Class Notes: 3/30/2014

Mark 9:50-Mark 10:3; The Pharisees attempt to entrap Jesus with a question regarding divorce. The Doctrine of Divorce Part 1

In our study of Mark we are in Mark 9:50; Salt refers to doctrine. Like doctrine, salt only becomes "saltless" when it is diluted or mixed with other things to the point where it's properties are no longer distinguishable. Believers become doctrineless in the same way.

Once the salt is saltless or diluted how will you make it salty again? He does not offer the answer, but salt cannot be destroyed so the way to make it salty again is to add more salt or burn off or evaporate the mixture to the point where the salt content again becomes evident.

It's the same with doctrine. The way to make doctrine evident once it has become diluted is to add more doctrine or for God to burn off the human viewpoint garbage that has diluted it with divine discipline.

He concludes the verse with the dual mandates to "have salt in yourselves and be at peace with each other.

The Greek word translated "have" is the second person plural present active imperative of "echo" that is a mandate to keep on possessing.

The Greek word translated "be at peace" is the second person plural present active imperative of "eirene" that is a mandate to keep on having tranquility of soul.

Occupation with Jesus Christ through his Word is the only means of tranquility. Isa 26:3; This is the peace that only Jesus can provide. John 14:27; because it comes from obedience to God's Word. Luke 11:28;

This brings us to a brief discussion on the doctrine of the way of peace.

The "way of peace" is relationship with the integrity or virtue of God. This relationship is established through adjustment to the justice of God in three categories.

We have salvation adjustment to the justice of God by faith in Christ, thereby freeing God to give us His perfect righteousness, which permits Him to declare us justified.

We have rebound adjustment to the justice of God by judging ourselves or the acknowledgment of our personal sins that permits God to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We have maturity adjustment to the justice of God by the daily metabolization of Bible doctrine, which results in spiritual growth that results in spiritual maturity and capacity to receive blessing from the justice of God.

Relationship with the integrity of God first means salvation, then fellowship with God, and finally blessing from God as mature believers. All of this adds up to the Greek word "eirene", that means true blessing and true security.

There is only one true security in life. It is not through relationship with anyone else, or by the possession of what the world would refer to as happiness. It only comes from a relationship with the integrity of God.

This only comes from obedience to the mandates of God. 1John 5:3;

There is no security for individuals or nations apart from the integrity of God.

"Eriene" also means prosperity so prosperity is also related to the integrity of God.

Your happiness and blessing has nothing to do with any human relationship or situation in life that you may associate with happiness because the integrity of God is the only basis for security, prosperity, blessing, or happiness.

National prosperity is also related to the integrity of God through a large pivot of mature believers. National prosperity is based on individual believers receiving blessing from God as the result of advancing to spiritual maturity and having capacity to receive it because their integrity is compatible with God's integrity.

So Jesus concludes His remarks to His disciples with the dual mandates: " keep on having doctrine and to keep on being at peace with each other."

This means they need to stop arguing about who will be the greatest in the kingdom and be at peace with each other based on their occupation with Christ that is established in their souls by their focus on God's Word, the thinking of Christ.

Mark 10:1; This is Jesus' final journey to Jerusalem, He left Peter's house in Capernaum of Galilee and went into Judea west of the Jordan River and then crossed over the Jordan to the east side of the river into Perea that today is the Emirate of Trans-Jordania.

By crossing over the Jordan River his route, bypassed the gentile area of Samaria and he traveled south toward Jerusalem through Perea on the east side of the river.

Because of His popularity crowds of people gathered around Him again and again as was His custom He taught them. The compounding of the word "again," in the Greek emphasizes the repetition of His teaching.

Mark 10:2; And Pharisees came and kept on asking Him "is it lawful for a man and a woman to divorce" testing Him.

The words translated "kept on asking" is the third person plural imperfect active indicative of the Greek word "eperoton." The imperfect means that they were badgering Him repeatedly with their question with the purpose of testing Him.

They are hypocrites; they are full lies, disinformation and deceit so they come to Him "tempting him."

The word translated testing is the present active participle of "peirazo" that means to test or pressure. They were going to ask him a loaded question in order to try to find a find a weakness in Him for the purpose of discrediting Him.

It is a trick question. If He answers one way it will discredit Him through one system, and if He answers it another way they will discredit Him through another system. No matter how He answers this question the question is designed to discredit Him.

This is what satan's progressives always do when faced with truth that they have rejected. They attempt to discredit the communicator of truth in order to divide and destroy his followers.

Satan's minions, the progressives, are using the same tactics today against everything that is established from the truth of God's word.

The Pharisees were very brilliant and they were accustomed to discrediting people and they maintained their power over the people by using this tactic just like the progressives do today.

If Jesus answers by implying that one can divorce for any reason of incompatibility or dissatisfaction the Pharisees will contend that Jesus abuses the law if Jesus answers by restricting divorce the Pharisees will accuse Him of disregarding the law.

They wanted Him to give a self-incriminating answer that would arouse opposition against Him. Maybe He would contradict Deut 24:1-4. All Pharisees agreed that this Old Testament passage permitted divorce, that only the husband could initiate it, and that divorce implied the right to remarry.

But they disagreed on the grounds of divorce. The strict view of Rabbi Shammai allowed divorce only if a wife were guilty of immorality; the lenient view of Rabbi Hillel allowed a husband to divorce his wife for almost any reason.

Maybe Jesus would take sides in this dispute and thereby split His followers or maybe He would offend Herod Antipas as John the Baptizer had done and be arrested since He was under Herod's jurisdiction in Perea.

Remember Herod had married his half-niece Herodias and Herodias had John the Baptizer killed because he told them that they were living in sin so of course she conspired to have the messenger killed.

Mark 10:3; Answering them He said "What did Moses command you?"

He goes directly to the mandates in the Tnach rather than the oral law for the answer thereby setting aside any Rabbinic interpretation found in the oral law. He goes directly to the mandates and principles found in the Old Testament. Their question was based on the passage in Deut 24:1-4;

Mark 10:4; In their response, they summarized Deut 24:1; that was the basis for their divorce practices. This is where Moses permitted a husband to divorce his wife and send her away.

They had developed a gimmick based on Moses' mandate that they thought enabled them to lawfully divorce their wife for any reason at any time. Jesus is going to repudiate their gimmick in His answer to their question but first we will take up the Doctrine of Divorce because it includes a discussion on the divorce gimmick.

The word "divorce" is transliterated from the Latin word "divortim" that means separation. It was used as a part of Roman law during the Republic. The husband could divorce the wife, but the wife could not divorce the husband until the later when Rome became an Empire.

We must remember that marriage is the second law of divine establishment so it applies to both believer and unbeliever alike. In American law today, divorce is a legal declaration dissolving a marriage and breaking the marriage contract.

Generally this involves a judicial separation of a husband and wife, that does not dissolve the marriage bond followed some time later by a legal divorce that dissolves the marriage bond, and gives the right of remarriage as far as American law is concerned.

The Bible limits the number of reasons for dissolving a marriage and specifies even fewer reasons for the right of remarriage after divorce.

Divorce was permitted under the Mosaic Law and in Judaism the divorce gimmick became a "legitimate" basis for divorce and remarriage.

Adultery is a legitimate basis for divorce and remarriage by the innocent party. If the guilty party remarries that is adultery, and causes the second husband or wife to be living in adultery.

Desertion is a legitimate basis for divorce and remarriage.

Pre-salvation marriage, divorce, and remarriage are not an issue.

Marriage is dissolved by the death of a spouse.

In cases where divorce is legal and gives the right of remarriage, two things must be remembered: It is always the innocent victim in the adultery case, desertion case, or gimmick case who has the right of remarriage, not the guilty person.

If the guilty person remarries, he or she is living in adultery. However we will see that there is a solution to that as well.

Scripture is silent on other reasons for divorce.

Incompatibility is no reason for divorce. The Scripture is silent on such reasons as: brutality, drunkenness, drug addiction, sexual molestation especially of children, violence, insanity, criminality, or suicidal tendencies.

Even though the Bible is silent regarding obvious reasons for divorce any time a person is in a life-threatening situation they have the right of divorce.

The Bible is silent because the right of divorce in these cases has no right of remarriage. This is because the victim is not qualified to handle another marriage. But if the guilty party remarries or dies, then the victim has the right to remarry.

In cases where remarriage is not specified in the Bible the divorced victim is benefited by the elapse of time as a single person that provides time for the injured party to recover from the horrible experience of divorce by growing in grace and if the guilty party dies or remarries, then the marriage is officially dissolved and the innocent party is free to remarry.

According to Scripture the guilty party is not permitted to remarry, Matt 5:32; "I say to you that any one who divorces his wife, except for the cause of adultery, causes her to become an adulterous. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."

This means that if the guilty party remarries, then he or she causes his or her new spouse to be living in adultery.

Legitimate Biblical divorce is analogous to the death of one partner in the marriage. To you, that mate is dead. This category gives the surviving mate the right of remarriage, Rom 7:1-4; 1Cor 7:39;

Before we can begin an objective discussion of divorce, some grace principles must be remembered.

Any sin or failure regarding marriage or divorce on your part before you became a believer was blotted out at the moment of salvation, Isa 43:25; Psa 103:12; 1Cor 5:21;

Therefore, you are not held accountable for any sin or failure before salvation. Every sin of marriage, divorce, and remarriage were all judged on the cross by God the Father. They are no different than any other sins people commit.

If you are now divorced and remarried contrary to Biblical mandate, do not try to resolve the problem. No matter how many sins and failures have gone into your marriage. Do not seek divorce as your first option, but remain in your current status. Do not use this doctrine as an excuse to get out of a marriage.

Two wrongs do not make a right. Under many circumstances divorce becomes a second wrong. Carry on with your Christian life inside God's power system and "go forth and sin no more."

If you are living in adultery, do not change your status quo. You cannot rectify past failure in marriage and divorce by leaving your present spouse in a second, third, or forth marriage to go back to a former spouse.

The solution to living in an adulterous marriage is the grace of God, which begins with rebound and logistical grace, and continues through spiritual growth and the attainment of spiritual adulthood.

All sins related to marriage and divorce are forgiven immediately through the use of the rebound technique just like all other sins. 1John 1:9; 1Cor 11:31;

Do not try to make adjustments for past failures in marriage, divorce and remarriage, but remain in your present situation. Remain as you are until the Bible clarifies your present status from the standpoint of Bible doctrine and your next move should be from the virtue of metabolized Bible doctrine.

If you are still alive after any failure including marriage, divorce, and remarriage always remember that God still has a plan for you to glorify Him by the virtue that comes from your application of metabolized doctrine in your life.

Finding God's purpose for your life requires learning Bible doctrine, not jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

We must always remember the principle that people are no better in marriage than they are as people. People who fail in single status will fail in marriage. People who are succeed in single status will succeed in marriage.

Marriage is a challenge because it takes two successful people who make good decisions to make a successful marriage Both must be individually to make good decisions and be responsible for their own thoughts, decisions and actions.

A good marriage is not designed to be a source of happiness it is designed to be a source of virtue. Virtue is designed for happiness. Luke 11:28; Virtue in marriage is the source of happiness in marriage just as it is the source of happiness in all situations no matter how challenging. Heb 12:2;

Before marriage you should consider a compatibility checklist.

There must be spiritual compatibility: Understanding that salvation is by faith and faith alone. Understanding that your partner is a believer.

Understanding or agreement as to what constitutes the Christian way of life. Understanding to see if you have general compatibility in the field of Bible doctrine.

Understanding and agreement regarding your preference for a pastor teacher.

Soul compatibility: What are your priorities in life? What are their priorities in life?

What is their general mental attitude? Do they boss you around? Do they whine and complain?

Do you have agreement in norms and standards? Is there mental and emotional compatibility?

Physical compatibility. Are you attracted to their appearance, grooming, dress, etc.?

Economic compatibility: Is there agreement on how money is going to be administered? If the woman has money there should be a pre-marital agreement so a man cannot touch the woman's money after marriage.

There should be agreement on whether or not the wife should work.

Family compatibility: There should be agreement on the desirability of children. Children often become the source of great antagonism in marriage.

There should be agreement on the rearing and training of children.

Stability compatibility: Avoid marriage where there is substance dependence such as alcohol or drugs, a compulsive gambler, abnormal sexual behavior or neurosis.

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