Can Christians Divorce And Remarry?

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Hi M___,
Thanks for sending me your friends question. He refers to this verse:

Luk 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.

And based on this verse alone he draws this conclusion:

That is a true statement. “This verse seems to state boldly that to remarry is to commit adultery…”, and it all graphically demonstrates the Biblical truth that “no prophecy of scripture is of its own interpretation… [ and that only] the sum of Thy Word is truth”.

Psa 119:160 The sum of thy word is truth and every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever.
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture at all is becoming its own explanation. (CLV)

Now if we ignore the principle that is revealed to us in those two verses of scripture, then we can conclude that Luk 16:18 “boldly” contradicts this verse of scripture, which provides us with an exception to what sounds so “bold” and exclusive in Luk 16:18:

Mat 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery.

There is also the exception of the unbelieving spouse leaving the believer, which is also “boldly stated” in 1Co 7:

1Co 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.
1Co 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.
1Co 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.

As a dear brother pointed out to me, Psa 119:160 does not say ‘ Some of Thy word is Truth’. What it says is “the sum of thy word is truth”. Mat 19 and 1Co 7 do not contradict Luk 16; they complement it and are part of “the sum of Thy Word”.
Every word of every verse in Matthew, in Luke and in 1Co 7 are “boldly stated” and they are all in direct opposition to Deu 24, which says this:

Deu 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give [ it] in her hand, and send her out of his house.
Deu 24:2  And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.

Contrary to what we were taught, “some uncleanness” does not mean adultery. The penalty for adultery was the death of the man and the woman.

Deu 22:22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.

This “some uncleanness” could be nothing more than being a wife who was a bad housekeeper or maybe she simply no longer appealed to her husband. Under the law of Moses, all a woman needed to do is to “no longer delight” her husband.

Deu 21:14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.
Deu 21:15 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, [ both] the beloved and the hated; and [ if] the firstborn son be hers that was hated:…

Christ’s new law was so radical that even with the fornication exception, the apostles themselves declared:

Mat 19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

The common way of thinking among the apostles was apparently in complete accord with that of the Pharisees who, in this same chapter, asked Christ:

Mat 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? [“You have no delight in her”]

As the book of Hebrews makes clear, the law Moses was a “carnal commandment” for a carnal nation. It was a ‘law for the lawless and disobedient, and it is not for a righteous man’.

1Ti 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
Heb 7:16 Who [ Christ and “the law of Christ”] is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

The law of Moses was a shadow of the “good things to come [ in the ] law of Christ”. Christ came as a reformer, and His reformed law, when compared to the law He gave to Moses contains in it a whole lot of “But I say unto you”.

Heb 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

I hope this all is of some help.
Your very grateful brother in Christ,

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