Continued from page 1
Note: In vs 10 Paul emphatically states that what he is about to write concerning married believers is a direct command from Jesus Christ Himself, "I command, yet not I, but Lord". He is not going to disagree with Jesus in following teaching, he is going to deliver command Lord gave Him for church. First he states unequivocally that it is not will of God for either husband or wife to give up on their marriage and seek divorce.
Depart: 5563 cwrizw chorizo kho-ridí-zo AV-depart 8, separate 3, put asunder 2; 13
Mark 10:9"What therefore God joined together let not man put asunder"
Paul makes it very clear that Christian couples should expend every effort to make their marriage work and even if they divorce they should keep door open for restoration by avoiding remarriage. It is probably good to note at this point that there is nothing mentioned here about fornication or adultery either as cause of divorce or as a legitimate reason to reason to remarry. Neither is there any curse mentioned for remarriage.
Paul now moves on to case of a believer married to an unbeliever. Keep in mind that there were no believers in Corinth before Paul founded church there so there were probably quite a few instances in which one member of an existing marriage relationship became a believer and their spouse remained unsaved. This is not talking about a believer making decision to marry an unbeliever as so often happens nowadays. Paul covers that in his "be not unequally yoked" teaching in 1 Cor 6:14.
1 Cor 7:12 But to rest speak I, not Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For unbelieving husband is sanctified by wife, and unbelieving wife is sanctified by husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15 But if unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
Paul uses same terminology here as he does speaking of liberty to remarry without reference to sin that comes after death of a spouse.
Rom 7: 1 ∂ Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know law,) how that law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For woman which hath an husband is bound by law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if husband be dead, she is loosed from law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
1 Cor 7:39 ∂ The wife is bound by law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in Lord.
PAUL ON REMARRIAGE
In vs 27 Paul finally gets around to subject of remarriage after covering various marriage and divorce scenarios in church. His definitive command to every believer is "If you are married, donít look for a divorce. If you are divorced, it would be better to remain single but if you remarry you have not sinned."
1 Cor 7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. 28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in flesh: but I spare you.
NOTE: Divorce is an awful thing, and is to be avoided at all cost. It is not however, unforgivable sin. Nor does divorce and remarriage constitute ongoing adultery. The Blood of Christ cleanses from ALL sin and ALL unrighteousness.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- http://www.celebratingjesus.org copyright 2003 Ray and Sharon Stark
Pastor Celebration Christian Church http://www.celebratingjesus.org
22 years experience in pastoral and missionary ministry.