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#6. CAN A CHRISTIAN DIVORCE AND REMARRY FOR ADULTERY? NO!

INTRODUCTION 6

This is a bible study explaining why a Christian cannot divorce and remarry for adultery. It is a most important section, because once we have decided that there is an exception to God's general rule of "no divorce", we must then test our interpretation against other scriptures, because "no prophecy of the scripture is of it's own interpretation." (2 Peter 1:20). If we are correct in what we have determined, then we will be able to explain any apparent contradictions, which appear, because God's words "are all plain to him that understands, and right to those who find knowledge." (Proverbs 8:9). The erroneous interpretation of divorce for adultery appears to contradict many other scriptures; a very important reason why it is rejected, and in this section we will examine some of them.

#6.02 BECAUSE ADULTERY AND FORNICATION ARE DIFFERENT GREEK WORDS

MATTHEW 15:19 (Jesus)
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries3, fornications1, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

MARK 7:21 (Jesus)
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries3, fornications1, murders,

1 CORINTHIANS 6:9 (Paul)
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators2, nor idolaters, nor adulterers4, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

GALATIANS 5:19
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery3, fornication1, uncleanness, lasciviousness.

HEBREWS 13:4
4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled; but whoremongers2 and adulterers4 God will judge.

Note: The word translated fornications1 (Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21), and fornication1 (Galatians 5:19), are all forms of the same Greek noun πορνεία (Gtr.porneia), which is the same word used by Jesus (Matthew 19:9) where the exception for divorce and remarriage appears. The words translated fornicators2 (1 Corinthians 6:9), and whoremongers2 (Hebrews 13:4), are both plural forms of the related Greek noun "pornos" which means "a fornicator", or "a man who commits fornication". The word translated adulteries3 (Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21), and Adultery3 (Galatians 5:19), are all forms of the same Greek noun μοιχεία (Gtr. moicheia). The words translated adulterers4 (1 Corinthians 6:9; Hebrews 13:4) are both plural forms of the related Greek noun "moichos", which means "an adulterer", or "a man who commits adultery". The obvious question must be asked: "If fornication can include adultery, why use both words in these passages? Why not use just use the one word "porneia" to cover both?" The answer is that often adultery and fornication are two separate sins. A person can live in fornication without committing adultery (See #5.1 Note 4; #5.2; #5.4). When God wishes to indicate adultery, he uses the word for adultery, not the one for fornication (Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20:10; John 8:3-4), and wherever God wishes to include both, he uses both words. God inspired it to be written this way (2 Timothy 3:16), and he does not change (Malachi 3:6). With him there "is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17), so if he meant the exception clause for divorce and remarriage to include adultery (Matthew 5:32; 19:9), why didn't he use the word "moicheia" there? Simply because the word "porneia" used by Jesus in these passages is not meant to include adultery by someone in a lawful marriage relationship, but rather fornication within an unlawful relationship (Leviticus 18:6-22). If it had, Jesus would have used "moicheia" as well, which is a much more explicit term, just as he did elsewhere where it was necessary (Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21). Every unlawful sexual act outside of a marriage relationship could be regarded as adultery, so if Jesus meant extra-marital sex he could have used "moicheia", by itself, without "porneia". This all confirms that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce, or to remarry.

#6.04 BECAUSE ADULTERY IS NOT AN UNPARDONABLE SIN

MARK 3:28-30 (Jesus)
28 Amen I say to you, All sins shall be forgiven to the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they shall blaspheme:
29 But he who shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
30 Because they said, He has an unclean spirit.

Note: With the one exception of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29), Jesus stated, "All sins shall be forgiven to the sons of men," (Mark 3:28), therefore adultery can be forgiven. If adultery is not forgivable, then neither man nor God can forgive it. Every adulterer and adulteress would have to be divorced without any possibility of reconciliation, and they would all have to go to hell at the end of this life, without any possibility of escape. God looks on adultery as a condition of the heart:

(1 Samuel 16:7) "for the LORD sees not as man sees: for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
(Matthew 5:28) "whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart."

If adultery is an unpardonable sin, then according to these scriptures, every man who has ever looked on a woman to lust after her would have to go to hell, with no possibility of escape, because God has seen the adultery in his heart. Where does that leave you, dear reader? Obviously, adultery is not an unpardonable sin, as other scriptures show.

(1) When the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in the act of adultery (John 8:3-11), he did not condemn her, but after others had been shamed into not condemning her, his response was, "Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more." (John 8:11). Jesus was prepared to forgive, showing that adultery is not an unpardonable sin.

(2) The prophet Hosea married a "wife of whoredoms" (Hosea 1:2-3), who was unfaithful to him, but God commanded Hosea to take her back (Hosea 3:1), which he did (Hosea 3:2-3), again showing that adultery is not an unpardonable sin.

(3) King Saul gave his daughter Michal to David for a wife (1 Samuel 18:22-27), but after she saved his life (1 Samuel 19:9-18), Saul took her and gave her to Phalti to be his wife (1 Samuel 25:44). David recovered her back to himself (2 Samuel 3:13-16), obviously forgiving, and not holding her enforced adultery against her.

If adultery is not an unpardonable sin, how often should we forgive it?

(Matthew 18:21-22) "Then Peter came to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? seven times?
Jesus says to him, I do not say to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."

Jesus was really not putting a limit on the number of times that we should forgive, but rather stipulated a very large number, to indicate that we should always forgive when repentance is expressed. He then illustrated this further by a parable (Matthew 18:23-35) about a servant who owed his king ten thousand talents, and who was forgiven, but who then demanded payment from another servant of one hundred pence. When his lord heard of his lack of mercy on his fellow-servant he took back the forgiveness of his large debt (v34). It is significant that this was the teaching immediately before his teaching on divorce and remarriage, which included the "except for fornication" clause (Matthew 19:1-12). So what can we conclude from this? Did Jesus go through this long, elaborate teaching on forgiveness, and then immediately contradict himself by saying that a man could divorce his wife for adultery? Is Jesus telling us today, that a Christian who has had all his millions of sins forgiven by God, can now get away with not forgiving his wife an act of adultery? No way! This is exactly like the wicked servant in the previous parable. Surely God is not unfair in expecting us to forgive after all he has done for us? Just by looking at other teachings of Jesus (See #6.26 Note), it is obvious that he was not a man to make concessions to men's weakness; "All things are possible to him that believes." (Mark 9:23). Neither will he make any concessions to a person who finds it hard to forgive an adulterous partner who repents (See #6.06). This all confirms that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce, or to remarry.

#6.06 BECAUSE UNFORGIVENESS NEGATES OUR FORGIVENESS

MATTHEW 6:14-15 (Jesus)
14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;
15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

MARK 11:25-26 (Jesus)
25 And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any: that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive your trespasses.
26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Note: Jesus said, "whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:28), and it seems obvious that this is the way that God Judges our sins:

(1 Samuel 16:7) "for the LORD does not see as man sees: for man looks on the outward appearance but the LORD looks on the heart."

If we want forgiveness for our past sins, then these scriptures (Matthew 6:15; Mark 11:26) show that we must forgive also. If we do not forgive then we will not be forgiven; for surely our sins against God are far greater than our partners are against us (Matthew 18:23-35). Divorce is not forgiveness, but rather the executing of punishment. Divorce is an act of treachery (Jeremiah 3:20; Malachi 2:14-16), an act of violence against the one flesh relationship, by separating that which God has joined together, and God hates it (Malachi 2:16). Nobody can be in the will of God by divorcing a legitimate marriage partner. This all confirms that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce. Jesus' words are still applicable to us today:

(Mark 13:31) "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
(Mark 11:26) "if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses."
(John 12:48)
"He who rejects me, and does not receive my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

The apostle Paul also confirmed the importance of Jesus' words:

(1 Timothy 6:3-4) "If any man ... does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, ... He is proud, knowing nothing,".

#6.08 BECAUSE REMARRIAGE SENTENCES THE DIVORCEE TO A LIFE OF CELIBACY OR ADULTERY

MARK 10:10-12
10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.
11 And he said to them, Whoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, commits adultery against her.
12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she commits adultery.

LUKE 16:18 (Jesus)
18 Whoever puts away his wife, and marries another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her who is put away from her husband commits adultery.

Note: When two people, who have a lawful marriage relationship in the sight of God, get divorced, then according to these scriptures (Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18), neither of them can remarry while their divorced partner is alive without committing adultery. The reason is that secular divorce cannot separate what God has joined together. This must be obvious, otherwise no divorced person could commit adultery by remarrying. Thus, as adulterers cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21), in order to be saved the divorced person would have to live a life of celibacy (Matthew 19:10-12; #6.26), at least until their partner died. This all confirms that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce, or to remarry.

#6.10 BECAUSE THERE ARE NO BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF DIVORCE FOR ADULTERY

MATTHEW 18:15-16 (Jesus)
15 Furthermore if your brother trespasses against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone: if he hears you, you have gained your brother.
16 But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

2 CORINTHIANS 13:1 (Paul)
1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

Note: For any truth to be established from the word of God, a biblical principle of interpretation is that two or three witnesses are required to establish it. Several other scriptures confirm this (Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; John 8:17). If adultery were a legitimate reason for divorce, then it would have to be established by two or three witnesses, but where are they? There are none. Adultery under the law was punishable by death, not divorce (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22-24), and there are no examples of divorce for adultery, in either the Old or New Testament, for any consummated marriage that was lawful in the eyes of God. This all confirms that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce, or to remarry.

#6.12 BECAUSE DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE ON THE GROUND OF ADULTERY CONTRADICTS THE DIRECT COMMANDS OF JESUS AND PAUL ELSEWHERE

MATTHEW 19:6 (Jesus)
6 Therefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, do not let man separate.

MARK 10:9 (Jesus)
9 What therefore God has joined together, do not let man separate.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:10-11 (Paul)
10 And to the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

Note: These commands of Jesus, "do not let man separate." (Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9) are present imperatives in the Greek (See #1.32 Note), and command people to stop putting apart relationships that are lawfully joined together by God. Every marriage relationship which is not contrary to his word (Leviticus 18:6-22) is lawful in his sight. This is not a command to stop putting apart relationships which man has put together, which are contrary to God's word, and therefore unlawful in his sight. So when a person enters into a lawful marriage, Jesus commands no divorce for any reason. Knowing who he is, "God ... manifest in the flesh," (1 Timothy 3:16), how then is Jesus going to contradict himself by allowing divorce, when he himself has commanded not to do it? Neither does the apostle Paul contradict any of this (1 Corinthians 7:10-11), nor could he, seeing that he got his information from Jesus (1 Corinthians 7:10; Galatians 1:12). Look at Jesus' response when "the scribes and Pharisees brought to him a woman taken in adultery;" (John 8:3). Notice, not "fornication" (Gtr. porneia), but "adultery" (Gtr. moicheia). The case was proven, because she had been caught in the act (John 8:4), so there was no question of her not being guilty. Jesus did not condemn her, but told her to "go, and sin no more." (John 8:11). If this was an act of fornication, why doesn't the scripture call it fornication in this case, and why did Jesus not command the woman's husband to divorce her? Or was he being a hypocrite, by telling us to do one thing, and then doing another himself? The answer is obvious, Jesus taught divorce for "fornication" (Gtr. porneia), and forgiveness and no condemnation for adultery" (Gtr. moicheia), which is what this study also teaches (See #6.04). Jesus would not contradict himself, or act contrary to what he had taught others. This all confirms that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce. Jesus' words are still applicable to us today:

(Matthew 24:35) "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
(Mark 10:9) "What therefore God has joined together, do not let man separate."
(John 12:48) "He who rejects me, and does not receive my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

The apostle Paul also confirmed the importance of Jesus' words:

(1 Timothy 6:3-4) "If any man ... does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, ... He is proud, knowing nothing,".

#6.14 BECAUSE WHAT GOD JOINS TOGETHER IS PERMANENT

ECCLESIASTES 3:14 (Solomon)
14 I know that, whatever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God does it, that men should fear before him.

ROMANS 11:29(Paul)
29 For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance.

Note: The fact that God does not change is already proven from scripture (See #1.32). Therefore, unless a marriage relationship is unlawful in the eyes of God (See #5), man cannot lawfully end it, not for adultery, or for any other reason. Man can end a relationship that he has put together, such as a relationship involving "porneia", which God has not approved of, but only God can end one that he has joined together (Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9), and this he will do by death (#3.7). This all confirms that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce, or to remarry.

#6.16 BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULTY OF OBTAINING TRUE EVIDENCE

1 CORINTHIANS 14:33 (Paul)
33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

Note 1: Suppose that adultery were a legitimate reason for divorce, we are then faced with situations where the truth may be very difficult to determine, and confusion reigns. For example:

(1) Suppose that an unsaved wife requires to be divorced from her husband, and to obtain the divorce she confesses committing adultery, which she has not actually committed. To enhance her case she hires two false witnesses who will testify to her adultery. The husband, believing that he now has a legitimate case for divorce, divorces her, and later remarries. This man is now living in adultery, thinking that he is not, because he has no way of knowing the real truth. Adulterers cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21), so this man could die to face judgment (Hebrews 13:4). If God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), then neither can he be the author of divorce for adultery. This all confirms that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce.

(2) Suppose that a Christian wife is hated by her neighbours, and they fabricate evidence of her adultery with someone, and give it to her husband. If the husband believes the accusations, and has sufficient evidence and witnesses to secure a divorce, he could now remarry and be living in adultery in the eyes of God. As adulterers cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21), this man could die to face judgment (Hebrews 13:4). If God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), then neither can he be the author of divorce for adultery. All this confirms that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce.

Many other examples could be given, but it is not necessary. Secular divorce is decided by secular law, and without the spirit of God they can not only make genuine mistakes, but they can also be deceived by people who wish to pervert justice. It must be obvious that the secular courts cannot guarantee getting it right every time, and as God has not seen fit to outline some foolproof method in his word, it is obvious that he does not wish us to judge such matters in this way. Those who teach that divorce is right in the case of adultery need to produce the New Testament scriptures that show us how to judge it! Jesus told us, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." (John 7:24), which means judging not according to circumstances, but according to God's word (See #7.04 Note). When John the Baptist judged Herod for taking his brother Philip's wife (Matthew 14:3-4; Mark 6:17-18), he did not ask for details of the surrounding circumstances, he judged according to God's word (Leviticus 18:16; 20:21), and said, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." (Mark 6:18). When Paul judged the fornicator (1 Corinthians 5:1-13), he didn't ask for any details of extenuating circumstances, he said, "For I ... have judged already ... deliver such an one to Satan" (1 Corinthians 5:3-5). He judged it according to God's word (Leviticus 18:8; Deuteronomy 22:30; 27:20). This is how God expects us to judge these situations also, in which case he cannot possibly approve of divorce for adultery by someone who has a lawful marriage relationship.

Note 2: Pastors who have accepted divorce for adultery have made themselves other problems, one of which is that they may have to sit down with the partners concerned and discuss the details of the situation in order to determine the truth of it. By doing this the pastor may have opened his mind to be polluted by listening to details of sexual sins, and many who have done this may well tell you that it is a situation that they would much rather avoid. Another problem comes when, having sorted all the things out satisfactorily at the time, and the people concerned have gone away and remarried, it is later discovered that the true evidence was not all obtained, and that either one or both of the remarriages should not have taken place. Who would like to sort this mess out? All this confirms that, if God is not the author of confusion, then neither is he the author of divorce for adultery.

#6.18 BECAUSE DIVORCE IS NOT RECONCILIATION

2 CORINTHIANS 5:18-20 (Paul)
18 And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 How that, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be you reconciled to God.

Note: There are several scriptures in the Old Testament which speak of the spiritual adultery of Israel against God, by worshipping and serving idols (Jeremiah 3:8-9; 5:7; 7:9; 23:14; Ezekiel 16:30-42; Hosea 4:12-14), "and with their idols have they committed adultery," (Ezekiel 23:37). Jesus referred to the Jews as, "An evil and adulterous generation" (Matthew 12:39), "A wicked and adulterous generation" (Matthew 16:4), "this adulterous and sinful generation;" (Mark 8:38), and James called believers who had friendship with the world, "You adulterers and adulteresses," (James 4:4). God's solution for all this spiritual adultery against him was the ministry of reconciliation:

(2 Corinthians 5:18) "God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,"
(2 Corinthians 5:19) "God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself,"

Every Christian is called to be a part of this ministry of reconciling sinners to God. We should tell them that God will forgive them (Psalm 103:3; Isaiah 1:18; Acts 13:38; 26:18; Ephesians 1:7), and restore them to fellowship with him (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 John 1:3; 1:7), if they will repent of their sin (Luke 13:1-5; Acts 17:30). If this is not part of our message to sinners, then we are not doing God's will. So what are we then, if we proclaim the message of reconciliation to God for sinners, but do not practice it in our own personal lives, by refusing to reconcile our own sinful partner back to us? Are we not hypocrites? Where would that leave our salvation?

(Job 8:13) "the hypocrite's hope shall perish:"
(Job 13:16) "a hypocrite shall not come before him (God)."
(Job 15:34) "the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate,"
(Job 36:13) "But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath:"
(Matthew 23:13; 14; 15; 23; 25; 27; 29) "woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!"

Paul's very command to a wife separated from her husband was: "But and if she departs, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband:" (1 Corinthians 7:11). All this goes to confirm that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce.

#6.20 BECAUSE DIVORCE IS NOT LOVE

MARK 12:29-31
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like it, namely this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

Note 1: It is clear from the scriptures that God loved us before we loved him:

(John 3:16) "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
(Romans 5:8) "But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
(1 John 4:10) "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins."

God's love toward us is demonstrated by making a way for us to be reconciled to him, even while we were in sin. God is willing to take sinners back because he is love (1 John 4:8; 4:16), and he is willing to forgive their past sins against him for the same reason. Jesus commanded us to be like God:

(Matthew 5:48) "Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect."
(Luke 6:36) "Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful."

How can we be like God if we are not willing to forgive, and to restore those who have sinned against us when they repent? God has commanded us to love others:

(Matthew 5:44) "Love your enemies,"
(Matthew 19:19) "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
(Mark 12:31) "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
(John 15:12-13) "This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
(Romans 13:9) "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
(Ephesians 5:2) "And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma."
(Ephesians 5:25) "Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
(1 John 4:7-8) "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one who loves is born of God, and knows God. he who loves not knows not God; for God is love."

Our eternal life depends upon us knowing God (John 17:3), it is an attribute of all Jesus' sheep (John 10:4; 10:14), and of all those who partake of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:11). Therefore, we ought to love as Jesus commanded. When Jesus was crucified, it was his love for unrepentant sinners that enabled him to endure all the wrongs done to him, and even though he was dying in agony, he still sought what was best for others at the expense of himself. Divorce is not love: it is doing what God hates (Malachi 2:16), and God has now commanded all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). When we love someone we want to spend as much time with him or her as possible, but divorce is a declaration that we want to spend no time with them at all. If our partner has committed adultery against us, and is unrepentant, then we should wait upon God until they do repent. What have we done if we go and marry someone else, and our offending partner repents the next day? We have cut them off from our forgiveness, from our love, and from restoration. They may have to live the rest of their life in celibacy if they do not wish to go to hell for adultery, and we would also be committing adultery ourselves:

(Mark 10:11-12) "Whoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, commits adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she commits adultery."

Where would that leave our salvation in view of the word of God:

(1 Corinthians 6:9-10) "do not be deceived, neither .... adulterers, ... shall inherit the kingdom of God."
(Galatians 5:19-21) "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery ... they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
(Hebrews 13:4) "adulterers God will judge."

All this confirms that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce.

Note 2: God has also commanded that we love him (Mark 12:30), but this requires that we obey him:

(John 14:15) "If you love me, keep my commandments."
(John 14:21-24) "He who has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is who loves me: ... If a man loves me, he will keep my words: ... He who does not love me does not keep my sayings:"
(2 John 6) "And this is love, that we walk after his commandments."

So look at some of his commandments concerning marriage:

(Matthew 19:6) "What therefore God has joined together, do not let man separate."
(Mark 10:9) "What therefore God has joined together, do not let man separate."

Divorce is the exact opposite to these commands, and is therefore the opposite of loving God. Divorce is an act of treachery in God's view (Malachi 2:14), and he hates it (Malachi 2:16). All this confirms that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce, or to remarry.

#6.22 BECAUSE DIVORCE IS VENGEANCE AND REPAYS EVIL WITH EVIL

DEUTERONOMY 32:35 (God)
35 To me belongs vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.

ROMANS 12:17-21 (Paul)
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord.
20 Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink: for in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome1 evil with good.

HEBREWS 10:30
30 For we know him who has said, Vengeance belongs to me, I will recompense, says the Lord. And again, the Lord shall judge his people.

Note: God has said in these scriptures that vengeance against wrong belongs to him, and he will repay it. So what about vengeance against adultery? Isn't divorce a form of vengeance? If it is, even if only in some cases, then we are contradicting these scriptures by doing it. We are told, "Recompense to no man evil for evil." (Romans 12:17), but are we not recompensing evil for evil when we sue for divorce? Divorce is obviously evil because Jesus commanded not to do it (Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9), God hates it (Malachi 2:16), and he has called it treachery (Malachi 2:14-16). Therefore divorce for adultery is directly contrary to the command of Paul here, "Recompense to no man evil for evil." What about Paul's command to "overcome evil with Good." (Romans 12:21), does divorce fulfil this scripture? The word translated ovecome1 (Gr. νίκα, Gtr. nika) is a present imperative, and implies "overcome and continue to overcome", or "keep on overcoming". Forgiveness would be good (#6.04,c), but divorce does not fulfil that. Mercy would be good (#6.08), reconciliation would be good (See #6.18), and love would be good (See #6.20), but divorce does not fulfil any of these. Therefore we may conclude that divorce is contrary to the command of Paul to overcome evil with good, and confirms that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce.

#6.24 BECAUSE DIVORCE GOES TO COURT BEFORE UNBELIEVERS

1 CORINTHIANS 6:1,6-8 (Paul)
1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
6 But brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers.
7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because you go to law one with another. Why do you not rather take wrong? why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
8 No, you do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

Note: The context here is not divorce and remarriage, but this scripture does show us a very important principle, which is, that Christians should not take each other to court before unbelievers. One of the problems it causes is that our sins are exposed in public for unbelievers to see, and that gives the enemies of God an occasion to blaspheme, which some are very keen to do if given the opportunity. Look what Nathan the prophet said to king David concerning his sin of adultery with Bathsheba, and the murder of her husband Uriah the Hittite:

(2 Samuel 12:14) "However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die."

This was not his only punishment (2 Samuel 12:10-11), but even by itself it was severe enough. How much more then, should we as Christians, guard against giving opportunities to the enemies of God to blaspheme him? If we should, then this is just more evidence that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce.

#6.26 BECAUSE OF THE REACTION OF JESUS' DISCIPLES TO HIS TEACHING AND JESUS' REPLY TO THEM

MATTHEW 19:10-12
10 His disciples say to him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
11 But he said to them, All men cannot receive this saying, save those to whom it is given.
12 For there are some eunuchs which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there are eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He who is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Note: Why did Jesus' disciples persist in questioning him on this matter? If Jesus' previous reply (compare Matthew 19:9 with Mark 10:10-12) had agreed with the strictest sect of the Pharisees, the school of Shammai, who allowed divorce only for adultery, then the disciples would surely have understood what he meant. But their persistence to question him on this subject shows that they had some problem with his previous answer. This indicates that his teaching was not one which gave an escape route to everyone who had marriage problems, and his response to them (vv11-12) confirmed this beyond doubt. There were times that the teachings of Jesus were too strong for people. When he taught in the synagogue at Nazareth near the start of his ministry (Luke 4:16-27), people were filled with wrath (v28), and tried to throw him down a hill (v29), but he did not change his teaching. When Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum, about eating his flesh and drinking his blood in order to have life (John 6:53-58), many of his disciples said, "This is an hard saying, who can hear it?" (John 6:60). Many left him, and followed him no more because of his words (John 6:66), but he did not change his teaching. When he was asked by a young man who had kept the law for much of his life what he lacked, Jesus told him, "sell that you have and give to the poor ... and come and follow me." (Matthew 19:21). The man went away sorrowful because he was rich, and did not want to lose his material possessions (Matthew 19:22). Jesus loved him (Mark 10:21), and probably knew what the young man's reaction would be, but he did not change his teaching.
Paul wrote to Timothy, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;" (2 Timothy 4:3), and so it is with the teaching of Jesus on divorce and remarriage, "All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given." (Matthew 19:11). Jesus will not change his teaching. He is making it clear here, that if your marriage is too bad to bear, stay unmarried and live like a eunuch, if you can receive it (Matthew 19:12). There is every incentive here to seek God to make the marriage work! This is in total agreement with the instruction that Paul gave to women who had to leave their husbands, where he said that he was quoting Jesus:

(1 Corinthians 7:11) "if she departs, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband:"

This is in total agreement with the fact that, when God joins two people together as one flesh, he does not change his mind:

(Ecclesiastes 3:14) "I know that, whatever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it:"
(Romans 11:29) "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."

This is in total agreement with the teachings of Jesus elsewhere not to divorce:

(Matthew 19:6) "What therefore God has joined together, do not let man separate."
(Mark 10:9) "What therefore God has joined together, do not let man separate."

This is in total agreement with the fact that God hates divorce:

(Malachi 2:16) "For the LORD, the God of Israel, says that he hates putting away:"

This is in total agreement with the teaching of Jesus, that we must forgive our partners their transgressions against us:

(Matthew 6:12) "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
(Matthew 6:15) "if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
(Mark 11:26) "if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

And it is in total agreement with the teaching of Paul that to remain single was better than to marry:

(1 Corinthians 7:7) "For I would that all men were even as myself." (Paul never married)
(1 Corinthians 7:8) "I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I."
(1 Corinthians 7:32-35) "But I would have you without carefulness. He who is unmarried cares for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
But he who is married cares for the things of the world, how he may please his wife.
There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she who is married cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but that which is comely, and that you may attend upon the Lord without distraction."

The examples of Jesus and the apostle Paul, who both remained single all their lives, confirm that to be single is a higher spiritual calling than to be married. All this confirms that adultery is not a legitimate reason for divorce, or to remarry.

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