Thursday, March 20, 2014

Something missing...what ends a marriage?

On Dec 28 of last year, Justin Taylor of the Gospel Coalition wrote an article on his bog, “Justin Taylor, Between Two Worlds.” This article was entitled…
 Justin states…
"The issue of divorce and remarriage is not only a painful reality, personally and pastorally, but is also a very difficult subject exegetically."
What? Is he saying we cannot understand scripture as it pertains to marriage, divorce, and remarriage? The issue of divorce and remarriage is difficult if you twist, ignore, and exclude scripture to create loopholes to divorce and remarry. If one reads scripture by the power of the Holy Spirit and believes what Jesus and Paul say about marriage, divorce, and remarriage, it is very easy to understand. This one verse summarizes everything Jesus and Paul have to say about marriage, divorce, and remarriage…Read this aloud.

1 Cor 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

To paraphrase by using other scripture that supports this passage and the whole council of God's word which must include to the Gospel, it would look like this:

 A one-flesh marriage covenant between a man and a woman can only be separated by death. (Gen 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; Romans 7:2,3; 1 Cor 7:39) A man is not to divorce his wife, (1 Cor7:11) and if a believing spouse is put away or abandoned by an unbeliever they must remain single until repentance and reconciliation occur.(1 Cor 7:10;11,15) Therefore, a hardhearted decision to divorce (Matthew 19:8; Mark 10:5) does not end a marriage. Anyone who divorces and remarries commits adultery against the spouse he or she divorced. (Matthew 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11,12; Luke 16:18) In addition, anyone who marries a spouse divorced from his or her spouse commits adultery. This "marriage" is not a marriage, but adultery and remains adultery until dissolved. ( Matthew 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11,12; Luke 16:18

This is very precise and simple to understand. If we look in light of the Gospel, a decision to divorce always contradicts the Gospel…The hope is that singleness and repentance of sin reconciles the marriage since any sin that is not repented of leads to death.

Justin continues…
I was helped several years ago by reading Jay Adams’ Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible. Even if you end up disagreeing with his conclusions, it’s a model of biblical and logical and pastoral reasoning.
I thought it might be helpful for some readers if I reproduced his summary and checklist:

A. Marriage
1. is a divinely ordained institution
2. is the first and most fundamental institution
3. is covenantal and binding
4. is a covenant of companionship
5. is the place for true intimacy
6. is to conform to the model of Christ and His church
I agree with these marriage principles except for one HUGE problem…There is something missing...What ends a marriage?  As you can see, this very important essential principle is missing…. I will use clear scripture to add number 7

7. only ends in death … 
1 Cor 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
Romans 7:2For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Death ends a marriage. If you do not add this to the marriage principle list, you create or fabricate presuppositions that certain loopholes or anything you want to believe can end a marriage. This is exactly happens when Justin provides the principles of divorce. In fact, this is where most people error when talking about what ends a marriage.

 Before I continue, if you want to read a book that provides the clergy/laity system with loopholes to divorce and remarry for ANY reason, this book, Jay Adams’ Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible', is for you.

Justin continues with the divorce principles...
B. Divorce
1. always stems from sin
2. is not necessarily sinful
3. always breaks a marriage
4. is never necessary among believers
5. is legitimate on the grounds of sexual sin
6. is legitimate when an unbeliever wishes to divorce a believer
7. is forgivable when sinful

 There is a problem here since nowhere did Justin explain that marriage ends in death. Nowhere does Jesus or Paul say that divorce ends a marriage. Since Justin left out the “ending” of marriage in the principles of marriage, one cannot justify with scripture that divorce ends a marriage. Scripture plainly says only death ends a marriage, not divorce. This is why remarriage is ALWAYS adultery. How difficult is this to understand?  

Number 1 is correct; therefore what must a person do when someone sins against them? Enact church discipline scriptures of Matthew 18:15-17. If a person repents, we MUST forgive them. If they do not repent, they become an enemy of God. Read the story of the prodigal to see what happens when a person rejects God's will… A spouse who stands in their vow will remain single and live in relationship with Christ until the prodigal comes home.

Divorce is a hardhearted decision; therefore, if is not a sin, what is it? Number 3 is a lie from Hell and contradicts Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9 Romans 7:2,3 and 1 Cor 7:39. number 3 basically calls Jesus and Paul a liar. Divorce ends fellowship with God, nothing more, nothing less. Divorce is saying a spouse will not forgive, cannot forgive, and believes there is NO hope for a spouse that sinned against them to initiate this hardhearted decision. Anyone who believes divorce ends a marriage is mislead and deceived.

These are the principles of divorce.

1.      always stems from sin

2.      is a hardhearted decision
3.      always causes more sin

4.      is an avenue to adultery

Last, but not least, Justin's remarriage principles...

C. Remarriage
1. in general, is desirable
2. is possible for a divorced person
3. is possible for a sinfully divorced person through forgiveness
4. is possible only when all biblical obligations have been met
5. is possible only when parties are prepared for marriage

We must first define “remarriage.” Remarriage is a union of adultery between one or two people who initiated a divorce or were divorced from their covenant spouse. Any single person who marries a person with a living covenant spouse enters into a "remarriage" with a divorced spouse.This union is adultery because the divorced spouse is still in covenant marriage with his or her spouse.
Remarriage is not the same as a "new" marriage. A new marriage covenant after a death of a spouse "In the Lord" includes a widow or widower who marries another widow or widower or a person never married.  
1 Cor 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

Here are principles of remarriage….

1.      is a product of divorce

2.      is the permanent sin of adultery until dissolved

As you can see, if you disregard the fact that only death ends a marriage, you can create many loopholes to divorce and remarry, and not call any of it sin. At the end of his post, Justin asks questions. How would we answer any of these questions once you know that only death breaks a one-flesh marriage covenant, divorce is hardheartedness, and remarriage is adultery? Since God designed marriage and established the beginning and the ending there of, would it not be best to trust Him to restore marriage as we remain in the vow we made to Him? Those who break a vow come under the judgment of God and He is the one who will bring a prodigal spouse the repentance. Not because he wants to destroy them,, He wants to bring them to their knees in repentance so that the faithful vow-keeping spouse is ready to forgive and restore the marriage for His glory.  

Hebrews 10: 30,31 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God

In Christ’s love,


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