SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Getting Smart about Remarriage
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 7

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Three-fourths of divorced men and two-thirds of divorced women will eventually remarry. That’s the present reality of the American relational landscape. Some of you have walked through the pain of such a breakup. The question for us is always a scriptural one: Are there biblical grounds for remarriage? Yes, of course. When a divorce occurs for one of the following reasons, a remarriage is appropriate.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: December 16, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Getting Smart about Remarriage"
Text: 1 Corinthians 7

Path

Three-fourths of divorced men and two-thirds of divorced women will eventually remarry. That's the present reality of the American relational landscape. Some of you have walked through the pain of such a breakup. The question for us is always a scriptural one: Are there biblical grounds for remarriage? Yes, of course. When a divorce occurs for one of the following reasons, a remarriage is appropriate.

  1. When a Spouse Dies (vv. 8-9, 39)
  2. When Divorced Prior to Salvation (vv. 8-9)
  3. When an Unbeliever Deserts the Marriage (vv. 10-15)
  4. When Sexual Immorality Has Prevailed (vv. 10-11; Matthew 19)
Points

When a Spouse DiesWhen Divorced Prior to Salvation When an Unbeliever Deserts the MarriageWhen Sexual Immorality Has Prevailed Practice

Connect Up: The book of Hosea is a dramatic illustration of God's love for unfaithful Israel, comparing that relationship to Hosea's unfaithful wife. Hosea means salvation. Think about how faith and salvation are tied together. Why is it important that we remain faithful to God first and foremost, and then to the principles God established in the Bible (including marriage)? How would you reconcile the fact that believers are commanded not to marry unbelievers with the fact that Hosea was commanded to marry an adulterous woman?1

Connect In: There are many people within the church who fall within the remarriage guidelines Pastor Skip set forth. However, some may be considering a divorce for unbiblical reasons. How would you counsel someone in that situation? In the case of an unbiblical divorce, why is it important to balance truth (speaking candidly and biblically) and love (counseling with understanding and compassion)?

Connect Out: If you are remarried and only if you are comfortable, share your story. How can you use your experience to help reach out to others who've gone through divorce and are considering getting married again? Share three things you learned—both pros and cons—through divorce. If you have not been divorced or remarried, share insight you've gleaned through the remarriages of family or friends.


1 Norman Geisler, "A Popular Survey of the Old Testament," Baker Books, 1977, page 245.

DETAILED NOTES
"Getting Smart about Remarriage"
1 Corinthians 7

  1. Introduction
    1. The Holy Spirit knows exactly where to tinker in our lives, even when we don't
    2. Think of God's principles as protection
      1. These are not prohibitions to make your life miserable
      2. They are meant to protect what God invented and designed for your benefit
    3. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians for two reasons:
      1. To address problems in the church
      2. To answer the new believers' questions
    4. The New Testament principle: all those properly divorced can get remarried
      1. A biblical divorce brings with it the biblical permission to remarry
      2. When a divorce occurs for the following reasons, remarriage is legitimate:
        1. When a spouse dies
        2. When divorced prior to salvation
        3. When an unbeliever deserts the marriage
        4. When sexual immorality has prevailed
  2. When a Spouse Dies (vv. 8-9, 39)
    1. "Till death do us part"
      1. Once death has occurred and they are parted, then they are free to get remarried, with one caveat—"in the Lord" (v. 39)
      2. There is a biblical precedent for this: Abraham and Keturah (see Genesis 25:1)
    2. Every human, especially the Christian, longs to be loved and to love someone
  3. When Divorced Prior to Salvation (vv. 8-9)
    1. The Greek word Paul used for unmarried is agamos—which literally means without a marriage
      1. This word is used only four times in the New Testament, and all four references can be found in this chapter
      2. It could mean someone who has never been married, but Paul also used the word virgin to refer to someone who is young and unmarried
    2. Paul used this word to refer to those who were married and divorced before salvation
      1. Until we know God, we don't know God's will for our lives
      2. Whatever is in your past, when you come to Christ, you are made new—kainos
        1. 2 Corinthians 5:17
        2. Romans 8:28
  4. When an Unbeliever Deserts the Marriage (vv. 10-15)
    1. Not all of the Corinthian believers fit into those first two categories
      1. After becoming believers, many found themselves unequally yoked with an unbeliever
      2. 2 Corinthians 6:14
    2. Verses 10 and 12 can be misinterpreted
      1. In verse 10, Paul said, "Yet not I but the Lord"; this is a reference to the fact that Jesus had spoken directly to this issue
      2. In verse 12, he was simply saying that Jesus didn't directly teach on this particular issue
    3. There were apparently unsaved spouses who were upset that their partners had come to Christ
      1. Some unbelievers wanted out of those marriages
      2. Romans 12:18
      3. Matthew 10:34
    4. The unbelieving spouse is not automatically saved because they're married to a Christian
      1. The believing spouse is the influencer for salvation
      2. Just one saved person in the home can start a chain reaction; the gospel has now penetrated that household
      3. The conversation between God and Abraham concerning Sodom
        1. Genesis 18:16-33
        2. Thousands of evil people would have been spared for the sake of ten sanctifying people
    5. The best thing for an unbeliever to have is a believing spouse as an influence, although it's not easy for the believer in that situation
  5. When Sexual Immorality Has Prevailed (vv. 10-11; Matthew 19)
    1. This refers to continual, unrepentant sexual immorality
      1. Matthew 19:9: the exception clause
      2. Every state in the US, except South Dakota, allows for no-fault divorces; people are getting divorced for any reason
      3. Stay married, work through the problems, and you'll show the world that God's plan for marriage works
    2. If you've been divorced without the presence of unrepentant sexual immorality, there are two options:
      1. Stay unmarried
      2. Reconcile with your spouse
    3. Even when sin prevails, God's highest heart is reconciliation
      1. Hosea and Gomer
      2. God used this as an example of what He was doing with regard to His relationship with prodigal Israel
  6. Conclusion
    1. If you are involved in a sinful relationship or have had an unbiblical divorce:
      1. Remember what we are dealing with—the gospel
      2. Psalm 103:8-12
    2. God is faithful to forgive
      1. 1 John 1:9
      2. The past is the past—accept His grace and forgiveness and move forward
    3. As a married couple, decide to work things out, to honor God through your marriage
Cross references: Genesis 18:16-33; 25:1; Psalm 103:8-12; Matthew 10:34; 19:9; Romans 8:28; 12:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 6:14; 1 John 1:9

Greek words: agamos, kainos

Topic: remarriage

Keywords: couple, divorce, forgiveness, marriage, partner, spouse


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