Tag Archives: grounds for divorce

In Every Relationship, Seek the Unity that Jesus Won For You at Great Cost to Himself and the Father

In John’s gospel chapter 17 we read Jesus’ prayer on behalf of His disciples and all those who would follow them as saints; perhaps you know it as the high priestly prayer. While praying Jesus petitions the Father to unify those who are His: “Sanctify them in truth; your word is truth…that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:17 & 21).

Physical Unions Explained–Little confusion exists, in the Church, regarding the union of physical bodies.

A Marriage causes the man and woman to become one flesh; “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). To introduce a third party through the act of adultery is a very vile action. Paul taught the churches at Corinth that a Christian’s body is a member of Christ: “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, The two shall become one flesh” (1 Corinthians 6:15, 16).

One, the physical bodies of saints are members of Christ. Two, intercourse in marriage makes two bodies one flesh. Three, intercourse outside of marriage makes two bodies one flesh. Conclusion: when the regenerate engage in fornication, adultery and homosexuality they force Christ into their unholy sexual sin. When any married person (regenerate or not) engages in these same sins they commit sin against God and a crime against their spouse. To the saints Paul says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20).

Spiritual Unions Explained–Much confusion exists, in the Church, regarding the union of spirits.

In like manner, in His prayer, Jesus says, “even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You…” Our Lord states that God the Father and God the Son are one essence or one spirit. Other texts include the Holy Spirit as the third member of the Godhead. Jesus goes on to pray, “that they (regenerate) also may be in Us [parenthesis ours]. Our Lord, who only spoke words that the Father gave Him to speak, petitioned the Father to bring all the elect into the unity that the three persons of the Godhead enjoyed. This prayer of our Lord was granted by the Father as Paul informs the saints, “The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Corinthians 6:17). Therefore, if it is a vile action to commit physical adultery, then to bring Satan or an unregenerate person into this spiritual union is significantly more vile as the spirit is greater than the body.

So then, since God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the saints are all one spirit, then a microcosm of this unity exists when brothers and sisters in Christ are bound together as soul mates, spouses, best mates, business partners, fellow ministers, etc. “Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1). However, whenever a saint is bound together with an unregenerate person, then they are guilty of an unholy, spiritual union more vile than physical adultery.

What is to be done? Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). When saints are unequally yoked the sword of Christ separates these unions. How? Saints and worldlings are ill fit for one another. Jesus warned believers, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” (John 15:18-19). The “sword of Christ” is a natural process. Saints and the “natural man” are so ill fit for one another that the hatred coming from the natural man causes the broken relationship.

Unfortunately, the doctrinal position of most of the church on marital divorce has forced saints in unequally yoked marriages to rebel against nature and the sword of Christ. These poor brothers and sisters hang on to these vile relationships just like a cowboy hangs on to a raging steer. Marriages often called “unequally yoked” are often not so at all because neither married partner is actually born-again. However, when one of the marriage partners is truly born-again, then that saint, being one with God, must not drag a child of Satan into their union with God.

If this is you, then read the article titled “1 Corinthians 7:12-16 In Context Strengthens the Case for Unequally Yoked Divorce Found In 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1.”

Heavenly Father, help these your loved ones find the peace that You intended for them all the while. In the blessed name of Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.


The View that Jesus Singled Out Adultery as the Sole Biblical Grounds for Divorce Is Wrong

Unquestionably the most commonly held view on divorce in Christian circles states that our Lord offered adultery as the sole biblical grounds for divorce in what is called the exception clause (Matthew 5:32, Matthew 19:9).  Our Lord was correcting the “divorce for any reason” doctrinal position of the Pharisees, but He was not providing a complete doctrine on divorce.  The reader may find it interesting that the second most common view on divorce is that two biblical grounds for divorce exist.  First, adultery from Jesus’ confrontation with the Pharisees, and second, Paul’s instructions to the Corinthian churches in 1 Corinthians 7.

Logically, Matthew 5 & 19 cannot rightfully be used as our Lord having restricted divorce solely for those whose spouse committed adultery if Paul’s teaching on divorce is as clear as it would seem.  The biblical ground for divorce found in 1 Corinthians 7 is traditionally called abandonment, which is unfortunate as biblical expounders have understood Paul’s conclusion well enough, but they misapprehended the cause.  Paul says, “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” (1 Corinthians 7:15).  It seems apparent that Paul’s instructions do not introduce the concept of abandonment, but Paul is, in fact, providing another biblical ground for divorce.  Many bible students refuse to acknowledge Paul’s clear portrayal of another biblical ground for divorce because doing so would logically mean that our Lord did not intend his “correction against permissiveness” recorded in Matthew’s gospel to limit the sole just cause for divorce to adultery, which is what the church has erred in doing with our Lord’s teaching.

Nevertheless, since God’s word unmistakably teaches at least one additional legal ground for divorce, then it is not logically correct to continue teaching adultery as the sole biblical ground for divorce.  Obviously, Jesus was saying that the Pharisees’ “divorce for any reason” doctrine was 180 degrees off.  In Jesus’ use of the Greek word ‘pornia’ he was elucidating that it would take very serious violations of the marriage covenant’s conditions such as adultery to justify dissolving the marriage.  Jesus was arguing that dissolving a marriage takes serious violations by one or both of the marriage partners.  Once covenant conditions have been broken, then dissolution of the marriage is justifiable, but without such treachery a divorce action is illegitimate and the married partners are in danger of committing adultery if they seek a partner outside of the one with whom they are still married.   In such cases, the marriage covenant has not been broken, which is to say it is still a valid and legitimate covenant between the husband and wife.

A divorce action, particularly between two believers, without just cause is not permitted and the marriage partner(s) who remarry will be committing adultery.  However, that very adultery provides biblical grounds for the innocent spouse to divorce.  So much of the church would deny this, but what does the Lord say?  “I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Matthew 5:32).  At the very least, Jesus is saying that “unchastity” is biblical grounds for divorce, so when these Pharisees illegitimately “divorced” their wives and joined themselves to another woman, Jesus exact words exclaim that their wives have biblical grounds for divorce and are now free to remarry in the Lord.  How has this obvious logic been overlooked?  Through an oppression that is always with us where those in power use it to their advantage and to the disadvantage of the weak.  Throughout most centuries women have been powerless on the topic of divorce.  If any legal divorce would be had it was almost never going to be by the wife.