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Gospel of Matthew – Divorce and Remarriage

Can a Christian divorce a spouse? Under what circumstances may a divorce be pursued? Can a divorced Christian re-marry? Our answer to this depends on how faithfully we have handled the scriptures and applied them to our actions. How do view divorce and remarriage as believers?

Our message finds us back to Matthew as we continue our step-by-step walk through the gospel. We come to [esvignore]Matthew 5:31-32[/esvignore], and will encounter the third of six illustrations Jesus uses to contrast the Pharisee’s perversion of the Law of God – Divorce and Remarriage. Jesus is demonstrating that it is the Pharisees themselves who are relaxing the law and teaching others to do the same, and thus they are abusing God’s people, causing people to sin, and are making hypocrites of themselves. This is the main thrust of these six examples, but Jesus speaks on particular topics each time, so it is our opportunity to speak on those subjects. We will visit [esvignore]Matthew 19:2-10[/esvignore] as well, since it is an expanded version of our passage. What is the proper Biblical position on divorce and remarriage? How do we know? Where do we get to the truth, since there has been a lot of misinformation and bad exegesis going on for centuries. We will examine this topic tomorrow

  • 1. Context!
    •      A. Three ways marriage and divorce can be approached:
      •           i. Pharisee/Jewish view (also today’s ‘no fault’ divorce) – Divorce for any light reason.
        •                a. Lax and lawless
        •                b. Particularly abusive to women
      •           ii. Rigorist view/Permanence view – no divorce for any reason
        •                a. Catholic/Orthodox sacrament, marriage seen as a church institution.
        •                b. Often a Fundamentalist position
      •           iii. Reformed Protestant view – allowances for divorce in 2 Biblically allowable circumstances
        •                a. Puritans – marriage considered a civil institution, no church authority
        •                b. Confessional era – marriage as a familial institution, no church authority
    •      B. Scripture Interprets Scripture
      •           i. Doctrines not formed on one passage
      •           ii. [esvignore]Matthew 19[/esvignore] contains expanded version
      •           iii. All of scripture informs this topic
  • 2. Pharisaical Relaxing of the Law
    •      A. This is the main point
    •      B. Following this law, people sin
  • 3. Why is remarriage for any other reason adultery?
    •      A. “One flesh” as a key concept
    •      B. Adultery breaks union, is an OT crime, general equity is disfellowship
    •      C. God’s Love redeems

Public reading: [esvignore]Genesis 2:18-25[/esvignore]; Benediction: [esvignore]Romans 12:2[/esvignore]

Matthew 5:31-32

Matthew 19:2-10

Genesis 2:18-25

Romans 12:2