Summary: Unfaithfulness in marriage is the one reason Jesus gave for a couple to get divorced. We are going to see more of the revelation on divorce & remarriage.

Malachi Series (6 of 12)

Divorce & Remarriage Pt. 2

July 14, 2013

Chester FBC, Chester, ILDr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker


A This morning we learned how adultery torn apart the sacred oneness that God established in marriage.

1 Unfaithfulness in marriage is the one reason Jesus gave for a couple to get divorced.

a He didn’t require it, but it was permitted.

b Tonight, we are going to see more of the revelation on divorce & remarriage.

2 Because marriage is a physical relationship, physical things can breach the covenant.

a Death, sexual sin, abandonment.

b All are dealt with in Scripture.

B Malachi 2:10-16 (NASB) 10 "Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers? 11 "Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD which He loves and has married the daughter of a foreign god. 12 "As for the man who does this, may the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob everyone who awakes and answers, or who presents an offering to the LORD of hosts. 13 "This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 "Yet you say, 'For what reason?' Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 "But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. 16 "For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously."

1 Divorced people cannot rebuild their lives on the ashes of ruins.

a When marriages dissolve we say they have “failed.”

b All the rubble of failure must be swept away and new foundations laid for rebuilding life.

2 This is the task of the church, and one that Spirit-filled leaders will seek to establish in their ministries.

3 I am of the opinion that many churches have omitted many qualified people from ministry, leadership because they have been divorced.

a Perhaps no fault of their own, put because they have been divorced.

b Like shooting somebody and putting the wounded person in prison.

I Divorce on the Grounds of Abandonment.

A Paul was in agreement with Jesus’ teachings on divorce & remarriage, yet Paul experienced new situations involving marital conflict in his ministry: What happens when two Christians get divorced or an unequally yoked marriage. (1 Cor. 7.10-16)

1 Corinthians 7:10-16 (NASB) 10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband 11 (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife. 12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

1 When two Christians, who have been sexually faithful, wind up divorced, Paul encourages them to reconcile. (No reconcile, remain unmarried.)

2 v. 15, If a Christian has a mate that abandons the marriage, they should be free to formalize the divorce; “Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.”

a Some scholars interpret “not under bondage” in two ways:

aa The deserted Christian spouse may lawfully go from divorce to remarriage.

bb Others disagree and insist on remaining unmarried.

b Paul does encourage the believer to keep the marriage together in hopes that the unbelieving partner might be saved!

3 Obviously, the cause for divorce in this passage is not adultery.

a Paul wouldn’t contradict our Lord, who allowed the innocent party to remarry.

b This separation, expect for Biblical reasons of adultery, does not permit remarriage.

B Here the basic Biblical guidelines:

1 For Believers

a It two Christians separate because of personal differences, not adultery/abandonment, then they should make every effort to reconcile.

b However, they do get divorced and then one or both remarry, they should not abandon their second marriage to reconcile with their first spouses.

2 If one professing Christian spouse abandons another Christian spouse, the spouse who is abandoned should not remarry until the wayward partner remarries or dies.

a At that point, there is no hope of reconciliation.

b The abandoned believer is free to remarry.

3 For believers married to unbelievers (unequally yoked marriage)

a If the unbelieving spouse is content to live with the believing spouse, the believer may not divorce the unbeliver.

b However, should the unbelieving spouse ever leave the union, the believing spouse is released to remarry.

II Till death do us part (Death frees even the guilty divorce’ to remarry)

A Jesus’ death on calvary freed believers from the Law; Paul used marriage as a metaphor of this freedom.

1 Romans 7:1-3 (KJV) 1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

a Notice that the woman, not the man, was bound under Jewish law.

aa The Jewish man could divorce at will.

bb The phrase “married to another man” implies sexual relations.

cc “another man” means “of a different kind.”

b If she’s committed adultery, moved in with a man who isn’t her husband, & her husband dies, she is no longer guilty of adultery!

c This passage applies to the guilty, never the innocent victim of divorce.

2 Hard passage!

III Remarriage of One’s Former Mate Releases One to Remarry.

A In the Old Testament it was considered an abomination to divorce a current marriage partner in order to return to one’s former mate.

1 Deuteronomy 24:1-4 (NASB) 1 "When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, 2 and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man's wife, 3 and if the latter husband turns against 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 husband dies who took her to be his wife, 4 then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.

2 According to the Law, once you are remarried, your other bond has been irrevocably broken, and the partner should be released.

B Does that mean love won’t come back around? No, I’m just preaching you Scripture.

IV Abuse & Physical Danger Are Grounds For Divorce.

A The Bible is clear against battery and murder.

1 Exodus 21.28-29 outlines those penalties:

Exodus 21:28-29 (NASB) 28 "If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall surely be stoned and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall go unpunished. 29 "If, however, an ox was previously in the habit of goring and its owner has been warned, yet he does not confine it and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death.

a The bible deals harshly with the batterer and potential killer.

b These people forfeit their right to be apart of society, much less lead a family.

2 A women in this desperate situation must protect her life (& her children.

B Over 50% of the murders committed in our nation are domestic, related to the family: A person having escaped from such danger would most certainly be free to remarry.

V Implication for the Church

A Is the innocent party excluded from ministerial or church leadership offices?

1 1 Timothy 3.1-13 gives us the qualifications for those in ministry.

1 Timothy 3:1-13 (NASB) 1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

a The chief issue in church service is found in the phrase “husband of one wife,” which translates literally as “of one woman the man.”

aa It is talking about the practice of polygamy, keeping concubines.

bb It would forbid a sexually licentious man from service.

b It would forbid a man from serving who was at fault in a divorce after his conversion.

c In my opinion, it would not restrict the innocent man abandoned by an adulteress wife from serving Christ in ministry.

2 I do believe each case should be taken individually and decisions for service determined fairly.

B Does it lower some arbitrary standard if divorces are included as candidates for ministry or church leadership?

1 In my opinion, No!

2 With the current arbitrary religious rules of some, a young man who was a rounder, sleep with many women he was not legally married too, gets married, repents, later becomes a church leader!

a At the same time, another man could live faithfully with his wife, she cheats/leaves him for another man, he is excluded from the ministry he feels call to do. I do not believe this is the teaching of Scripture.

b I believe we place our religious rules above Scripture at times.

C Is a divorced person still married in God’s sight to their former mate?

1 Sometimes people will say of a divorced person, “He, or she, has two or more living wives (or husbands)?” (Not a Scriptural idea)

a John 4:17-18 (NASB) 17 The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus *said to her, "You have correctly said, 'I have no husband'; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly."

b The original language, “you have had five husbands,” is the second aorist.

aa These men were no longer considered her husbands.

bb Divorce dissolves the past relationship.

2 If you divorced you no longer have a husband or wife.

D What are the implications of the terms “blameless” and “reputation” (NIV) in 1 Timothy 3?

1 “Blameless” means “that which cannot be called into account, unreprovable, unaccused, blameless.”

a Implies not only “acquittal,” but the removal of even the charge or accusation against a person.

b It’s a legal term that implies that the leader must not have a criminal reputation.

c The innocent party in a divorce is blameless even before the courts.

2 Isaiah 50:1 (NASB) 1 Thus says the LORD, "Where is the certificate of divorce By which I have sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? Behold, you were sold for your iniquities, And for your transgressions your mother was sent away.

a According to some existing religious rules, not even God could be a church leader or pastor!

b YHWY divorced Israel and created a new bride, the Church!

aa Israel will find her acceptance as she too embraces Christ.

bb Divorce does not contaminate nor does it exclude the innocent from serving.

cc Even the guilty can be forgiven and used by the Lord.

c The woman at the well had been married 5 times and still brought her entire city to Christ. (Jesus used her immediately, the very day she was saved!)


A We must be careful that we do not become Pharisetical on our view towards divorce, remarriage, & serving in the ministry as a Pastor or deacon.

1 If an innocent party of a divorce, who has only been divorced once meets all the qualifications, proven faithful, it’s my opinion through my study that they could serve in church office as pastor or church leader.

2 The guilty part in a divorce can be forgiven, serve in many capacities, but not as a pastor or in a leadership role within the church.

B Divorced persons cannot rebuild their lives on the ashes of ruin.

1 The church makes their failed marriage the scarlet letter that prevents them from serving.

a All the rubble of failure must be swept away, new foundations laid for rebuilding life.

b This is the task of the church, and one that Spirit-filled leaders will seek to establish in their ministries.

2 The church is the only group that shot their wounded warriors.


Notice to Sermon Central Users:

My name is Mike Fogerson, and I pastor a Southern Baptist Church in Chester, Illinois. I have been a long-time user of Sermon Central and truly appreciate its content and contributors. Some of the best sermons I’ve ever preached have been reworked material from this website. As you use the material from my sermon bank, understand that it is work that has been done from not just myself, but from hundreds of other pastors as well. If you see part of your message, or a bunch of your message with my name on it and this upsets you, please email me and I will quickly respond and cite you as the main source. My intent is not to claim someone’s work as my own. I am disclaiming up front that I use the resources from Sermon Central and appreciate the tool. I simply want all those who use my work to know that some of these messages were inspired by the Holy Spirit working through other pastors. Because I do use the messages of other pastors I waive all claims of originality or origin of creativity for the messages posted under my messages. I pray God blesses your preaching ministry for the glory of His Kingdom.


Mike Fogerson