Marriage divorce and remarriage, Part 2

Paul, Moses, and Christ do not disagree with each other. Paul addresses the debauchery and time of persecution in Corinth. The teachings of Paul, Moses, and Christ do not disagree with each other.
1 Cor. 7-7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

Many will try to use this verse out of context. Paul, in speaking to believers, in this present condition, he does not mention the exception clause in Matthew 19. Why? Paul is commanding both parties what to do because they are both Christians. Therefore, if two people are Christians and there is no uncleanness (fornication) evolved then they are not to divorce. side Note:  If so, also knowing that reconciliation is always the destination for both parties. If separated the goal is still to always be reconciliation.  Keep in mind this does not cancel out Exodus 21 neither, however, none of these problems should happen between two believing Christians, and if so reconciliation is always the goal.

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

What Paul is speaking does not mean it is not authoritative. He says "speak I" because Jesus NEVER discussed this situation in the gospels. Jesus, when addressing the Pharisees, was never discussing marriage between a believer and unbeliever. Therefore, in Corinth, Paul addresses this set of circumstance by saying "speak I" not to divorce if the unbelieving spouse is pleased to remain joined therein. Obviously, Paul, not being in opposition to Jesus or Moses, therefore if there is nothing evolved pertaining to Exodus 21, Deut. 24. or Matthew. 19 then remain together. But once again reconciliation is always the goal. So, if one spouse is not a believer but willing to faithfully remain then the believer is not to divorce that spouse. This would also mean that the believer would have a sanctifying influence over the spouse and children.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

If the unbeliever leaves you are allowed to be divorced and are NOT under the bondage of marriage. Once again Jesus NEVER discussed the situation concerning a believer and unbeliever. This would allow for the believer to be free from bondage. Note: a believer, if not married, should never even consider marriage with an unbeliever.

17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.


According to these verses 12-15 itís allowing for the will of the unbelieving spouse to choose. But for the believer whatever situation you are called, that's the situation you should walk in.

 18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any 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 every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. 21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. 22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. 23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God. 25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. 26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. 27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

Verse 17, 20, 24, whatever situation one is in when they were called (became a Christian), remain right where you are, for the Lord can use you in this set of circumstances, despite if oneís spouse is a believer or not.  In verse 25 Paul also says remain in whatever state you are to virgins because of the present persecutions at that time it is better to remain single. Also in verse 27 he says if you are presently bound to a spouse then do not seek to be divorced. It also says if you are single for whatever reason, do not seek marriage. So verse 28 addresses the second group in verse 27 and says even if you are married

 28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

So verse 28 Paul addresses the second group in verse 27 and says even if you are married you have not sinned. Verses 27 and 28 need to be carefully understood in context. Also, in verse 28b, Paul is concerned in advising them against joining in marriage because of the present persecution taking place in Corinth. It is easier to be single during the time of great persecution and he tells why in verse 32-35. But it is not a command to never marry again, but advice only. 

29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away. 32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. 37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. 38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. 39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. 40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.


Verse 39, this situation is concerning believers in the faith and is not applying to the exception clause because they are in the faith and neither has violated Exodus 21 nor Deut. 24..


Always remember: Moses, Paul and Jesus do not disagree, therefore the whole with of scripture must be harmonized in the divorce remarriage subject as in all subjects. Jesus was speaking to supposed believers under the Law of Moses in Matt. 5, & 19, Mark 10 pinpointing their sin, and knowing their hearts. Exodus 21 was not the issue He had with them. In addressing them, the real issue was (not for just any reason). So, to the Pharisees who approached Him, lust in their heart was the real issue, not anything else, and He extrapolates on that by saying "if one lusts after a women in his heart he has already committed adultery".  This is why Jesus responded to them in verse 4-6 "if two joined together let no "MAN" separate".  Man cannot separate what God has joined together for just any reason. But in a lawful divorce according to stipulations by Moses in Deut. 24 MAN is not separating them, but rather this is God is separating that marriage. God considers the first marriage to be dissolved and the second marriage to be acceptable in His eyes. The new couple (2nd marriage) is now "one flesh. 


"If a man divorces his wife for just any reason", Yes that would qualify for unlawfully separating what God has joined together which no man can put asunder. However, that statement does not apply to all divorces of all time, as we see Paul went further in explaining what Jesus did not explain. Simply because that was not the issue Jesus was confronting the Pharisees with who had placed themselves under Talmudic belief, by stating God "commanded" them to divorce".  Therefore Jesus tells them there was no reason for divorce in the beginning, Gen. 2. This is because there was no sin in the word, nor hardness of the heart at that time. But in Gen. 3 did sin enter into the world. So God did "permit" divorce later on because of sin and the hardness of the heart, Deut. 24, and Exodus 21.


Let us proceed to Deut. 24 for further clarification. This has NOT CHANGED. In fact Jesus said the same thing.

1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. 3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. 5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken. 

If the husband, or vice-versa finds uncleanness, (sexual immorality) in their spouse. In the NT it is called "fornication" by Jesus. He/she is then permitted, not commanded to give the fornicating spouse a divorce and separate . It also says if that former spouse remarried, and her 2nd husband dies, she is not allowed to go back to the first spouse because that is an abomination to the Lord. The real irony is that people who believe in the ONE marriage only for life doctrine, are telling others that they must repent and  leave their current spouse and  remain single until their first spouse dies, or go back to their first spouse. Strange that Jesus never said any of this to the woman at the well.  Anyway, Deut. 24-4a says returning to your former spouse is an abomination.  Yet these same false Pundits are telling them to return to their former spouse or remain single until they die. Plus we see that remarriage is lawfully allowed by Moses. There is no way these proponents of one marriage only can reconcile this teaching because this scripture has never passed away. It was not disqualified by what Jesus said in the gospels, and Paul confirms this in 1 Cor. 7-28.


By Bill West