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Unleavened Bread Ministries with David Eells

Scriptural Marriage and Divorce

David Eells

I know this can be a real can of worms and such a touchy subject when dealing with people who love each other, but we owe truth to the brethren concerning their eternal life.

Some basic things the Lord has shown from scripture on divorce and remarriage:

Jesus' commands superseded the Jews' permission for divorce by His statements so we cannot go to the law to justify divorce. (Mat.19:8) He said to them, Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.

There is only one reason for divorce. (9) And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication (Numeric) and marries another woman commits adultery".

If a spouse commits fornication whether outside of the first marriage or by illegal remarriage, the other is free to remarry for the first spouse broke the marriage bond. Being legally able to remarry does not mean this is God's will for you. God loves to restore. If your mate repents and asks your forgiveness then forgive as Christ forgave you. Also spiritual fornication of the heart is not excuse for the scripture speaks of physical fornication of the body.

The disciples admitted this was a hard statement and many think so today but it is better to obey than to bring yourselves under a curse that many endure. (19:10) The disciples said to Him, "If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry".

Even in the Old Testament it was fornication for a believer to be married to an unbeliever. {Ezr.9:2} For they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the peoples of the lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. ... {10:10} And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have trespassed, and have married foreign women, to increase the guilt of Israel. {11} Now therefore make confession unto Jehovah, the God of your fathers, and do his pleasure; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the foreign women.

And so it is in the New Covenant: {1Co.7:39} A wife is bound for so long time as her husband liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is free to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. ... {9:5} Have we no right to lead about a wife that is a believer... {2Co.6:14} Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness? {15} And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever? {16} And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols? for we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. {17} Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you. Better not even date an unbeliever, saints.

However, God makes a concession in the New Testament when a person comes to the Lord with an unbelieving spouse because the unbelieving spouse might become saved through their faith. {1Co.7:12} But to the rest say I, not the Lord: If any brother hath an unbelieving wife, and she is content to dwell with him, let him not leave her. {13} And the woman that hath an unbelieving husband, and he is content to dwell with her, let her not leave her husband. {14} For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the brother: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

If that spouse as an unbeliever departs you can remarry. {15} Yet if the unbelieving departeth, let him depart: the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such [cases]...

Even if you are remarried illegally many times before coming to the Lord the commands are to Christians and are not retroactive to the old life for we are a new creation, cleansed of all past sins.

Also Christians can do things in ignorance that are under the blood for knowledge precedes sin in the New Testament as before the Law. {Rom.5:13} for until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. {7:8} ... for apart from the law sin [is] dead. {Jas.4:17} To him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. {Joh.15:22} If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no excuse for their sin. This is not an excuse for someone to falsely claim ignorance because God looks on the heart and knows all. Judgment is sure to fornicators and adulterers. {1Co.6:9} Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, {10} nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. {Rev.21:7} He that overcometh shall inherit these things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. {8} But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part [shall be] in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.

Marriage and divorce can be a very convoluted problem. If after diligently searching into all that the New Covenant teaches on this subject and asking elders with no satisfaction, remember what Moses did. {Exo.18:25} And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. {26} And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves. God told Moses that he would be as God to Israel. For some things we need to get a word from our Lord.

{1Co.7:1} Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. {2} But, because of fornications, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. {3} Let the husband render unto the wife her due: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. {4} The wife hath not power over her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power over his own body, but the wife. {5} Defraud ye not one the other, except it be by consent for a season, that ye may give yourselves unto prayer, and may be together again, that Satan tempt you not because of your incontinency. {6} But this I say by way of concession, not of commandment. {7} Yet I would that all men were even as I myself. Howbeit each man hath his own gift from God, one after this manner, and another after that. {8} But I say to the unmarried and to widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. {9} But if they have not continency, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. {10} But unto the married I give charge, [yea] not I, but the Lord, That the wife depart not from her husband {11} (but should she depart, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband); and that the husband leave not his wife. {12} But to the rest say I, not the Lord: If any brother hath an unbelieving wife, and she is content to dwell with him, let him not leave her. {13} And the woman that hath an unbelieving husband, and he is content to dwell with her, let her not leave her husband. {14} For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the brother: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. {15} Yet if the unbelieving departeth, let him depart: the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such [cases]: but God hath called us in peace. {16} For how knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, O husband, whether thou shalt save thy wife? {17} Only, as the Lord hath distributed to each man, as God hath called each, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all the churches. {18} Was any man called being circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Hath any been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised. {19} Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but the keeping of the commandments of God. {20} Let each man abide in that calling wherein he was called. {21} Wast thou called being a bondservant? Care not for it: nay, even if thou canst become free, use [it] rather. {22} For he that was called in the Lord being a bondservant, is the Lord's freedman: likewise he that was called being free, is Christ's bondservant. {23} Ye were bought with a price; become not bondservants of men. {24} Brethren, let each man, wherein he was called, therein abide with God. {25} Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: but I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be trustworthy. {26} I think therefore that this is good by reason of the distress that is upon us, [namely,] that it is good for a man to be as he is. {27} Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife. {28} But shouldest thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Yet such shall have tribulation in the flesh: and I would spare you. {29} But this I say, brethren, the time is shortened, that henceforth both those that have wives may be as though they had none; {30} and those that weep, as though they wept not; and those that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and those that buy, as though they possessed not; {31} and those that use the world, as not using it to the full: for the fashion of this world passeth away. {32} But I would have you to be free from cares. He that is unmarried is careful for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord: {33} but he that is married is careful for the things of the world, how he may please his wife, {34} and is divided. [So] also the woman that is unmarried and the virgin is careful for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married is careful for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. {35} And this I say for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is seemly, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. {36} But if any man thinketh that he behaveth himself unseemly toward his virgin [daughter], if she be past the flower of her age, and if need so requireth, let him do what he will; he sinneth not; let them marry. {37} But he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power as touching in his own heart, to keep his own virgin [daughter], shall do well. {38} So then both he that giveth his own virgin [daughter] in marriage doeth well; and he that giveth her not in marriage shall do better. {39} A wife is bound for so long time as her husband liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is free to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. {40} But she is happier if she abide as she is, after my judgment: and I think that I also have the Spirit of God.

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