listed as a valid cause for divorce. As we have learned, there was much debate about the meaning of the term, which is “ervah-dover” in the Hebrew. One school of thought was that the term referred to sexual uncleanness, while a different view was “uncleanness of any kind”, which would include most any kind of impropriety, including flirting, brawling, poor hygiene, etc. This debate was ongoing in Jesus’ day, with two prominent rabbis, Hillel and Shammai, teaching opposing views. In other words, can a man lawfully divorce his wife for virtually any reason, or only for sexual unfaithfulness? It is with this question they hoped to trap Jesus.


      • Verse 4

      Rather than give them a yes or no answer, Jesus takes them back to God’s original plan


      • Verse 5 – “One Flesh”

      The term “one flesh” is the same word used in Deut 6:4 to describe the Godhead. Man and wife are to become one entity, as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one.


      • Verse 6 – “What God hath joined together”

      “What God hath joined together” does not refer to every marriage. Obviously, there are many marriages that are not put together by God, as in the case of a believer marrying an unbeliever. Jesus is referring to the institution of marriage, which was designed to be permanent.


      “Let not man put asunder,” does not mean that divorce is impossible. Rather, it is stated in juxtaposition to God putting together, and in context probably means that the Jewish Sanhedrin did not have the right to decide who could and could not get a divorce. It was a personal matter between a man and wife.


      • Verse 7 – “Why did Moses then command”

      “Why did Moses then command…” – Moses did not command divorce. He merely instituted a procedure for a practice that already existed. (Deut 24:1-4)


      • Verse 8

      Jesus explains that because of the entrance of sin, and the hardness of hearts, Moses had allowed divorce even though it was not God’s perfect plan. The writing of divorcement was to give primarily to protect the woman who was being discarded.


      • Verse 9 – “Except for fornication”

      “Except for fornication” – This exception clause is found only in Matthew’s Gospel. In Mark 10:11, it says, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.” Luke 16:18 says the same thing. Is there a contradiction? Not at all. Matthew often gives a more detailed account. Mark uses 29 verses to describe the Sermon on the Mound, while Matthew uses 111 verses. The Olivet Discourse occupies 37 verses in Mark and 97 verses in Matthew. The exception given in Matthew does not contradict, but adds to Mark’s account.



      Another account of an exception being added to a statement is in Matthew 12:39 where Jesus says no sign will be given “except the sign of the prophet Jonas.” In Mark 8:12, Jesus is recorded, as saying there would be no sign given, period. Exceptions do not contradict the principle.


      “Porneia”, fornication, includes all forms of sexual sins, including but not limited to, adultery.


      “Committeth adultery”—Jesus says if the divorce was unlawful (for reasons other than adultery) then any subsequent marriage constitutes adultery. This can only mean that he did not recognize the divorce.






      If the words of Jesus are taken literally, then God does not recognize divorce for any reason other than adultery. Those unlawfully divorced must reconcile with their mate or remain single for life. However, next week we will learn that the apostle Paul gives yet another exception. Remember, we must study “the whole counsel of God.”



      Last week we learned that when Jesus made these same statements, the context indicated he was speaking hyperbolically to make a point about their attitude toward the law. In the context of chapter 19, it must be remembered that he was not trying to teach the Pharisees about marriage and divorce, but was again addressing the law. Jesus knew their hearts, that they were not seeking truth, but trying to trap him.



      It is important that you stay with us until the end of this study when we will attempt to reach a full understanding of God’s teaching about divorce and remarriage.

      Pryrwaryr Admin

    • #3785709




      1 COR. 7:1-38





      The Greek city of Corinth was a Roman colony in the days of Paul. It was a port city and wealthy commercial center. An outdoor theater that seated 20,000 people accommodated athletic games second only to the Olympics. The great temple of Aphrodite with its 1000 temple prostitutes was the center of widespread sexual perversion of the city. In fact, the term “to Corinthianize” came to mean to commit fornication.


      Divorce for almost any reason had become common, especially in the upper class. Josephus, the noted Jewish historian, divorced his wife because their two children died. He then remarried to a woman he felt could give him healthy children.


      Paul had established a church there on his second missionary journey. The first letter he wrote back to the church was not preserved (5:9). The book of First Corinthians is actually the second letter he wrote to the church at Corinth. It was prompted by disturbing news about the believers and questions they asked Paul in a letter they sent to him (7:1).




      Paul is correcting the many problems in the church. In chapter 1 he addresses the deep divisions in the church; chapter 2 deals with their misunderstanding of spiritual revelation; in chapter 3 he rebukes them for their carnality and in chapter 4 urges them to pursue the holy lifestyle they had witnessed in him; in chapter 5 he rebukes immorality in the church and urges discipline; the rebuke in chapter 6 is for airing the church’s dirty laundry in public by way of lawsuits. In the last half of the chapter he issues a strong warning about their increasing moral laxity. This brings us to the seventh chapter, which is the focus of today’s study.




      • Verse 1 – “Now concerning the things…” This phrase is repeated in 7:25, 8:1, 12:1, and 16:1 and obviously shows he is speaking to issues they raised in their letter to him. Remember, that false teachers of the day were teaching that celibacy was good and marriage, a distraction (1 Tim 4:3.)


      • Verse 2 – “Every man,” in all likelihood included those who had been divorced, as they would probably be more tempted, having known the pleasures of sex.


      • Verses 3-5 – Paul explains that husbands and wives are to meet one another’s sexual needs so Satan cannot tempt them.


      • Verse 9 – Again, divorced persons are not here expressly excluded. The basis for choosing singleness or marriage is not “divorced, or not,” but according to one’s giftedness.
      • Verse 10 – The Lord says a woman is not to divorce her husband. This is not a universal ruling, but a general principle. Notice that for the first time, the wife is the one initiating the divorce. Apparently the letter from the church had mentioned a particular circumstance in the church.


      • Verse 11 – Paul says if she does divorce him, she is to remain unmarried. That this is not a legal restriction on everyone is made evident in the following verses. Therefore, one must conclude that the woman in view, had divorced for unlawful reasons and must remain single or be reconciled to her “husband.” From previous studies we have learned that the Lord did not recognize divorce for trivial reasons, and therefore persons thus divorced were, in fact, still married. Such must have been the case with the woman in question.


      • Verses 12-14 – “But to the rest…” Apparently the church at Corinth was having to deal with a new problem. A man or woman would convert to Christianity, but their spouse remained lost. Paul encourages them to remain in the mixed marriage as long as their mate wishes to continue the marriage.


      • Verses 15-16 – These verses clearly teach that if the unbelieving mate wishes to divorce, or deserts the marriage, the Christian spouse is told to let them go, the believer is “not under bondage in such cases.” This is in harmony with 2 Cor 6:14, which admonishes believers not to be yoked with unbelievers. The believing spouse in such cases is lawfully divorced and free to remarry.


      • Verses 17-24 – The apostle tells us to be content in our present circumstances. That does not mean, however, that it is wrong to try to improve, or change our circumstances.


      • Verses 25-26 – Paul states that “in light of the present distress;” it was probably better to remain single.


      • Verse 27 – He advises married couples not to divorce. To the divorced person he advises, “Do not remarry.”


      • Verse 28 – “But and if thou (re)marry, thou hast not sinned;” It is evident that Paul here speaks of two different groups of people. The first is referred to as “thou.” The second group as “virgins.” The context is clear that when he says “thou,” he is speaking to those who are not virgins, i.e. divorced persons. He is correcting the false teaching that marriage is wrong, and states that marriage is acceptable both for those who have been married before, and for those who have never married, (virgins.)













      Paul, writing in response to a letter he received from the church at Corinth, addresses problems pertaining to their circumstances and culture, specifically, false teaching forbidding marriage, and “spiritually mixed” marriages.


      He explains the advantages of singleness, but states that those not gifted to celibacy should marry, rather than burn in their lusts. He also affirms sex within the setting of marriage.


      As for divorce, Paul adds another exception to the fornication exception stated by Jesus. Paul says clearly that a believer having an unbelieving mate, who wishes to divorce, is free to divorce, and therefore, free to remarry.


      Paul also states in verse 27 that he who remarries “hast not sinned”. This is a general principle, not a universal law, and as such, is subject to qualification in various circumstances. It does teach us that there are at least some instances in which remarriage is not sinful.

      Week 5 – 1 –

      Pryrwaryr Admin

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