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Scripture Reading: Matthew 18:1-5




1.  Except (KJV) is also translated “unless” (NKJV, ESV, and NASB).

2.  Meaning is obvious, cf. John 3:2; Matt. 12:29; Acts 27:31. If and only if the stated condition exists does the result occur.

3.  Christ used “except” (unless) to teach a number of conditions we must understand and follow for the sake of our souls.



  A.  You Will Not Enter the Kingdom Unless You Are Born of Water and the Spirit, John 3:5.

    1.  Born again; See kingdom of God, John 3:3.

    2.  Washing of water by the word, Eph. 5:26.

    3.  Born again through the word of God, 1 Pet. 1:22-23.

    4.  The Spirit plants the seed (word) in the heart and obeyed in baptism – kingdom is entered (saved), Acts 2:47, 41.

  B.  You Will Not Enter the Kingdom Unless You Are Converted and Become as Little Children, Matt. 18:3.

    1.  Little children are humble, innocent, dependent, trusting.

    2.  Kingdom greatness is measured by humility, Matt. 18:1, 4.

  C.  You Will Not Enter the Kingdom Unless Your Righteousness Exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, Matt. 5:20.

    1.  Their righteousness was regulated and assessed by the traditions they bound on others, Mark 7:2-5; Matt. 23:4.

    2.  Their righteousness accepted traditions that excused them from keeping God’s commands, Matt. 5:19; Mark 7:9-13.



  A.  You Cause Your Spouse to Commit Adultery (in remarriage) Unless You Put Them Away for the Cause of Fornication, Matt. 5:31-32.

    1.  If and only if you put him/her away for the reason (cause) of fornication are not free of responsibility.

    2.  There are moral considerations and consequences to divorce and to remarriage, Matt. 5:32; cf. 1 Cor. 7:11.

  B.  You Cannot Marry Another Person Unless You Put Away Your Spouse for the Cause of Fornication, Matt. 19:9.

    1.  To do otherwise violates Matt. 19:6 (see 1 Cor. 7:10).

    2.  Remarriage is adultery unless fornication is why (cause, reason) you ended your marriage, Matt. 19:9 (Mark 10:11-12).

    3.  Bound to God’s marriage obligation (for life), Rom. 7:2-3.

    4.  One person in marriage is released from this obligation if and only if fornication is the cause of ending marriage (putting away spouse). One is not free to remarry, Matt. 19:9.

    5.  Note: There is no exception applied to one put away for the cause of fornication, Matt. 19:9, 12 (1 Cor. 7:11).



  A.  You Will Perish in Sin Unless (if and only if) You Repent, Luke 13:3, 5.

    1.  We do not escape sin’s punishment by comparing our sins to the sins of others, Luke 13:2, 4.

    2.  Escaping earthly tragedies does not mean we will escape eternal death for our sins, Luke 13:2, 4.

    3.  Fellowship with Christ is forfeited unless we repent and do the first works, Rev. 2:4-5.



1.  If and only if you eat the bread of life will you have eternal life, John 6:53 (48, 51).

  a.  Life is contained in the words of Christ, John 6:63.

  b.  Unless you follow His words you do not have life, John 6:67-68.

2.  Do that now to enter the kingdom and escape sin’s punishment.



By: Joe R. Price

Posted November 9, 2021