Divorce, Remarriage and the Law of Love

Divorce, Remarriage and the Law of Love

Topics – Controversial Issues, Divorce, Covenant

Jesus teaches that “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” What this meant in the first century helps us understand what it means for us today.

Focus Scripture – Luke 16:16-18HIDESHOW

16 "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and people are forcing their way into it. 17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.
18 "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Extended SummaryHIDESHOW

    Today’s sermon unfolded through the development of 5 points which are important background for arriving at the conclusion.  The conclusion is the primary understanding of how to read Luke 16:18 in today’s world where roughly half of all marriages end in divorce.

Greg started out with three texts:

Luke 16:16-17
“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and the people are forcing their way into it [or being urged into it]. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of the pen to drop out of the law.”
Here we see that the law will not be undermined. So, whatever the new law is, it must fulfill, not negate the old law.

Romans 13:10
“…love is the fulfillment of the Law.”
Here we see that the new law is love, and that it fulfills the old Law.

Luke 16:18
“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

    This is the difficult text that we’ll be exploring today. Consider the development of the following bits of background information:
  1. God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16). Divorce is always a breaking of a covenant, or recognition that the covenant has been broken already. It always pains God to see us suffer in broken relationships.
  2. Sex creates a “one flesh” reality that is never supposed to be broken (Matt. 19:5-6; I Cor. 6:16). The act of intercourse is intended to be the consummation of the marriage covenant. This is intended to be between two and only two people.
    Conclusions:
  • Because God is loving and gracious, he accommodates the ideals to our fallen situation. God truly honors and blesses remarriages.
  • People who are now single because of divorce are not shut out from the possibility of remarriage. God may call you to be single—a preferable calling—but you are not fated to be single.

Reflection QuestionsHIDESHOW

  1. What Scripture passage that was listed stood out to you most? Why?
  2. If you grew up in church, what was the understanding of divorce in your home church? If you didn’t grow up in church, what understanding of divorce did you have?
  3. Discuss as a group how Jesus’ view of the Law is different than the Old Testament view. What does this mean for us today?
  4. Has your view of divorce changed at all as a result of this discussion?

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