Class Notes: 4/9/2014
Mark 10:2-3; Doctrine of divorce conclusion
In our study of Mark we are in Mark 10:2-3; where the Pharisees test Jesus with a question regarding divorce so we have taken up a study of the doctrine of divorce.
Last time we saw Jesus' definition of an adulterous marriage in Luke 16:18;
Some may say this teaches that there is no right of divorce or remarriage. But that is definitely not what the passage is teaching. This passage is simply defining an adulterous marriage.
Jesus does not qualify the meaning by using the phrase "except for adultery," because He is dealing with a different category within the subject of divorce. He is talking about the prohibition of adulterous marriages. He is not saying that divorce is prohibited.
Even though an adulterous marriage may be recognized by the state God does not recognize it because the people involved are living in adultery.
Legalism says the Bible authorizes no kind of divorce, but that is not true. Self-righteous, legalistic arrogant people always want the guilty party to suffer, but this doesn't mean that the innocent party has to suffer along with them.
The innocent party has the right of remarriage but if both are involved with the Herod syndrome, then neither has the right of remarriage.
Some people get divorced and remarry in ignorance so they are living in an adulterous marriage and sinning and are unaware of it.
If you conclude that you're living in adultery, do not develop a guilt complex, do not run and gossip to others about it, and do not divorce again.
The first thing you do is remain in your existing situation. 1Cor 7:27; "Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a divorce. Are you divorced from a wife? Do not seek a wife."
This is telling us that if you try to get out of the marriage, you have added sin to sin.
The second thing you do is use rebound. You acknowledge the sin, 1John 1:9. Then you forget it and keep moving, Phil 3:13-14; There are no sins in life that are too great for the rebound technique. No failure must ever stop or hinder your momentum in the Christian life.
Rebound converts an adulterous marriage into a purified marriage. Purification from the sin of an adulterous marriage means that the sins related to it have been forgiven. And the marriage is now no longer an adulterous marriage, but a purified marriage.
You do not confess your sins to your husband or wife, but to God alone in the privacy of your priesthood. God is not compromising His righteousness by forgiving and cleansing you, because He has already judged that sin in Jesus on the cross.
The third thing you do is develop spiritual momentum from doctrinal inculcation and the use of the problem solving devices. You acquire and fulfill the things in your daily life that are necessary for function in the protocol plan of God and you fulfill the mandate that Jesus gave to the woman who was caught in adultery. John 8:11;
Post-salvation renovation of the thinking from God's Word enables you to learn and use the problem solving devices, and that starts you on the way to becoming a winner through the use of God's power to resist sin and evil in your life.
If you are in single status because of a divorce and have the right of remarriage, do not start looking for a wife or husband. Let some healing take place first. You are "torn flesh." Remain single so you can recover.
David initially had an adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. He did not attempt to get out of the marriage. He simply acknowledged his sin, which purified the marriage. Psa 51:1-4;
He suffered four family disasters for his sins because of volitional responsibility but in spite of this the line of Messiah came from what started out as an adulterous relationship. This is a clear demonstration of God's grace.
You don't have to get a divorce just because your partner commits adultery and divorce is permitted. The innocent mate may wish to continue the marriage. But it requires a lot of virtue love to overcome the problem.
Adultery is a sin, but once forgiven, it is no longer an issue. You are still married. Virtue, honor and integrity from the spiritual life will deliver you and will glorify God through the marriage.
Past failure in marriage and divorce are not repaired by leaving your present spouse and going back to a previous spouse. You do not rectify your life by going backward. You rectify your life by standing fast, using the problem solving devices, and moving forward.
God's Word tells us that you should never go back to a previous marriage once you or your former partner has married someone else, even if the second mate has died or used the divorce gimmick to move on to another partner, Deut 24:4.
Summary principles regarding the adulterous marriage.
(1) Consequences cannot be reversed; therefore, remain as you are whether married or single.
(2) Use of the rebound technique changes an adulterous marriage into a purified marriage.
(3) All sins related to marriage, divorce, and remarriage are forgiven and blotted out forever at the moment the sin is confessed to God alone.
(4) God's grace policy turns an adulterous marriage into a purified marriage once the sin is confessed therefore, do not attempt to use guilt motivated solutions or adjustments that are related to past failures and sins.
(5) Under God's grace policy, sins related to marriage, divorce, and remarriage are no different from other sins. Christ died as a substitute for all sins. Rom 5:8;
(6) So once the adulterous marriage has been acknowledged to God as sin, it is no longer an adulterous marriage. God has purified the marriage. Therefore, remain in status quo.
(7) Those believers who have rebounded an adulterous marriage have the same equal privilege and opportunity to execute the protocol plan of God as any one else.
(8) Neither the church or individual believers have the right to deny divorced believers the right of spiritual growth.
How should the church view adulterous marriages.
(1) The Church or royal family of God is composed of all believers in Jesus Christ during the Church Age. All believers continue to possess the old sin nature, and enter into post-salvation sinning.
(2) All believers have different areas of weakness that result in all kinds of post-salvation sinning. Sins related to arrogance and legalism are often mistaken for spirituality, while sins of lasciviousness and hedonism are often judged as not belonging to a Christian. Both of these assumptions are wrong.
(3) The tendency of legalism is to reject all believers who have failed in the area of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. The pastor is responsible for correcting this through accurate teaching of rebound, marriage, divorce, and remarriage.
(4) After rebound, the believer has the same equal privilege to execute God's plan. Therefore, the attitude of the church should be acceptance rather than rejection.
This means divorced individuals or couples can come to the church and benefit from the teaching of the God's Word.
Why did Jesus make adultery an exception? Just as fornication or premarital sex destroys marriage prior to marriage, adultery destroys marriage after it occurs.
Adultery destroys the integrity envelope of impersonal love, so that personal love has no virtue, no honor no integrity and no true love so it destroys virtue love of the husband and it destroys the wife's ability to submit to her husband.
The silence of Scripture on other legitimate reasons for divorce means there is no right of remarriage unless the guilty party remarries or dies.
Before salvation a person could be married, divorced and remarried several times. And yet if that person is single at the moment of faith in Christ, they are free to marry one more time because all pre-salvation sins are forgiven at the moment of salvation.
Isa 43:25; "I, even I, am He who blots out your sins for My own sake. Therefore, I will never remember your transgressions."
Isa 44:22; "I have blotted out your transgressions like a thick cloud; and your sins like a dense fog. Come to Me, for I have redeemed you."
Eph 1:7; "By whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins on the basis of the riches of His grace."
If a person is living in an adulterous marriage prior to salvation, at the moment of salvation that marriage becomes instantly purified.
After salvation every sin related to marriage, divorce, and remarriage is blotted out by the use of the rebound technique, 1 John 1:9; Psa 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed are transgressions from us."
No believer has the right to penalize another believer for what occurred prior to salvation and once a believer has sinned and rebounded, no believer has the right to penalize that believer for his sinfulness.
If any discipline is to be applied it must come from the justice of God, not another believer's legalism.
Divorce in The Church Age.
In three sequential dispensations, there are three legitimate reasons for divorce. In each case the innocent party has the right of remarriage.
Each legitimate reason was never rescinded. Therefore, there are three legitimate reasons for divorce. In the dispensation of Israel, the divorce gimmick, in the dispensation of the hypostatic union, adultery and in the dispensation of the Church, desertion is a legitimate reason for divorce.
The principle of evangelism in marriage, 1 Cor 7:12, "If any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, do not divorce her."
A marriage between a believer and unbeliever is classified as a mixed marriage. A mixed marriage is not an interracial marriage. The Bible has no prohibition about interracial marriages, only a marriage between a believer and unbeliever, 2 Cor 6:14-18.
"Mixed marriages occur because believers are ignorant about the prohibition not to marry an unbeliever, when a believer is cognizant of the prohibition, but rejects it or when one spouse becomes a believer after being married as an unbeliever.
In all cases the status quo principle is to be applied if possible. 1Cor 7:13-14; "Furthermore, a woman has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her. Do not divorce your husband.
v14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through the wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her unbelieving husband. Otherwise, your children are unclean, but now they are holy (set apart)."
"Sanctified" or "holy" means set apart unto God. It does not mean salvation here. Rather it means separation for divine blessing. This tells us that divorce is not the solution to mixed marriages.
Under sanctification God blesses the unbeliever on the basis of the believer in the marriage. We see from this that God recognizes a mixed marriage as a part of divine institution number two.
If the status quo is unacceptable then the desertion exception applies, 1Cor 7:15. "Yet, if the unbelieving spouse deserts, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such a case."
Desertion is a legitimate basis for divorce and the innocent spouse has the right of remarriage. When an unbeliever deserts or divorces a believer, the believer has the right of remarriage. When a believer deserts a believer, the innocent party has the right of remarriage.
The status quo principle is restated in 1Cor 7:16-17; "For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband, or not? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
v17 Therefore, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord has assigned to him, the place to which God called him. This is the rule I establish in all the churches.
A mixed marriage is no excuse for dissolving the marriage. In a mixed marriage between a believer and unbeliever, there are five reasons why you should stay in status quo.
a. The possibility of winning the unsaved spouse to the Lord.
b. The principle of accepting the responsibility for your own decisions, good or bad.
c. The principle that two wrongs never make a right.
d. The principle of providing a stabilized environment for the rearing of children.
e. The principle of stability in the client nation.
Believers may try to justify divorce in a mixed marriage on the basis of 2Cor 6:14, "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness with lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?"
This is usually just an excuse for the fact they are bored with the situation. Boredom comes from failure in life. Bored people do not know how to entertain themselves so they become losers in life.
You do not get your husband's or wife's attention through prayer, but through allurement. A lady can always get her husband's attention through a little imagination and allurement.
God deals with the marriage as a whole. Marriage is a collective divine institution. God deals with us as individuals in marriage, but He also deals with us collectively in marriage. God deals with the family as a collective unit, just as He deals with nations as a whole in blessing and discipline.
God deals with families and nations as well as individuals. One believer in a marriage sanctifies the marriage. One believer in a family sanctifies the family.
An adult believer in a family is like the pivot in a client nation. The family is blessed because one believer has attained spiritual maturity.
God's principles apply to divorce. Grace is the policy of God because of Jesus' work on the cross frees God is to do many things for fallen mankind without compromising His divine essence. All of us are beneficiaries of God's grace.
Grace is the expression of God's free, unmerited love and favor. We cannot earn it or deserve it. All things are received from God as a free gift.
Grace is a manifestation of the power, mercy, efficacy, compassion, indulgence, virtue, forbearance, and pardon from God.
Grace implies that all things including salvation never compromise divine essence in bestowing blessing on mankind. All of have old sin natures and all have sinned.
Any member of the congregation has the right to remain in the congregation and grow in grace. We are all products of grace. All of us have sinned and failed in different ways. "Respectable sins" and "gross sins" are no different from God's point of view.
The mental attitude sins of pride and arrogance are far worse than the overt sins of adultery or divorce.
Legalism and self-righteous arrogance wants to condemn others who have committed adultery or used the divorce gimmick but the sins of legalism are actually worse because they blind us to God's grace.
God can have no relationship with sin, but He has handled the problem through grace. God has despised our sins for billions of years. God the Father despised our sins when He imputed them to our Lord. Our Lord despised our sins as He bore them on the cross.
We never earned or deserved all the things God gave us at salvation. And in grace he has given each of us the same privilege and opportunity to execute God's plan. God does not discriminate against certain kinds of sinners.
Grace is God's policy for dealing with mankind in the categories of salvation and fellowship. Relationship with God must precede fellowship with God. You cannot have fellowship with God without having a permanent relationship with God.
God has provided for us our own portfolio of invisible assets and problem solving devices. Every problem and failure we face is always handled with God's grace..
This principle is expressed in Rom 8:31; "With reference to these things to what conclusion are we forced? If God is for us (and He is), who shall be against us?
v32 The God, who did not even spare His own Son but delivered Him over to judgment as a substitute for all of us, how shall He not with Him graciously give us all things?"
James 4:6, "He gives greater grace. Therefore it says, `God makes war against the arrogant, but He gives grace to the humble."
Those who are self-righteous because they have never committed adultery or been divorced are at war with God because in their arrogance they are trying to use God's Word as a weapon for their own vindictiveness and implacability.
If you want others to hurt because they have sinned in a way that you have not sinned then you are arrogant. You have lost track of God's grace. At the evaluation you will realize what a failure your life has been.
James 4:14; says that our life is but a vapor trail in sky. The great thing in life is that while you are a vapor trail to function under the grace of God so that your life counts for Him.
Legalism is monstrous and arrogant. It is self-righteous. It is looking down your nose at the adulterer and in your self- righteousness criticizing, maligning and judging them as if somehow you were perfect and in the process you attempt to take the place of God. This is what Satan is trying to do.
That is not grace orientation. If you are bitter, angry, or hateful toward others because they have committed adultery or divorced, then you are arrogant and have failed in this matter of grace.
This was the problem the Pharisees had and it is one of the reasons they hated Jesus and were conspiring to kill Him.
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