Summary: This is the 12th sermon in the series "Church On The Rocks". This sermon looks at divorce, singleness, and sex.
Sunday Morning February 9, 2003 Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: ¡§Church On The Rocks¡¨ [#12]
SOME QUESTIONS I WOULD LIKE TO IGNORE
1. As we continue in our study in 1 Corinthians I knew we would get to some passages that I would want to skip and we have arrived at one of these today. Our text covers some questions that I would like to ignore because it will definitely upset some people but remember that the Bible is the authority on the questions and answers of life whether we like it or not.
2. I would also ask any of you who are listening whether on the radio or in the congregation to listen to the entirety of the sermon with an open heart. If you turn me off before the sermon¡¦s completion you will miss out on some very important statements and Scripture.
3. My last statement before we ¡§tackle¡¨ this subject is, ¡§If there are small children listening, parents or grandparents need to take in consideration that I will be talking about sex. By the way, older children and teenagers really need to hear this sermon. Adults, don¡¦t fool yourselves, you kids know a whole lot more about sex than you many want to believe. The problem is, their sources of information are not good and so they need to hear the truth of the Word concerning sex, marriage, and divorce. As we begin, I want you to read our text this afternoon because we are going to deal with these questions, but will not read all of the verses. We will also be using several other passages of Scripture so you may want to take notes.
Thoughts On Divorce
Mark is careful to point out the Pharisee¡¦s motive. They came to test Jesus, so they selected a very controversial question, the issue of divorce. It is obvious that they were trying to get him to make a choice between the two views which were widely held in that day in Israel.
1. One was the teaching of the great rabbi, Hillel. Moses, in Deuteronomy 24, had said that a man could divorce his wife if he found any indecency in her. Hillel interpreted that to mean anything, which displeased the husband. If the wife made bad coffee, he could divorce her. If she did not keep the house clean, if she got angry or argumentative, or whatever, she could be divorced. This was the easy school of divorce of that day.
2. Opposed to that was the school of Shammai, another great Hebrew rabbi, who taught that divorce was to be strictly limited, that only under certain conditions could divorce ever be granted. So the nation was split between these two schools of thought.
3. We have the same problem today. There are probably very few issues that are any more controversial than divorce. Here in our own church we feel pressured both ways. What to do about divorce? Is it something insignificant to be taken lightly and to be granted because of incompatibility alone? Or is it something very serious to be granted only under extremely limited conditions? This is the same question Jesus was confronted with.
The Law Of Moses
Jesus took them back to Moses and how he handled divorce.
1. Notice that Jesus did not just answer them. He took them back to the Scriptures. He took them back to Moses and then He clarified the Law. He showed them the motive for Moses permitting divorce.
2. It was because men¡¦s hearts were hardened that Moses allowed divorce. Divorce reveals in public what has been going on in private in that marriage. This is what the Law does. The Law is given to reveal sin. Hearts were being hardened and that is why divorce came in. What is a hardened heart? When you determine that you are going to handle something yourself and not listen to what God has to say about it, you have hardened your heart. According to Moses, if a husband found something he didn¡¦t like in his wife then he could divorce her. What should a husband do when he finds something in his wife that he does not like?
3. This is telling us not to just react to them but understand why they are acting the way they are. We are to work out our problems while being considerate of one another. So this is why Moses granted divorce. It would tend to make public what had been going on in private, so that the world would see the difficulties, which were being hidden within the confines of the home. This is what divorce did then, and this is what it is doing in our own day. We are living in a time when one out of three marriages ends in divorce in this country. Something is causing such an enormous breakdown that we are forced to look at this problem seriously. This is what the Law is all about. It is given to reveal sin and to drive us to grace. Law can never heal the problem; it simply points it out. This is why God permitted divorce.