Similarly the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7 that if the unbelieving spouse does not want to stay in the marriage and does not want to live with an active and obvious Christian, then the believer should let them go. In such cases the believer is not bound — that is to say they are free to remarry. The Pillar Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7 makes that point clearly:. Not bound here refers to freedom to remarry.
If the individual believer had Biblical grounds for divorce, then he or she is permitted to remarry — but only in the Lord 1 Corinthians 7: The Pharisees thought that divorce was required and commanded in the Scriptures, but Jesus sets them straight. Jesus corrected them saying: The Bible does not command divorce — it permits, regulates and limits divorce.
What Does the Bible Say about Divorce and Remarriage?
The Bible allows divorce — in certain situations — because of the hardness of human hearts. Hard hearts cause people to persist in sin and hard hearts make it hard to forgive others but becoming a Christian is about getting a new heart — a soft heart filled with the Holy Spirit. Such a heart is capable of change in the direction of Jesus Christ and is capable of forgiving a brother or a sister of even the most grievous of sins. Therefore, there really is no reason for two legitimately born again Christians to ever get divorced.
By the grace of God they can change and they can forgive. But because of the hardness of hearts — because some professed believers are not truly born again — a spouse may persist in sexual sin or a spouse may not wish to be married to a true believer — in such cases, the believer is not bound. He or she is free to remarry — thanks be to God!
What the Bible Teaches about Divorce and Remarriage
Ciampa and Brian S. Eerdmans, , You can also find it on iTunes. The Key Passages In Scripture: The Holiness Code exhaustively itemizes prohibited forms of sexuality: The Apostle Paul adds another exception in 1 Corinthians 7: The Biblical Grounds For Divorce: Based on the passages above, we can say with confidence that a believer may initiate divorce in the following cases: What About Physical Abuse? Physical abuse is a sin and should be named as such by pastors, elders and counselors. In 1 Timothy 3 Paul says: It is also against the law.
Since the Lord would not contradict Himself, we should conclude that, while there may be some situations in which extramarital sex would create such problems in a marriage that divorce would be better than continuing in an unhealthy or even dangerous relationship, in general it would be better to forgive earlier indiscretions if accompanied by repentance and present faithfulness rather than to break up what might otherwise still be a good marriage. In both cases, however, Christ warned that remarriage after divorce amounts to adultery , a sin which is explicitly forbidden by God's seventh Commandment.
Both divorce and remarriage, therefore, are extremely serious steps, and both violate the divine principle of permanent union and faithfulness in marriage. This promise is specifically for Christians , and includes even the sin of adultery , if there is genuine repentance. He reminded her accusers that they also were sinners and had no warrant to punish her.
Then He told the woman:.
Divorce, Remarriage: Who May Remarry according to the Bible?
He in no way condoned her sin, but He did forgive her sin, when she gave evidence of godly sorrow and determination not to sin again in this way. Under such conditions, His followers would do well to follow His example. At least in this particular context, He put no further conditions on her freedom, either to return to her husband if he would have her, or to marry another if she were already divorced.
There is one other important Biblical factor to consider in divorce-and-remarriage situations. A Christian should never marry a non-Christian, as this almost inevitably leads to serious friction in the home later on, unless the unsaved partner can, by God's grace , be won to Christ. Nevertheless, many Christians insist on doing this very thing. Also, a person may become a believer after marriage, with the partner still unsaved. In either case, there is an unequal yoke , and the Christian husband or wife may come to desire release from this yoke. The Apostle Paul commands in this case:.
The next verse indicates this is especially important for the sake of the children, who are often the ones hurt most by a divorce. But suppose the unsaved spouse is the one who insists on a divorce. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh" Genesis 1: He says that none of us should try to undo the "one-flesh" relationship which God has united.
More on this below. Rather it reaffirms that marriage after divorce is adultery, even for those who have been divorced innocently, and that a man who divorces his wife is guilty of the adultery of her second marriage unless she had already become an adulteress before the divorce.
But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
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Nevertheless, in spite of these pressures, he calls this second marriage adultery. In other words, Jesus' opposition to remarriage seems to be based on the unbreakableness of the marriage bond by anything but death. If one argues that this guilty woman is free to remarry, while the innocent woman who has been put away is not, just because the guilty woman's adultery has broken the "one flesh" relationship, then one is put in the awkward position of saying to an innocent divorced woman, "If you now commit adultery it will be lawful for you to remarry. This is a very unlikely assumption.
More likely is that Jesus does assume some of these divorcing husbands will have sexual relations with another woman, but still the wives they have divorced may not remarry. Therefore, adultery does not nullify the "one-flesh" relationship of marriage and both the innocent and guilty spouses are prohibited from remarriage in Matthew 5: To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband 11 but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband —and that the husband should not divorce his wife. As a matter of fact, these verses look very much like Mark Also, remarriage seems to be excluded by verse ll the same way it is excluded in Mark Perhaps he has in mind a situation of unrepentant adultery, or desertion, or brutality.
But in such a case he says that the person who feels constrained to separate should not seek remarriage but remain single.
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And he reinforces the authority of this statement by saying he has a word from the Lord. Thus Paul's interpretation of Jesus' sayings is that remarriage should not be pursued. A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. No exceptions are explicitly mentioned that would suggest she could be free from her husband to remarry on any other basis.
The disciples said to him, 'If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it. I will deal with the meaning of "except for immorality" below. This seemed like an intolerable prohibition to Jesus' disciples: If you close off every possibility of remarriage, then you make marriage so risky that it would be better not to marry, since you might be "trapped" to live as a single person to the rest of your life or you may be "trapped" in a bad marriage.
Instead, he says in verse ll, that the enablement to fulfill the command not to remarry is a divine gift to his disciples. Verse 12 is an argument that such a life is indeed possible because there are people who for the sake of the kingdom, as well as lower reasons, have dedicated themselves to live a life of singleness. He is saying that the mark of a disciple is that they receive a gift of continence while non-disciples don't. The evidence for this is 1 the parallel between Matthew When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, 2 and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man's wife, 3 and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, 4 then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.
It may well be that when the Pharisees asked Jesus if divorce was legitimate he based his negative answer not only on God's intention expressed in Genesis 1: In other words, there were ample clues in the Mosaic law that the divorce concession was on the basis of the hardness of man's heart and really did not make divorce and remarriage legitimate.
Should I Ever Take an Action I Don’t ‘Have Peace’ About?
It means that the Christian is not bound to fight in order to preserve togetherness. Separation is permissible if the unbelieving partner insists on it. If the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace. But when he refers to a deserted spouse not being bound in l Corinthians 7: It seems to me that the peace God has called us to is the peace of marital harmony. Therefore, if the unbelieving partner insists on departing, then the believing partner is not bound to live in perpetual conflict with the unbelieving spouse, but is free and innocent in letting him or her go.
Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? This supports the understanding of verse 15 as a focus on not being enslaved to stay together, rather than not being enslaved to say single. It teaches that betrothed virgins should seriously consider the life of singleness, but do not sin if they marry.
Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. There are several reasons why this interpretation is most unlikely. He says, "Now concerning the virgins ton parthenon I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy.
Now he takes up a new issue about those who are not yet married, and he signals this by saying, "Now concerning the virgins. But in Greek the word for wife is simply "woman" and may refer to a man's betrothed as well as his spouse.