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“Marriage & Sexuality, part 5: Remarriage”Categories: marriage & family, Midweek FR articles
In recent weeks, these midweek articles have addressed the Biblical ethics of sexuality and marriage. As a direct follow-up to last Wednesday’s article about divorce, let’s give some quick consideration the the New Testament’s statements about remarriage.
The first situation in which remarriage is Biblically validated is in the case of a spouse's death. A widowed spouse is free to remarry, and that is clearly not sinful or even morally suspect. Paul enumerates this truth plainly in Romans 7:1-3 and in 1 Corinthians 7:39. He even says that under some circumstances, younger widowers and widows should remarry (1 Tim. 5:14), especially if they will be excessively tempted to sexual immorality (1 Cor. 7:8-9).
The second situation in which remarriage is Biblically validated is in the case of a spouse against whom adultery has been committed. This is necessarily inferred from what the Lord spoken in Matthew 19:9. There, he said, “whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” The implication is that any remarriage which follows a divorce not brought about by sexual infidelity is unlawful. And therefore, any remarriage which follows a divorce brought about by sexual infidelity is lawful.
Beyond these two, the New Testament’s only other mention of the subject is up for some debate. Obviously, I’m talking about the same unclear section of 1 Corinthians 7 that I mentioned in last week’s article. This situation is one which needs to be worked out on a case-by-case basis, with much prayer and with as much fidelity to Scripture as we can achieve. I will avoid addressing that matter directly in this writing, and I will do so for this purpose: So that we can see the parts of the New Testament which are plain teachings. And so that we can align our hearts to believe them and live them out.
Is this a hard teaching? Yes. Even the apostles thought so (cf. Mt. 19:10-13). And yet, Jesus stated the truth on the matter. It’s a matter of what God wants for us, what pleases him, and ultimately what is righteous in the grand scheme of all holiness.
- Dan Lankford, minister