“But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife,
Jesus introduced the shocking idea that, even if people are properly divorced, they can still commit adultery by marrying someone else without legitimate biblical grounds for doing so.
God designed marriage to be permanent because it was an indissoluble unit; therefore, God never intended divorce. Marriage is a divine institution established at creation. God hates divorce (Mal 2:16). Jesus made it patently clear that divorce is the breaking of a covenant.
except on the ground of sexual immorality,
“Sexual immorality” in the Greek refers to any sexual sin, not just adultery. Fornication breaks the marriage bond.
Although divorce does not fit into God’s divine institution, Jesus allowed for divorce but He did not command divorce. Jesus permitted remarriage to protect stability in families.
makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
A man who marries a “divorced woman commits adultery” and the divorced woman also commits adultery by remarrying, unless their original mates had committed some form of sexual sin.
Divorce is the last option, not the first option.
There are biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage:
(1) some sort of sexual aberration (Mt 5; 19) or
(2) desertion (1 Co 7:12-16).
Those who divorced before becoming Christians should not use their conversion as a reason to dissolve current marriages. Divorcing current partners in order to go back to pre-conversion partners would violate the principle that two wrongs do not make a right. These remarried Christians also should have full rights of ministry in the local church.
Unscriptural Christian divorce is an issue of repentance and moving on. There is no biblical argument for going back to previous mates. God speaks against this in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. The latter principle does not apply to those who never remarried; that is, remarriage to the original partner (if still unmarried) is acceptable, in this case.