MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE
the teaching of Jesus Christ
"Therefore shall a man leave his father
and his mother, and shall cleave unto
his wife: and they shall be one flesh".
Marriage was instituted by God in
Genesis 2v21-24 and endorsed by
Jesus Christ in Matthew 19v4-6
and Paul in 1st Corinthians 7v2
and Ephesians 5v22-33.
Marriage is specifically limited to "a man" and "his wife", which precludes any other type of union, whether it be unmarried, homosexual or polygamous. Such unscriptural practices, common in the world today, are not in accordance with the will of God. Followers of Jesus Christ will be careful to obey His teaching, as recorded above. In page 3 we set forth the NT teaching of ONENESS IN CHRIST which eliminates the practice of polygamy.
Marriage is meant to be for life. Only the death of one of the parties dissolves the bond, 1st Corinthians 7v39, except for the following instances. And even when such occur, reconciliation should be diligently pursued by the aggrieved believer before any action is taken.
The 'Exceptive Clause' - Matthew 5v31, 32 and 19v9. When "fornication" (sexual immorality outside of the marriage-bond between one man and one woman) is committed by one of the parties, the aggrieved believer may obtain a legal divorce if such is permitted by the country of residence. The brother or sister must not in any way seek or accept costs or damages. There must not be any desire for revenge. When the legal divorce has been made absolute, the believer may re-marry, "only in the Lord" - 1st Corinthians 7v39.
The 'Pauline Privilege' - 1st Corinthians 7v12-16. This is limited to a marriage between a believer and a non-believer. Such marriages are not according to the will of God, and marriages with the alien have many times resulted in disaster - e.g. Genesis 6v1-8; Judges 2v1-5; 1st Kings 11v1-13 etc. But when a believer is already married to an alien, he or she must endeavour to continue the marriage and try to save the non-believer. However if trouble arises and reconciliation proves to be impossible and the alien departs, divorce becomes permissible where such is allowed by the law of the country of residence. Here also, when the legal divorce has been made absolute, the believer may re-marry, "only in the Lord". The same prohibitions which are set out above against costs, damages, and revenge, are applicable here.
Whilst we must not go beyond the above permissions of Jesus Christ and Paul, we must not deny the existence of these scriptural teachings. This has been done by some,and has resulted in much mental anguish and denial of the will of God in Jesus Christ. Therefore let us determine that we shall, with this and all other subjects, not deviate either by detracting from or adding to the word of God - see Deut. 4v1,2; Prov. 17v15; Matt. 7v13,14.
God wants us to love and obey Him. Where there have been broken marriages and lives, it is impossible to go back in time and to change the past. The teachings of Jesus Christ (both personally and through Paul) allow us, after repenting for past failures, to move forward with our lives in the service of God.
The above provisions are meant to fill this human need, in the same way that "the sabbath is made for man, and not man for the sabbath" - Mark 2v27.
Let us therefore not condemn, but rather show compassion towards each other. This is the will of God for us:
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ" - Galatians 6v2.
"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy" - Matthew 5v7.
NOTE - SOME NOT WITH US HAVE OBJECTED TO THE ABOVE EXPOSITION. THEY TAKE THE CATHOLIC POSITION OF INDISSOLUBILITY OF MARRIAGE.
READ OUR REPLY -
PAGE 2 RE OBJECTIONS ANSWERED
PAGE 3 WE DEMONSTRATE THE SCRIPTURAL POSITION TODAY CONCERNING POLYGAMY
PAGE 4 WE OUTLINE THE TRUE FACTS RELATIVE TO THE 1898 MELBOURNE DIVORCE CASE BASED ON ACTUAL COURT RECORDS & HISTORY.