Summary: A sermon on marriage, divorce and re-marriage.

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Series: For Better or For Worse Pt. 3

"Something Old and Something New"

Matthew 19:1-12

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

INTRODUCTION: Someone has said that there are three stages in marriage. The first stage is called the "ideal" stage when romance is in bloom and all is right with the world! The second stage is the "ordeal" when reality sets in and one or both partners begin to find out about each other and become aware of the negative personality traits that may have been undiscovered during the dating and courtship phase. The last stage is the "new deal" which is what is happening to 50% of marriages today. For whatever reasons a majority of couples are "opting out" for what they think is a "better deal!" There are three questions I want to try and answer this morning and they are; Does the Bible permit divorce and is remarriage permitted and under what guidelines.


a. The request

Among the Pharisees there were two prominent schools in Jesus day, the Shammai (conservative) and Hillel (liberal) and they differed on what constituted the grounds for the bill of divorcement in Deuteronomy 24:1-2. "When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house." 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife." Hillel allowed divorce for any cause, whereas Shammai limited it to sexual immorality. This discussion in the "schools" forms the background of the Pharisees' question to Jesus in Matthew 19:3: "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for ...every cause?"

b. The reaffirmation

The Lord Jesus begins His argument where every question should be settled, in the Scriptures. On this and every other issue we need to consult the Word of God and if we do we will find the answers we seek. He begins His statement with "...have ye not read..." thus pointing His listeners to the OT. Note that Jesus does not quote the above passage in Deuteronomy but he goes to Genesis chapter two and reaffirms God's original design for marriage, that it was to be between a man and a woman and that they were to live together until parted by death. Someone said, "Has it ever occurred to you that the reason no divorce is mentioned in Genesis two is that there was no other woman living for Adam to remarry!"


What is God's permissive will? The defines it as: "There is what we might call God's "permissive will." This is what God allows, even though it is sin. God allowed Joseph's brothers to betray him, and to deceive their father, so that He might bring the Israelites (few in number) to Egypt, where God would spare them, and they would greatly multiply (Genesis 50:20). God allows man to reject the gospel, to willfully disobey His laws, to persecute the righteous, and so on. But in all of this, God is still in control, and His purposes are being accomplished."

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