Transcript of Bobby Holmes' lesson: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage (June 26, 2005)
Editor's Note: The sections highlighted in green are quotes of particular interest from brother Holmes lesson and are referenced in the exegesis of his teaching.In this article, quotes from brethren are in maroon (italic and bold), scriptures are in red, and regular text is in blue. On quotes from brethren, the footnotes are hyperlinked to the document that contains the quote
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Kelly, thanks for leading the song "Do All In The Name Of The Lord" before our lesson, because indeed it fits with it, do all in the name of the Lord, especially when it comes to the subject we are studying tonight, that are indeed so often controversial.

Indeed, as Kelly pointed out it is a subject that has been debated for more years than we would like to think. In fact it was debated in the days of Jesus. That is what it is all about. I do not concern myself and I will not concern myself this evening with all of the fragmented ideas and precepts, regarding marriage, divorce, and remarriage. All I'm interested in and all I am going to present to you this evening is what the word of God says.

I believe that brethren have done a disservice to God's word when they have chased rabbits on every little thing, and what about this, and this, and this, and this and some of those things are things that have to be determined in the minds of the individuals. I am not talking about and I will let my lesson clarify it.

I have two reasons or two purposes in presenting this lesson. Number one and foremost is to present to you what the word of God says and to make it clear to you so that we can all understand exactly what God says on the subject of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. Actually it will be divided into two different subjects, marriage, divorce, and remarriage, and the other part will be simply marriage and divorce. There is a lot of controversy on both issues. But as I said again, I am only interested in presenting what the word of God says. I pray that each one of us will be as the Bereans. I don't know of any subject that, I told Joann this either yesterday or today as we were talking, I don't know of any subject that I have preached in recent years that I have prayed about as much as I have this one for wisdom in preparing and wisdom in presenting it. Not only with the truth of God but with the proper spirit that it ought to be presented with. If I fail in this it will not be because of the fact that I intend to, I have asked God to help me in this and I pray that he will.

The second reason is that I might go on record and I want it on record I want it on tape what I believe the scriptures teach on the subject that has been announced. I don't want anyone doubting what I believe about these things, not that what I believe is going to determine what is truth or error, but I want people to understand and I want it recorded as to what Bobby Holmes believes the scriptures teach. And, if I fail in my proposition that I present then you be kind enough to show me the error of my way. I don't want to teach something that is error. I recognize that one of these days I will stand before my maker and I will give an account to him as to what I have preached and how I have preached. You as listeners have a responsibility of not only of what you hear but how you hear it.

That is the reason I said I pray that we will be as the Bereans of old. The record says in Acts 17 verses 10 and 11

"...these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures to see if these things were so, therefore many of them believed..."

I hope that you will examine what I have to say this evening in the light of God's word. On the other side of the coin I hope that you will not listen to me trying to find fault with what I have to say, because if you do then you are not going you are going to be looking for fault rather than the truth. I have got faults and certainly you aught to be able to determine that and catch it if you examine it and examine what I have to say, search the scriptures, so let's look at it with honest hearts searching for truth that's all I ask of you not only of this lesson but of all the lessons that I present from God's word. So let us look let us begin looking at the subject of marriage, divorce, and remarriage.

First of all we look at God's divine law that's the important thing. We go back to the very beginning of time when God created Eve and brought her to Adam and Adam said this is now bone of my bone. Gen. 2:23-24

"...this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh and she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh..."

In reality God performed the first marriage ceremony. He, he bound he joined man or husband and wife together and they became one. That is one in name, one in purpose and one in their life, one in their goal, etc. They became as it were one flesh. In the book of Romans, in chapter 7 and verses 1 and 2 the apostle Paul said or do you not know brethren for I speak to those that know the law, that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives. Now, let me pause there for a moment, he is not saying the Law of Moses has dominion over man as long as he lives, the law he is talking about in this section of scriptures is the marriage law and that law has dominion over him as long as he lives. We know that because he goes on to say for the woman who has a husband is bound by the law, what law, the marriage law, by the law to her husband as long as he lives, but if the husband dies she is released from the law of her husband. Marriage is intended to be for life.

Today, especially among the younger generation but not only to the younger generation there are those that marry and divorce for various reasons. Some have of and it's because the fact they have not been taught what God's law is on it in most cases, they marry and they have the attitude that if it doesn't work out and they have problems they will just get a divorce and they will get another husband or wife and consequently marriages and divorces take place just about as often as people change clothes. If they don't like the person or they don't they are not as compatible as they feel like they aught to be, they just simply dump them and get somebody else. But that's not God's law and we need to recognize this and young people need to be taught on these things.

Man's questions as he came to Jesus, part of our scripture reading this evening, in Matt. 19:3 was

"...The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him... (this is from the NKJ) ...and saying to Him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason..?"

Now Jesus answer to them is found in verses 4 through 6.

"...And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read..."

and incidentally I have got that highlighted for a purpose one of the causes of our problems today in the church of our Lord, especially, but in all of man kind is that people do not read like they aught to. If they would just read and had they read they would not have had to ask the question. But he said

"...Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female..."

and then He quotes from Gen. 2:23-24

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh So then, they are no longer two..." or twain as the old King James says "...but one flesh. Therefore..." you remember the emphasis that I have tried to make on the word therefore, always refers back to the truth just stated. Therefore since this is true, "...what God has joined together, let not man separate..." or put asunder

The word asunder carries with it the idea of sending away, severing, or cutting off. And so he says here what God has joined together let not man separate, asunder, or cut off. Now we are going to study a little bit later on as to whether that is applicable and is it an absolute in ever case in all things or not. So, keep your minds open and just study with me That's all I want you to do.

Man's new question then to Jesus after he had answered them about that one was in verse 7, they said to him why then did Moses command them to give a certificate and I want you to notice I have got the two separate words with different highlights and I have them for a reason why did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce and to put her away, the word put away means to divorce or to send away. But, I want you to take notice that the certificate was separate from the divorce. The certificate had to do with the court or the civil matter while the divorce itself had to do with the sending away. Now we are going to prove that as we go along, just give me time, don't quit listening before I quit talking. Jesus answer is found in verse 8,

"...He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts permitted you to divorce your wife: but from the beginning it was not so..."

God never intended that there be divorce. God never arranged for there to be divorce between a husband and a wife. Now later on those things are discussed and Jesus gives an exception and tells them about a permit in order to do that but it is still something that God did not intend for man to be a part of. The law of the kings, let's look if you would at Mt.19 verse 9 because this is the end of that discussion that is of their question not the discussion but of the question.

"...And I say unto you..." this is king Jesus talking I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality..." (or fornication) and marries another, commits adultery..."

It isn't the divorce that causes them to commit adultery. The divorce is not something that God wants but when he marries another then he commits adultery. I am not saying that it is pleasing to God that he divorces his wife, we will see that in a moment. But the fornication was not involved in the divorce but it was involved in the sexual act that he committed.

One man for one woman for life, with one exception, that is fornication. The definition of the word fornication has become more and more so important in the society in which we live. Mr. Thayer says on page 532 that the word pornea, that's the Greek word for fornication, means prostitution or of elicit sexual intercourse in general There is a technical difference between adultery and fornication. Adultery is defined by Thayer, and I didn't put it on the board here, is defined as sexual intercourse between two individuals who are not married to each other of which at least one of them is married but they are not married to each other. But, fornication is a general term, it means prostitution of elicit sexual intercourse in general, and it would include such acts as bestiality and sodomy as well. You remember our fair president Clinton that said I did not commit adultery with that woman. He redefined what fornication was. Any kind of elicit sexual intercourse. I don't care what kind it is, is fornication, and un-repented of will send a soul to a burning hell.

Now we just as well come right on down to the lick log and talk about it as it is. We can't get by with it, there is not any way that you can slip in the back door and satisfy the passions of sexual desires in sort of an off-handed way or second hand way. No, you are committing fornication. Committing fornication when you do and you are going to be held accountable for it. I will not go into a discussion of this in a mixed audience. But there are some putrid stories that I have heard of people trying to justify the satisfying of a sick mind sexually and to get around what God has said and they are not going to get by with it.

Marriage, marriage simply put is an agreement between a man and a woman, to share bed, board and life together. Man, listen to me, man controls the marriage. God does not tell him he has to marry. He does not tell him who to marry. He does not tell him when to marry. He simply regulates the marriage of how it aught to be if you marry. But marriage is an agreement between a man and a woman to share bed, board and life together and it is culminated and we were talking yesterday, some of us were on the subject and I can not tell you the precise moment when God does the joining, but there was always a ceremony of some kind that was along with it.

You look back at the Samson's that they had a feasting; it was a celebration, a recognition of a marriage. You look at Jacob, who married, he thought he married Rachel, and there was a celebration and he took her into his tent. You look at John 2 there was a marriage feast, it was called such. Was it a particular kind of a ceremony, no it was just a ceremony and yet that ceremony varies from culture to culture, someone says, but a ceremony is only a cultural thing, yes it is, but I am talking yes about the kind of ceremony, it might just be jumping across a stick., and there are some cultures that that's what constitutes a marriage. They have a stick out there and they jump over the stick and they are married. But it is a ceremony of some kind, it doesn't matter what kind, but the fact is there was always a ceremony. Someone said you can't find it in everyone. No you can't. Neither can you can't find confession and repentance in every case of conversion. But you know it is there.

Now what does that say, it simply says this. When God has given a standard and we determine Bible authority by command, by a bible example and necessary inference and there is a bible example of a ceremony therefore it stands. Just like there is a bible example of confession, there is a bible example of repentance and they stand along with the other points of conversion.

And he said and he "...marries another he commits adultery..." there is your sin there when he commits adultery, "...whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery..." as well

Let's look at Mt. 5:31-32

"...Furthermore it has been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce..."

Now, I want you to look at that again for a moment, to reinforce what I said earlier, he has divorced his wife now he says you give her a certificate of divorce. It's very important that you and I understand that. A lot of the people believe that the divorce and the decree are the same, but we are gong to see as we develop the lesson that it is not the same, just as some believe that the marriage and the bond are the same, but they are not the same either. But he said, "...Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce. But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality (or fornication) causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. (NKJV)..."

Brethren commonly take this verse of scripture and it is easy to do, I did so myself for several years when I first began preaching because I was not rightly dividing the word of God and putting it all together as I should have. Brethren have taken this verse of scripture and have for years, many brethren have, and they have said if you put your wife away for any reason except for fornication you cause her to commit adultery, in other words you divorced her because she burned the toast, you just don't like her anymore, you don't love her anymore, you put her aside, she is now unmarried she has no mate and you put her in a position of engaging herself in sexual immorality or fornication, you caused that. Now while that is may be very true that is not what this passage is saying. Let's look at a companion passage as we look at Mark's account of the same thing.

Mark 10:11-12

11 "...So He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery..." (NKJV)

What's he is saying here? You divorce your wife and marry another you commit adultery against her, against the woman that you marry. How is that? Because, you have no right to be married to her. Therefore, you are living in sexual immorality or adultery. You are committing adultery against her, and then he addresses the woman he has put away, his wife, and if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she commits adultery. We could put this part here with it. Whoever marries a woman that who is divorced commits adultery. You divorce your wife for reasons other than adultery you commit adultery against that woman you are married to, the second one, but you also, a woman whoever marries that woman that you put away without a reason they commit adultery. They commit adultery, why, because they got no right to be married. I don't know about you but that should be about as plain as the as the nose on your face as we say to all of us if we will look carefully at it.

God's marriage law is a very simple law, one man for one woman for life, with one exception, that is fornication. Now, I want you to look at that carefully because that is exactly what the Bible teaches and that is exactly what Bobby Holmes preaches and I preach it because that is what God's word says.

Man controls the marriage but God controls the bond. Man has nothing to do whatever with the bond. Man controls the marriage, he can decide he does not want to be married any more and get a divorce for any reason he wants to. He can do that. He controls the marriage in that sense. But God controls the bond and just because he gets a divorce does not mean the bond is broken. You have got to understand that. Man controls the marriage and God controls the bond. Man can sever the marriage but only God can sever the bond, only two things can sever the bond. One is death, Romans 7 verse 2.

".a woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is free from the law of her husband..."

And the other of course is un-repented of fornication. Mt.19 verse 9 that severs the marriage bond if there is no repentance, of course one can not continue on being a companion to sin and they not only have a right to put away a fornicating mate but they must do that or else they become a participate along with it

God never provided for divorce because he hates it. You look at the book of Malachi chapter 2 and verse 16 the record says ".for the Lord God of Israel says he hates divorce." and he does. When I, when we are going to be talking in a few minutes about divorce as we have already. Mt. 19:9 the Lord says but I say to you whoever puts away his wife, divorces his wife, God hates that. Malachi says he does. But the Lord gives a permission here, only on one condition, who ever puts away his wife, divorces his wife, except for fornication and marries another except for fornication commits adultery. God hates divorce. God provided marriage for man the first of three great institutions and it is to be and remain to be holy, Heb. 13 verse 4 and the record says

"...Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled..."

And I tell you when you look at the Greek language here it really makes it clearer. He says and the bed is to be undefiled, what does that tell me. Well it tells me first of all that God does not intend for man to engage in premarital sex before marriage. The bed is to be undefiled, also it tells me that man is to keep from engaging in extra sexual activity outside of the marriage bond because the bed is to remain undefiled, for as it goes on to say that "...fornicators and adulterers God will judge..."

God created marriage in order to provide for man a sanctuary. Let me make a point here on the board I think that it will help us understand something here about marriage before we go any further. I don't know any way better to explain it than to put God up here, man here, and woman here. And here is a man and a woman that have agreed to share a bed, board and life together, both of them have a right to marry. They have never been married before. And so they come together and there is a ceremony of some kind. God does the joining. There is a triangle, from Pr. 2 and Malachi 2 the record says that there is a covenant, a covenant not only between the man and the woman but a covenant between man, woman, and God. God then He then does the binding, the bond is there.

Now man comes along, we will say the man, we will just put the fault on the man, man comes along and he commits adultery. He is not sorry about it at all. I tell you what, I don't know about well I do, I think we are all about the same. I know that if it was in my house I know that that would end my marriage. Joann would just say just get out of the house. I don't want any more to do with you. Now I will prove it in a moment, she had, that is, that is a divorce. That's a putting away is a sundering of the marriage. Forget about the certificate, we have already noted that there is a certificate to be given but she has divorced me, she has put me away. Now, I will answer another question on your mind right now, can she go ahead I know we will talk about it. Can she go ahead and marry before the certificate of divorce, no she can not. But the marriage has ended. Now the innocent party has the right, God voids that bond for her. But the man, the guilty party, is still under the bond. He can never marry. He is that is the consequence of his sin.

Just one of some of the foolish, foolish arguments, that is the reason I said I am not going to go into all of these loose ends. When I was out in the Pacific Northwest one fellow said what you have got then is a half marriage. No you don't, you see again they are mixing marriage and bond. They are not in the marriage, the marriage ended. It is not a half marriage, the marriage ended. He is still under the bond that God placed, but the marriage is over there is no half marriage. That's a foolish argument and it is based on not understanding the difference between the marriage and the bond. She is then free to marry.

Well suppose then we could come up here with another illustration like Herod and Herodus. You remember in Mark 6 the record shows John told Herod it is not lawful for you to have your brother, Phillip's wife for he had married her. Were they married? God said they were. He had married her. It was a marriage. Was it approved of God? No, it wasn't but it was a marriage. That's why I say all the world a marriage is, is only an agreement between and man and a woman to share a bed, board, and life together. Herod and Herodus agreed to share a bed, board, and life together and God called it a marriage. Was it right, no it wasn't right. I didn't say it was right, why was it not right, because she was still bound to Philip and Philip was still bound to her as far as I know, there is no record to say he put her away, but whether he did or not she was still bound to Philip the bond had not been broken between God and Herodus. That is the reason he said, "...It is not lawful to have your brother Philip's wife..."

Is God in the picture, not he is not. But a God approved marriage is just like this, God, man, and woman and remains blessed as long as they live faithful to each other. And the only thing that will break this bond is either fornication or death. Either one of those happen, un-repented of fornication. Though some have gone so far as to say, some of these loose ends and foolish arguments that at the very moment that fornication is committed the bond is broken. I tell you something folks there are a lot of people's marriages out there that they are not even bound anymore and they do not even know it. The woman or the innocent party has the right to put the guilty party away. But if they repent of their sins, here and I said awhile ago, that some of these things have to come down to conscience. And I will explain to you what I mean.

I believe. I believe that the person guilty of adultery, truly repents, that the innocent party aught to forgive them and the marriage aught to be mended and there aught to be reconciliation. For two reasons, that the marriage may continue that God intended for it to be, he hates divorce and second of all to save that soul of that guilty individual that has penitently asked forgiveness.

Now I have had some folks argue with me about that, that they don't have to do that. Well maybe they don't, but I am talking about me, my personal conviction is that I could not live before God if I put her away. If Joann were to commit adultery against me and I put her away because I had a right, a scriptural right, to do it and then later on see her lose her soul in hell, and I just thought if I can forgiven her and accepted her back, just think she could be enjoying heaven together with me for eternity. Now we have to judge some of those things. That's the reason I said some of these things are hard are out there in that realm of judgment. But that is all not God's marriage law so don't misunderstand me in any way form or fashion.

Now then, marriage God including divorce and remarriage is it is absolute without any exceptions. I want to drive that point home. God's marriage law including divorce and remarriage is absolute without any exceptions. Fornication is the only thing that the Lord gave. It is not a general rule. It is the rule. Now, I read here while back, a young preacher said it is the general rule, no it is not the general rule. It is the rule. It is absolute. Do you hear me? It is absolute. There is no room for any exceptions, period. I have already given you, so let's understand, I have already given you fornication is the exception and the only one.

Let's look at divorce now.

Is there are there any reasons, exceptions to divorce period? Let's look first of all at the word of divorce. Thayer page 66 it means to dismiss from the house, to repudiate, or to sever, to put away, to send away. Now then, most people think that the civil action in the court is as the divorce, most people think of the civil action in the courts as the divorce. That however is the divorce decree. We speak of it as of the divorce is final as of such and such date. What do we mean by that? We understand but we don't understand. The decree was given on October 31st but the divorce took place on June 1st when she put him out of the house for adultery and said I am no longer going to have anything to do with you because she finds out he is living with two or three people or running around like an old alley dog. Many people think of the marriage and the bond as the same but that too is false and I have showed that to you over here by this. The marriage is just an agreement between man and a woman. It can be right before God or it can be wrong before God, but it is an agreement between a man and a woman and man controls that marriage, but the bond, the bond God controls and no man can touch that, no man. God releases that bond either from both of them both of them die, or one of them dies and the bond is broken, or one of them commits adultery and is impenitent concerning it and then God gives the innocent party the right to put that guilty party away and if they chose they can remarry.

And again we get into the subject of so many foolish ideas. I talked with a couple out in Washington when we out there and they both took the position that a man could put away his wife but a woman could not put away her husband. How do you come to that conclusion? He said the Lord said "...If a man puts away his wife..." I said, really! What did the Lord say to Nicodeamus? "...Except a man be born again he can not enter the kingdom of heaven..." therefore women can't go to heaven see what says too much says nothing. So, it doesn't make any difference, now again we come back to a matter of conscience. I know of people that would not remarry whatever if their mate committed adultery. They would never remarry again just to be sure, that is fine. What you want to do, do it.

Then there are others that say you have a right to remarry for any reason. No matter what you put your wife away for or mate. Then they are speaking where God hasn't spoken. They are giving a commandment where God has not drawn one. We want to be very careful we don't go beyond what is written but we want to be very careful we don't fall short of it either.

When one mate leaves or sends there mate out of the house a divorce has taken place. The marriage has ended though the bond remains, unless the sending away was for fornication. If she sends him away for fornication then the bond is broken, if she is going to file for divorce. Now look with me, can the innocent one remarry without going through the civil divorce? Absolutely not! Why? Because the law of the land in this must be followed or else she becomes a bigamist and she breaks the law of God. I want to say something here that I should have stated in the beginning. In Matthew 19 the Lord not one single time in justifying a divorce is referring to the civil courts. I got a post from Paul Williams over in Africa here while back, it has been a year or so. I corresponded for a time with him by email and finally gave up in disgust because it was obvious he would not listen to reason. He said, I don't remember the young ladies name, not an English name, I will just use Mary. I told Mary her husband had committed adultery. I told Mary you get to the courthouse first thing in the morning, because if he gets there first and files for divorce you can never remarry. What a foolish unlearned statement that is.

The Lord never dealt with the civil court. I say to you whoever puts away his wife, except for fornication and marries another, commits adultery. He is not talking about the civil courts. He is talking about this right here. The sending out of the house, the divorce the putting away the sundering of that marriage. You put them away for fornication you have the right to do it and you have the right to remarry. But unless it is a sundering for the purpose of fornication you have not right to remarry. Again can the innocent one then remarry without going through the civil divorce, you said, I thought you said the Lord didn't deal with it, the Lord didn't but what did He say about keeping the civil law, Romans 13 and obeying the laws of the land. You look at 1 Peter 2 verse 13, obey every ordinance of man. What is ordinance of man? That you don't marry that you don't have two wives or two husbands at the same time. There has got to be a severing not before God but a severing on the books of that mate or else you are labeled a bigamist. And that's the reason that couldn't be.

In 1 Corinthians 7 verses 10 and 11, I want you to read this carefully with me and I want you to listen carefully to the examination of some things. "...Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord, a wife is not to depart from her husband..." and the word depart here is the same as divorce, she is not to sunder that relationship, "...but even if she does depart..." or divorces and some versions read divorce "...let her remain unmarried..." you see the marriage has ended let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. The bond is still there. See that. The bond is still there, she's still got a husband but she no longer got a marriage. And a husband is not to divorce his wife, you see how he uses the term divorce here and depart there, and depart there, it is all the same word. Husband don't divorce your wife, wife don't divorce your husband. But if you do divorce him, that's a question that has bothered people for a long time, if you do divorce your husband, then you remain unmarried or be reconciled to your husband. Marriage has ended. The bond remains for she still has a husband. I want you to read with me the context and we will just start with verse 10 and read through verse 16. 1 Cor 7:10-16.

"...Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. 12 But to the rest..." This throws people sometimes. But to the rest I, not the Lord, say..."

Some say well that's just Paul talking, that's not what he is saying, what he is simply saying is the rest of it I am talking about the Lord has not spoken on this but Paul spoke by divine inspiration and stated in the Corinthian letter: if any man questions what I have written let him know that I have written the commandments of God. Paul only gave his judgment in the 7th chapter on one subject. He said "...Because of the present distress or the persecution it would be better for you not to marry and remain single..." and it goes on to explain why. A man without a wife doesn't have to worry about the persecution, about his wife and children being taken hostage or captive he can get up and run if he has to and not to have to worry about them. But if you got a wife and family you got to be concerned about them and you should be. So he said

"...the rest I, not the Lord say if any brother has a wife who does not believe..." she is not a Christian "...and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband, who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him..." And then he goes on to say "...For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy..."

All that simple means is that a marriage is a sanctuous thing or else the children would be illegitimate children. Else your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. Why are they holy? Because you've got a marriage that God that approved of. All it is saying, all it means

Now I am going to discuss in more detail verses 14 and 15 a little bit later so I will just kind of pass over that. The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband otherwise your children would be unclean. Verses 15 and 16.

"15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases."

That is not the bond incidentally. Not the bond, it does not mean God broke the bond and I will explain that in a few moments. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases.

"...But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife..."

Question, follow me closely and listen to what the book says. Can the command in 1Co. 7:10 be looked upon as a general rule while Matthew 19:9 is the rule. I learned a lot from this study. I can look back thru the years and see where I was confronted with issues and I had to get the book out and I had to do some more studying and some more rightly dividing. I made the statement in one of my meetings with some of you here that I believed that if someone divorced their wife except for fornication they sinned. I stand right here before you apologizing for making that statement. I don't believe that anymore and I will show you why right here. If I can't prove it by the book then I will give it up.

So the question again, can the command in 1Co. 7:10, what was the command, he says very clearly, very clearly. I want to go back. I would have to go too far back. 1 Co. 7 verse 10, look with me, 1 Cor 7:10-11

"...to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband..."

If that is not a command I don't know what it is. The question is can that command be looked upon as a general rule while Matthew 19:9 is the rule. Look with me at a point, two to three points. Eph. 5:24

"...therefore just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything..."

That's a command. Now is that a general rule or is that the absolute rule? Think about. This is a command can this command contain any exceptions? Look with me, what if the husband forbids her to attend services. Must she obey him in everything? Now, brethren if we will be honest about it this is going to answer a whole lot of questions. What if he forbids her to take the children to services? And believe me I know of personal examples of every one of these and more. Does she have to obey him? The book says obey your husband in everything. Command! Is there an exception? What if he threatens and or beats and abuses the whole family? I had Don Patton tell me one time and he believes that it doesn't make any difference if the husband is beating the wife to unconscious she has not right to do anything but to stay in the marriage. He said let her call the police. I wonder, did it take him all these years to get that, well I want say it, unlearned or was he born that way. Do you know there are countries where a woman has no rights? How is she going to call the law? Iraq? Saudi Arabia? Woman has no rights. Is she just to lay there and take it? What if he commands her to attend a denomination with him? Must she obey him in everything? In these things or can there be exceptions in the command in Eph. 5:24. Can there be? Let's be honest. Look again.

1 Cor. 14:34-35

"...Let your women keep silent in the churches or assemblies for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church..." or the assembly.

Is that a command that is absolute or are there some exceptions? We must understand this in the same light as we understand Eph. 4:24. "...Obey your husbands in everything..."

Could there be any exceptions to this command of keeping silent in the church? Well we look for instance about singing, can she sing? If she can sing then there is an exception. Because the book says and brother Kelly will often times will state when he comes up here to lead singing that we are commanded to sing and admonish or teach and admonish each other in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. When we sing songs my wife teaches me and teaches you and you teach me and I teach you. Can she speak? Well she can sing therefore there is an exception. Can she confess Christ and become a Christian, if so then there is an exception. Can she confess her sins as an erring child of God as we have had a number of women come forward in this congregation to confess the error of their way? Can she do so? If she can then there is an exception to the command. What is my point, brethren? It is that 1 Cor. 7:10 is not an absolute regarding the sending away or divorce thought God clearly he hates it. Does this grant the right of remarriage? Absolutely not! I want you to hear that again. Does the exception, if there is an exception, in 1 Cor. 7:10 does that give her the right of remarriage? Absolutely not! There is only one reason that God gives for divorce and remarriage and that is fornication.

We're talking about something entirely different than re-marriage. I am not talking about re-marriage in this section of our study. The Holy Spirit did not put what the exception might be and neither will I. But clearly he understood that there could be circumstances where divorce that God hates might happen and when and if it does, he states clearly what is to be done she is to remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. Are you thinking?

Let's look at what God says. In answer to all the questions regarding obeying the husband in everything, the answer is that the wife or the husband is not under bondage to any man but to Christ and he is to be our master in all things. I Cor. 7 verse 15 is talking about a brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases. Our bondage is to Jesus Christ, he is our master. And it doesn't make any difference what man may say to us. If a husband says you can't go to church, you can't take the children to church you are going to go with me to a denomination because I think the Baptist church is the right place to be and you are going to go with me. Does she have to obey her husband in that, verily nae. Is she violating what God says? Yes. Is she sinning? No, because there is an exception there. And we understand that exception. All I want you to do is think about it.

God has placed an exception under certain cases. Again, I say don't misunderstand me. I am not talking about a right to remarry at all. I am talking about the right to get out of a situation where you can not serve God. No divorce can be justified for frivolous things. And I think brethren have had good intentions, honest hearts, in looking at, well if you can just divorce for any reason then if you don't like the way your wife's perfume smells, you can just divorce her. No, for frivolous things are not under consideration. What can be the exception? I don't know. It has to be something has to be something that the word of God says prevents you from serving God. Whether it is a command from your husband or abuse or whatever it might be. It has to be something that prevents you from serving the master. Just like the command to obey your husband in everything, you don't have to do that if it keeps you from serving the master. Wanting out of the marriage because love is gone is not justified in any way form or fashion. If then, you listening, if then the marriage relationship will not allow one to serve the Lord, that person may need to seek a divorce, only a piece of paper, in order to serve God

Let me tell you something, I don't know if you are familiar with divorce laws in the state of Texas and other places, it doesn't make any difference, we live in Texas is the reason I bring this out. But if a woman, particularly it seems like the case of an abusive mate, a woman can not put her husband out of the house unless she has filed for a divorce in a civil court. That is his house just as much as it is hers until she has filed for a divorce. She can call the police out there 24/7 and they will tell her the same thing. Mam, until you file for divorce and I can see a piece of paper here I don't have any right to put this man out of the house. He has as much right here as you do. But when she files for divorce, and has that piece of paper in her hand, that's all it is, I am not talking about re-marriage. Get that out of your mind. Has that piece of paper that says she has filed for divorce he has 2 hours, 3 hours, or whatever to get your stuff out of the house and if he don't get it out of the house they will come and get it and put it on the curb and he is forbidden to come back in there until that divorce decree is final.

I am talking about a situation, again I want to emphasize I am talking about a situation where a woman or man can not serve God the master and must seek some kind of help from civil authorities. And the only recourse she has, if the only recourse she has is to file for that piece of with that piece of paper in order to serve God. You tell me there is not an exception to that. There is as much exception to that as there is in Eph 5:24 and 1Cor. 14:34-35. Right to re-marry. Get that out of your mind. I am not talking about re-marriage. Nothing gives her the right to remarry. I am talking about the divorce. Many good intended brethren have condemned people to hell because they filed for divorce based on a misunderstanding of what God says. I am not talking about re-marriage. I am talking about yes God hates divorce. We stated that over and over again. But sometimes man is placed in a position where he divorces anyway and Jesus gives him that right even though God hates it. If there is adultery or fornication committed, then put them away you have that right to do it if they are unrepentant. No remarriage can be justified in this situation, none.

Look at 1Cor. 7:14-15 again. "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage" and again I say it is not the bond that is talked about here, he is talking about the bondage to serve or remain in that marriage. You are not under bondage to live in that situation anymore. What do you do? Someone said well you could just leave, well you can do that, you can do that and that's a divorce. When you leave or send him off you divorced him. You may not have the piece of paper. What I talking about is the right to file in a civil court with a piece of paper in order to protect yourself and get the man out of your house that abuses that is abusing you and will not allow you to serve God, you got that right. Paul appealed to the civil authorities for protection on more than one occasion and we have the same right. It doesn't give you the right to remarriage and I will say it over and over again, you have heard it but I don't want to be misunderstood. I want it on the record. No, there is no remarriage allowed. God has called. Does the departing of the unbeliever grant the right of remarriage of the believer? Again, absolutely not. How much clearer can I make it?

In our conclusion, the intent of this lesson is not to find another reason for divorce and remarriage. It is not, for there are none other than what the Lord has given. This lesson is to show that while the command by the Lord in Matthew 19:9 is the rule and not general in nature the command of the wife in Eph. 5:24 can have exceptions and 1Cor. 7:11 proves it. If she does depart here is what you do. I said I would not put an exception in the exception and I won't because the Holy Spirit didn't and I think the reason he didn't is because they vary, it could be a number of reasons why. Whatever it is it had better be something that keeps her from serving God and not something that is frivolous. Do not forget the question asked, is the wife to obey her husband in everything? When we understand this point right here, we can then understand that circumstances can determine if the wife must seek relief from abuse. We must be careful not to condemn one to eternal torment where God has given instruction for relief.

And last slide and last point, 2 Tim 2:15-16

"...Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth..."

I have to thank a brother of mine from the state of Washington for his diligent study and his astute understanding of the scriptures to cause me to rethink my position regarding the sin of a woman putting away her husband absolutely. I can thank God for brethren that I have known and met through out my lifetime who have caused me to stop and reconsider points. It simply shows me that I am a human being and I need some help from each other just like we all need help from each other and that's why I am presenting the lesson tonight. I don't know that you agree with everything that I have said I am not asking you to agree with what I have said but to agree with what God says. All I want you to do is to simply take what I have said and examine it in the light of the scriptures like the Berreans of old. I want you to search the scriptures and I want you to weight out what I have had to say and I want you to think carefully about what I have had to say and I want you to look at then in the light of God's word what he said and then come to your conclusions of what God wants us to do.

I do not intend in any way form or fashion go around preaching across the country that women can just get up and divorce their husbands because they do not want to live with their husbands anymore. And I don't even preach from the pulpit and I won't, I won't that a woman can do this. I am preaching this tonight because of the fact that I have brought into question by some of my preaching brethren regarding some of these things.

Frank, I will answer your questions after I finish my lesson not during the assembly, this is not a bible study, it doesn't mean a man can't speak up, but I don't want my thoughts interrupted. You can ask me either way you want to after we dismiss or we can talk. I don't want the confusion in the assembly. I will be glad to sit down and privately either way you want to do it, it don't make any difference. I want the point in fact of business I will ask you to ask your question when I finish my point. Because I want this assembly to hear your question it might be valuable to them as well. So I want always us to be in agreement on what is said. If you have a question let me finish my point my sermon cause I want to bring my conclusion to an end here.

We live brethren in a troubled lifetime. We have for a long time regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage. There are souls that are going to end up in hell because they are living in adulterous marriages. There are preachers that will stand in the pulpit and tell people they got a right to continue living in adultery and go to heaven anyway and you can't do that. There are preachers that will tell you you can divorce your mate for just about any reason you want to and remarry and you can't do that.

I simply tried to bring out tonight what I believe is a fallacy among some of us in our belief about divorce period. If I haven't made my self clear on that I have tried to. It may be something the brother Frank wants to bring out in just a moment after we have had an invitation song, before we dismiss I want Frank to ask his questions cause I want you to hear his questions and I want to answer it if I can from the scriptures if it is something that is controversial.

But if you are here tonight and you should find yourself needing to respond to the Lord's invitation I beg of you to listen carefully to the call of the Lord We can not be right except be right with the God and we can not be right with God except we are right with the Word. We can't go to heaven unless we are right with God. We can't go to heaven unless we are right with his Word, which comes down to the same thing. I plead with you to have listened carefully to what I had to say, weight it out in the light of God's word, and then take a firm stand on it. I believe that this lesson tonight and I know on my part is the product of having endeavored to keep the unity of the spirit of the bond of peace. I believe the Holy Spirit has given us the unity that we aught to have. Now we have to endeavor, that means we have to work at it. To work at it means to rightly divide God's word and stand only on what he has to say.

So if you are subject to heaven's invitation for any reason tonight, we encourage you to make your request know and we will pray with you and for you that God would forgive you of your sins. After the invitation and before we serve the communion we will address the questions that brother Frank has. If you are subject to the invitation let your request be know as we stand and sing.

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