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March 5, 2013

Divorce, then remarriage

Tue Mar 05, 2013

Editor: This is the final article. I hope for Luke chapter 24:45: “Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the scriptures”.

Christians should not be quick to divorce their marriage partners. Forgiveness is the best way to handle problems within the marriage covenant relationship.{{more}}

I said earlier that “putting away” and “giving a bill of divorcement” is not the same thing and Christians should realize that a divorce is an absolute dissolution of a marriage.

A person who puts away a spouse and gives him or her a certificate of divorcement will have to account to God; it is not adultery to be married to a divorced person. Those who teach that divorced persons who are married are living in adultery and must separate will have to account to God, for that false teaching. This teaching is devilish and seeks to keep Christians in bondage. God is not a god of bondage, but a God of freedom.

The so-called “exception clause” is something that some Christians use as an excuse for a married couple to get a divorce in the case of adultery. The word “porneia is an accurate translation for “fornication”, not “adultery”, which is moicheuo or moichaoma. Fornication is that result from an unmarried person having sexual relations with another person. Adultery is a married person having sexual relations with someone other than his/her marriage partner.

Some of these Jews accused Jesus of being born as a result of Mary committing fornication, not adultery (John 8:41). Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit before her marriage with Joseph had been consummated. They were only betrothed (engaged) at that time. Joseph was going to only put away (apoluo) Mary, rather than give her a certificate of divorce, because they were not yet husband and wife, in the fullest sense, and one cannot give a certificate of divorce to one to whom one is not married.

Divorce is not an option for any Christian for any reason, if they want to be in God’s will. However, once a person is divorced, the marriage has been absolutely dissolved, and there is nothing in scriptures that prohibits anyone from marrying a person, who has been given a certificate of divorce, (except in certain cases for the Jews under the old covenant).

Anyone who marries a person who is married to another person and has only been put away (also known as “legally separated,” without having been given a certificate of divorcement), causes that person to commit adultery, because he or she is still married.

Concerning the passage in Matthew Ch 19:1-12 the Jewish mindset was that, under the Mosaic Law, a man could put away his wife for any reason, but was commanded by Moses to give her a bill of divorcement, so she could be cared for by another husband. Women did not have the right to put away their husbands. Jesus was setting a higher standard than the Mosaic Law. Jesus makes an allowance for putting away a “wife” ( a woman to whom a man is engaged but not yet consummated the marriage). If she commits fornication with another man prior to the commutation of the marriage.

On the ground observer