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Sinner saved by grace through Christ. Engineering Professor. Husband and Father. Church member.
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Divorce causes adultery.
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Marriage is a one-flesh union joined by God; thus, man shouldn’t break this union.
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Marriage is a one-flesh union; breaking this union causes adultery.
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Matthew 5:31-32
Divorce does not dissolve the marriage bond (unless it is done on the grounds of sexual immorality).
Published December 11th, 2020; Updated December 14th, 2020
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Main point summary
Discussion questions
Main point summary
Jesus: “You have heard that God allowed people to get a divorce. But I command you that divorce does not dissolve the original marriage bond (except for sexual immorality). Thus, marriage after divorce causes adultery.”
Matthew 5:31-32
h “It was also said,
“It was also commanded that
n ‘Whoever divorces his wife,
‘If someone wishes to divorce his wife,
let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
he can do so, but should give her a certificate of divorce (so that she is free to remarry).’
o But I say to you
But I tell you that despite the fact that God allowed divorce,
that everyone who divorces his wife, ...,
If you divorce your wife,
^ makes her commit adultery
you are actually causing her to commit adultery because divorce did not dissolve your original marriage bond.
^ except on the ground of sexual immorality, ...
(However, divorcing your wife does not causes adultery if the grounds for the divorce is sexual immorality.)
and p whoever marries a divorced woman
Also, if you marry a woman who is divorced,
commits adultery.
then you are committing adultery.
“You have heard that God allowed people to get a divorce.”
But I command you that divorce does not dissolve the original marriage bond (except for sexual immorality) and thus remarriage after divorce causes adultery.
Matthew 5:31-32
The superficial meaning
“It was also said,
‘Whoever divorces his wife,
let him give her a certificate
of divorce.’
The complete meaning
But I say
to you
who divorces his wife,
that everyone ... ... makes her commit adultery,
Content #1
except on the ground
of sexual immorality,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Content #2
Matthew 5:31-32
Divorce 31 h “It was also said, n ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce .’ 32 o But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality , makes her commit adultery , and p whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery .
Matthew 19:3-9
3 And Pharisees came up to him and r tested him by asking, s “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, t “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, u ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and v the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. w What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, x “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your y hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 z And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality , and marries another, commits adultery .” 1
Deuteronomy 24:1-4
Laws Concerning Divorce 24 1 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and e he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house, 2 and if she goes and becomes another man’s wife, 3 and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife, 4 then f her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the Lord . And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.
Genesis 2:24
24 t Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Jeremiah 3:1
3 1 g “If 1 a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man’s wife, will he return to her? h Would not that land be greatly polluted? i You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? declares the Lord .
Mark 10:11-12
11 And he said to them, k “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and l if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery .”
Luke 16:18
Divorce and Remarriage 18 d “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery , and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery .
1 Corinthians 7:10-11
10 To the married f I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): g the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, h she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and g the husband should not divorce his wife.
Romans 7:3
3 Accordingly, f she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress .
Discussion questions
Teaching 1a: Marriage (Verse 31) What is a marriage? Where do we learn about marriage in the Bible? How long does marriage last? Who should get married? Should everyone get married? Can you think of any people who are/were not married? Teaching 1b: Divorce (verse 31) What is divorce? Let’s look at some other passages that show us how God feels about divorce. Why does God dislike divorce? How does God’s opinion about divorce compare with our society’s opinion? Teaching 1c: The certificate of divorce (verse 31) What is the “certificate of divorce” that Jesus refers to? Why do you think God allowed them to have a certificate of divorce? Teaching 2a: God’s complete intention for marriage and divorce (verse 32) What is adultery? Why does divorcing one’s wife cause her to commit adultery? Why is it adultery if a man marries a divorced woman? Why does Jesus only refer to men? Should we obey the OT teaching or Jesus’s teaching? How do you feel about this teaching? (see the reaction of the disciples in Matthew 19.) Teaching 2b: Exceptions for divorce What does Jesus mean by “sexual immorality”? Are there other exceptions? (See Romans 7:3 and 1 Corinthians 7:10-11)
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.