Bible Studies/divorce

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QUESTION: Is it okay to get remarried after being divorced?

ANSWER: It is clear that divorce is only permitted because of the hardness of men’s hearts (Matthew 19:8).  This was allowed under Jewish law in the case of “some uncleanness” (Deuteronomy 24:1), typically interpreted as sexual sin but not adultery (adultery would have called for stoning).  However, in Matthew 5 (verses 31 ff.) Jesus clearly states that divorce can be allowed but that anyone who divorces except for sexual immorality causes the spouse to commit adultery and any divorced person who remarries is committing adultery.  Because of these statements, it is clear that remarriage after divorce is not condoned by Christ.

In addition, Paul asserts that the marriage is to be preserved (1 Corinthians 7:10).  Even if divorce is allowed (as it was by Moses), the divorced person is to remain unmarried (1 Corinthians 7:11) until the spouse – including a former spouse – dies (1 Corinthians 7:39).  By the way, the expression “only in the Lord” means that a believer should only marry another believer.  

Paul is very clear on the proper approach in Romans 7:1-3.  There are some people who claim that this passage is in the context of the fact that we are no longer function under the law but under the grace of Christ.  This is true but that does not mean that all the provisions of the law, including those supported by the teachings of Jesus, can be ignored.

With all this as a guideline for Christians, it is my conclusion that divorce and remarriage is  not acceptable to God.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: In 1 Corinthians 7:15 Paul said "But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases".....What does he mean there?

Answer
Please accept my apology for missing the follow-up question.

With regard to 1 Corinthians 7:15, the context is a believing wife and unbelieving husband, though the text is clear that the opposite can also be the case.  In such a case where the unbeliever cannot tolerate the faith and lifestyle of the believer and wants a divorce, it could be granted.  The believer "is not under bondage in such cases".  God still does not want people to divorce (see the start of Paul's discourse in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11) but there are circumstances, as Moses also wrote, where divorce is going to happen.

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Roy Wallen

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Using the Bible as my primary source and references in support of it, I am willing to answer questions on subjects from the Old and New Testaments. My faith is based on biblical Christianity and fundamental views from the Bible. I cannot answer questions about specific sects or religious organizations nor can I address religions outside biblical Christianity. As a Christian for over 40 years, I have studied many aspects of the Christian faith. My particular interests are in creation and the natural processes of the world around us and how they fit with the biblical record. I believe that all Scripture is inspired by God. I believe that there are no contradictions in the Bible and that the Bible is complete in telling us as individuals how we should relate to God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit; our purpose on earth; and how we should live. Greek lauguage study has helped me gain additional insight into the New Testament but most of my reference work is done in English and, to a lesser degree, German.

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Personal Bible study over the years, lessons delivered in Sunday School settings and messages during organized services, and leading Bible study series have prepared me to be comfortable addressing questions from others.

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See directionalhealthcare.com for professional background information.

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Formal study includes Greek language. I am a layman without a theological degree. Training has come from sitting under the ministry of excellent Bible teachers for my entire adult life, personal study, and selected courses. Secular educational background includes an undergraduate engineering degree, graduate work in engineering and business, and advanced courses in business and theology.

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