MARRIAGE, DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE #2
By David J. Riggs
A. God's law for marriage was established in the very beginning.
1. Our generation needs to be taught the sacredness of marriage
in God's sight.
2. God ordained marriage to last a lifetime.
3. Though the world may recognize divorce for any cause,
God's law is supreme and needs to be respected.
4. "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put
asunder." Matt. 19:6
5. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled: but
fornicators and adulterers God will judge." (Heb. 13:4
B. We continue our study on marriage and divorce by asking and
answering various questions.
I. WHAT ARE THE LAWS GOVERNING DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE?
A. We will examine carefully the Lord's words revealed in the
gospels. Matt 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18
B. A close examination of our Savior's words will reveal the
1. There is one EXCEPTION or one CAUSE for divorce and
remarriage. Matt. 5:32; 19:9
a. Thus, in God's sight there is only one cause for divorce
and remarriage; there is only one exception whereby one
can divorce and marry another.
b. The cause or reason for divorce is all-important because
if a couple is divorced for something other than
fornication, neither party is free to remarry.
c. The question is often raised, "If a couple was divorced
for something other than fornication, would one be free
to remarry if the other later became guilty of
d. The answer is, "No." The reason is that, according to
the Lord, there is only one instance in which one is free
to remarry and that's when he or she divorces his or her
companion because of fornication.
2. Let's look at the Lord's instructions with regard to THE
MAN -- mentioned in all four accounts. Matt. 5:32; 19:9;
Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18
a. Thus, the man who divorces his wife for some other
cause than fornication, does not have a right to remarry.
If he does, he commits adultery.
3. Consider the Lord's instructions regarding THE WOMAN.
a. It is the same as for the man but is mentioned only in
Mark's account. Mark 10:11-12
b. Therefore, the woman who divorces her husband for
some cause other than fornication does not have a right
to remarry. If she does, she commits adultery.
c. Paul said the same regarding the woman in Rom. 7:1-3.
4. Consider the Lord's instructions concerning THE
DISMISSED PARTY -- the innocent party who is dismissed
-- mentioned in all accounts. Matt. 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11;
a. Notice the two reasons why a man should not divorce
his wife, except for fornication, and marry another.
(1) "Causeth her to commit adultery." Matt. 5:32
(a) If he divorced his wife not for the scriptural
cause, he opens his wife to a great temptation
to sin. 1 Cor. 7:8-9
(b) Think of the jeopardy a man puts a woman in,
when she married because she could not
contain, and the man breaks the tie for
something other than fornication.
(c) If she seeks to satisfy her desires out of
marriage, she sins, or if she marries again, she
(d) Jesus is showing that it is wrong for a man to
subject his wife to such jeopardy.
(2) "Committeth adultery against her." Mark 10:11
(a) In God's sight, he is still "bound" to his first
wife and, thus, in his second marriage he is
(3) This woman who has been divorced commits
adultery when she remarries as shown in Matt. 5:32;
19:9; Luke 16:18.
5. Let's examine at the Lord's teaching regarding to THE
THIRD PARTY -- the one who marries a divorced or put
away person -- mentioned in three passages. Matt. 5:32;
19:9; Luke 16:18
a. Thus, the third party who either marries one who was
divorced without scriptural grounds, or marries one who
was divorced because of guilt of fornication, commits
b. Please notice, also, that the verses do not allow any
put-away person to remarry.
(1) In a lot of divorce cases, faithful Christians are
put away (divorced) by their companions.
(2) Their companions then later remarry.
(3) The faithful Christians then think they can marry
another because their first companions are now
guilty of fornication.
(4) Not so! They cannot remarry because of these
(a) They did not put away their companions for
fornication -- the only situation wherein one
(b) No put-away person can remarry as seen in the
expression, "...Whoso marrieth her which is
put away doth commit adultery."
6. Look at the Lord's teaching concerning THE GUILTY
PARTY -- the one who is guilty of committing adultery
against his companion. Matt. 5:32; 19:9; Luke 16:18
a. As we have seen, there is only one instance in which one
is free to remarry -- when he divorces his companion
because of fornication. The guilty party does not fit the
b. Also, the guilty party does not have a right to remarry
as shown in the expression, "whoso marrieth her that is
put away doth commit adultery."
c. Married persons should by all means avoid defiling the
(1) When one commits fornication, he sins against God
and his companion. He should confess his sin and
try to be reconciled to his companion.
(2) If the companion sees fit to divorce the guilty, the
guilty must, for the rest of his life, remain
d. Many people who are living in adulterous marriages do
not realize their sins.
(1) Many realize they are living in sin but they don't
care; they think they can mock God. Gal. 6:7-8
e. Any second marriage is sinful, unless the first marriage
was dissolved by death, or by the innocent husband or
wife divorcing their adulterous companion.
(1) Only the innocent party has a right to remarry.
f. Our generation is truly an "evil and adulterous" one, and
needs to be taught God's will concerning marriage,
divorce, and remarriage.
(1) Those who live in sin will be eternally lost in hell.
II. DOES BAPTISM SANCTION ONE'S PRESENT RELATIONSHIP?
A. Sometimes those who were not divorced for the scriptural cause
and have remarried learn God's will and want to know if baptism
would sanction their present marriage.
1. The blood of Christ will save us from all sin (1 Tim. 1:15);
however, we are saved by the blood only when we obey the
commands of Christ. Rom. 6:17-18
2. One of the Lord's commands is repentance. Luke 13:3; Acts
3. Repentance is more than simply a change of mind; it is a
change of mind that results in a change of life.
a. Just being sorry for our sins is not enough. Sorrow leads
to repentance, but it alone is not repentance. 2 Cor.
4. One must bring forth fruits worthy of repentance. Matt. 3:8;
a. Some sins require a definite fruit to be brought forth;
they demand a restitution for complete repentance.
b. For example, if a person steals a million dollars and
afterwards learns the truth, could he be baptized and
keep the million?
c. If a homosexual is in a homosexual relationship, could
he be baptized and stay in his homosexual relationship?
5. One cannot repent and continue practicing the same sin.
a. If one repents of the sin of adultery, he cannot continue
living in adultery.
b. Notice again the situation described in Rom. 7:1-3.
(1) A woman is married to a second man and in such a
state she acts the adulteress.
(2) Can she repent and not cease committing adultery?
Will baptism allow her to continue in that state?
(3) Absolutely not! The adulterer must cease adultery!
6. Ezra 10:3 - They had to put away the wives they had no
right to have.
A. We emphasize again the sacredness of marriage in God's sight.
1. Regardless of what the laws of the land may recognize,
God's law is always the same.
2. The world may recognize easy divorce for any cause, but
that doesn't change or make void God's law.
3. Men may ignore, violate, and even denounce God's law, but
His law remains and all men will be judged by it in the last
B. We sympathize with those who, upon a study of the law of God,
find themselves in an adulterous relationship.
1. Nevertheless, they are reaping the consequences of their
sins. Gal. 6:7-8; Hosea 9:9
C. We plead with those who are in such marriages to not allow
their physical relationship to become more important than their
desire to please God and go to heaven.
1. Very soon all relationships in this life will be over. James
2. Don't, like Esau, sell out for a mess of pottage. Heb.