I. MARRIAGE: Gen. 2:24
A. A commitment – a covenant
1. Cleave: Jsh 23:7-8; 2 Sam 23:10; 2 Kg 18:5-6; Ruth 1:14-17; Jer 13:10-11; Dt 4:4; Acts 11:23; Rom 12:9; etc.
2. Covenant: Ruth 3:9; Ezk 16:8; Hos 2:19-20; etc.
B. Sexual intercourse
One Flesh: 1 Cor. 6:16; 7:1-2; Eph. 5:31; Mal. 2:15; etc.
C. More than just a flesh to flesh relationship
John 4:16-18; etc.
II. DIVORCE: Dt 24:1-4
A. A bill of divorcement carried with it the right to marry again, but if so, she could not go back to the former husband. Deut 24:4; Jer 3:1; etc.
III. MARRIAGE CAN BE BROKEN BY:
A. Death: Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Cor. 7:39
B. Fornication: Mt. 5:31-32; 19:3-12
C. Divorce: GOD DIVORCED ISRAEL – Jer 3:1,8
Israel committed ADULTERY. I have put her away and given her a bill of divorce.
IV. DEFINITION OF FORNICATION: (includes adultery)
A. Webster’s Second Edition New 20th Century Dictionary:
1) In the Bible, any unlawful sexual intercourse, including adultery;
2) forsaking of the true God and worshipping of idols. Page 722
B. International Standard Biblical Encyclopedia: Hebrew word zanah = to commit adultery, and less frequently of mere fornication, also used figuratively in the sense of idolatry, the Jewish people being regarded as the spouse of Jehovah (2 Ch. 21:11; Is. 23:17; Ezk. 16:26). A list is given of New Testament verses where we find both the literal and the figurative applications and the Greek words used: porneia, porneuo, and ekporneuo. The article closes saying, every form of unchastity is included in the term fornication.
C. Vine: is used of illicit sexual intercourse; it stands for or includes adultery. VOl. 2, Page 125
D. Thayer: of illicit sexual intercourse in general. Is used metaphorically of the worship of idols. Page 532
E. Strong: harlotry (including adultery and incest). Page 59
F. BIBLICAL: Includes any sexual sin:
The Biblical usage of the term FORNICATION includes any unlawful sex.
1. Ezk 16:1-38, 59: harlotry, fornication, whoredom, and adultery are used interchangeably of Israel – God’s wife. Notice especially verses 15-16, 26 & 29.
2. Jer 3:8: adultery and playing the harlot are used interchangeably. This verse taken with Mt. 19:9 proves that God includes adultery in His definition of fornication because He put her away and gave her a bill of divorce for adultery.
3. Acts 15:20 with 1 Thes 4:1-6: When God tells Christians to abstain from fornication, He does not mean JUST premarital sex – He means all unlawful sex.
4. 1 Cor. 5:1-11: Fornication includes adultery – it is an all inclusive term when dealing with sexual sin.
5. 1 Cor. 10:8 with Num. 25:1-9: Twenty-three thousand people were judged for their fornication, also called whoredom.
6. Jude 7: In speaking of Sodom & Gomorrah, i.e. calls their homosexual sins fornication.
7. Rev. 2:20-22: He uses fornication and adultery interchangeably. She seduced them to commit FORNICATION (v. 20) and calls it ADULTERY (v. 22).
a marriage may be broken by fornication, which includes adultery or other sexual sins which bring a third party into the marriage bed and defile it.
JESUS SAYS in Mat. 19:3-12: EXCEPT FOR FORNICATION, and God says He divorced Israel for ADULTERY in Jer. 3:8. THEREFORE, fornication includes adultery, and adultery is a legitimate reason for divorce in God’s eyes. And if so divorced, you are free to remarry without committing adultery.
V. THE ADVICE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL IS TO STAY SINGLE:
(1 Cor. 7:1,7,8,26,27,32,35,38,40) Nine times in one chapter he advises you to stay single, but remaining single is a voluntary act and not forced upon you. In the case of the married and separated his advice is to stay single or go back to the spouse.
VI. ONE LOOSED BY DEATH OR FORNICATION
(which includes adultery) DOES NOT SIN WHEN REMARRYING. (Mt. 5:31-32, 19:3-12; 1 Cor. 7:27-28, 9, 36)
VII. MARRIAGE IS A SOCIAL CONTRACT BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN.
The contract can be voided by death or unfaithfulness to it. Once the marriage has been broken by fornication and divorce – it is actually broken. Both are free to remarry – without any further adultery being committed. If the divorce is because of any other reason than sexual unfaithfulness – then when one of the partners remarries THEY COMMIT ADULTERY, THUS BREAKING THE PREVIOUS MARRIAGE. AND IT IS THEN BROKEN. (MT. 19:9; MK. 10:9-12)
VII. IT IS NOT GOD’S WILL THAT IT BE BROKEN.
He said, let not man put asunder & He also says that He hates putting away. But man CAN do it just as he does many other things which God hates and commands not to do. (Mk. 10:9-12; Mal. 2:16) GOD IS A GOD OF FORGIVENESS AND RESTORATION (Jer. 3:1; Ps. 103:3; Col. 3:13; Mt. 6:12) & we SHOULD BE LIKE HIM.