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                The Gospels in Harmony                                    Jesus teaches on Divorce                        Sermon #119 Re-Posted 5/20/21

Before we begin in Matthew  19 where we left to follow Jesus in His ministry as it was recorded by Luke, I feel it is necessary to go back to an earlier sermon that included parts of the text we wil be covering. Remember this is the Gospels in Harmony and Jesus taught the same things over and over through out His ministry among men. Our last Sermon in Luke was about the kind of love we must have to enter into heaven. It is the love of God in us and through us for Him and others. In sermon #119 we covered some of this as a prelude to His later teachings on the same subject. So let's go back and review this teaching before we continue in Matthew.



Matthew 5:31-32   Matthew 19:9   Mark 10:11-12   Luke 16:18
The Gospels in Harmony  Sermon #119-31218


31  It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 
32  But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
Matthew 5:31-32
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.
Matthew 19:9
11  And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 
12  And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Mark 10:11-12
18  Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
Luke 16:18
    Divorce; according to Jesus.
Continuing His teaching about the commitment of love and the totality of the sin of adultery, Jesus refers once again to the law given by God, through Moses. 
The Mosaic Law permitted divorce.                                              
1  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.
Deuteronomy 24:1
The Mosaic Law was based on standards of acceptable actions.
It was a law of works. It was the physical does and don'ts of holiness and righteousness in the sight of God. And like all written law given to men, it was open to interpretation by men.  
   If you will notice, in the law given by Moses it states;---because he hath found some uncleanness in her---; that, left the law open to a very broad interpretation and made it very easy for a man to divorce his wife for nearly anything.
Marriage under the Mosaic Law was all about legalism. Legal standards for acceptable actions. Marriage was a legal contract between a man and a woman, but under the Mosaic Law legal contracts could become nullified or amended. Why? Because man is never satisfied with legalism. Never satisfied with standards imposed upon him. Sin in man demands legal standards to be changed to fit the wants and needs of each participant. No man can see the law through the eyes of God. 
    But Jesus was explaining He did not come to change the law.
17  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 
18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Matthew 5:17-18
     Jesus came to fulfill the law in love and make love the first and foremost part of the law. In the Mosaic Law, love could certainly be included in any marriage but it was not first and foremost making it the foundation for all that followed. God gave the law in love, but there was no love in the law. The law cannot make anyone love another. Just like a legal marriage cannot make two people love each other.
Love must be the first and foremost part of any relationship and then the laws for that relationship will be followed willingly and joyfully.
    Jesus came because of God's love for the world. In love He was given for our sin the law of works made exceedingly sinful.
5  For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
Romans 7:5
13  Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
Romans 7:13
   In love He was made our perfect lamb of sacrifice for our sin. In love He rose again to be our High priest interceding for us at the right hand of God. In love He was given to us who repent unto faith. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Promise is Christ in us, because Jesus promised Him in love.
5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.
Joshua 1:5
  8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 1:8
    Our very lives filled with the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit given in love will be our testimony to the world as we live within the standards of the law, in love.
Jesus did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it, in love.
This is why there is not a single legal document, license or written agreement that can keep a man and a woman as one in marriage. All the laws of marital agreement and standards of behavior are only binding as long as each participant deems them so. They only follow the rules of their marriage agreement because they are supposed to or if they want to. But when love is the foundation of any union, marital standards and rules are willingly and joyfully adhered to. They are not a burden, put a welcomed guide. Just like the very Word of God should be to every true disciple of Jesus. 
His Word is law to the believer and it is willingly and joyfully adhered to because of the believer’s relationship and union with Jesus Christ, in love. 
    The fulfillment of the law is in the Spirit of love.
31   It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
Matthew 5:31
So, Jesus is speaking of the law given by Moses for divorce. He is talking about a written law given to annul a written agreement; the marriage of a man and woman according to the law and not according to love. But Jesus is teaching the law is fulfilled in love. It is complete and binding in love. In love two become one and that cannot be undone without death parting one from another.
32  But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
Matthew 5:32
     Now, Jesus is applying the law of love to the law of works. He is setting the foundation for the law of works. All laws of the flesh must be built on and in the law of love. As I have stated before, laws are willingly and joyfully followed and adhered to in love, but the law itself cannot or will not make anyone follow  them in love. The law does not create love, but love fulfills the law. 
      Jesus is teaching marriage is binding in love above any written agreement. Three times we see this very statement being repeated in the Gospels by Jesus. Three times past this first recording in Matthew.  (Matthew 19:9, Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18). Trust me if the Holy Spirit gave urgency to repeating these very Words more than three times just in the Gospels, we should understand the urgency of taking it to heart and applying it to our lives.
 There is nothing that can legally undo a contract of marriage agreed to in love---- saving for the cause of fornication,----
Matthew 5:32
     Now fornication by Biblical definition is illicit sexual intercourse. It is the giving over of one’s body to sexual activities with a married person other than ones spouse, having many sex partners other than one’s spouse including others of the same gender, having sex with animals. In all cases it can also be defined as adultery. 
When two become one in Holy matrimony; and I feel this must also be defined before we can proceed. Holy matrimony is the becoming one by the binding promise of love for each other in the sight of God. It is not the ceremony or the paper work! It is the sanctifying of a man and a woman to each other forever. It is the promise in love that separates a man and a woman to each other. That is the sanctity of marriage. Fornication is adultery. It is having sexual intercourse of any kind outside of that promised and sanctified union. 
   In order to get a full understanding of verse 32 let's break it down piece by piece.
32  But I say unto you,----
Jesus is not refuting the law, but magnifying it. He Himself is bringing the power of love to all of God's words. He Himself is setting men and women free from the bonds of sin because of the law to live free in the bonds of love with the law.
Remember there was nothing unholy or unjust in the law given by Moses, but it was given to man. It was given to sinful flesh to obey and it became exceedingly sinful, because man will not be made to follow the law as it is given. No, the flesh will always betray what it does not love. 
     But Jesus came in love to fulfill the Law in flesh and in Spirit. Once the Law was fulfilled in love, love became the power of the law and all men can live by the law in the love of Christ. Therefore, in the power of love a man can put away his wife by law but only for her unfaithfulness in love by that same law; the breaking of the physical and spiritual laws through unfaithfulness. Unfaithful in flesh to their covenantal partner and unfaithful in spirit against God for breaking the law bound in love. 
     Because of the compromising teaching of Satan throughout time most societies do not take the offense of adultery as seriously as God does. But then why would they if they really do not understand or know the kind of love we are to have in this world. It is the same love that God had and still has for us. A love that cannot be removed and is honored by His Word, Jesus Christ.
 32------   That whosoever shall put away his wife,-----
   This is in reference to the offence of men divorcing their wives for any reason they view fit. Look at the high number of divorce in our society today. Adultery is high on that list because of degradation and decline in the number of people who actually are disciples of the Word of God. In addition, couples today divorce over seemingly any dispute or excuse.  It is easy to live in Satan's lies and compromise if you really do not know and believe in the truth. Certainly a perfect example of not knowing the love of God and holding that love in their hearts for each other.
Proof once again that the law is only as good as the flesh that is was given to. There is not a written contract in this world that all men will uphold with all sincerity unless it is written on their hearts.
      Jesus is not changing the law, but he is defining it to the point that men can no longer use and abuse it. The highest standard that was implied by the law must be understood and applied. That highest standard is love.
32-----saving for the cause of fornication,-----
     We have already defined the Biblical meaning and usages of the word "porneia" or fornication, in English. Now, you see where the term pornography comes from.
Jesus is assuring His listeners, throughout time, that giving oneself over to fornication is cause for immediate termination of the union between a man and a woman. Why? Because it is the physical breaking of one’s promise of sanctity. It is the admission of being a liar. It means that marriage contract is null and void because it never was written on ones heart. 
     Oh, I can hear it know, excuses, excuses, excuses. "Oh I really did love so and so but you know some things just happen." No! Ignorance, compromise, lust and sin happen. But love is given from God and it is to be kept holy in and through Him! 
The union of a man and woman is binding in love because that is what the law was given in. Once again without love the law will be compromised and broken.  
32----That whosoever shall put away his wife,---- causeth her to commit adultery:
Jesus is covering both sides of the aisle here. It is just as sinful to make a woman an adulterer as it is for her to willing be an adulterer. Women were totally dependent on their husbands and to be put away would leave them destitute and made it necessary for them to find another man or become a harlot.
 Divorce because of fornication would not make her an adulterer because she had already done that on her own!
32----and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
Divorce without just cause is also not binding! 
The promise of till death do you part was and is made before God!
In holy matrimony it is always said or spiritually implied by both being joined as one. Now, are you understanding the severity of illicit sex? It is spiritual death!
You kill yourself spiritually because the only way to be completely separated in marriage is by death. 
   Now, if a woman would be put out for any reason other than adultery; by the law of love she is not at fault for that divorce and therefore not divorced in the eyes of God. She is a married woman wrongfully cast off and forced to become an adulterer to survive. Furthermore any man who marries her is an adulterer because he has physical relations (sexual relations) with another man’s wife. 
The law of God still stands today!
    The only difference today, is roles can be and are reversed and woman can and are able to make provision for themselves without a man. Also men are just as guilty of adultery if they break their marriage contract with their spouse and God with illicit sexual intercourse. But that does not change the law of marriage founded and finished in love!
I want everyone to understand; illicit sex, fornication, adultery is being a part of sexual relations outside of the confines of two becoming one in the sight of God. If you did not get married with the love of God for your spouse than you lied to start with and you are just as much a sinner as an adulterer!
This is the very reason that adultery is so prevalent and so accepted in our culture today. Why should adultery, be considered an offence punishable by death if marriage is just a formality for legality? The law is applicable but not binding without love. And the only love that is binding is God's love in and through us.

Pastor Steven Freede
Cornerstone Independent Church

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