10 Oct 10/10/15 “Can I Divorce My Spouse Because of Adultery?” – Pastor Shane Idleman
Complete Sermon Notes
Can I Divorce My Spouse Because of Adultery?
Introduction: Move cautiously and carefully – only God can really answer this question.
I’m a big fan of restoration
Michael Reagan, the son of Ronald Reagan, wrote of his parents’ divorce:
“Divorce is where two adults take everything that matters to a child—the child’s home, family, security, and sense of being loved and protected—and they smash it [to pieces], leave it in ruins on the floor, then walk out and leave the child to clean up the mess.”
Lay The Foundation: Matthew 7:24-27 (NKJV) “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them [even when separated, even when marriage is difficult], I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
We live in deception when we fight against obedience.
The Battle: do what is right regardless of feelings. This is why obedience to God’s Word and a genuine relationship is so IMPORTANT.
Feelings are wonderful – it’s one reason why we’re not ROBOTS, but they were designed to follow choices not influence them.
. . . Not talking about spiritual discernment
Matthew 19 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.2 And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there.
3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”
8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” 10 His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
“The two shall become one flesh’?” A Survivor of the Holocaust wrote, “The emotional pain and brokenness that I experienced from divorce was greater than the pain of the concentration camps.”
PERSPECTIVE: I would prefer the environment of a difficult marriage over the living conditions of most of the world.
Unless God rebuilds the foundation, those divorced may find themselves in the same situation with the second, third, or fourth spouse.
Experience Plays a Role:
Piper married many years
A young adult who finds themselves single and hopeless
A young parent with little kids
We don’t interpret Scripture in light of our experiences; we interpret our experiences in light of Scripture. BUT EXPERIENCES CAN HELP TO ILLUSTRATE TRUTH AND THE HEART OF GOD.
4 things that prevent hearing from God:
A] In a hurry – not waiting and contending for restoration. God blesses and strengthens a “waiting” heart – a heart that “rushes” is always confused.
B] Not seeking God through His Word, prayer, and fasting – this is a battle – pull out the BIG guns
If you’re not spending extended time in worship, prayer, and fasting, but instead, are busy, bitter, and belligerent [hostile and aggressive], you will not get clear direction.
. . . You’ll get direction, but not from God.
C] Looking for loopholes rather than scriptural truths
D] Giving up because we see no evidence of change: I believe that if the Scriptures on divorce were fully taught, it would create more serious consideration before marriage, and would be a deterrent to divorce…there would be fewer divorces without cause and more reconciliations. Lack of regard for the Scriptures has taken us to the other extreme—no fault divorce.
TWO SIDES: The Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 24:6, nothing but adultery, or such willful desertion as can no way be remedied by the church, or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage.
MacArthur, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Piper, etc.
WHY TWO SIDES? Because the Scripture is clear that God hates divorce. The Scripture is clear that adultery is a serious sin, but there are also areas of differences in interpretation.
“Except for sexual immorality.” – Just the fact that this is added into the command is important.