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Particulars of Christianity:
312 The Church Ethic


Marital Separation after the Gospels
and Conclusions


The Importance of Family Part 1: Marriage
The Importance of Family Part 2: The Family
Divorce and Remarriage: Introduction and Basics
Separation and Divorce in the Law of Moses
Marital Separation in the Gospels
Marital Separation after the Gospels and Conclusions
Marital Separation: Objections 1-3
Marital Separation: Objections 4-6 and the Early Church
Remarriage Addendum: Exception Clause Comparison
New Testament Protocols Regarding Men and Women (Part 1)
New Testament Protocols Regarding Men and Women (Part 2)
Comparative Peer Dynamics Chart



There are only 2 passages after the Gospels, which deal with the issue of marital separation. Those passages are Romans 7 and 1 Corinthians 7. As we examine these passages, the key question is to determine if there were any amendments or additional nuances added by the apostles, particularly the apostle Paul who wrote these two passages.

At the start of this study, we began by listing the 3 conclusions that the study was going to demonstrate concerning marital separation and remarriage under the New Covenant.

1.) Marriage to another person besides your first spouse while that first spouse is still alive is adultery.
2.) After the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse is permitted to marry someone else if they so choose.
3.) For persons who are married to someone besides their first spouse while that first spouse is still alive, repentance requires ending the marriage and separating from any subsequent spouse and either remaining single or if possible, being reconciled to the original spouse.

Of these 3 conclusions, the first two included the idea that the marital union established by God ends in the case where one spouse dies. Thus, as we also stated near the start of this study, it is not the idea of being married to more than one person over the course of one's lifetime that God finds unacceptable. Both the New Testament and the Old Testament are quite clear that in cases where one spouse dies, the other spouse is free to remarry. This is perfectly acceptable in God's eyes. Death ends the physical and spiritual union established by God in every marriage.

This simple fact is established in no uncertain terms by the Apostle Paul.

Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

Besides establishing that death ends the marital union established by God, Paul's comments here also touch on a more pivotal question of this study. We have stated from our study of Jesus' teaching concerning remarriage that second marriages are not recognized under the New Covenant as they were in the Law of Moses but are instead regarded as adultery. Here in verse 3, Paul states plainly that any woman who is married to another man while her first husband still lives is an adulteress. By making this statement in verse 3, Paul shows his complete agreement with that teaching from Christ Jesus and the consistency with which that view was held in the New Testament Church.

Furthermore, Paul himself lists no exception to the rule that anyone remarried to someone new while their original spouse is alive is an adulterer (or adulteress). By not listing any exceptions to this rule, Paul corroborates the fact that Jesus gives no exception to his prohibition against remarriage as we stated toward the end of our previous segment.

While it is true that Paul is using these truths about marriage as the basis for an allegory about believers being united to Christ through the mortifying of our sinful desires, it is also true that the allegory would be baseless and useless as a teaching tool if Paul's assertions about marriage and death were not themselves true and accurate.

In these simple statements, Paul establishes 2 things.

A) That death ends the physical and spiritual union of marriage.
B) That any spouse that is married to another while their original spouse still lives is an adulterer or adulteress.

With this passage we see plain evidence that death ends the union of marriage. Furthermore, from Paul's follow-up statement wherein he states that any second marriage is adultery if the original spouse is still alive, indicates that death alone could end this divinely created union. This explains, rather than alters, Jesus' assertions that second marriages are adultery. For, since only death can end the divine union of a married couple as Paul states, it is not possible for a person to marry anyone else so long as their original spouse is alive without it being considered adultery against the original spouse to whom they remain joined in God's eyes.

Finally, we would add that Paul's use of the marriage example as an illustration implies that these truths about marriage and adultery were common knowledge to his audience. If that were not the case, then it would do little good for Paul to use an unproven and controversial teaching about marriage and adultery as a jumping point to support his teaching about an even more controversial subject at that time - freedom from the Law of Moses through unity with Christ and the putting to death of the sinful desires.

Therefore, since Paul appeals to this teaching concerning marriage and adultery as a basis his audience will recognize and accept, we can conclude that this teaching about marriage and adultery was not only common knowledge but commonly accepted, which is what made it such a good jumping point for supporting his argument about the believer in Christ.

As we conclude our examination of Romans 7, we can see that Paul affirms with perfect consistency that under the New Covenant a person was considered united to their original spouse until or unless the original spouse died. And as we have seen, this is perfectly in accord with Jesus' teaching who so strongly held to this point of view that he declared anyone who marries someone other than their original spouse to be committing adultery.

Now we move on to 1 Corinthians 7, the second and last passage in the New Testament to teach about marital separation. Here are Paul's comments on this subject in 1 Corinthians 7. We will take this passage verse by verse in order to comment on each statement in order.

1 Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart (5563) (5683) from her husband:

Notice that Paul begins by referring back to the teaching of Jesus Christ himself. We found this teaching from Jesus in Matthew 5, Matthew 19, Mark 10, and Luke 16 earlier in our study. What is significant about this is that it indicates that Paul is not about to introduce additional nuances that alter the teaching of Christ. Instead, Paul begins by stating up front that what he is about to say is nothing more than the things taught by Christ himself on this subject.

It is also most significant to note that Paul's focus here is on the prohibition of separation. This is evidenced by the fact that Paul begins with the quotation of Jesus saying, "Let not the wife depart from her husband." So, as we read that opening remark, we know that Paul is giving instructions regarding the separation of spouses.

1 Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart (5563) (5683) from her husband: 11 But and if she depart (5563) (5683), let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

We repeat verse 10 here along with verse 11 because both verses contain the same grammar in the phrases "the wife depart" and "if she departs." This grammar is significant. And there are 3 important points that are crucial to our understanding of Paul's words here.

First, as we stated above, we must remember that Paul is saying these words are the words of Jesus Christ, not his own. This means our interpretation of what is written here can be compared for accuracy to Jesus' own statements on this topic.

Second, as any Bible software program will quickly tell us, the word "depart" occurs in the passive voice in both these verses. In the passages cited above, the tense is denoted by the number in the second parenthesis behind each occurrence of the word "depart." Greek lexicons assign a numeric designation to tenses as well as words. "Depart" in verse 10 and 11 is No. 5683, which denotes a verb in the aorist tense, passive voice, infinitive mood. The quote below provides the definition of the passive voice.

"Voice - Passive: The passive voice represents the subject as being the recipient of the action. E.g., in the sentence, 'The boy was hit by the ball,' the boy receives the action."

The example of the passive voice in the quote above is the sentence "The boy was hit by the ball." As the quote states, the boy is the recipient rather than the performer of the action. In other words, the boy isn't doing the hitting. The boy is the one being hit.

This same grammar is occurring in the phrases "Let not the wife depart" and "if she depart" in 1 Corinthians 7:10 and 11. The wife is not performing the action of "departing." Instead, she is the recipient of the action. She is being "departed."

The English translation of the verb confuses what is evident in the Greek grammar. And there is no question about what the grammar says in the Greek. The confusion brought on by the translation of the Greek word to the English word "depart" leads us to our next point.

Third, the word for depart in both verses is "chorizo" (Strong's No. 5563). Remembering that Paul states he is simply quoting Jesus' own teaching here, we notice that "chorizo" occurs in Matthew 19 and Mark 10, which we looked at earlier.

Matthew 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let (5563) not man put asunder (5563).

Mark 10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let (5563) not man put asunder (5563).

In both Matthew 19 and Mark 10, "chorizo" is presented as the opposite of God's joining of the husband and wife. And although it is the same Greek word as "depart" in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, it is translated as "put asunder." So, if we simply apply the alternate translation "put asunder" to 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 while keeping in mind that the verb is in the passive voice, we arrive at the following, which is a completely accurate translation of the Greek in terms of both the translation and the tense.

1 Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife be put asunder (5563) (5683) from her husband:

1 Corinthians 7:11 But and if she is put asunder (5563) (5683), let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away (630) (5721) his wife.

This translation does two things. First, by replacing "depart" with "put asunder" the passive nature of the verb becomes clear. More specifically, it becomes clear that the wife is not initiating or performing her departure. Rather she is the recipient of the action. She is the one being put asunder, not the one doing the putting asunder.

The confirmation of this comes by way of Paul's opening statement that he is merely quoting the Lord's own teaching. In the very same passages where Jesus uses "chorizo" he too asserts the wife as the recipient of the putting away rather than the performer of that action.

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (630) his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Mark 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away (630) his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

In both Matthew 19 and Mark 10, just a few verse after using the word "chorizo," Jesus gives instructions forbidding putting away the wife in which the wife is recipient of the action "putting away." So, by translating "chorizo" as "put asunder" in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 and by taking note of the passive voice of "chorizo" in those two verses, we have shown how much Paul is, in fact, simply quoting the exact command of Jesus Christ. He is adding no subtle nuances or alterations whatsoever but merely repeating Jesus own statements that husbands should not put away their wives.

Instead, Paul is simply quoting Jesus' statement that no one is to put away his wife. The end of verse 11 also confirms this where Paul states plainly, "let not the husband put away his wife." This time Paul uses the exact same Greek word ("apoluo" - Strong's No. 640) as Jesus uses in Matthew 19:9 and Mark 10:11 above. However, in this phrase, Paul uses the active voice for "apoluo," so that it is the husband performing the action.

1 Corinthians 7:11 But and if she is put asunder (5563) (5683), let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away (630) (5721) his wife.

By rendering the verb "chorizo" in the passive voice with regard to the wife, Paul makes the wife the recipient of the verb "to put asunder." And by using the active voice with regard to the husband, Paul is clearly making the husband the one performing the action of putting away the wife. So, again we see that Paul's instructions up to this point are nothing more than quotations of the teaching of Jesus Christ. As we said above, Paul is adding no subtle nuances or alterations whatsoever.

Consequently, since the wife is receiving the action of "being put asunder" rather than performing it, there is no room for anyone to assert that in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 Paul is giving wives permission to leave their husbands. Instead, the "if she is put asunder" in verse 11 simply indicates what a wife is required to do if she is, in fact, put away by her husband. She is not allowed to marry someone new. As verse 11 plainly states, she is to remain single or be reconciled to that original husband with whom in God's eyes she joined. Those are her options.

As we move forward through the rest of Paul's comments on this chapter we will see that he is merely applying the Lord's teaching, which he quoted in verses 10-11 to a particular hypothetical scenario. Paul is not introducing new rules or altering the old rules with additional nuances. Instead, his instructions in verse 12-15 fit perfectly within the rules of verses 10-11 and Paul is merely applying those rules from Jesus to the particular scenario in which one spouse is a Christian and the other is not.

1 Corinthians 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

There is nothing in verse 12 that would add to or change the rules quoted from Jesus Christ in verses 10-11. Paul simply applies those rules to the hypothetical scenario he is creating. This brings up an additional significant point. Notice that for the Christian, the instructions of Christ do not change at all. In this hypothetical, Paul simply affirms the instructions of Christ by saying that the believing husband is not allowed to put away his unbelieving wife.

1 Corinthians 7:13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

The Greek word translated "leave" in verse 13 is "aphiemi," (Strong's No. 863), which means "to send away." So, Paul is here again affirming that the instructions of Christ remain binding on all believers in this hypothetical scenario. The believing wife is not allowed to send away her unbelieving husband. As such, Paul has applied the same rule equally to both genders, just as Christ did in Mark 10:11-12. In this new hypothetical scenario the rules of Christ apply without any modification. Believers remain forbidden to put away their spouses even in the extreme circumstances where the spouse is an unbeliever.

1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

Verse 14 adds absolutely no alteration in the commands of Jesus on this subject. In this verse, Paul simply gives the reason why there is no cause to put away an unbelieving spouse. In short, the mere fact that they do not believe is not a sufficient cause for putting them away or separating from them. This further affirms Jesus' own teaching without any alteration because it maintains that the only acceptable reason for putting away a spouse is adultery or some other form of fornication. Simply not believing the Gospel is not equivalent to fornication and does not meet the standard for the exception.

1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

Even in verse 15, Paul does not in any way alter the teachings of Jesus Christ. Nothing changes with regard to the followers of Christ. Paul simply states that the unbelieving spouse may choose to depart. But this doesn't in any way affect what is prohibited for believers. Believers are still not allowed to initiate or perform the action of putting a spouse away. But the unbeliever is by definition disobedient to the Law of Christ and so the unbeliever may put away their spouse despite the fact that Christ forbids such actions. If the unbeliever chooses to put away the believer, Paul instructs the believers to let the unbeliever separate without a fight because God has called believers to peace.

And so, the only sense in which a believer is not under bondage (obligation) is when the unbeliever initiates the separation, in which case they are not required to prevent the separation. And the only extent to which believers are set free is that the prohibition of separation is lifted in these instances because it is not the believer who is doing the separating.

But does this lifting of obligation in verse 15 allow the believing spouse to marry someone else? No, in verse 11, Paul has already covered what to do if separation should occur. In verse 11, Paul states that no one is to put away their spouse, but any spouse that is put away should remain single or later be reconciled to their original spouse. In verse 15, Paul has simply described on particular scenario in which a spouse is put away. As such, the spouse that is put away in verse 15 falls under the governance of verse 11, where Paul tells put-away spouses to remain single or be reconciled. Nothing in verse 15 implies or even requires any deviation from that stipulation in verse 11. As such, Paul's teaching in this passage does not in any way alter or add any subtle nuances to Jesus' prohibition of separation of remarriage to his followers. Paul merely applies those rules to a practical, hypothetical scenario for instructional purpose.

As we close our examination of 1 Corinthians 7, it is important to reemphasize that Paul's entire theme in this segment of the chapter is to prevent Christians from using their Christianity as an excuse to improve their lifestyle in ways that were previously prohibited. Paul concludes his section in verses 11-16 prohibiting Christians from putting away their spouses with the following statement in verse 17.

1 Corinthians 7:17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.

Then Paul continues by applying this same rule to a variety of areas, ending once again by applying it marriage.

1 Corinthians 7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised…20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. 21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. 22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant…27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

As we can see, Paul's entire point in this section is to demonstrate that Christianity is not a means to remove or change unwanted material aspects of your life such as your culture, your social and economic status, or your marital status. The fact that this is Paul's theme once again emphasizes and reaffirms that Paul's comments here are intended to prohibit Christians from trying to improve their lives by putting away their original spouses.

At this point, it is probably necessary to say a few words on 1 Corinthians 7:27-28 specifically.

1 Corinthians 7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. 28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

The Greek word for "loosed" in verse 27 is "luo" (Strong's No. 3089), which is a very generic term meaning simply, "to loose any person (or thing) tied or fastened." This is a very simple contrast the Greek word "suzeugnumi" (Strong's No. 4801), which is used by Jesus in Matthew 19:6 and Mark 10:9 to refer to a married couple being "fasten to one yoke" by God. So, in clear terms, Paul is talking about a person who is not fastened to a spouse. One of the subordinate definitions of "luo" reads, "a single man, whether he has already had a wife or has not yet married." Thus, we can see that the Paul's use of "luo" here does not necessarily mean a person formerly married.

It could be suggested that Paul's use of the word "loosed" in verse 27 refers to those who were formerly married. While this on its own would not pose a problem or create a new allowance not formerly permitted by Jesus' own statements on this matter, in combination with verse 28, such a new allowance might theoretically be suggested. To pull it together, IF "loosed" in verse 27 refers to a person formerly married but now divorced from a spouse, AND IF Paul's declaration "if thou marry, thou hast not sinned" applies to the same type of person, then verse 28 would imply that it is not a sin for Christians who have been previously married to marry someone new. Thus, in contrast to Jesus' own condemnation of second marriages as adultery as well as Paul's own assertion of that same standard in Romans 7:3, Paul would perhaps be declaring a permission for Christians to marry someone new while their spouse was still alive.

However, there are 6 reasons why such a combination of verse 27 and 28 does not amount to a new permission allowing Christians to remarry. First, there are two critical "if's" in the chain. Without either of them, the suggested "new permission" for remarriage falls apart.

First, there is no reason to interpret "loosed" in verse 27 to include those previously married. "Loosed" can refer to those never married as the definition indicates when it states, "a single man, whether he has already had a wife or has not yet married." Thus, we have a choice between a definition, which is perfectly consistent with clear teaching in six other verses where remarriage is condemned as adultery (Matthew 5:32, Matthew 19:9, Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18, and Romans 7:3, 1 Corinthians 7:39) or a definition, which would create a lone inconsistent statement granting permission where the others not only did not, but were strictly prohibitive of it. Since the definition and wording of the verse so directly lends itself to a perfectly consistent rendering, we should interpret for consistency with these clearer statements rather than creating a lone contrasting statement, which is not even necessitated by the vocabulary or grammar of the verse itself.

Second, since Paul has 1 Corinthians 7:8, Paul has included those whose spouses have died, even if we interpret "loosed" to include those formerly married who are now no longer "fastened" to a spouse, such a statement would clearly refer to those, such as widows, who are unfastened because their spouse has died. Here again, we can interpret Paul's statement in verse 27 in light of his previous comments in the same chapter while discussing the same subject without arriving at a new permission for divorced Christians to remarry. Since "loosed from a spouse" can refer to widows and widowers even if it does include those formerly married, there is no reason to interpret this phrase in favor of a new permission for divorced Christians to remarry in contrast to six clear verses against such an allowance.

Third, even if "loosed from a spouse" in verse 27 included not only widows and widowers but also those Christians who had been divorced from their original spouse, there is no reason that verse 28 has to refer to the same group.

Paul began this passage by addressing and including those who have never married, but in the verses immediately preceding verse 27 and 28, Paul has turned his attention to "virgins" specifically, who by definition have never married. To the extent that Paul throughout this passage refers to those who have never married, this is also a reference back to Jesus' teaching in Matthew 19:10-12, where Jesus directly affirms the apostles' own statement that it is good for a man not to marry. So, this additional reference to Jesus' own teaching provides further evidence that throughout this chapter Paul is affirming and upholding the clear teaching of previous passages such as Matthew 5:32, Matthew 19:9, Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18, and Romans 7:3, 1 Corinthians 7:39, rather than altering or contradicting the statements in those passages.

This reference to those never married in the immediately preceding verses leading up to verse 27-28 also provide further evidence that "loosed from a spouse" simply refers to those never married, rather than to those who have been divorced from their original spouses. As such, Paul's statements in verse 28 that "Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife" should be interpreted as a reference to his preceding statement in verse 25, which begins, "Now concerning virgins."

And because the focus on those never married is introduced in verse 25, Paul's statement in verse 28, "if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned" should be interpreted as a reference to those who have never married, rather than those who have been divorced. Once again, not only the vocabulary but the context surrounding verse 27-28 very plainly allow verses 27-28 to be easily interpreted in a manner that is consistent with clear statements against remarriage elsewhere in the chapter and elsewhere in the New Testament instead of interpreting it to create a new, unique instance giving permission for divorced Christians to marry someone new.

Fourth, it should be noted that the word "virgin" in verse 28 refers often to females. The Greek word for "virgin" throughout this chapter is "parthenos" (Strong's No. 3933) which primarily means, "a woman who has never had sexual intercourse with a man." The conjugation of the phrase "she hath not sinned" with a female pronoun also indicates that it is a young women that is in view in the second portion of verse 28. Moreover, of the five times that Paul uses this Greek word for virgin in this chapter, 3 times he is quite clearly referring to females (v. 34, 36, 37). Verse 34 contrasts a virgin with a wife and associates "virgin" with the pronoun "she." Verse 36 talks about how a man behaves toward his virgin. And similarly verse 37-38 refers to a man keeping, rather than marrying, his virgin.

Thus, the indication is that as Paul uses this Greek word in this chapter, he is referring to females. And since this second portion of verse 28 refers to female virgins, there is no need to interpret the first portion of verse 28 ("if thou marry, thou hast not sinned") as a reference to those who have had sexual intercourse and been married before. Instead, we can take the first portion of verse 28 as a reference to men who have never married and the second portion to refer to females who have never married. There is no need to interpret the first portion of verse 28 as a reference to those who have been married before and so to introduce a new permission to remarry in contradiction of clear passages that forbid Christians to marry someone new.

Fifth, Paul closes his comments on this chapter in verse 39 by reiterating in clear terms that "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will." In saying this, Paul once again affirms that Christians do not have liberty or freedom or permission to remarry as long as their original spouses are still alive. This closing statement further indicates that Paul's preceding comments throughout the chapter should be interpreted as perfectly consistent with the clear prohibitions against second marriages rather than creating a new permission in contradiction of those clear statements (Matthew 5:32, Matthew 19:9, Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18, and Romans 7:3, 1 Corinthians 7:39).

And sixth, since Paul declares directly in verse 39 that the way a spouse is loosed from the marriage bond is by the death of their original spouse, we know that even if the term "loosed" did imply those who are loosed from former marriage, it would only include those "loosed" by the means he defines in this chapter - namely those "loosed" from marriage by the death of a spouse. Thus, we know that the term "loosed" in verse 27 does not in any way include those who are divorced, which allows Paul's previous, very clear comment in verse 11 to remain the governing rule for those Christians who have been divorced by their spouses. Specifically, Paul's rule in verse 11, which he asserts as the command of the Jesus himself, still stands that those spouses who have been put away should remain single or be reconciled to their original spouse.

Finally, we want to point out that Paul's closing comments in this chapter are perfectly consistent with Jesus' prohibition against second marriage and Paul's own prohibition against second marriages in Romans 7:3. So, while there is no reason in either the vocabulary or context of verses 27-28 to indicate or require a new permission allowing those who were divorced to marry someone else, we find ample reason to interpret those verses in a manner that is perfectly consistent and without amendment to the clear prohibition found in the following six passages.

Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Mark 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

1 Corinthians 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.


New Testament Survey Conclusion

This concludes the New Testament instructions concerning marital separation and remarriage. And so it also concludes our New Testament survey on this subject. As we end this portion of the study, we have seen that the entire New Testament teaching on this subject uniformly asserts and in no way alters or contradicts the following 3 conclusions, which we stated from the beginning. We have seen these 3 protocols established by Jesus himself and affirmed by Paul and so they remain the governing rules for Christians concerning marriage under the New Covenant.

1.) Marriage to another person besides your first spouse while that first spouse is still alive is adultery.
2.) After the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse is permitted to marry someone else if they so choose.
3.) For persons who are married to someone besides their first spouse while that first spouse is still alive, repentance requires ending the marriage and separating from any subsequent spouse and either remaining single or if possible, being reconciled to the original spouse.

And in all of these respects, the New Covenant teaching of Jesus Christ concerning marital separation and remarriage fulfills all of the predictive aspects of the Old Testament concerning these things.

1) Jesus' teaching in the New Covenant prohibits marrying someone who is separated from their original spouse just as Leviticus 21 foreshadows by giving a similar prohibition for the priests for the sake of holiness.

2) Jesus' teaching in the New Covenant affirms reconciliation of the original spouses and that such covenants are lifelong just as Jeremiah 3 foreshadows through God's allegorical statements concerning reconciling with Israel after sending her away, which reaffirms that his covenant with Israel was forever despite her adulterous behavior.

3) Jesus' teaching in the New Covenant affirms that adultery is the only exception wherein marital separation is permitted just as Jeremiah 3 foreshadows through God's allegorical statements about rejecting Israel for spiritual adultery.

Before we move on to cover our last 2 sections, we need to take a few moments to cover the implications of these conclusions.

We want to state this reminder up front. We are using Jesus' and Paul's definitions of adultery, not our own definitions or opinions. If anyone thinks these definitions are too harsh because they include too many Christians, then their disagreement is with Jesus and Paul, not with us.

Concerning the definition of who is and who is not an adulterer and adulteress, Jesus and Paul both include those in second marriages as adulterers and adulteresses.

Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Mark 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

1 Corinthians 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

Since Jesus and Paul both include those who are married to someone other than their original spouse as adulterers and adulteresses, the following 2 verses concerning adulterers apply to anyone in second marriages. The inclusion of the warnings below are intended as just that - warnings. They are not statements of hate but such warnings are just as much an act of love as sharing the Gospel with a sinner to let them know that without repenting and accepting Jesus they are going to hell. Likewise, such warnings are not statements of human judgment but the judgments of God's own Word. And as God said in the book of Malachi concerning those who put away their spouses, since God prohibits marital separation and second marriages, we should not approve of those who do such things or weary God by saying that he delights in such persons.

1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Malachi 2:16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. 17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

We should not be deceived, it is the judgment of scripture that those Christians who do not follow the following 3 New Testament protocols will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1.) Marriage to another person besides your first spouse while that first spouse is still alive is adultery.
2.) After the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse is permitted to marry someone else if they so choose.
3.) For persons who are married to someone besides their first spouse while that first spouse is still alive, repentance requires ending the marriage and separating from any subsequent spouse and either remaining single or if possible, being reconciled to the original spouse.

We will now move on to examine a few of the objections that might be offered against these conclusions.