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.

   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;
         Luke 16:18.
         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
                    committing adultery.
            (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
                    can remarry.
                (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
            one instance.
         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
            marriage covenant.
            (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.
                Col. 3:5-7

   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;
         Acts 26:20
         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.