I Corinthians 7:8-12
Unmarried and Married Christians
Nearly 50% of all marriages end in divorce; this is true inside and outside the church. Jay Adams, points out that, “divorce is common place; it is not just a disease contracted by Hollywood movie stars.” This affects the church when new converts coming into the church are likely to have been divorced or divorced and remarried. They want to know about their status in Christ’s church. They are demanding answers not based on tradition but what the word of God says.
Sin complicates things. There usually isn’t a precise and easy solution in a fallen world where sinners dwell, but in spite of the complexities, we learn that ‘there is nothing new under the sun.’ Man has not changed in his disposition toward God. The gospel of God’s grace is the solution. It is only the Lord through the Scriptures that addresses many of the problems that deal with marriage, divorce and remarriage.
Instruction For Unmarried Christians – v. 8-9
Widowers and Widows
Widows special class – Psa. 68:5
Widows are to be honored – Turn To: I Timothy 5:3-16
Young windows – “let them be married” v.9
Instruction For Married Christians – v. 10-12
Instructions from the Lord Jesus – Mark 10:2-12
Jesus only allows for divorce when fornication is involved
Paul’s advice is that the Christian couple must not separate. “Leave” is the GK. “Chorizo” means, “separation by divorce”
What needs to be understood:
This separation is not because of adultery
This separation does not mean they are still married
God hates divorce – Mal. 2:14-16
Reconciliation is never used of the innocent party – v.11
The guilty party (wife) is commanded to reconcile – v. 11 b
Failure to reconcile and marring another man she is guilty of adultery – Turn To: Deuteronomy 24:1-4
Is it right for the innocent party (husband) to remain unmarried? V.12
The following context provides an answer – (Charles Hodge)
When church discipline is exercised the innocent party is free to remarry.
(Suspension from the Lord’s Table and ultimately excommunication)
The guilty party is now in the category of an unbeliever which means the innocent party is free to remarry. V.15
Young widows are encourage to remarry, only in the Lord –v.39
Older widows have the option to marry again or remain unmarried. If they have not been given the gift of celibacy then they are encourage to remarry.
Separated or divorced Christian couples are to remain unmarried until there is reconciliation. If the guilty party refuses to repent and reconcile, discipline is required by the elders.
Pastor Nick Iamaio,
Reformed Presbyterian Church, 207 South First Street, Fulton, NY 13069
Web Site fultonrpc.org