landon_brake — 2017-07-19T09:21:52-04:00 — #1
Hey Everyone, So Ive been really reading on marriage and divorce and there is a question I cannot find an answer to or comprehend. I was wondering if anyone would have any input on this question. So first the question is Can God forgive and break the unity between one flesh outside of death. So to elaborate that question we see that God says in Mark 10:8 8 and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh." As we know this is supposed to be applied in marriage. So say for instance a person were to wrongly divorce and get remarried and commits adultery as a couple scriptures state Matthew 19:9 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." Matthew 5:32 "But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery." Luke 16:18 "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."
It seems as if the adultery is associated to the fact that the husband and wife are one, thus the partner going to another partner commits adultery as the original has not died.
Okay so say the person marries from a wrong place of divorce and commits adultery, well I have heard many times were people in this case have said that God can forgive them of re-marring and that God would not hold them accountable for that. So going back to the question is How can God forgive them of the adultery if only death separates one flesh? Romans 7:1-3 "Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? 2 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. 3 So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man."
39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:39
The bible even goes as far to tell us that Jesus had to die on the cross so that through His death we could separate from the law and be married to Christ. Romans 7:4 “Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”
So to conclude this, how can God forgive adultery committed from wrongful divorce and remarriage and severe the bond that only death can separate between the two flesh becoming one seeing that Jesus had to go to death to separate us from the law? Also If only death can separate then does that mean a man/woman remarried that's committing adultery commits that everyday they are married for the rest of their marriage or is it a one time
dave_l — 2017-07-19T10:00:28-04:00 — #2
I believe only death breaks the marriage bond. And Matthew 19:9 does not make allowances for divorce and remarriage based on adultery. Since it says the innocent divorced woman commits adultery along with the man she marries, after her adulterous husband divorced her.
landon_brake — 2017-07-19T10:24:54-04:00 — #3
I have come to the similar opinion so would you go as far to say that a man/woman remarried is living continually in adultery?
dave_l — 2017-07-19T10:31:35-04:00 — #4
I believe they are. It is a bad situation especially if kids are involved, and repentance is the condition for forgiveness.
ken_mcguire — 2017-07-19T11:45:23-04:00 — #5
The first side of this question is what does God's Law indeed say about marriage, divorce, adultery, and unity of one flesh. You indeed quote many relevant passages. To this I would add:
1 Cor 6:16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” (ESV)
It appears that sex itself - in or out of marriage - creates a unity of flesh.
Mt 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (ESV)
It appears that while we may want to narrow "sex" to certain acts, from God's perspective the intent of our heart is what matters. And while we may hope for this purity some day, I know of no one who has been able to maintain this purity. And all of this is baggage we bring into the next relationship - and can poison that next relationship.
So, to me at least, it looks as if all of us are guilty in God's eye of misusing his good gift of human sexuality and are in the need of forgiveness.
The second side is about the limits to God's forgiveness. Can God forgive adultery? To this, I would say yes! He can! Only one sin is said to be unforgivable (Mt 12:31) and this is not it! In addition, it seems in John 4 that Jesus is forgiving a highly questionable woman - and many times in his ministry people seem to be commenting about how he hangs around with sinners...
gao_lu — 2017-07-19T12:02:05-04:00 — #6
I have mulled this over a lot and agree fully that God can and has often forgiven adultery. However, I keep thinking something like this: I can steal my neighbor's cow, and he can forgive me, but I don't keep the cow.
God can forgive adultery, but what happens when a person willfully continues in adultery or in what God defines as an adulterous relationship?
dave_l — 2017-07-19T12:02:58-04:00 — #7
Does God forgive sin unrepented of? No. “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,” Acts 3:19 (ESV)
tyrone_howard — 2017-07-19T12:26:55-04:00 — #8
The question is/should never be whether God CAN forgive. Except blasohemy Jesus Does forgive all sins.
If fornication was involved a person is no longer under bondage as that spouse who committed adultry has broken the covenant with God. Both parties can be forgiven and remarry.
If an unbelieving spouses chooses to leave, the believing spouse is no longer under bondage and can remarry. The unbeliever can repent and become a believer later and remarry.
Death also releases the living spouse from bondage.
God is only bound by his word not our understanding. Adultery, Unbelief, Death are the only places written in the scriptures where divorce and remarriage is Godly.
We cannot however limit is forgiveness in this area by our own agenda. He can, will forgive any and all sins repented. If one makes a mistake but doesn't want to make it anymore and wants to change and they do not have to go back to their spouse, and undo the divorce to "make it right". Forgiveness doesn't work that way. If that were the case you would have to try to find a way to undo porn watching, every curse word, every evil though etc etc to make it right and receive forgiveness. This is not the case. Divorce is not God's plan for our lives but many do not marry their "rib" and end up in horrible situations of unhappiness, abuse, cycles of fornication or worse. Jesus is not trying to trap us into those situations. If you made a mistake and married out of lust, repent as to try not to do that again and be free to remarry else why would it be written "it is better to marry then to burn."
Just my understanding
dave_l — 2017-07-19T13:05:38-04:00 — #9
tyrone_howard — 2017-07-19T13:37:50-04:00 — #10
Hmmph. Interesting contribution to this discourse Dave_L. The world would be so lost without your theology. Your Church is lucky to have you apart of them leading the way, be blessed.
dave_l — 2017-07-19T13:52:48-04:00 — #11
I have a question for you about Holiness. I attended two different churches. One church taught that people can divorce and remarry without sinning. The other taught that anyone who divorces for any reason and remarries commits adultery. Which one do you think had the highest divorce rate? So if we judge according to the fruit, which one would you feel safest in if you were trying to preserve your marriage?
Plus, I learned that the church promoting adultery had scant scriptural support. And the church where everyone worked out their marital problems and remained married, were by far the most Holy.
tyrone_howard — 2017-07-19T13:59:03-04:00 — #12
1 Corintians 7:15 “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.”
1) obviously the person who hasn't committed adultery isn't the one being forgiven
2) 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.
IF you put your spouse away for fornication, you can marry and it will NOT be adultery. Whoever marries her is still commited adultery for she has been put away for this cause.
However, adultery is not unforgivable and forgiveness erases Debt, once Jesus forgives neither are under bondage to repay or redo the debtor. For all have sinned and when we are unable to pay Jesus forgives us because he already paid the price.
I contend 1 Corinthians 7, Matthew 19 and if you doubt that The Lord is bound by his word then I cannot convince you otherwise so I'll just give you that because You are already in a sad placeas God is His Word.
Nevertheless as I said before, God Bless.You can do what you will with Scripture.
This is the only question I see but its not about Holiness its about opinion. I don't have one. I have Matthew 19 and 1 Corinthians 7.
dave_l — 2017-07-19T14:05:02-04:00 — #13
Where does Paul say you can remarry? “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:39 (ESV)
This proves nothing. Why do the innocent wife and the man she marries commit adultery if the "except clause" allows for this? She was divorced from an adulterous husband. All that Matthew 19:9 teaches is that if your spouse commits adultery and divorces you. You also commit adultery along with the person you later marry.
landon_brake — 2017-07-19T14:33:24-04:00 — #14
Hey Ken and so first off I absolutely believe Jesus can forgive the sin. I think i should of stated more clearly that I more focused on can God break the one flesh so that if say today a husband and wife divorce wrongfully and remarry and they commit adultery. Can God just break the original bond between the husband and wife so that they can be bound to there new partners so they are not committing adultery. If death is the only means to separate two flesh it seems even if God forgives them of adultery they still will continue in inning adultery unless God can somehow break the bond apart from death.
ken_mcguire — 2017-07-19T15:07:46-04:00 — #15
This can get more than a bit complicated. My Lutheran theological tradition has found the distinction between "before God" and "before fellow humans" to be helpful. By no means does this "solve" all the problems, but it does put a bit of useful light on it. Before God, there are two - and only two - parts of Confession and Forgiveness. As our Augsburg Confession puts it, " Now properly speaking, true repentance is nothing else than  to have contrition and sorrow, or terror about sin,  and yet at the same time to believe in the gospel and absolution that sin is forgiven and grace is obtained through Christ. Such faith, in turn, comforts the heart and puts it at peace." (Augsburg Confession article 12, from Kolb/Wengert translation of the German)
My reading of this, based in large part on the reports of how Jesus handled sinners in the Gospels is that that "repentance" is the recognition that the person is messed up. This seeing that they have missed the mark is what we mean by the theological word "sin."
Some people see how messed up they are more deeply than others. Some people see how messed up they are more at some times than others. This is the walk of faith we all are on on this side of the grave. But before God, it is this recognition, and not a person's theological depth of articulating this is the "true repentance" that is the first step leading to forgiveness. It is also, of course, a call for the life of faith where we all struggle for an even fuller understanding of who we are - especially in God's eyes - a never ending journey that often seems to mean the "farther" you go, the even farther you see you have to go.
Before fellow humans, our God has yes, set an example of the OT law - but also trusts us to work out much of that for ourselves. And so it is common sense that you should return the cow, to use your example.
But again, with the full understanding of the Law I outlined above - which no one has yet to challenge as biblical - we all are guilty of misusing the God-given gift of human sexuality and are guilty of adultery. Speaking as a guy, my understandings of Feminine beauty and sexuality have been warped by ideals sold to me in countless advertisements, movies, adolescent crushes, etc. - and this understanding I have resold to my peers... It is warped by the pornography I have seen. It is warped by my past relationships. Try as I might, I may try to return the cow, but every time I do, I see how there is yet another layer - my problems go deeper....
When I was in school there was a young woman who had been raped by her father. To deal with the pain of this, as a teen, she had prostituted herself for alcohol. She ran into a guy who treated her as a human being and married him as soon as she was of age. She then realized that marriage was truly more than this, and her marriage fell apart - and she remarried. For a while she got money by being an underwear and swimsuit model for department stores - but came to realization that this was not at all healthy for her mental health...
I saw how she struggled with this in the faith. It was anything BUT easy in the whole process. Theologically I would say that she is "one flesh" with her abusive father. She is "one flesh" with all the Johns from whom she got alcohol. She is "one flesh" with her original husband. She is "one flesh" with the 2nd husband.
There is a LOT of sin there. And in her "recovery" even with secular therapy, she had to own her participation in it. As I said, I saw it was in no way easy for her, or the people in her life. Theologically, divorce is never "no fault."
I certainly do not want to say that she needed to stay with her father - the first one with whom she was "one flesh." How can she move forward and be the person that Jesus called her to be? She was caught - and knew it. I saw her daily dying in repentance to be risen up to new life. It wasn't a straight path... And with repentance and forgiveness - and messing up her repentance and forgiveness - she slowly was moving on - clinging for her life to the death of Jesus...
And part of that moving on was continuing to live in a relationship in what God defines as an adulterous relationship... More than a bit of me doesn't like it. In talking with her, I never suggested it. But I also refuse to say that she cannot move on even there, based on her confession and faith...
ken_mcguire — 2017-07-19T15:16:54-04:00 — #16
I don't want to put limits on what God can or cannot do. God seems to embarrass me whenever I try to do that
But as I spoke of the young woman a bit above, I see how the fact that we improperly share the one flesh has a continuing influence - usually for ill - to the people involved.
And yet there is healing - a healing I would say ultimately comes from God - for those trapped in the bondage of Sin. Their relationship may be wounded and warped by the prior histories of those involved - but I also refuse to say that it is not a making of one flesh. After all, Paul said that even casual sex with prostitutes makes "one flesh" in 1 Cor 6.
will_scholten — 2017-07-19T18:55:35-04:00 — #17
This reminds me, of what I asked my wife about 1 month ago. Every morning to my alarm and Focus on the Family is on, I forget what they call it, but it is for broken families anyway.
I told her you know this sounds really good and caring, but I asked her, is this what the scriptures say?
I think some people don't like what Dave L is saying here, but I think here he is right on!
I come from a broken family, I know my mom went on 1 date , but she never remarried, but in the last few years, I know why she stayed single.
She was doing her best to obey YHWH!
gao_lu — 2017-07-19T19:17:52-04:00 — #18
tyrone_howard — 2017-07-19T20:47:48-04:00 — #19
I think I agree with most of what you say here I would like to add,
If there was no adultery the marriage is not absolved except he leave due to not wanting to be with a believer or even died.
This is why people need to be taught what marriage is. It is the closest thing to being in a relationship with God, as it is the only relationship where two are to become one spiritual speaking.
We separate sex from marriage and that is our misuse of sex. It does not change God's plan that when you marry before God you are entering into more then a flesh relationship. Sex is marital. Marriage is spiritual. Sex is spiritual.
You will retain peices of everyone you engage with, this has nothing to do with God's ability to forgive.
I do not believe a simple forum discussion will bring together separate views so I would only say:
Marriage is serious and spiritual.
Sex is serious and spiritual.
Neither are to be done without the other.
Divorce without fornication or death causes one of the parties to commit adultery and bring adultery upon the subsequent spouse.
I do not agree this is unforgivable and that Jesus blood on the cross is insufficient to purify the marriage in faith...on the contrary the power in the blood of Jesus is more then able to purify, absolve, free, repay, deliver,heal, make whole all debt, sin, transgression. If one would argue they forever commit adultery I would argue if they've remarried in Holy matrimony, confessed their sin, and keep their bed undefiled from future sexual immorality then their continued adultery is in no way more powerful then Jesus continual mercy, forgiveness and love.
justin_gatlin — 2017-07-22T23:57:28-04:00 — #20
This is hard, because I can give the cow back, or make some kind of restitution. But what if the restitution I need to make it not possible without causing more harm? Particularly, we need to remember that remarriage after divorce was explicitly forbidden in the Old Testament, so returning to the status quo is not possibly the answer. It is also instructive that Nathan did not instruct David to divorce Bathsheba as part of his repentance. Incestuous relationships are fundamentally disordered (like same sex ones) and should be broken off. Otherwise, breaking up a marriage because you are sorry for breaking up your marriage is silly and has no biblical warrant. The solution is a broken heart and a contrite spirit over the past sin, and a commitment to go forward in the best way possible, given current circumstances. That my affect your future area of service, but you do the best you can with the situation you have created, with the help of God's grace.
I tie Paul and Jesus together by arguing that marriage can never be broken by a Christian without sin. The only acceptable causes of divorce (infidelity and abandonment) are when your spouse has already fundamentally broken your marriage commitment. Then, as Jesus says in Matthew, it is not adulterous to remarry. Otherwise, God does not recognize the union as dissolved, which answer's @Dave_L's objection about why the divorced spouse is still in adultery.
I think Malachi 2:16 indicates that divorce does sever a bond, with the powerfully grotesque image of an ex-husband with his garments covered in blood from hacking apart the one flesh that God had made.
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