Jesus on Marriage
September 19, 2021
Jesus on Marriage
Following the Servant
God’s path to fulfillment is
Marriage is a gift and work of God that receives its meaning and significance .
In these verses, Jesus’ ministry shifts from Galilee to Judea with a single-minded movement toward the Cross. The religious leaders continued to be outraged with Jesus and keep trying to trap Him – this time with a question about divorce. In the first century, women were considered to be less than men, but Jesus sees women as full partners in marriage and gives them dignity and holds men to a certain standard of conduct.
- Permission for divorce was not a reflection of . (vv. 1-5)
Matthew 12:38, 39
when adultery or divorce has taken place, forgiveness is available to those who repent and confess their sin (1 John 1:9).
- God’s will in creation is how marriage is (vv. 6-8a)
Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24
God’s design for marriage is exclusively heterosexual and unique among all human relationships.
- Jesus’ three conclusions:
- Marriage is a . (v. 8b)
- The union of one flesh is (v. 9)
- Humans have no right to separate what (v. 9b)
God’s plan from the beginning is that marriage would be .
Matthew 5:21, 22
Matthew 5:27, 28.
- The about marriage (vv. 10-12)
We should keep our marriage vows in such a way as to tell the truth about the unbreakable of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 7:10-16, 39
2 Peter 1:3
- Take a look at the Overseers statement on “A Biblical Perspective on Divorce and Remarriage” (insert) and look up all the verses.
- Base your opinions about marriage, divorce, and remarriage on what God says, not on popular opinions.
- Be gracious toward anyone you know who’s struggling or divorced.
- Leave room for God’s grace
- If you’re dating or engaged, consider strongly making the following commitments:
- Seek God’s will for your lives personally and together by following the Bible’s principles for Christian living and for marriage.
- Do not live together and do not engage in premarital sex.
- Determine to build a Christian message and home by making a life-long commitment to grow in your personal relationship with Jesus and your obedience to His Word.
- Do pre-marital counseling and engage in it thoroughly and enthusiastically.
- Ask for a list of books and take advantage of the great resources available. (Example: “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller).
- Commit to taking the word ‘divorce’ out of your vocabulary. Determine to be in this marriage for the duration of your lives and to seek help when its needed earlier rather than later.
Memory verse: “‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” Mark 10:7, 8
Read Mark 10:1-12. How would you say the world changed in the last decades with regard to relationships and divorce? What do you see as the social trends behind those changes? What can the church do to make a difference?
Read Genesis 2:18-25. From these verses, what is God’s prescription for the ideal marriage?
Read Mark 10:1-12. From these verses, how would you define marriage? What is the purpose of marriage?
What is the difference in the Bible between regulating divorce, on the one hand, and affirming divorce on the other?
Read Mark 10:1-12. Why is it difficult not to let feelings enter into the determination of what is the biblical truth about divorce? For a Christian, what is the place of compassion with regard to divorce?
Read Mark 10:1-12. How has the Fall (Genesis 3) influenced God’s ideal for marriage? How does it affect the way a Christian might counsel couples?
Read Mark 10:1-12. How would you respond to someone who says, “I’ll just get divorced and remarried, then I’ll ask God to forgive me”?
Read Mark 10:1-12. What can the church do to help prevent divorce before it happens? What can individuals and couples do?
A Biblical Perspective on
Divorce and Remarriage
- God’s Ideal for Marriage
- God instituted marriage between a man and a woman at the beginning of creation (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6). Divorce, with all of the resulting consequences, was not part of God’s original plan (Matthew 19:8). God’s purpose and plan is that marriage be a permanent relationship as long as two people are living (Matthew 19:6). Each couple should regularly pursue opportunities for personal and marital growth.
- The marriage relationship is actually a covenant commitment before God (Proverbs 2:17; Malachi 2:14), recognized as forming a new family unit (Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:21-33), and was intended to be dissolved only at the death of one partner (Romans 7:1-4).
- God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and nowhere in scripture is a person ever commanded to divorce. The Lord’s desire is that, in times of conflict, the husband and wife be reconciled and live as joint heirs together of the grace of life (1 Peter 3:7).
- God’s Ideal Distorted: Divorce
- When sin entered the world, God’s ideal for marital harmony and happiness was distorted. Although God’s ideal has never changed, God has allowed divorce to become a reality because of our sinfulness and brokenness (Matthew 19:7, 8; Deuteronomy 24:1-4). Like all sin, it calls for full repentance and restoration by God’s grace (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
- God in the Old Testament recognized divorce as a social reality, and through his prophets, attempted to restrict its practice (Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Malachi 2:16).
- Jesus in the New Testament explained that God allowed divorce because of a person’s insensitivity to God into his or her spouse. It always involved sin and the distortion of the divine ideal (Matthew 19: 7–8).
- Divorce is an alternative to be avoided; however, the Bible states to clear circumstances under which it is permissible, though not necessarily advisable, without further sin:
- In the case of sexual unfaithfulness “porneia”. This term is general, and includes adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, incest, abuse, or any other kind of sexual immorality (Matthew 5:32; 19:9; 1 Corinthians 5:1).
- In the case of desertion by an unbelieving partner (1 Corinthians 7:15, 16); here, the unbeliever refuses to live with the believing spouse because of his or her Christian testimony (1 Corinthians 7:12-16).
- These are the only two clear biblical circumstances under which there may be divorce without further sin.
- The Issue of Remarriage
- All divorce is the result of sin and before remarriage can even be considered a person must have experienced full repentance, sought reconciliation, and have been restored by Christ (2 Corinthians 7:9–13).
- Remarriage is permissible when the divorce was on biblical grounds.
- The Old Testament almost always assumed an allowed for remarriage after a divorce (the exception being found in Deuteronomy 24:1–4).
- The New Testament allows for remarriage without further sin if the divorce had biblical grounds (Matthew 19:9).
- There is also the biblical truth that, on the basis of the death of Christ, God can forgive all our sins (Colossians 2:13), including those involved in divorce situations. This specifically affects divorced persons who have since given their lives to Christ. It also affects Christian persons who, though previously divorced a non-biblical grounds, have experienced full repentance, sought reconciliation and been restored by Christ (2 Corinthians 7:9–13).
- This does not necessarily mean that God immediately erases painful memories or all natural consequences of past actions. Rather, by His grace, He forgives sin, cleanses the repentant (1 John 1:9), and begins a process of transforming the individual and his relationships.
- Remarriage, based on the reality of this repentance, forgiveness, and restoration, becomes a possibility. This is never “routine,” nor should any person prayerfully wrestling with a broken relationship see in this any encouragement to pursue divorce on non-biblical grounds.
- Whether desiring marriage, or remarriage, the believer is best served when presented with the high call of God’s ideals.
- The Church’s Calling
- The church has a responsibility to uphold the biblical ideal of marriage, especially exemplified by its leadership.
- The marital qualification for leadership within the church is set (in 1 Timothy 3:2, 12). The phrase, “the husband of one wife” does not mean that a person cannot have had a divorce in his past, since none of the qualifications listed refer to specific acts in the past, but to qualities which now characterize a man’s life. However, it is especially important in cases where there has been a divorce that there be a period of careful observation to see that his present marriage is above reproach – i.e., characterized by pure devotion and sacrificial, stable love. Divorce would be considered as only one part or a much broader evaluation of a person’s suitability for service.
- The pastors of this church reserve the right to remarry only those (1) who meet biblical qualifications for remarriage (2) who display a growing and healthy trend in their part of the responsibility for the failure of the former marriage and have learned from it. The pastors are concerned that future marriages follow and fulfill the divine ideal.
- The church (and its leadership) also has the responsibility and privilege of ministering to those who need healing from broken relationships by recognizing the reality of sin and extending God’s love and grace. Jesus’ own words and example show us how to pursue this (John 4:4-26; 8:1-11).
- Those in Christ’s Body are called to offer unconditional love to those wounded through divorce or sexual infidelity. This supportive love opens a process by which God can touch their lives with His grace and truth.
- God calls these wounded to full repentance, which leads to His forgiveness, gracious healing, and restoration. In His Body this believer is called to sin no more and to worship in Spirit and truth the Lord who gives life to us all.
-Originally confirmed by the Clairemont Emmanuel Overseers in 1991 and reconfirmed in 2018