Refutation of Remarriage A Positional Paper

Acts 17:11; 1 Thess.5:21,22

Refutation of Remarriage
"A TFC Article" The premise that we will be responding to is not of case law, constitutional law, traditional law or a consensitory ... meaning "contemporary" ... view. It is one of covenant law as established by the very character of the God we serve. First of all the difference between covenant and contract must be established ... A contract as we understand it today holds that if one party breaks the contract the whole contract is dissolved.With covenant, as we are taught by the Bible, as long as one party maintains the original covenant, the covenant is still viable, is still alive, is still being kept. There is still accountability to a covenant when any one party is holding the covenant together. With marriage in particular there are always three parties to the covenant ... husband, wife and the God that has joined them. If one party leaves the covenant, the covenant is still intact because there is still a witness of the other spouse and the Lord. If both spouses leave the covenant,is still holding the covenant. He is faithful ... He cannot deny Himself. The second major attribute of refuting the remarriage situation that we have today is that of life illustration. Every parent knows that they are life illustrators, teachers to both their daughters and their sons ... Whenever there is a remarriage while there is still a living spouse it teaches the children in a very visual, very clear object, that they may now diminish the view of covenant-keeping and break covenant as easily as their mother and father are doing. Our God is, first, a covenant-keeping God. We must understand as Christians that we have already died to our old ways and have been raised in His ways. If we hold fast to the covenant that we have made with the Lord concerning redemption and salvation, why would we treat any other covenant so differently? For instance, in 2 Cor.5:18 Paul tells us that "all these things are from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation." As a Christian marriage there are no options but the ministry of reconciliation. In verse 19... "He committed to us the word of reconciliation." This validates the concern of the Lord ... that not only has He given the ministry of reconciliation to all who have been redeemed by the cross of Christ (the reconciliation of sinful man back into relationship with a holy God) but has also

commended to them the word of reconciliation. ... a commandment, a gospel of reconciliation. There is no other gospel but the gospel of reconciliation. Remarriage violates the marriage covenant. No writ of divorce will equal the covenant of marriage. Yes, divorce is allowable in the Bible, but remarriage while a spouse is still living is not a Biblical option. 1 Cor.7:39,40 ... "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 ..."(They must be a Christian.) "... But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God." 1 Cor.7:10,11 ... "But to the married I give instruction, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not send his wife away." Very clearly, the position is stated. Paul, in addressing the Corinthian church, is also speaking to people from the slave class, the concubine class, and to those who had had involvement in some form of cultic activity, forced marriages, multiple past (forced) marriages, etc. His advice is ... remain as you are. It is a good idea to heed his advice here ... to do damage control ... so as not to add to confusion by taking on anything else, to decrease confusion to the children ... to thus solidify the new man in you in submission to the Lord Jesus Christ as the All-Sufficient One ... "El Shaddai" ... to further your witness. 1 Cor.7:10,11 ..."But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not send his wife away." Very clearly, the position is stated. 1 Cor.7:27 ... "Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife." 1 Cor.7:20,23-24 ... "Let each man remain in that condition in which he was called. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. Brethren, let each man remain with God in that condition in which he was called." So, you can see through at least three parts of Scripture the balance that is brought to these things ... .7:1-6 ... demonstrates by the law what covenant-keeping is... When we say, "'Til death do us part" it is a life-long commitment. As long as there is life in that person, that covenant is living. The divorce does not equal that level of commitment, because you can divorce before you are dead. (That's how we know that a writ of divorce does not equal a covenant of marriage.) 2 Cor.5:18,19 ... the word and ministry of reconciliation 1 Cor.7:10,11,27,39,40 ... giving further understanding on the law of covenantkeeping. A third clear, practical understanding of the living covenant of marriage is seen by taking one quick look at the children ... Parents may divide, through divorce, but

you cannot divide the children. They have been made in the likeness and image of both parents and upon divorce, they are not ripped apart in an unnatural way. The child remains one whole being, in testimony against the division of their own, unique parental union! In Matt.19:4-6 Jesus answered and said, "Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female (a figure of speech that says they were made to be one), and said, 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?' Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." Now we reach into the higher violation of separation ... how it touches and mars the very picture of God. Eph.5:25 ... "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless." ... completely one unit with Him. "So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church ..." How does Christ nourish the church? Forever! It is a commitment of covenant that lasts forever! Verse 30 ... "because we are members of His body..." No longer our own, we are bought with a price. "For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church." So even Paul makes it clear, again, through his epistles to the church, that the picture of marriage is a shadow to the substance of Christ and the church. Christ and the church will not come apart in His marriage, in His salvation, in His restoration, in His covenant, in His reconciling His flesh unto Himself. He made man in His own image, and with man acknowledging his sin, this glorifies God and brings man back into covenantal relationship with Christ as the head of the body. As Christians, would we want it any other way? Would we want salvation to come apart? Or do we hold fast to that covenant and yet segregate ourselves in marriage to our flesh partner, calling it something unrelated? My brethren, this ought not be! This contradicts the very nature of God and His redemption. (Deut.5:11 ... 3rd commandment) There is also reference to the condition of mercy that comes from reconciliation. For indeed, within reconciliation mercy must be applied. This is the ministry of reconciliation, this is the word of reconciliation. A Biblical perspective on mercy is that it is conditional ... as we learn from the beatitudes in Matt.5:7. Mercy is shown to those who give mercy. It is conditional.

We see this in regard to our Lord's teaching on the law of forgiveness in Matt.18:21-35 ... Verse 33 ... Jesus speaking ... "Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you? And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. So shall My heavenly father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart." So God expects us to extend the same mercy that He has given us through salvation ... to not only our brothers and sisters, but certainly to someone of much greater importance, of much more affection and intimacy, of much more covenant-making ... our marriage spouse ... made in the image of one flesh, as Christ and the church. So let us hear it again ... It is the position of this treatise to let us know in very clear terms the words of our Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples ... that as we have been saved through the reconciliation and the suffering of Christ Jesus to a resurrected life, new and clean, forgiven, having been shown mercy and grace ... in like manner, we too are to demonstrate the same thing to those who offend us. (Injustice is not a factor ... remember the cross.) The Lord also teaches this in His great prayer in Matt.6:12 ... "And forgive us our debts (conditionally) as we also have forgiven our debtors, and do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." Notice His additional two lines of commentary in verses 14 and 15 ... that it deals with one subject in this whole prayer ... "For if you (conditional) forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions." Notice, also, that He continues to use the personal pronoun, your Father. As intimate as your relationship is with God, the Father, as a loving Father, He still has no regard toward your person. In other words, the Lord remains impartial ... is no respecter of persons. He treats us all the same. The law standard that He built relationship upon does not effect His Father-son, Father-daughter relationships. The law is held above relationship. Before He is a God of mercy and grace, He is a God of covenant-keeping, of holiness, of justice, and of righteousness. Otherwise we would clearly have no need for mercy or grace at all. This is why covenantkeeping, and understanding its meaning, is so important ... why understanding the law of covenant-keeping is so important. Most people do not think through clearly enough to understand that the heart of the law, the heart of the covenant-keeping is mercy, is grace. Yet, there are ramifications for breaking said covenant. Again, mercy is conditional ... as we see it in the words of our Lord Jesus ... Luke 6:38 ..."Give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."

It is the law of sowing and reaping. How we deal with others, by the standard of Christ is how it will be measured back to us. Mercy is conditional. Let us weigh the authority of Scripture against the shifting sands of society's standard. The slide rule of morality in the world has no relationship with the fixed moral standard of God's commandments, God's law. God's holiness is at stake when we start manipulating the affections and the thoughts of men. God has made us in His image, never to be taken apart from Him ... redemption, now completed. Isn't that the covenant standard that we as Christians embrace? Let us be about "the ministry" of reconciliation, with "the word" of reconciliation. Amen.