[Due to technical difficulties, the first few minutes of this lesson were not recorded. Sorry about that! -MRW]


  • This is such an emotional topic, but we must remain objective and appeal to God’s word.
  • Mark 6:17, 21 – John ended up being beheaded because he called out the marriage as unlawful.

What should happen in an unlawful marriage?

  • Luke 16:18
  • They must divorce and repent of their adultery. I Corinthians 6:9
  • “But marriage itself is holy. No one should be told to divorce.”
    • Ezra 9-10 – These marriages were unlawful and had to be broken up.
    • Mark 6:17-18

Are divorced people still “marriage in God’s eyes?”

  • I know of no passage that uses or implies that wording or concept. Sometimes we might say that because we’re trying to communicate the fact that God doesn’t approve.
  • Luke 16:18
  • Romans 7:2-3
  • Mark 10:11-12
  • These people were really divorced and actually marriage to other people. They were married to one person, yet bound to another, thus it is adultery.
  • Matthew 19:9 – These divorces and marriages are real.

What about marriages and divorces before one was ever a Christian?

  • God’s laws are for everyone, both Christians and non-Christians.
  • Mark 6:17-18 – Herod and his wife were not Christians, but they were in sin.
  • I Corinthians 6:9-11
  • If God’s laws do not apply to non-Christians, why are people told to repent before they are baptized (Acts 2:38)?
  • And why would you even get baptized and become a Christian, if prior to that you have no sin and therefore no need of salvation?

Does forgiveness change the situation?

  • Acts 2:38; 8:22; 26:20
  • There is still a need to repent and not keep sinning.
  • If I steal a car…
    • Then I pray for forgiveness ….
    • Can I keep the car?
    • No – it is still a sin for me to have it.
  • If I take an unlawful wife …
    • They I pray for forgiveness …
    • Can I keep the wife?
    • No – it is still a sin for me to have her.

Does I Corinthians 7:15 give another exception?

  • I Corinthians 7:10-17
    • I Corinthians 7:10 – “Leave” here means “divorce.”
    • I Corinthians 7:11 – This does not imply approval of the divorce. See I John 2:1.
    • I Corinthians 7:12-13 – It is okay for a Christian to be married to a non-believer.
    • I Corinthians 7:14 – This cannot be saying that an unbelieving spouse can be saved by the believing spouse (II Corinthians 5:10). It is merely saying that the marriage is legitimate.
    • I Corinthians 7:15 – There is no permission for remarriage here. Matthew 5:32

Does I Corinthians 7:27-28 give another exception?

  • I Corinthians 7:27 – “Released” here cannot mean “divorced for any reason” because it would contradict what Paul just wrote in I Corinthians 7:10-17.

Can the innocent party divorce years after the divorce?

  • Suppose that:
    • A man divorces his wife (not for fornication)
    • Years later, he remarries.
    • Can the wife now divorce him for fornication and remarry with God’s approval (Matthew 19:9)?
  • No. You can’t divorce someone you’re not married to.
  • Luke 16:18


Nothing is greater than fellowship with God; nothing lasts longer than heaven.