MDR - Palatka, FL 1958

Sermon Transcript

Harry Payne, Sr.
Transcribed by Stan Cox


...Don't be alarmed by this formidable array of books, I just wanted to make reference to one or two of them in connection with one word, and not to every word that I speak. Brother Dennis Reed's introduction might have indicated that I was going to speak to you in Greek, but that will not be the case. I don't do that, we don't teach it from that viewpoint. Certainly we want to... the young men who study that language, or study the Bible from any viewpoint at Florida Christian College, to be interested in going out and preaching that simply as it is written. To emphasize the language above the speaking of it in our own language, and the teaching of it as we can read it in our English bible, would certainly be amiss. But we do believe that it helps greatly to understand, at least particular words, or particular difficult constructions, which may or may not be, in a given version in the English language, translated correctly.

I thank you for your invitation to me to be with you. Not that I am particularly anxious to deal with a very controverted subject. I am not particularly anxious to cause anyone not to like me. But I learned a long time ago, that if I were going to strive to please God that it would have to be at least in a measure like the Apostle Paul said in Galatians the first chapter. "Do I seek to please men?" "Have I become such a one as looks unto men for the things of my glory and my honor?" He said, "If I were yet pleasing men I should not be a servant of Christ." Let us learn that the word of God shall judge us in the last day. It is God's word then, whereby the true church, the genuine church, the real body of Christ, lives and moves and has its spiritual being. By the word of God then we should live, we should move in our lives, in our services, in our homes, and in our every relationship. And may God bless us unto that end.

It has been a pleasure to me to be associated with brother Reed and his wife, to know them down at Tarpon Springs where he preached when I first became acquainted with him, to know him in the class room in school at Florida Christian College, and to know him as he preached there in the Tampa area in other congregations. And have heard many good things concerning his work wherever he has gone. Now not being acquainted with you, I do not speak unto you as unto those with whom I have associated for a long while, and thus know all of the ins and outs, difficulties and opportunities, optimism and pessimism, and this and that and the other concerning your life and your relationship. But I take it since you have the name church of Christ over the front door, or over the... on the facade of this building, that you intend to be and strive to continue to be the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are not the church because you have that name on the outside of the building. You are not a true member of the church because you carry your Bible under your arm, or because maybe you open it and read it every night, as far as that's concerned. You're not a true Christian because you have prayer in your home every day if you do, and I hope that you do. But prayer, and reading the Bible, and having the right name over our church building door does not make us the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those are necessary things, but they're not all that has to do with the word of God and with the carrying out of the commands of our Lord, whether it has to do with marriage, whether it has to do with worship, whether it has to do with the question of benevolence, or whatever other field it may be.

In introduction to our thoughts tonight on the subject of Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage may I read this passage out of the fifth chapter of the book of Matthew. Then for my lesson tonight I want particularly to stay with these passages that are found here in these chapters together with two others that I would like to put on the right hand side, your left hand side, of the blackboard. Those two others, of course, 1 Corinthians, the 7th chapter, out of which, one passage of it, verse 15, I wish to quote to you or read to you a passage out of at least two of these lexicons here. And then the other is this one that I'm going to read in order to start this lesson tonight. That is Matthew 5. Particularly verses 32 and 33. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus was talking to his disciples. Now don't discount this because he was still under the law of Moses, for he lived under the law of Moses as he was in his personal ministry. He taught them under the law of Moses. He taught them to keep the law of Moses. He taught them that not one jot or one tittle should anywise pass away from the law until all be fulfilled. Therefore, he wanted them to keep the law and be subject to the law as long as it was in force. But what he taught in the sermon on the mount was not taught only from the viewpoint of being under the law of Moses. It was taught with a viewpoint of hearing and understanding his teachings, and those things that He as the Son of God came to enunciate which would be different from some of the teachings of the law of Moses, and certainly greatly different from their own interpretations and practices of the law of Moses. And that's the thing about which I am fearful today with regard to this subject and us. It's not so much what God's word teaches that is not clear, it's that we've built up in our own mind, in this day of looseness and lust and passion and murder, and splurged across the front pages of every paper almost, the things that are taking place in our generation and in our wonderful and enlightened civilization that makes us when we call ourselves a democratic nation and an advanced nation, the number one nation in the world, a nation that needs above all nations to turn back to God (two or three unintelligible words). To respect God's word as did many of the forefathers of generations gone by in our country. And thus to be genuinely and truly those who not just claim to be what we claim to be, but demonstrate it by our respect for God and the law of God. And of all people on the face of God's earth that ought to do that, it ought to be those who espouse to speak where the Bible speaks, and are silent where the Bible is silent. To live according to Holy writ. To let the word of God be our guide and to call ourselves by the name Christian, and the church at which we are a member by the glorious name of Christ. That which there is no greater name on the face of this earth, and no other one in which there is salvation. It makes it incumbent upon us then to respect not only in our reading and study this question, but the teaching of the Bible on any other question. And I believe we find the major teachings on the question of marriage in those one, two, three, four, five, six, seven passages. Not the only ones, but listen to Matthew 5, verses 32 and 33, or 31 and 32.

"It was said also, Whosoever shall put away his wife, shall give her a writing of divorcement. But I say unto you, that everyone that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication maketh her an adulteress. And whosoever shall marry her when she is put away, committeth adultery." Jesus, in his interpreting of those things that God had taught even from the beginning, emphasized the thought just as clearly and plainly as he did on the question of prayer, as he did on the question of calling your brother a fool, which of course was a word of uh of condemnation, rather than a light word of an oath, but a word of condemnation, or on the question of murder, or on the question of adultery, or on the question of other things. That Jesus made clear that he went back to the mind and to the motives and to the basic intents of the heart, and looked at that man from the viewpoint of God's own eye, as God had always done from the beginning. To be that indicates that God certainly had been interested and vitally interested in the question of marriage and the righteousness of marriage, especially in connection with the people, the covenant people of God, the people of Israel. But I believe that the word, the word of God is clear on this as regards God's intentions concerning it with regard to other nations likewise. Not only that nation whom He called out of Egypt, and made to be His chosen ones; set them apart and gave them a law, and hedged them about, and looked forward through them that they as the schoolmaster should lead the people to Christ. But also He was interested in the nations round about.

Let's read now from Matthew the 19th chapter. That very familiar passage, I'll not the take time to read it all. But beginning about with verse 7. "They say then unto him, 'Why did Moses command to give her a bill of divorcement and to put her away?' He said unto them, 'Moses, for your hardness of heart, suffered you to put away your wives, but from the beginning it hath not been so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication and shall marry another, committeth adultery. And he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery.' Then the disciples said unto him, 'If the case of the man is so with his wife, (and how many times do we not ask that today? Lord if these things are so, then who among us can keep it?), then who is going to be justified before God." And I might say brethren, in all seriousness, and in all frightened terror almost, in the light of the example of Hollywood and of Broadway, and of Paris and of Tokyo, and the other leading centers, of course New York, and San Francisco, and Los Angeles, and particularly along Malibu Beach if you please, where that hellfire of fire raged here recently, and burned down houses and burned up the stuff. There's going to some fire raging in another way one of these days, maybe in the spiritual way and in the eternal way, raging to burn up and to continue to burn up, never to destroy eternally but to punish eternally those whose lives have been so mixed up in the (unintelligible adjective) conditions of sin and of lust and of passion and of worldliness. God shall hold them to account. Certainly He shall not hold them to account only because of their adulteries. But certainly He shall not, brethren, lets beware, He shall not fail to take into account their adulteries. Their adulterous conditions which is one of the outstanding influences that's leading to juvenile delinquencies in the practices of our generation today. And causing the general laxness with regard to marriage that brings about at least one divorce out of every 4 marriages, if it isn't going to be one divorce out of every 3 pretty soon. Are we going to conform ourselves unto that practice of the world? Or will we not be willing then to study God's law concerning marriage and the important relationships that obtain in that as it applies unto us, and should certainly particularly apply unto us who are Christians.

First then for a few minutes of our time, let us look at the definition of marriage. And no better definition can I find of marriage than to look at these passages which we have on the blackboard here. In the first place, Genesis the 2nd chapter says that God saw that it was not good for man to be alone, so He caused the deep sleep to fall upon man, he took out of his side area, not several that he might make several wives, but he took a rib, (And God could have done it otherwise. And you may say what you will about that, which the Mormons call a fairy tale. And maybe some who want to discount God's word otherwise speak of it as a fairy tale. But however God did it the word of God says He did it that way, and He could have well done it that way as any other way. Who's to prove that he didn't.), God made for him a helper. One helper. She's, then, to stand by his side. And as we say many times in marriage ceremonies, He made her not from a bone out of his head that she might, as it were, dominate his life. And be the boss and ruler because she has all the brains. As sometimes women indicate that they might have, and sometimes it seems that they may have in some cases. And thus be able better to direct affairs. But He didn't do that.

Neither as the other, that He might take it out of one of the phalanges of his feet, or of his foot, and thus make her to be his bond-slave or bond-servant, and never to have a word or never to have any consideration, that he might trample her under his foot.

Nay, but he took her from beside him, from out of his side. From underneath his arm that he might protect her. From beside his heart, that he might love her. And therefore God intended that they stand side by side. That they be suited to one another, spiritually, for God could not have given Adam an ape and he ...and she be suited to him, a female ape, and she be suited to him in every way. She could have been suited to him sexually, for that can well be carried out. She could have been suited to him so far as a slave, and he could have taught her (some of this, about 5 words, unintelligible) the chimpanzees, and to have followed his bidding. And maybe your husband might treat you that way, wives, on some occasions. But God didn't intend for it to be that way. God intended it for her to be suited to him spiritually, mentally and physically. And that the two should be joined together. And what God has joined together should not be put asunder. God has sanctified and hallowed, and made perfectly suitable the marriage relationship. It has been man if you please, just as it has been in religious adultery, in spiritual adultery, so in physical adultery it has been man that has sought out many inventions, that has developed many excuses, and that has built up a series of traditions so that in some states in our country, (Nevada for one, particularly Reno) one can get a divorce for just about every cause. Especially when you can call nearly anything mental cruelty. And when you can't cover it under the question of mental cruelty, then you can get it under the question of general incompatibility, and of course that can characterize or clothe anything that anybody wants to set before the Judge. Unless it's just a matter of the judge by his own will, (and according to the law permitting him, but not instructing him, just permitting him) to hand down the divorce with probably a little money passed around behind his back, so that that thing might be done in some cases. I'm not throwing that out as if that were our political heritage in this country. I don't believe its the political complexion of our country by and large. If I believed that I would be afraid that our democracy was just about ready to crumble, and I would be more afraid of Catholicism and Communism than I am right now. Although there are great and terrible forces in our country and in the world. But our country, and its political situation is not like that all over. For instance, New York City, and the state of New York. The greatest and largest city in this world today, in this modern world. At least vying with Paris, and London and Tokyo for population greatness. But so far as business greatness, the greatest one of all in the word today. And in New York state, with the greatest population of any state, and the greatest city of the world, allows divorce only legally for proven adultery. Only one cause in New York state. That great city of Broadway, where so many things are done. Legally allows it for only one cause. So they have to go to Reno to get it for every cause.

So when our nation looks at the thing from that viewpoint, we as Christians certainly ought to be just as girded up in our loins. Just as willing, really, to observe the things which God's laws teaches even more perfectly than the law of the state of New York, or the constitution of America.

So God gave marriage unto Adam and Eve. Now where down the line did He change that law of marriage? Where down the line did it become an insignificant thing to God? Where down the line was the thing sloughed off, and became something of no consequence? So that today we can do as we will, marry and divorce and marry and divorce and marry and divorce, and I'm talking about those outside the church, those out there in the world, (several unintelligible words) ...to the love of the world, for the law of your land won't really permit that. But say it does permit it, is that any proof that God permits it? Why no proof whatsoever when we see the teachings concerning marriage, Genesis 2. John the 2nd chapter Jesus hallowed marriage by performing his first miracle at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. No time to read that. Matthew the 19th chapter, which we have just read, in which Jesus said, "Whosoever putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication (or except for fornication), and marries another committeth adultery. And whoso marries her when she is put away committeth adultery." Ephesians the 5th chapter, the Christ and His church, which is His bride, are compared in that favorable, beautiful relationship as the husband and the wife. So he says, "Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loves the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify it..." (And so forth). "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Even as the church is subject to the Christ in all things, so must the wives be to their own husbands in everything." And thus the relationship between husband and wife, as God intends it since. Not only for Christians, but for everyone since God created Adam and Eve and gave to them the law of marriage.

Now true, people in the world do not observe it, and some nations are known as nations of polygamy, nations of polyandry, that's in some cases one woman having many legal husbands, as in India, in some countries like (name unintelligible), in British India, up the (name unintelligible) River. So brother Carluki (sp?), probably some of you heard of brother Carluki, when he came over to this country from British India and spoke in various congregations throughout America, telling them about the Restoration movement in the land of (name unintelligible). They have a system of matriarchy. The woman is the head. Through the woman goes the inheritance. And the woman has the legal right of having many husbands. Therefore we have it just turned around the other way in (name unintelligible).

In some nations of the world, there is polygamy. For instance (unintelligible phrases), and they have their harem, they have their many wives. Political marriages to be sure, but nevertheless, their harem. There is legalized polygamy. But does God still look upon that in the same way that he looked upon the marriages of those men like Abraham and others in the Old Testament? Or like David and like Solomon? Certainly with the same degree of criticism of that thing, and not looking upon it with a smiling countenance. Do you not believe then that we might say of marriage, that we might characterize it by these passages in these various (word unintelligible), as to its origin. It is from God, and not from some social relationship figured out by mankind. And if you are going to say that it is from man, then what part of the Bible are you going to accept? If I reject marriage as having come from God, and think of it only as a social institution, instituted by man for his own benefit, then I might as well reject the creation story, and as well reject the sinner and fall into sin. Might as well reject the account of the blood, the account of the birth and life and death and burial and resurrection of Christ or anything else that I resist, if I'm going to follow my own will and my own way, and stubbornly and rebelliously and humanly on a social plane go on down the way, following what I think to be best.

Let us regard the fact of the things, just as it is taught in the Bible that marriage is originated of God. In Character it is to be characterized by that word "mono" which means one. Therefore it is one woman for one man. And the other part of it there is the word "gamy". "Gamy" means woman in that case. It is the greek work meaning woman. Therefore we may call it mono-gamy, and mono-andry. For the word "andry" (and the word Andrew) comes from the greek word "andra" which means man. So the word Andrew just means manly. If you name your son Andrew, as we know that Peter's brother was named Andrew, the word in the Greek means man or manly. So "mono-gamy" one woman, "mono-andry" one man, God made both one woman for one man, one man for one woman, and what God has joined together let not man put asunder.

Or are you going to be like a certain preacher's wife. A preacher in the church of Christ mind you. We might have to put that word in quotation marks for as far as you are concerned for he made out of it a denomination. And when we do not beware we may make of the church of Christ a denomination. By our own attitude, and our own attitude toward the word of God. This man, a preacher of the gospel striving to do the will of the Lord, his wife began to commit adultery and when she was caught in this state, and brought up before the elders of the church, she made it clear that in this modern civilization, and particularly as far as she was concerned, one man was not enough for her. One man was just not enough. So what God instituted was just not for her. Well that may be true concerning Baptism. That may be true concerning church membership. That may be true with you or with somebody concerning the Lord's Supper every Lord's day. It may be true with you concerning anything about which God has taught, but my dear friend of mine, and I hope that we can be friends, even though I'm striving to preach the word of God in all of its power and sincerity and boldness, that God will not hold you without being accountable. But He will hold you accountable! For if you transgress those things that are clearly taught, this likewise is clearly taught. That marriage is monogamous in character.

One other thing which I wish to point out that these scriptures teach, Hebrews 13, that "marriage is holy, and the bed is undefiled." That is when it is regarded as holy, respected according to God's law, and kept in the bounds of virtue and honor and patience and kindness and love, that God intends that marriage be holy, and the bed of marriage undefiled. Therefore, marriage is not only originated of God, monogamous in character, but also it is indissoluble. That is it is not to be dissolved, except by death.

Therefore we have 1 Corinthians the 7th chapter, as also here in Romans the 7th chapter, Paul teaches that a woman is bound by the law unto her husband for so long time as he liveth. But if her husband be dead she is free from the law of her husband, and free to be joined unto another if she desire. God intended that this marriage relationship be indissoluble. Therefore as we think concerning marriage, we recognize that we live today in a situation of lust, and free love, and divorce, and all manner of marriage arrangements, of one kind or another as have been discussed before in this lesson. Therefore I know that I may in some senses have to step on some toes when I preach on the subject of marriage. And you may be feeling right now somewhat like the congregation felt to which a young preacher went on one occasion, and preached his first sermon on Sunday morning on the subject of love. Love to God and love to our fellow man. And particularly, since we are Christians, the word of God says that we should love one another, "in honor prefer one another," that love is of God, and he that "hateth his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen," and preached on love that Sunday morning. A very fitting subject, everybody agrees that it was a fitting one. During the week he heard that a certain old brother and another old brother in the congregation did not exactly love one another. They were generally always at one another's throat. So the next Sunday morning he determined to preach on it again. He took another passage, 1 Corinthians 13 teaching love, and taught on the subject of love the next Sunday morning. Well and good, they took that because he had taken another text, you know. Well if he could have gone on taking different texts it might have been well, but the next Sunday morning he preached on the same subject again. And at that time one of those old brethren, an elder of the church there came to him and said, "Brother, we like those sermons on love, but the Bible teaches on something else. Why do you just keep on every Sunday morning preaching on it?" Well he said, "I'm going to preach on that subject until we go to demonstrating it. Go to showing it one to another." Now how long would we have to preach on Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage before we all got to observing what God's word says.

I don't know whether you intend that it be that way. Or whether these lessons were designed that way. But it may be sort of like brother Hailey said when he preached for you the other night as I understand on this subject, he said well brother Pickup preached for you on it, preached for over an hour, I should think he would have covered everything, why did you call on me to come preach on it again? I might ask the same question even more so with regard to this same question. But I do believe that you are sincerely desirous of being reminded and stirred up and repeat, and repeat, and repeat again, we must. Even unto ourselves who have heard the word of God many times, some think it will make us to love God, and love the word of God, and love the appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And love the thought of being able to stand before Him, and to recognize Him as the just and merciful and peace loving and kind Savior, and yet one who at the same time is the author of eternal salvation unto all them that... think they obey Him. That believe on Him. That have in a sense repented of their sins. That have become members of the church, but their church membership doesn't mean anything much to them, just a sort of frame of denominational connection. Now you know the scripture didn't say all of those things. That He's the author of eternal salvation unto "all them that obey Him." And (word unintelligible) unto Christ, the love of Christ includes the keeping of His commandments. And many commandments there are with regard to marriage.

I don't have the time to talk on all of these, but marriage is originated of God, it was sanctioned by the Lord Jesus Christ. It was hallowed there in His teaching concerning the sanctity of it, and how that it could not be broken except by death or fornication, that is uncleanness, breaking the marriage through an unfaithful relationship. It is likened unto Christ and His church, and their beautiful relationship of spiritual salvation. It is holy, made holy of God. It is thus, 1 Corinthians 7, to be regarded as sacred even between those who were yet heathen, whose companion either a woman or a man as the case might be had become a Christian. The marriage had been consummated before they became Christians. And one of them was not yet a Christian. The Bible certainly recognizes marriage as being something which God appreciates in the world outside the church or these things in 1 Corinthians 6 and 7 could not have been taught in the sense that the Apostle Paul teaches them. For God was willing, and teaches in 1 Corinthians 7 that marriage was holy in the sight of the Lord, and that it was to be regarded as holy, and that they were to be faithful unto their vows, else he says, "were your children unholy." That is illegitimate. Now are all of the children born to marriages out there in the world, (which as I understand some teach, and I have talked to some brethren that teach it very strongly. I'd like for this to be thought as one of the questions involved in that). If marriages, and divorces and remarriages, and redivorces and remarriages as is done by Hollywood, and is permitted in Reno, Nevada, and is as the practice of our ungodly age, reaching into the church and causing difficulties wherever it does, if that is the (unintelligible word), then are the children of those marriages out there in the world regarded by God as illegitimate? Answer for me in your own thinking and in your own mind that question, and you won't be able to answer it in the affirmative by the word of God. The word of God, 1 Corinthians 6 and 7, teaches that God does not want the world, and the man in the world to be an adulterer, to be a fornicator and so to live as that he bears illegitimate children. God has never sanctioned that, and doesn't call marriage out in the world a thing just of the world. Marriage is given of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 6 and 7 indicates it, that it is to be respected in that general, civil sense.

So, in Matthew 5 with regard to marriage and adultery, in Romans 7, again the emphasis upon, the thought there concerning one husband for one wife, one wife for one husband so long as they live. So much concerning that. I believe that when we have seen the basic Bible definition of marriage, and the basic importance of it as God's word teaches it, then we certainly will want to hold to that. And we will want to make our situation, whatever it is, to conform to that as nearly as it is humanly possible for us to do it. Now I know that you have had the illustration here, in many respects, given. But I don't know whether you've had this passage, as we come over to the question of divorce now, I don't know whether you've had it explained from the standpoint of an english sentence being diagrammed.

I'm not going to take the time to give you a lesson in English, except simply to basically and briefly diagram this sentence in Matthew the 19th chapter, and verses about 6, 7 and 8. Particularly where he says, "Whosoever putteth away his wife, except for the cause of fornication, and marries another committeth adultery. "And", and we know that the word "and" connects to coordinate sentences, "whosoever marrieth her when she is put away, committeth adultery." Now what sentences does that "and" connect. And where does the except clause fit in, where does it belong, and how do we not (several words unintelligible) ...apply it too generally, and too widely. As we come over to the question of divorce, may I point out if God's original law of marriage is followed, recognizing God (whether we do that in a general human sense, according to the law of the land under which we live, or whether we do it as Christians), God is the author of marriage. (Unintelligible word)... is the character of marriage. The indissolubility of that marriage is the idea that God set forth from the beginning, that they should be bound together by love is also a teaching of the word of God.

These passages that we have used, have emphasized here (and which I wish that you would take, and study prayerfully and conscientiously again), have emphasized the question of the dissolving of marriage, it may be broken by death. When marriage is broken by death there is no divorce. So we may leave out divorce so far as that breaking is concerned. There is no divorce. Remarriage may take place on the part of the Christian, but 1 Corinthians 7:39 says, "Only in the Lord." He's speaking concerning widows there, that the widow who is thus freed by the death of her husband may be married again only in the Lord. And I take it since 1 Corinthians 7 has made general application there of all of these lessons that he teaches concerning marriage, both to the man and to the woman, and in light of the fact that it was more prevalent in those days, when in childbirth women died much more frequently than they do in our time because of the lack of knowledge concerning certain prophylactics, and certain other things that would eliminate those attacks of various types of germs that bring about that, and did up into our modern times as far as that's concerned. It was very very frequent that a man, it was not unusual at all for a man to have been a husband to various wives because of the fact that various of his wives had died. So it was a more common thing for the wife to die first, although we know in our modern civilization the life expectancy of the woman is at least 3 to 5 to 10 years more, according to our insurance tables, to that of the man. But our present civilization, and our present rate, is not the same as it was back in the days of Alexander Campbell, for instance. In the early 1800's and the middle 1800's. For them it was not an uncommon thing for women, and I believe that insurance tables will show even back in that time, that the woman's life expectancy was from 10 to 20 years less then than the man's was. So we see that it would be a natural thing that the scriptures would say that if the widow should marry again that the emphasis was upon that exceptional case. Although we could see that it would apply also to the man. (Few words unintelligible) Whether it is the wife that dies, or the husband that dies, there is no divorce. That's been taken care of by death, there is no need for a separation. Death has taken care of that separation. Thus the Christian is to marry the Christian. That is the law and the advice and the recommendation of God all the way through.

Now God's plan for marriage has thus been set forth. The why, and the relationship of marriage has been emphasized, and now the question of divorce. If it is broken by death, there is no divorce. This word adultery is also in Matthew the 19th chapter spoken of by the general term "fornication." Now I don't believe those two terms are always mutually exclusive. Adultery has usually been defined as that act of unfaithfulness which is committed by either one or the other at least is a married person. Thus whether a husband or a wife, and whether the person with which he commits the act is married or not, if one of the persons committing the act is a married person then it is adultery. But fornication includes any kind of sexual uncleanness. Any sort of marital unfaithfulness, or unfaithfulness out of the marriage relationship. It covers that lax and loose idea of free love, and the (unintelligible word) marriages which are not according to the law. And so forth and so on. Marriages of convenience, and marriages extra-legal, and common law marriages, and this and that and the other, which in many cases might be made to be legal, but in the first place might be characterized as fornication. Therefore let us see that these two words many times are used interchangeably.

And in this passage that I want to diagram now, we find, the first one. The subject of it is "whosoever", whosoever, and I'll just abbreviate this (writing on black board), put away, or shall put away. And the direct object of course is "wife." Whosoever shall put away, or putteth away, his wife. Putteth away "except", one exception, "except" for fornication (we'll just abbreviate that). Whosoever putteth away his wife except for fornication, and whosoever "and" marrieth (so the subject of this "whosoever" repeated here, the word "and" comes in between. Whosoever putteth away his wife, except for fornication, and marries another (the same subject, of course we really, in reality would have a plural verb here, if we diagrammed this directly), marrieth another. And then the conclusion here for both of these is "he commiteth adultery." Now he didn't leave it with just one of them, whosoever putteth away his wife commiteth adultery, for that isn't so. Whosoever putteth away his wife commiteth adultery, that isn't so. It isn't advisable, but that isn't usually the case, and we know that that would have been unnecessary teaching. To say whosoever putteth away his wife commits adultery. That would have almost been nonsense, wouldn't it. That had never been taught by the word of God, and it wasn't taught by Jesus. But, whosoever puts away, and marries (except that he puts away for fornication) commits adultery. Can't you see that the exception then has to do then with the putting away. Whosoever putteth away, except for the cause of fornication, his wife, and then marries another commits adultery. [But let's leave the exception out. (unintelligible sentence). Let's just leave that thing out. And let this be the plural thing that we know that it is. That's this one coming up here, and this one down here] (Bracketed sentences consisted of him explaining why he was erasing information on the blackboard, SC). Thus, whosoever putteth away his wife and marries another committeth adultery. Now that would be the general law, wouldn't it. That would be the application of that which Jesus said a little earlier, when He said, "Moses, for your hardness of heart suffered you to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. But from the beginning it had not been so." For God said in the beginning, "Let a man leave his father and mother, and let him cleave unto his wife." One man for one woman. "And the two shall be one flesh. And whatsoever God has joined together, let not man put asunder." Therefore from that teaching we might almost draw the conclusion that there was exception except death. Whosoever putteth away his wife and marrieth another commiteth adultery. Thus the word "and" goes in there. (Unintelligible short sentence). But Jesus has given us the exception, and the exception comes in connection with the putting away. Why did you put your wife away? Why was she put away, if you did? Why did you put your husband away? Why was he put away, if you did? If it was not for fornication, then there is no Bible excuse or Bible reason for a remarriage.

Therefore when we come over here to the third question on the blackboard, this question of remarriage. Then we find that when adultery has been involved, remarriage is only for the one who put away the companion because of adultery. Therefore we say, only for the one who is innocent. Now I know many legal twists, and many questions and involvements are found here, but the Lord God of Heaven didn't write this law, and enunciate this law to be filled with the loopholes of man's legal twisting mind. So that man might find all the loopholes, and all the ways out that he possibly could. And various ones I want to mention to you now in just a moment.

But may I point out in this connection, that since the 7th chapter of 1 Corinthians says, "defraud ye not one another", speaking to husband and wife. Even to husband and wife where one of the companions was not a member of the church. One was a heathen and the other was a Christian. He says, "Defraud ye not one another, except it be with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency." Marriage was given for the full expression of genuine mating love. For that urge that God placed within us, that He gave also the satisfaction for, the urge of mating in marital relationships, within the basic companionship, occupation, love and sexual gratification, relationship in marriage. God certainly intended that these things be done.

Let me read you this quotation. It was taken out of a little article by brother Carl Spain, who writes in the 20th Century Christian, one issue of which was devoted to the question of Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage, some two or three years ago. This is the quotation out of brother Spain's article:

And that certainly is true. I'm not able to judge. All I'm able to do, and any preacher of the gospel is able to do (and what I want to remain in your thoughts, if you may allow it to remain), is these thoughts concerning the basic scriptural characterizing and defining of marriage; the simple fact that Jesus taught, in addition to what Moses' law had taught, and in setting forth unto His disciples who later should go into all the world and preach the gospel unto every creature, as they would strive to lead men and women out of sin, into righteousness and salvation and truth, who we should go into the world likewise to spread the gospel of our Lord unto others, even unto our generation, that you make this exception, this the only exception in this question of divorce. So if a man put away his wife for any cause, biscuits or relatives or flowers, or this or that or the other; or coldness or indifference, or whatever it might be. If he put away for any other cause than that of fornication, he causes her to commit adultery. "And whosoever marrieth her when she is put away commiteth adultery." When he marries another, if he puts her away except for that cause, he commits adultery. Therefore we have divorce as one of the greatest evils of the day, and one of the things that should demand our attention. Let us speak on this wise, concerning divorce in the New Testament. There can be no divorce, under the New Testament age, without sin. There can be no divorce without sin. If sin or immorality has not been committed, there is no rightful divorce for the innocent party. But wherever divorce is pronounce there is sin. Say that adultery has not been committed. Say that the wife had burned the biscuits on Sunday morning, in trying to hurry and get ready for church, and the husband got so mad at that that he demanded that she repent of it, and that she caused an argument and that they had a falling out, and maybe even a fist fight, and a divorce resulted in it. You think sin hasn't been committed? Well even if the fist fight weren't a sin, or if that hadn't entered into it, the divorce itself was a sin. Both of them committed sin. There was no breaking of that according to God's law, therefore there was a sin involved. Yes, we know young people of the world, you say, "Oh, well they sinned, so innocent, or one other little sin." Little or big, God's law of marriage still applies. And that one commits sin, yes, and will have to answer for them, and have to repent of, when they come to Christ, if indeed they ever come to Christ.

Let us then regard that, that sin is always present where divorce is present. To divorce one's marriage partner without a scriptural right to do so is a sin. And the only act on the part of one who permits the other to obtain the divorce is a sin. There can't be a divorce without a sin. So Jesus makes it clear that married couples should not divorce. But and if they do there is only one cause which can justify it, and that cause in itself is sin on the part of one. Marital sin, sexual sin on the part of one or the other. Not just thought, not just surmised, not just guessed at, and not just "hoped for", if you please. As in the case of some who because of their general incompatibility, because of this or that or the other are just looking for a way out, and every little indication, even the fact that some man may have come up on the front porch, trying maybe to sell this or that or the other, and may have got his toe in the front door, and may have talked a little too long, or may have been there a while, the suspicious husband might easily be able to get a divorce because a salesman entered into the house, and thus for a few minutes tried to persuade the wife about this or that or the other. Now I know that some salesmen have committed acts of infidelity likewise, with regard to those things. So the Christian woman can not be too careful with regard to those matters. But the husband is not justified just upon suspicion, just on hearsay, or with malice aforethought some way or other, breaking the marriage relationship because of that. Certainly not before an attempt to come to a real understanding of these things. Fornication is the only scriptural right for a divorce. If a man puts away his wife without sin, if there has been no sin committed, and he puts away his wife, then that makes him a sinner. The very putting of her away, so there is sin committed, as we see this. And if he puts her away, without sin, then she falls into temptation. Her husband has put her away without a scriptural cause, without any basic cause according to God's word, then she being put away, she falls into temptation, and falls in with some other man, and they get married or just commit adultery outside of the marriage relationship herself. And, on the other hand, if she does either of these, the husband then putting her away from himself is certainly responsible before God, for he put her away without the sin that breaks the marriage tie. Therefore it would be wrong to put away a moral companion, a companion that had not committed this act of which Jesus speaks here. The act of adultery or fornication. It certainly would be wrong, it would be sin on the man's part or the woman's part either to do that.

In cases of unfaithfulness, notice this now, carefully, in cases of unfaithfulness, where one or the other companion has stepped across the fence. Has committed a sin, or committed an ill-advised act, an act contrary to God's will. The innocent party is not required to put away his partner. The Bible doesn't say, now the marriage tie has been broken. Broken irreparably. You've got to put him away, or you've got to put her away, otherwise you'll be recognizing filth and fornication and evil, you've got to put her away. Now moral indignation, and self-righteousness many times, might bring that thing to a point of jumping at the thing, and doing something on the spur of the moment which maybe would be ill-advised. Think on it this wise, in case of unfaithfulness the innocent party is not required to put his partner away by divorce, but it certainly would be permissible. God's word says that that is the only cause, save death itself, whereby it might be affected. If he had the love, this man whose wife had been caught in the act of adultery, he knew that she had committed fornication, if he had the proper love for his wife that he should have, certainly he would not rush into the courts, seek a divorce the first day, and without striving to say or to talk or to persuade or to advise or to look into the cause, or to look into his own life, look into his being maybe the cause of it himself, by his own way of acting, and by his own unfaithfulness, by his own relationship toward the family, or toward the bank, or toward this or that or something else, or maybe toward rendering unto his wife her due. Is it not also unfaithfulness men, is it not also unfaithfulness to our wives and to our families when we let our business get such a hold on us that we can't give them any time. When we let the church, and the things of the church, get such a hold upon us, women or men, (and haven't you seen Jehovah's Witnesses, and I've seen some others, women for instance), so wrapped up in the church, and so wrapped up in the distribution of literature, as good as that should be for the Christian woman to do, or the Christian man, and yet the Bible teaches not unto the neglect of your family. Not unto the neglect of your home. Your basic responsibility is to husband and children, and to serve the Lord with regard to that along with such time as you can give to Bible classes and to services in the church of the Lord. All the time that you possibly can give. But it is also unfaithfulness brethren, when we let our work, our pleasure, other things, keep us from rendering unto our wives and our husbands their due. Those things that would keep love developed, and the loving family ties united, and in that sense God expects these basic ideals of marriage be continued. Most divorces would be circumvented if that were the case. So if this man had a love for his wife that he should have, certainly he would not rush into court to seek a divorce, until after he had put forth a sincere, patient, prayerful effort to get her to repent and to do right. Divorce then becomes an action which is the last resort to a Christian man, to a Christian woman. And not that immediately grabbing on Matthew 19, verses 6, 7 and 8, and saying its got to be done, first thing. I even heard a brother in the church one time who had developed the theory that Matthew 19, verses 6,7, and 8 did not permit a divorce in our modern sense of the word, but that it permitted a separation. That they were no longer under bondage to render to one another the due of married partners. But he even went so far as to say, they still didn't have the right to break up the home, to separate and live in two different homes, and to go off, much less marrying again. But they should live together, but not have relationships with one another. Now that I don't believe the Bible necessarily teaches. There ought to be repentance. It ought to be a turning back to the Bible way. It doesn't demand that there be a divorce, but that certainly would be the last resort.

Now there only two scriptural conditions for remarriage. That is as we saw a moment ago. That that involves (unintelligible word) into these things. If there has been a death, then a Christian can remarry only in the Lord. If there has been adultery or fornication, then the innocent party may according to the scriptures remarry, but that likewise then, a Christian only in the Lord. May we respect these things. May we have it pointed out unto us that there are many unlawful marriages in our day.

Now to the final word that I want to say to you tonight. And that is as we turn to 1 Corinthians the 7th chapter, and read a few passages out of that Bible passage which as been used so very many times to strive to justify some things which I don't believe that it justifies. Look at 1 Corinthians chapter 7, and as we read there in the sixth chapter, we find that he said concerning them, of their background, and of their practices in days gone by, he had been talking about some of the things that they had done. Some of the ways that they had lived. He had emphasized that they had been adulterers, that they'd been fornicators, that they had been those who had lived an ungodly life, in a way that God would have not been pleased. But he said, you have come out from those things. He pointed out that they had been adulterers, that they had been fornicators, that they had been sodomites, that they had been effiminate. How in the world was Paul justified in bringing up that concerning them before they became Christians, if God didn't somehow recognize what they had been before they became Christians? And that they might repent of what they had been before they became Christians? And repentance, of course, as we know it applies to stealing, as we know that it applies to idolatry, as we know that it applies to other relationships, why doesn't repentance apply on the question of marriage? And I believe that it does. What is repentance? A change of the will with regard to a sin or a sinful relationship that resolves itself into a change of life. Repentance is not genuine if the man has been a drunkard, and that he has gotten into the habit so much he's an alcoholic. So that he touches a bottle of beer, like there's a man in the church in St. Petersburg, I'll not mention which congregation, and I'll not mention any man's name. But when he takes a drink of beer, it sets him off so that in his alcoholic condition that he must go on and on and on, until he gets so drunk they had to put him in jail. Six or eight times while I was preaching with the congregation in the three or four years that I worked with them, he came forward and made a confession of that sin. And besides was told to straighten that up. Did they demand repentance every time he got drunk? If he wants to be pleasing to God he did. He must come out of that relationship. That of course, is not a constant, continual relationship like marriage. So that's the difference between marriage, and idolatry, or drunkenness, or stealing or lying or some other things. Although they have a phase of that. Marriage is a relationship, instituted of God, and made to be existent when one man and one woman so vow and make it known to the community according to the laws of the land that they are to live together, that marriage is that kind of a situation.

Now before God it is consummated, and if that is an adulterous marriage, an adulterous relationship, there is not repentance for that and from that without breaking that adulterous marriage. The only possible way in which we could accept God's law as applying in that sin, (a few unintelligible words)... And looking at what these passages teach concerning the breaking of it, there is no way for us really, and uprightly to accept that thing, and then talk about remarriage on any other basis.

Let us then think concerning 1 Corinthians the 7th chapter, looking back to the 6th chapter in which he spoke of some of them as having been adulterers and effiminate, and so on. Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote, that is concerning marriage, "it is good for a man not to touch a woman." And he goes ahead to speak of that in the light of the situation of the time, and in view of the distress and so forth. But he goes ahead and says that it is better to marry than to burn. But unto the unmarried he talks in verse 8 down through about verse 10, now look to verse 12. "Now to the rest say I, not the Lord, if any brother have an unbelieving wife..." Now "to the rest say I, not the Lord", what does that mean, that the Lord wasn't speaking through Paul? Why no. "To the rest say I", the Lord didn't talk anything about it when He was among you. The Lord Jesus didn't say that when He was among you. "To the rest say I", was he not saying through the Spirit? To be sure. Don't make this passage uninspired, and criticize the Bible as you have, and say that Paul was just giving human advice here. Not so. He just said the Lord didn't talk about this when he was in your midst. But the Lord now through the Spirit, because of the church and the situation we find ourselves in now, which the Lord didn't find them in because he was among the Jews, he had no relationship to the Gentiles, but now here am I, the apostle to the Gentiles, and I find this thing in the church some 20 or 30 years later, and so "To the rest speak I," through the Spirit. Not that the Lord said anything about it while He was here, but I say it. Thus we have him speaking in verses 12 and 13, "If any brother have an unbelieving wife and she is content to dwell with him, let him not leave her. And the woman that hath an unbelieving husband, and he is content to dwell with her, let her not leave her husband, for the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife." Does that mean he is saved from his sins? No. What does it mean? Read on. "And the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the brother, else were your children unclean." Else were your children illegitimate. "But now they are holy." That is, they are legitimate. They are acceptable in the sight of God. Don't put her away or him away, because you think that marriage outside the body of Christ is not sanctioned before God. If that passage doesn't teach that, I don't see what it does teach. I don't see that you could see by the Greek, or by the English, or by the Hebrew or whatever it might be in. In doesn't take a foreign language for us to see the implication of that passage there. Marriage outside Christ was recognized by God. And a marriage partner who was not a Christian was recognized.

Now don't take it off of this, alright let's advise our boys and girls then to go out and marry those who are not Christians. Because He recognized it here, He ecognized what was already existent before one of them became a Christian, and says don't break it. For your children are not unholy because one is not a Christian in that relationship. But the Bible certainly teaches for those who are Christians to marry in the Lord. For those who are Christians to marry someone respectful of God and God's word. Now I won't say that in every case, that is has not turned out well, but I say that the word of God definitely teaches those things to be clearly and definitely set forth in all (unintelligible word).

"Yet if the unbelieving departeth, let him depart. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God hath called us unto peace." A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases. What about this question of not under bondage. In 1 Corinthians 7:15, the inspired apostle said thus, " If the unbelieving departeth, let him depart. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases." That word bondage has been spoken as being, without careful investigation, of permissible for a Christian whose companion has deserted, to obtain a divorce and marry someone else. But let's not be too hasty with regard to this. Let us look at verse 11, which says, "But if she depart let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled unto her husband, and let not the husband put away his wife." Just go back a verse or two and you'll find that he said, "But if she depart let her remain unmarried." Now that would settle the matter wouldn't it. It would settle a whole lot of matters if we were just willing to read the whole passage and talk about it.

But what about this question of bondage. What about this question of bondage here. It comes from a greek word which means to make a slave of, to reduce to bondage. And we know that's not what it is talking about in marriage. It uses that word and it uses it in a metaphorical sense, applying to the relationship of husband and wife. And so in the metaphorical or figurative sense, to be under bondage, that is to be held by constraint of law, or by constraint of necessity in some matter. So I believe both the law and the necessity. Now what is the law and the necessity. The law on the one hand is the law of the land, as well as the law of God concerning marriage. Basically the law of God, I think. Because the law of God put it in the beginning that the woman should be subject unto the man. That the woman should submit herself unto the man, that the woman should bear the children, that the woman should take care and keep in the home. There is a certain amount of service to be rendered. You might call it slavery, it was at one time considered slavery. It's at least service. But service out of legal relationship.

But there's also another side of it, which Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 7, and that's the side of necessity. "It's better that you remain unmarried," but because of necessity, in order to keep down fornication, "It's better to marry than to burn." There's where the necessity comes in. The law and necessity. Is that why our children pet and neck and sometimes commit fornication? Our young people, our teenagers, is there a necessity involved in this? Don't some of us, as mothers and fathers, try to keep back that period, that teenage period, don't we try to hold it back and so smother it, and not ever teach our children about it, and not ever strive to lead them, and not let the school authorities teach anything about it, or criticize them if they do, leave all the teaching of it to the streets, and the back alleys, and the others places where they get the wrong information. There is a necessity, the strongest of necessities. This question of attraction of the sexes, that necessity is so strong, and some people never learn the will of the Lord, or any discipline, or any control on that thing, and thus they are not only not subject to God, they are not subject really to man's law, and thus they commit all kinds of crimes with regard to that. And how many sex crimes are there not committed in our time, in our great advanced land. We need more training of our young people along that line. There is a necessity, thus the wife is bound by the law unto her husband for so long a time as he liveth, she is also bound to him out of those physical necessities. And so this word bondage has to do with that physical necessity, as well as with the legal side of that matter.

May we then regard this in the teaching of God's word, and recommend the conclusion of our thoughts this evening. That Hebrews the 13th chapter, and about verse 17 it says, that "Marriage therefore is holy, and the bed is undefiled." Let us therefore in our practices, and in our development of this theme, strive to keep it holy. To regard it always (unintelligible words)... an indissoluble union with love and faithfulness and patience and kindness especially in the church of our Lord Jesus, that these things may go forward. And if the marriage today, or any time in the past, has been broken by death, let her, or any Christian marry only in the Lord... (tape fades out, and remainder of closing remarks are lost.)


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