MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE

 

 MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE

 The Full Gospel Businessmen’s Training Team welcomes you to the Marriage and Divorce seminar. The seminar is founded on Biblical principles and designed to help Christians to be salt and light. We invite you to join us in prayer.

Father, we thank you for your goodness, love, mercy, kindness, and grace. Father, we need your help to communicate your teachings on marriage and divorce. Immerse us in your Holy Spirit and give us revelation as you guide our thoughts and lives. In Jesus Christ we pray – Amen.

 CRISIS: One doesn’t have to be a genius to know that we are in a crisis. Thirty-three percent of all marriages are ending in divorce, the other sixty-seven percent stay together primarily because of money or children. The United States of America leads the world in the number of divorces. In fact, the USA has recorded twice as many divorces as its neighboring country, Canada, based on the Barna Group Survey.

 DIVORCE TESTIMONY: I was one of those casualties of divorce. I didn’t understand covenant and I didn’t understand marriage. I thought that working and financially supporting a family was all that was required. I became self-centered, a workaholic, and developed an attitude of self-guilt. I neglected my family with my time and spiritually. After eighteen years of marriage I received a wakeup call on July 2, 1984, when my wife said “I’m leaving. You can have the kids and the farm” and she left. I didn’t know how to be a father, but I was going to try. The stress from work and constant rebellion from the children resulted in my first stroke in 1986. My children didn’t see the paralysis on the left side of my face, or the dragging of my left arm and leg. I recovered in three weeks except for the loss of some memory. I desperately needed help and to return to the God of my youth. I was about to get that help in a very terrifying way. While attending a meeting with my children in October 1987 I experienced my second stroke-the big one when you usually die. Instantly, I called out to Jesus and said, “You can have all of me.” I heard a voice say “Do my will” and immediately the pressure in my head left as I was standing in the presence of a holy God. I had never felt such great love and forgiveness and knew that He was calling me to obedience. My journey is still under construction, and I want you to read and hear what God’s Word has to say about divorce.

ATTACK ON THE FAMILY     So, we have a problem. Now, the result of the problem is staggering. In order to have a bad family you must have bad people. And when bad people make up a family and go to church, you will form a bad church. And if the job of the church is to influence the community and the church is has a bunch of bad families turning it into a bad church, no wonder we have so many bad communities. No wonder our nation is in a mess. We have left God’s standard when it comes to family relationships and marriage. Our behavior is less God willing and in disagreement with God’s way andGod’s word. But yet we have more seminars, more books, more tapes, more workshops, and more conferences that deal with this subject. The more we do, the less effective we become. We live in a world where there are few answers, where the media tares down our families, and where the church is made up of as many divorced people as are found in the secular world, and where there are fools of low morality. Homosexuality is an acceptable alternative lifestyle. We define men by their ability to cooperate, rather than by their ability to be faithful. We have created a whole system of miss-definitions that has consumed us.

HOW DO WE VIEW MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE?

 The wedding ring today is viewed as a piece of jewelry that cuts off your circulation. A girl went to her grandmother and noticed the big, cumbersome ring on her finger. She said, “Grandmother back when you got married why was that ring so big and cumbersome.” Grandmother said “Well honey, when I got married they made that ring to last.” Today we don’t find this to be true. As we look at several passages in Matthew 19,  Jesus is being tested by the Pharisees with a question in verse 3. Is it lawful for any man to divorce his wife for any cause at all? We are told by Matthew that this was a test. That question comes out of two schools of thought operating in Jesus’ day: we will call these ideas the liberal school or the conservative school.

The conservative school believes that the only reason you can divorce your wife is for immorality. The liberal school believes that you can divorce your wife for any reason when she begins to become unacceptable to you. She burned the bacon, didn’t cook the chicken right, wasn’t a good housekeeper, and when the husband becomes dissatisfied, he would divorce his wife. The Pharisees wanted to put Jesus to the test. What they wanted Him to do was choose one side. They wanted Him to choose whether he was a liberal or conservative.

We read in scripture in Joshua chapter 5,  Joshua saw a man dressed in battle array.  Joshua wanted to know whose side this captain was on. Obviously, whatever army this captain was leading was going to be the winning army. So he asked the captain whose side he was on. The captain said, “Obviously, you misunderstood me; I am captain of the Lord’s army. I have not come to take sides; I have come to take over. That is God’s way of speaking. Jesus hearing the question responds with a very unusual answer.  Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female? 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. Therefore, when God put Adam and Eve together as man and wife, let no man separate them.  Now they asked Jesus a question,[Matthew 19] “ Under what circumstances is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?” Jesus didn’t answer their divorce question. He was not going to be trapped by the questions of secular men. Jesus reverses the question by giving the answer to a question that was not asked. They wanted to know under what circumstance husbands could divorce their wives. Jesus said, “That may be what you want to know. What I want to talk about is the establishment of marriage. And He says, what God had in mind, in Matthew 19: 4-5, is that in the beginning there would be a male and female, and they would cling together, and become one flesh. Now, what Jesus did was this, you cannot begin discussing divorce until you first understand marriage.

A couple comes in and says we want to get a divorce. In 99.9% of cases they didn’t understand what they did when they got married. So they want to get a divorce for no valid reason. Because it never got right, so no wonder it’s broken. If something is broken when you start, it continues to be broken. The answer, brothers and sisters, to a bad marriage is not getting a divorce, it is getting remarried right. So when Jesus said, what I want to talk about is getting married under God’s rules, rather than how to get out of what wasn’t properly under God’s rules in the first place. Now those of you that are single, this applies to you because this will keep you from getting into this mess and besides you can be miserable by yourself. So Jesus says, that is what He had in mind. What does God mean by, two becoming one? I want to read a verse for you, that I need to talk about, because it will help you understand what marriage is? Let me read to you Malachi 2:14, where God is complaining about Israel in their relationship to their marriages. He says, He was not accepting their worship and He says for what reason they wanted to know why. Malachi 2:14, He says, because the Lord had been a witness between you and the wife of your youth against whom you have dealt treacherously though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. There it is, marriage is a covenant, but since most people don’t know what a covenant is, they don’t know what marriage is. You cannot understand marriage without understanding a covenant, because God says marriage is a covenant.  In Malachi 2:16 God said “ I hate divorce.” So, we have got to back up and talk about the marriage being a covenant before we can talk about breaking the covenant, because you can’t break what you don’t understand. Covenants are real hard to break. So, Jesus says marriage is a covenant. We must understand what a covenant is. A covenant is not just a contract. When doing business we have a contract and you sign on a dotted line. It is a contract but it is more than a contract. In a contract you don’t have to like the person you are contracting with. Why? Because if the numbers are right and the money is on the table, you will sign on the dotted line even though you may not be able to stand (like) the person you are doing business with. Why? Because you don’t have to like the contractor to have a relationship. That’s not true of a covenant. The thing that makes the covenant different from the contract is that it is not just based on legal connectors; it is also based on personal relationship. So whenever you enter a covenant you enter a relationship. That’s why those who know our Lord Jesus Christ are put into a new covenant. We enter into relationship with Jesus Christ; and now, we are the part of the family called the Church which is also called a covenant. So, marriage is a covenant.

Now the question is in order to understand covenant you got to understand five things? So, let me give you the five ingredients of a covenant, that helps define it, so that you won’t have any misunderstanding. God is the author of the covenant and now you will have a basis of a covenantal relationship, that marriage is in fact a covenant. Therefore, let me define it and break it down.

A covenant is a legally established relationship between two or more parties who agree to function under a designated structure of authority in accordance with revealed guidelines and the understanding that there will be long term consequences. 

The first ingredient of a covenant is transcendent. Simply put the first ingredient of a covenant means that God is in charge. If you want to do your own thing go create your own world and then you can do it. The Bible says that the earth is the Lord’s, the fullness thereof, the world and all that dwell in it.

GOD FORMS MAN AND PREPARES EDEN FOR HIM

    7Then the Lord God formed man from the [a]dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life, and man became a living being.(A)

 8And the Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden [delight]; and there He put the man whom He had formed (framed, constituted).

    9And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight or to be desired--good (suitable, pleasant) for food; the tree of life also in the center of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of [the difference between] good and evil and blessing and calamity.(B)

    15And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it.

    16And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden;

    17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

Now, do you remember how Adam and Eve became man and wife? God created Adam. He made Adam first. First thing He did for Adam after He created him was to give him a job. You single ladies, the first thing they want to know is does he work? Second thing is after God gave him a job and told him to take care of the garden; He gave him instructions on the word of God. He told him that all the trees you can eat, except two trees in the middle of the garden. That was his mistake, he failed to eat of the other, the tree of life, and delayed and whenever he delayed in obeying God by not eating of the tree of life then he open up the door for Satan to tempt Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which is a forbidden tree. Remember, he could eat of any tree including the tree of life; he only could not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But because he delayed obedience, he is not provided the opportunity to be saved.

GOD CREATES A WIFE FOR ADAM

    18Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helpmate (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him.

    19And out of the ground the Lord God formed every [wild] beast and living creature of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them; and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was its name.

    20And Adam gave names to all the livestock and to the birds of the air and to every [wild] beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a helpmate (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him.  

GOD INSTITUTES MARRIAGE

    21And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and while he slept, He took one of his ribs or a part of his side and closed up the [place with] flesh.

    22And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

    23Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man.

    24Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.(C)

    25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other's presence.

THE FALL

Genesis 3

 1NOW THE serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?(A)

    2And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden,

    3Except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.

    4But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die,(B)

    5For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity.

    6And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate.  KJ-and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

TRANSCENDENCE: The meaning of transcendence means that God is in charge, and is not looking for advice. Did you understand it? God is not in a habit of taking advice. In the Book of Job, God said “Where were you when I created the world?” He didn’t need architects, He didn’t need construction managers, and He didn’t need anything. All he had to do was just say, “Let there be” and there is no stuttering, no break of the next phrases and it was so. God doesn’t look for advice. Isaiah 40, “From who hath the Lord sought counsel, who is His adviser?” Now if He didn’t need advice to fix the world, then He certainly doesn’t need advice to keep your marriage together. He is the advisor not the advisee. So, transcendence means that God is in charge. Now if you come to my house in Commerce, Texas, I have some rules, you can’t smoke in my house, you can’t drink in my house, and if you are not married you don’t sleep in the same bed room in my house. Now, you don’t have to like it, you don’t have to be oriented to my rules, all you have to do is change what you are doing when you come into my house or go to somebody else’s house. The choice is yours. That kind of God wants to run this world. He wants to tell you what to do in His house. Now, if you want to enjoy His house, or marriage that is a part of His house, maybe you have to do it His way.


The problem was the people didn’t like Jesus. They didn’t like His transcendence. What Jesus did whenever He showed up was that He broke the curve. Remember school teachers when you grade on the curve, when all the students fail, you grade on the curve, and you can pass them. You remember that you had one guy in that class who made a 100. The one guy that broke the curve. Did you notice how you reacted when you found out that he made a 100? Who does he think he is? He thinks he is smart. Now when you have gone and failed, he broke the curve. Now, that’s what happened. Everybody thought that they were okay until Jesus showed up. When He showed up, He broke the curve, so what do you want to do? Get rid of the curve breaker. That is because God is transcendent, He is in charge and He wants to be in control. That’s the first question. God wants to tell you who is on the merit. Second, every covenant has a hierarchy, a chain of commands. If you break the chain, well you will loose the benefit.

1 CORINTHIANS 11, 1 CORINTHIANS 14, GENESIS 3:16

 1 Corinthians 11 says, “Christ is unto God, the man is unto Christ, the woman is unto the man,” now that’s the chain. Now, we live in a world that chain is all mixed up. Once you break the chain. You have those chain letters, when you break the chain letters; something is going happen to you. You break the chain something is going to happen in marriage. If you break the chain something is going to happen. Everybody is under someone, even the God head. Remember Jesus said, I have come to do thy will O God. Jesus is under the Father. He did nothing unless the Father approved it. But Jesus is over men. Now, men we got to get this thing straight. You are the head of the home relatively speaking, because Jesus is the head of you. You have no right to leave your wife. We got lot of men wanting to leave their wives into nothingness, because they are answerable to no one. Everybody is answerable to someone, even Jesus; He is answerable to the Father. If Jesus can’t get away answering to no one, neither can you. So the Bible says that the husband’s job is to listen to the Lord, through His word and the wife’s job is to follow her husband, that’s what 1 Corinthians 14 says, that if a woman has a question she should be able to ask her husband and assume he knows the answer, because he has been listening to Christ. We have, today, a women’s liberation problem. Well, men let me give you some bad news. The only reason that woman liberation exists is because women want to get liberated from bad male leadership. They think, if this is the best you can do, they can do better than that themselves. So, we have all this confusion today not understanding that God has a chain of command. Now please notice why the first divorce almost occurred in scripture. Remember what the devil did, he didn’t come to Adam, he came to Eve. He had a conversation with Eve. Most of the people think Adam was not around, that’s why the devil went to Eve. That’s not what the Bible says. The Bible says in Genesis 3:6, that the devil got Eve to eat, now catch this, and then Eve gave it to Adam who was with her. It wasn’t that Adam wasn’t around; He was standing next to her. But he has become the passive male leader, letting the wife be the leader making in decision while she made the contract with the devil. He stood there and said, yes honey! Whenever we as men give up leadership in our home,  we  invite the women to take the responsibility. Everybody has got to fit in the chain.

FIVE LESSONS FROM GOD

 First, God is in charge.

Second, Now you think I am going to talk about divorce, I am, but I can’t until I explain marriage, which is a covenant.  Third: Ethics. There are rules. It is not enough to get married at the altar and think everything is okay. But great tragedy with most of the marriages is that God is left standing at the altar while we go on a honeymoon. We know we need Him to get it started, that’s why we have marriages in church after then we think we are okay. That’s not how a covenant works; covenants always works under a system of rules and regulations, biblical guidelines, and governmental relationship.

Fourth: Sanction. That is, if you obey God, He is going to help you and if you disobey God, He is going to reject you. That’s what the Bible says mainly about our prayer life. It says, if you pray, but not treating your wife right, In 1 Peter 3:7 God is informing us to get off our knees because He is not listening. You don’t get contact with God unless you are treating the ones He has put under your authority properly. But ladies you have to choose. What does the Bible say about the married life of Spirit-filled believers. . Let’s look at Ephesians 5:21-33.

Ephesians 5:21-33 (Amplified Bible)

    21Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

    22Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.

    23For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body.

    24As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.

    25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

    26So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word,

    27That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].

    28Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.

    29For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church,

    30Because we are members (parts) of His body.

    31For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.(A)

    32This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church.

    33However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [[a]that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and [b]that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. [I Pet. 3:2.]

     Men need love and respect. Men have an ego problems.  That’s why the Bible says, Sarah called Abraham, lord. Now try it tonight, call your husband, lord, it will make him feel great. The idea was that God shut down all the rules of all the women in the kingdom of Abimelech because she respected her husband. The idea is simple, women need love – husbands love your wives, men need respect – wives reverend your husbands and when those two roles are being met then everybody is satisfied then harmony keeps on going. Galatians 6:7 says, “ for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Finally, Continuity, that means long term consequences. When marriages breakdown, the consequences aren’t just on you; they will be on your children and on your children’s children. And what we are seeing is a breakdown in our schools today, is a generational breakdown because families breakdown, when you breakdown the covenant with God, is a breakdown with long term consequences. Now, back to Matthew 19, what Jesus is saying is this, you want to talk about a divorce and I want to talk about a covenantal relationship. Unless you are married based on my covenant then you cannot be married properly. So, what He wants you to understand is, marriage is a commitment to God, not just a commitment to another person. Look at Matthew 19:6 (Amplified Bible)

6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder (separate).

     Standing before the justice of the peace, I don’t know whether you said these exact words or not or may be something close to this. You said,,I promise-what you are going to do, to love her. When I am sick and when I am well. How much money you are going to have in your pocket, it doesn’t matter whether I am poor or rich. How about when times are down, doesn’t matter whether it is better or worse. How long are you going to do this? For as long as we both shall live. Who’s listening? So help me God. And she turned around and said, similar to you.  I will let you know, God heard that and it was said in a heaven covenant. That means God is in charge, that means you have to follow His authority, that means you have to obey the rules, that means you have to realize that there will be consequences, and that means you understand you have longevity. That will be stamped when you say that. “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder (separate).”

 Let me read that how it is really written. What God has joined together let no man put under not even a judge man. Whenever, you go to the divorce court the judge gives you a divorce decree. What you have just done is you gave the judge the privilege of becoming god. Because God said covenant and you go to the court and here’s what you say if I can paraphrase it. Your honor I understand that I got married under God, I understand your honor, that you had nothing to do with my marriage ceremony, I really understand, your honor, that you nothing to do with our coming together, but that was of God, but judge God doesn’t like what I am about to do, so I can’t go check this out with Him. So, what I am going to do judge man, if I am going to give you the privilege of becoming god so that you can over rule what God has put together and you can cancel it out. The moment you go before judge what you have done is called God above all. You are going to understand where we are going now and that’s going to explain what Jesus is going to say. Jesus infers, that the judge man does not have supreme authority to rule over Him.  Your honor (man) but so and so said, but so and so is not your momma and daddy. When so and so starts feeding you, when so and so starts clothing you, when so and so starts paying your bills then you go to so and so. But as long as I am doing it, you come to me. For God says, when your judge starts creating you, when your judge starts taking care of you, when your judge starts giving oxygen to you, when your judge starts giving relationships to you, then you go to your judge. But until your judge starts doing that then you keep your mind on my business.

MATTHEW 19:7-9 (Amplified Bible)

7. They said to Him, Why then did Moses command [us] to give a certificate of divorce and thus to dismiss and repudiate a wife?(A)

8. He said to them, Because of the hardness (stubbornness and perversity) of your hearts Moses permitted you to dismiss and repudiate and divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been [a]so [ordained].

9. I say to you: whoever dismisses (repudiates, divorces) his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery, [b]and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.  Please note this, the Pharisees said, Moses commanded –Jesus said, wrong, Moses permitted. There is a major difference between a command and permission and that’s where we get this divorce thing. We go around saying,, God will understand, God doesn’t want me to be miserable, God doesn’t want me going through this, God doesn’t want me to live irreconcilably. Let me tell you this secret, whenever, two sinners live in the same house; somebody is going to be irreconcilable with somebody else. Let’s see what Jesus says here, He says – no, no, you misunderstood Moses, he didn’t command any divorce, he made allowance and the only reason he made allowance is because you folks won’t do anything right. Husbands because you won’t do anything right God made an allowance and even though He made an allowance it is a very narrow one. Now watch this, and I say unto you, whoever divorces his wife except for immorality and marries another woman commits adultery.  Listen to this, “whoever,” last time I have checked Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and you go read it, whoever means whoever. Whoever divorces his wife for any other reason except immorality, that word porneo, where we get the word pornography from, any kind of sexual hideous activity, there is a whole list given in Leviticus 18.

A CLOSER LOOK AT MATTHEW 19:9 Let’s breakdown Matthew 19 :9 “I say to you: whoever dismisses (repudiates, divorces) his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery, [c]and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

     What the Bible says is, unless it is that kind of activity, anyone who divorces his wife and marries another, because that’s why people get divorced they wanted to be free to go anywhere. People get divorced to have the freedom to be with somebody else. That’s why they get a divorced. Even thought they don’t have somebody else now, they are hoping above hope that they are right on the course. He says, if you did that, let me tell you what you did, you have committed adultery. Now wait a minute, but I got a divorce. No you didn’t. That’s the only reason He can say you have committed adultery. Now, adultery is the physical relationship between man and wife. God says if you divorce your wife for any other reason other that for immorality, then what He says is – divorce not granted. Now, I know what the judge says, divorce granted. God in heaven says, divorce not granted. So, when you go and have a relationship with a second party because God deals you with marriage to the first party, God says you committed adultery. Now what you just did, was get this other party you now married into a relationship where he or she is committing adultery with you. But you think that’s not bad. God said that is bad.

LET US COMBINE MATTHEW 19 AND 5

According to Matthew 19 if you divorce your mate and marry somebody else you commit adultery and make that person commit adultery, but according to Matthew 5, when ever you divorce somebody and the person you divorce remarries you make him or her commit adultery and you make the person who marries them commit adultery. So when you are gone up on God, you have done messed up four of God’s creatures because they didn’t operate in His covenant. You are committing adultery, your wife is committing adultery, and your old wife is committing adultery and her new husband or his new wife is committing adultery.

WE HAVE A SOLUTION

Now follow this, first of all, if you are here and in adultery, because you got married and divorced, irreconcilable differences, no fault divorce, so you have a problem when the Bible says you are living  in adultery. Remember there was a woman caught in adultery. It’s a funny story, the Pharisees came to Jesus and said “Jesus, we caught this woman committing adultery and the law says stone her.” .Jesus starts writing on the ground and He says’ “ He that is without sin cast the first stone at her.” They all left. Now, there is a lot of stuff in there. First, Jesus writes in the sand. Remember it says they caught the women in the act of adultery, The question is, what did He write? Let me quote a verse from Leviticus, “If you see a man lying with a woman who is with another man’s wife you shall bring the woman and the man and you shall stone them both to death.” They made a mistake, they said they saw the woman committing adultery, so they knew the man, but they didn’t bring the man, they only brought the woman, so Jesus writes the verse on the ground so that nobody can say this is what the law says, so Jesus says do you want to talk the law, let me write out the verse. So He writes out the verse on the ground and after He writes out the verse on the ground He rises up and asks the question, “You, who are without sin cast the first stone.” Remember He doesn’t tell them not to cast the first stone, but He says cast the stones on her but only you who are without sin. Now, let me explain what that meant. It doesn’t mean you who have never done anything wrong. It means that you who can get away with one stone because you are not guilty of lying with the same woman. In other words it is, you want to stone her because it wasn’t your turn to go into the room. In other words what He would say is, unless you do this thing right don’t bring this stuff to me. And He took the lady who was caught in adultery and said to her, “Go and sin no more.” So after tonight, no matter what your mess is, go and sin no more. Now we cannot solve yesterday’s problems, but we can surely take care of tomorrow. Now, what would you do? One of the first things to do is that you realize, when you marry you are bounded together for life. You are in a covenant.

1 CORINTHIANS 7, ROMANS 7, 1 CORINTHIANS 6:1, MATTHEW 16, 1 CORINTHIANS 7:10-11, EPHESIANS 5:33, 1 PETER 3:2

This leaves me to a final section that I want to deal with you from 1 Corinthians 7 where Paul embellishes this divorce thing. Remember what I said before, you can only get a divorce if it is a God permissible divorce. Romans 7 says, that a woman is bound to the husband as long as he lives, but when he dies then she is not bound to him anymore. There are two kinds of death, there is physical death and there is covenantal death. Remember Adam, the day you eat the fruit you shall surely die. No, he didn’t die when he ate the fruit. He didn’t die physically but he died to God, he died spiritually. So, that’s another kind of death, the day you eat you shall die. Only if God pronounces a divorce is it legitimate. How does God pronounce divorces today? Only for immorality between two Christians, if you are Christian you cannot get a divorce for irreconcilable differences, you are still married, God says, you are in adultery if you re-marry. Let me look at chapter 6 then I will move on to chapter 7. Chapter 6:1, does any one of you who has a case against his neighbor dare to go to court before the unrighteous? What does the Bible says? In the Bible, if you have a matter that comes up that requires you to go downtown to the courthouse and, you don’t go downtown, you bring it to the church. The church has its own private court system. Unfortunately most churches have failed grievously here. The reason why people go downtown is there is no legal setup in the church. In the Bible, it is a crime for you to drag the name of God before untrained men to make a judgment about the institution of God called marriage. You should bring that to the church court. A couple who goes before the secular court to get a divorce who has not been granted that by the church are ex-communicated from the church because they embarrassed the name of Christ. You can’t do that. How dare you, who do you, think you are to take God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and make Him subject to the courts of an ungodly judge? You are going to sit on the top of the universe and make decisions. You better solve that mess in the Church. Every New Testament Church has its own legal setup. We have a lawyer and leaders, and they are going to sit and render a judgment. If a couple had a conflict where they can’t get along and its tearing their marriage up they bring that conflict to the church court. The church court sits and hears both sides and the church court renders the judgment and the job of the church is to speak on behalf of God. Matthew 16 says, “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven,” because we speak as the voice of God, whatever judgment you render based on the word of God is final. And because the man understands that and because the woman understands that, there is no problem you can’t resolve. Don’t you know this? I say this to your shame, that there is not a wise man among you who can decide between his brothers. But brother goes to law with his brother and goes before unbelievers. Actually, it is already an embarrassment for you. If you name the name of Jesus Christ the world shouldn’t be telling you what to do. If the world manages it the world can break it up, if God manages it, only God can break it up and if it is not for immorality then you are stuck. What if he is not doing right. The church does it different, not as the judge does its going to be on behalf of God.  1 Timothy 5:8 “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” If he doesn’t provide he should be brought before the church. The reason that most couples get a divorce is because they are not answerable to anyone but themselves. So when they can’t get along, they will stop living together as if it was their choice. According to 1 Corinthians 7 God gives a provision for the couple who can’t live alone.

 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 (Amplified Bible)

   10But to the married people I give charge--not I but the Lord--that the wife is not to separate from her husband.

    11But if she does [separate from and divorce him], let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband. And [I charge] the husband [also] that he should not put away or divorce his wife.

 Now there are only two choices, unless it is for immorality sake there are only two choices. What are those two choices?  Separate and be single or get that thing fixed so that you can get back together. You have only two choices, you don’t have other choices. You can’t have an affair; you get a divorce and marry somebody else. Those are your only choices. You may say that God is sure making it hard. Why is God making it so hard? He is making it hard because marriage is not about marriage. He is making it hard because marriage is not His post concern. Did you notice that there is no marriage in heaven? God is not that excited about marriage, He can cut it off with the Rapture. So, you people who are single aren’t missing that much. No marriage in heaven. Americans can say thank God for that. Why is there no marriage in heaven? Because, you don’t need an illustration when you have the real thing. What’s the real thing? Remember what Paul said, wives submit to your husbands as the church submits to Christ. Husband love your wife as Christ loves the church. When it comes to Ephesians 5:33 (Amplified Bible), it says,

“33However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [[a]that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and [b]that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. [I Pet. 3:2.]”

This is a great mystery, he says, I haven’t been talking to you about husband and wife, but I have been talking to you about Christ and the Church. In other words God only allowed marriage in the first place, so it could be a microcosm in the history of God’s relationship with his people. The moment he takes you to heaven, he is going to leave marriage behind, because He says, I don’t need any illustration because I got you with me. So, what God is saying to you and me is that the point of marriage isn’t marriage, the point of marriage is to make God look good. When you get divorced, you embarrass the name of God. Husbands you are supposed to look like Christ. Wives you are supposed to look like the Church. On the block that you live they ought to see a little church in your house. If they don’t see a little church, it means that you make God to look bad. That’s what it is about. The reason why you want to look at your wife and say, honey we got to make this work, because ruining the kids would be bad. We can recover from that. Ruining your relationship would be bad, and we can recover from that. Ruining the house would be bad, but we can recover from that But embarrassing our Lord Jesus Christ who left heaven to come to earth, died on the cross, raised from the dead, we can’t do that. In other words, it is the commitment for His sake. We get there saying,  I am not happy, he is not making me happy, she is not meeting my needs, it’s me, me, me, … but the Christian says, Him, Him, Him, Him,… and that’s why before we say anything about the marriage you must see the Spiritual relation. You say I can’t, I agree, I can’t love this man, fine, I can’t stay with this woman, fine, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. So we all agree you can’t. The question is who can? Can God love them, can God help them, can God change them, you may say, yeah, but God isn’t living with them, but I am and I can’t. Let me give you some good news. Ephesians 5:18, “Be not drunk with wine wherein is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” What happens when the man gets drunk? He looses control. When a man gets drunk he can’t walk the line. When the man gets drunk he never sings, but he starts blurting out songs. Because when the man gets drunk the process of alcohol approve his brain, gives him the ability to do things that he would not normally do, he acts other than what he really is. The Bible says if you want to understand how to pull this thing off, then don’t get drunk with wine but do something else that does what wine does and that is to be filled with the spirit because what the spirit does is exactly what the wine does. Wine makes you act out of character so does the Spirit. It gives you the ability to love what you can’t live; it gives you the ability to live with which you can’t live with, it gives you the ability to understand what you cannot understand; so be filled with the Spirit and He will give you the supernatural ability to love the unlovely, help the helpless, stay with the person with whom you can’t stay. That’s why Paul said, I can do all things through Him that loved me and gave Himself for me. He said I can, not because I can, but because when I submit myself to the power of God, He can and I give Him the permission to be Himself in me. That’s what the Greek word “parakletos” means, he calls the Holy Spirit the helper, the enabler, and He comes alongside to give you the ability to do which you can never do on your own.  So you turn to your husband tomorrow morning and say I can’t stay with him, but the Holy Spirit can, so say Holy Spirit work in my life to stand it. You look at your wife and say, I’m tired of living with you, and I can live no longer with you, but remember the Holy Spirit can and give Him the ability to do that. If you give me the power to hold on, then there is no marriage that I can’t hold on to. He has that power, but He only has it where people want it and He only has it based on the people who are willing to enter into the covenant with Him, who are willing to do His will.

GOD ORDANIED MARRIAGE FOR HIS CHURCH

This is a great mystery, he says, I haven’t been talking to you about husband and wife, but I have been talking to you about Christ and the Church. In other words God only allowed marriage in the first place, so it could be a microcosm in the history of God’s relationship with his people. The moment he takes you to heaven, he is going to leave marriage behind, because He says, I don’t need any illustration because I got you with me. So, what God is saying to you and me is that the point of marriage isn’t marriage, the point of marriage is to make God look good. When you get divorced, you embarrass the name of God. Husbands you are supposed to look like Christ. Wives you are supposed to look like the Church. On the block that you live they ought to see a little church in your house. If they don’t see a little church, it means that you make God to look bad. That’s what it is about. The reason why you want to look at your wife and say, honey we got to make this work, because ruining the kids would be bad. We can recover from that. Ruining your relationship would be bad, and we can recover from that. Ruining the house would be bad, but we can recover from that But embarrassing our Lord Jesus Christ who left heaven to come to earth, died on the cross, raised from the dead, we can’t do that. In other words, it is the commitment for His sake. We get there saying,  I am not happy, he is not making me happy, she is not meeting my needs, it’s me, me, me, … but the Christian says, Him, Him, Him, Him,… and that’s why before we say anything about the marriage you must see the Spiritual relation. You say I can’t, I agree, I can’t love this man, fine, I can’t stay with this woman, fine, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. So we all agree you can’t. The question is who can? Can God love them, can God help them, can God change them, you may say, yeah, but God isn’t living with them, but I am and I can’t. Let me give you some good news. Ephesians 5:18, “Be not drunk with wine wherein is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” What happens when the man gets drunk? He looses control. When a man gets drunk he can’t walk the line. When the man gets drunk he never sings, but he starts blurting out songs. Because when the man gets drunk the process of alcohol approve his brain, gives him the ability to do things that he would not normally do, he acts other than what he really is. The Bible says if you want to understand how to pull this thing off, then don’t get drunk with wine but do something else that does what wine does and that is to be filled with the spirit because what the spirit does is exactly what the wine does. Wine makes you act out of character so does the Spirit. It gives you the ability to love what you can’t live; it gives you the ability to live with which you can’t live with, it gives you the ability to understand what you cannot understand; so be filled with the Spirit and He will give you the supernatural ability to love the unlovely, help the helpless, stay with the person with whom you can’t stay. That’s why Paul said, I can do all things through Him that loved me and gave Himself for me. He said I can, not because I can, but because when I submit myself to the power of God, He can and I give Him the permission to be Himself in me. That’s what the Greek word “parakletos” means, he calls the Holy Spirit the helper, the enabler, and He comes alongside to give you the ability to do which you can never do on your own.  So you turn to your husband tomorrow morning and say I can’t stay with him, but the Holy Spirit can, so say Holy Spirit work in my life to stand it. You look at your wife and say, I’m tired of living with you, and I can live no longer with you, but remember the Holy Spirit can and give Him the ability to do that. If you give me the power to hold on, then there is no marriage that I can’t hold on to. He has that power, but He only has it where people want it and He only has it based on the people who are willing to enter into the covenant with Him, who are willing to do His will.