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Marriage and Divorce


  1. This is a Searcher’s Class – I will try to answer ALL your questions.
  2. I will NOT answer the questions right away. I will make a note of the question and try to answer it when we are ready. I must lay the foundation first.
  3. We are dealing with a sensitive issue. Divorce has touched every person in this room (friend, family member, worker, or a church member). We must be sensitive to the hurts that divorce has caused.
    1. We will not name names. We will not identify specific people. Respect the need for confidentiality.
    2. Do not speak in harsh, critical terms about the decisions others have made. You do not know all the facts or situations involved.
    3. We must be sensitive to the hurts that divorce has caused.
  4. We will be dealing with OPINION as it applies to the Scripture.
    1. I will try to be clear on what is opinion vs. the law of God. Paul did this in 1 Corinthians 7. We must understand what is good advice and what is a command from God’s Word.
    2. Be fair with the opinions of others (even though you believe them to be wrong). We form opinions based on the information we have. Others may not have the facts that you have and therefore have reached a different conclusion.
  5. We are dealing with an issue of eternal importance. Our salvation in heaven may depend on how we deal with these matters.
  6. A PERSONAL NOTE: As a teacher in a public setting, I feel a responsibility to state in the clearest terms the teaching of God. In private counseling, I will be more open to the exceptions and circumstances of an individual case. I have learned that if I open the door in a public setting, everyone thinks I have allowed THEIR exception.


  1. Don’t make rules for God. Some want to be stricter than God. Some want to ignore the commands of the Bible.
  2. When dealing with opinions – Remember there can be more than one solution. Do not try to BIND your solution when there are other options available.
  3. Don’t jump to conclusions. WARNING: This study can not be done in one 45-minute session of study. We may leave some matters hanging for next week. Do not jump to a conclusion until we have concluded.
  4. Don’t let your heart rule your head. This is a sensitive, personal, emotional issue. When it touches us in such a personal way, we want God to agree that our situation is OK. God’s law must be applied equally to all.

Plan of our Study

What is Marriage?
Jesus’ teaching – Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9
Paul’s teaching – 1 Corinthians 7 and Romans 7:1-4
The church must help in dealing with this problem.
Doctrinal issues – Baptism and forgiveness, Repentance, Covenant passage

My Symbols

    1. Instead of using "Mary" and "John" – I use A B C D
    2. A – B means A is legally married to B
    3. A / B means a divorce for some reason has taken place.
    4. A circle around a letter = that person has commited fornication.
    5. "Burn the biscuits" is my term for any reason for divorce other than fornication.

What is Marriage?

  1. Man and Woman – Genesis 1:26-27
  2. Man needed a companion. Genesis 2:18
  3. God established some rules. Genesis 2:24
    Separation – "leave"
    Singleness – "cleave"
    Synthesis – "two become one"
    Shameless – "were not ashamed"
    Security – "as long as he liveth" (Romans 7:2)
  4. Roles established – Genesis 3:16
    Equality of person
    Difference in function and purpose

What Constitutes a Marriage?

  1. NOT living together. John 4:16-18
    Is the marriage license important? Legal, Insurance, Social Security, Inheritance
    Why is "living together" wrong?
  2. Marriage is "A Covenant of Companionship"
    Covenant = contract, binding agreement
    Noah (Genesis 9:8-17); Jeremiah 31:31-33; Hebrews 8:6-13
    Companionship – Hebrew word – "tame a wild animal so you can be close"
    Malachi 2:14 "She is thy companion, and the wife of they covenant."
    Proverbs 2:17 Companion is translated "guide" here.

Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage and Divorce

  1. Luke 16:18
    Whosoever = anyone, everyone, all are under the same rules.
    Puts away = divorce, rejects, cuts off, sends away
    Marries another = Participates in a second "covenant of companionship."
    Commiteth – Present active tense – Not a one time action but continuing action.
    Adultery = A specific type of fornication.
  2. Mark 10:11-12
    The laws of God apply equally to men and women.
    Romans allowed a woman to file for divorce. Jews did not. Greeks did not.
  3. Matthew 5:32
    Study Matthew 5:17 – Not destroy the law but fulfill it.
    The purpose was not to ignore, set aside the law.
    Jesus’ purpose was to strengthen (give force) to the law.
    The problem was not divorce, but lack of commitment in the marriage.
  4. Matthew 19:1-12

Context – the question – "For every cause"

Jesus said – Look at the original intent of God for marriage.

The concession of Moses – Deuteronomy 24:1-4
Hillel – "Uncleanness" = Any embarrassment [Liberal view]
Shammai - "Uncleanness" = Fornication [Conservative view]

"Except it be for fornication"

  1. The Greek word is "Pornea" (pornography). It is a broad, general term that applies to all kinds of unlawful sexual conduct.
  2. 1 Corinthians 5:1 – Incest
  3. Jude 7 – Homosexuality, Sodomy
  4. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 – pre-marital sex
  5. 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 – Prostitution
  6. Also covers – Rape, Beastility, Wife-swapping

"Commits adultery"

  1. Present active tense – continuing action, a state or condition of sin
  2. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 "And such were some of you"
  3. Colossians 3:5-7 "When you lived in them"
  4. Adultery = A married person’s sexual activity with one not their spouse.
  5. Whoever marries a "put away" woman commits adultery.
  6. Implied – ABC & D are ALL committing adultery.

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