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Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:17-24
The Divorced and Remarried Who Would Come to God
1. “Can a person become a Christian if that person has been divorced and remarried?”
2. Every sinner is saved who believes Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, confesses faith before men, repents of past sins and is baptized into Christ for the remission of sins (Mk 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38, 41; 8:35-38; 17:30; 22:16; Rom 6:1-4; 10:9-10; Gal 3:26-27; 1 Pet 3:21).
3. The real question: What are the divorced and remarried to do who wish to be saved from their sins?
4. If one’s divorce and remarriage violates the word of Christ, then he or she must repent of that sin, too. Matt 19:9
5. Two issues: (1) Was the remarriage God-approved?, and (2) What is repentance and what does it demand of the sinner?
I. FIRST, WE MUST AGREE WITH THE SCRIPTURES THAT, BEING IN VIOLATION OF MATTHEW 19:9, THE DIVORCED AND REMARRIED ARE CURRENTLY IN SIN. Matt 19:9, 4-6; Heb 13:4; Rom 7:2-3
A. Marriage, Ordained by God, is for Life and is not to be Sundered, Matt 19:4-6 (Heb 13:4).
B. One can Live in the Sin of Adultery, Rom 7:2-3; Col 3:5-7.
-One in a sinful remarriage is committing adultery, Matt 19:9; 5:32 (Mk 10:11-12).
C. One who is in a Sinful Remarriage is Committing Adultery and is Lost, in Need of Salvation, Acts 2:37-41; 22:16.
1. Sin needs to be washed away by the blood of Christ.
2. Question: Does baptism remove the meaning of adultery, making it holy; or does baptism remove the sin following repentance?
II. REPENTANCE, BY DEFINITION, DEMANDS ENDING THEIR PRESENT SIN OF ADULTERY.
A. Repent means “to change”, and is Caused by Godly Sorrow, Lk 13: 3, 5; 2 Cor 7:10.
1. Repentance means doing the opposite of what, in sin, was being done before repentance, cf. Matt 21:29.
2. Fruit of repentance: Stop sinning, Acts 26:20; Rev 9:20-21.
3. Repentance does not change the nature of sin, 1 Cor 6:9-11.
III. OBJECTIONS OFFERED TO ALLOW THEM TO REMAIN IN THEIR PRESENT (SINFUL) RELATIONSHIP.
1. The issue is not that “black and white”.
a. What is unclear: Adultery? (Matt 19:9) Repentance? (Acts 26:20) What baptism cleanses? (Acts 22:16; Rom 6:1-4)
b. If we cannot know, teach and obey this truth on this truth, how can we know, teach and obey truth on any subject? (Jno 8:32)
2. “No one in Acts 2 was told to end their marriage; therefore, we should not do so today.”
a. Assumes there were divorced and remarried present in Acts 2.
b. Upon silence, we could equally justify allowing live-ins to stay together, polygamists to stay together, and same-sex marriages to continue.
c. Repentance applies equally to all in any sin.
* d. Correct definition of repentance explains the same need of all sinners: repent and be baptized.
3. “You can’t unscramble the sins of the past; just go forward from here.” [Ans. 1 Cor 7:11]
a. Israel could “unscramble” sinful marriages, Ezra 9:1-2, 14; 10:1-4, 11. Even when children were involved, 10:44.
b. Sinners in Ephesus could “confess” sinful deeds, Acts 19:18-20.
c. For the kingdom of heaven’s sake, Matt 19:10-12 (26).
d. Every sinner must renounce all for Christ, Lk 14:33 (9:23).
4. “Remain in the same calling in which he was called.” 1 Cor 7:20
a. Apply this to 1 Cor 6:9-10.
b. His context is non-sinful conditions, 1 Cor 7:24 (“with God”).
5. This is “forbidding marriage and commanding divorce”, 1 Tim 4:3.
a. Have your own wife, not another’s, 1 Cor 7:2; Mk 6:17-18 (Rom 7:3)
b. cf. Abimelech would have sinned had he touched Sarah, Abraham’s wife, Gen 20:3, 6-7, 14. Was God “forbidding marriage”? No! He was forbidding a sinful marriage!
1. Like every other sin, new creatures in Christ must put off the old man (sin) and put on the new man (righteousness), 2 Cor 5:17; Col 3:5-10.
2. Christians are joined to Christ; we cannot be joined to sin and walk with Him (Rom 6:1-4).