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Tag Archives: Christian divorce

Divorce – God’s View

I’m continuing to look at Paul’s teaching on marriage relationships in First Corinthians, chapter 7.  Here’s where some of the controversies start.  He’s going to talk about divorce.

To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.  But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband.  And a husband must not divorce his wife.
1 Corinthians 7:10-11

This verse is specifically talking about marriages between two Christians.  Paul is being clear and concise in his description of the Lord’s command.  He states that divorce is never a part of God’s plan.

I know that this teaching doesn’t sit well with many in our generation.  We live in a society where divorce is an acceptable part of our culture.

This is why marriage is not to be entered into on a whim.  The world sees it as simply an agreement to live together.  Scripturally it’s a lot more than that.

Divorce was acceptable in the Jewish culture as well during the time Jesus was ministering.  The Pharisees asked Him His opinion.

Here’s what Jesus told them…

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
Matthew 19:4-6

The Pharisees weren’t satisfied with this answer.  They didn’t see anything wrong with divorce.  They rested their case on the fact that the Law of Moses allowed for it – so they had a Scriptural basis.

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard.  But it was not this way from the beginning.  I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Matthew 19:8-9

His answer was simple.  Divorce is not God’s will, but He knew that mankind was going to do it anyway.  So the Lord set up some ground rules to make it more amicable.

Of course, this opens up another can of worms.  It’s obvious from the above passage that God understands what we, as human beings, are like.  He knows that once we set our hearts on doing something, even against God’s will, we’ll probably go there.

So God made an allowance for the hardness of our hearts.  That tells me that divorce isn’t the unpardonable sin.  I know there are some denominations that totally write you off once you go through a divorce.  That’s not God’s view.

We must always remember that even though God hates divorce, He loves people.  He’s willing to work in and through us no matter what we’ve gone through.  It’s not my place to tell anyone that they’re somehow disqualified for ministry because of a divorce.

It’s really up to the move of the Holy Spirit in someone’s life.  I’ve seen divorced ministers who’ve walked under a powerful anointing from God.  Why would God confirm their ministry if they had disqualified themselves?

I find it best to leave the judgment seat to Christ.

Question: Based on this teaching, what’s the best way to prepare Christian couples for marriage?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

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Posted by on March 29, 2019 in Relationships, Spiritual Walk

 

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God’s Will vs. Permission

Jesus had to deal with some very controversial subjects sometimes.  This was one of them.  Even today, the subject of divorce and remarriage can cause arguments among believers.

It’s a very complicated issue, and I’m not going to fully deal with it in this post.  I’m merely going to explain what Jesus is saying to those who asked Him a question.  There are plenty of books and articles you can obtain if you want to get deeper into this subject.

Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan.  Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.
Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
Mark 10:1-2

Clearly, the Pharisees were trying to cause trouble for Jesus.  The question they asked was; is it right for a man to divorce his wife?  So Jesus is about to answer a question in terms of right and wrong.

As He frequently did with people who should know better, the Lord answered their question with another question.

“What did Moses command you?” he replied.
They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
Mark 10:3-4

These two statements really explain everything that characterized the Pharisees.  Jesus asked what Moses commanded.  They answered with what he permitted.

That’s actually what many Christians ask about in our generation.  Many times I’ve been asked, “Pastor, can I still be a Christian and go to Heaven if I … ?”  You can fill in the blank with anything you want.  What they were really asking is; how far into the world can I get and still go to Heaven?

The problem with that thinking is that it misses the point of salvation.  It’s not about making it to Heaven.  My life in Christ is about becoming who God created me to be.

So Jesus answered His question for them by quoting Moses’ commands from the book of Genesis.

“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.  “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’  ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’  So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this.  He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.  And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
Mark 10:5-12

Jesus takes the Pharisees back to Moses’ original commands before the law was given.  We see the will of God in this matter.  Throughout the Bible, God shows that He hates divorce.

It was later on that the law gave permission and requirements for divorce.  The reason was not that divorce was acceptable to God, but that people were going to do it with or without His permission.  Paul explained it this way…

What, then, was the purpose of the law?  It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.
Galatians 3:19a

Like I said, this post is not about fully investigating divorce in Scripture.  Instead, it’s about the lesson Jesus was trying to get across to the Pharisees.

As in all areas of life, my goal should never be to see how much I can get away with and still be a Christian.  I should be trying to please God with every fiber of my being.

Question: How does this truth apply to areas other than divorce?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2018 in Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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