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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Divorce and Remarriage (The Exception Clause)


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It's always difficult to have this conversation since there are 3 basic positions

1. No Divorce under any circumstance
2. Divorce is allowed for Fornication
3. Divorce is allowed for any reason

There are many passages, but the two key passages are found in Matthew and 1 Corinthians, which have already been referenced above.

Jesus said "Except for Fornication". - To understand this passage, one must understand Jewish Marriages. We have an "Engagement Period" today in which a ring is given, but no vows are given. In Bible times, Joseph and Mary were Espoused according to Luke and Married according to Matthew. Is this a contradiction? Luke is looking at it from a physical standpoint and Matthew the legal. Joseph and Mary were "Legally married" as they were espoused to each other. However, they had not consummated the marriage yet which is why Luke uses the word "Espoused Wife". During the Espousal period, a couple are legally married and it is during this time if one were to "Cheat" on the other, God allowed the divorce. It is important to notice that Jesus used the word "Fornication" instead of "Adultery". During the Espousal period, if one "Cheated", it would have been "Fornication". However, once the marriage is consummated, it is no longer "Fornication", it is now "Adultery".

1 Corinthians is a little more difficult to explain, but I will deal with that one later.

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I would like to post a 4th position through scripture that has nothing to do with Fornication.

1 Corinthians 7:12-15 (KJV) 
12  But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13  And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
15  But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 

This "exception clause" is for those that are saved either before or after marriage, and if the spouse is refusing to believe, wants nothing to do with the Christian beliefs and lifestyle and refuses to abide in them, but says "either your God goes, or I go"; then you as the saved are not under bondage to the marriage vow.

Edited by 2bLikeJesus
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10 hours ago, 2bLikeJesus said:

I would like to post a 4th position through scripture that has nothing to do with Fornication.

1 Corinthians 7:12-15 (KJV) 
12  But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13  And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
15  But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 

This "exception clause" is for those that are saved either before or after marriage, and if the spouse is refusing to believe, wants nothing to do with the Christian beliefs and lifestyle and refuses to abide in them, but says "either your God goes, or I go"; then you as the saved are not under bondage to the marriage vow.

I will get into this passage at some point. Unfortunately, I do not have time right now.

The key to any doctrinal discussion is one understanding - Scripture cannot contradict Scripture and Jesus cannot go against Scripture. Notice the below passage. Jesus said "But from the beginning it was not so." Also notice "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."

These two key phrases mean that God never intended divorce in any circumstance and that Jesus restated it.

On ‎4‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 12:32 PM, Jordan Kurecki said:

Matthew 19:4-8 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

The Apostle Paul would never under inspiration contradict God or Jesus. So when you are looking at 1 Cor. you must keep this in mind. Often times people take one verse to prove a point. You must use all Scripture.

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On 9/19/2018 at 8:52 AM, Pastorj said:

The Apostle Paul would never under inspiration contradict God or Jesus. So when you are looking at 1 Cor. you must keep this in mind. Often times people take one verse to prove a point. You must use all Scripture.

Exactly, and this is why the doctrine of marriage is found in 1st Corinthians 7 and not Matthew for the New Testament Christian.

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9 hours ago, swathdiver said:

Exactly, and this is why the doctrine of marriage is found in 1st Corinthians 7 and not Matthew for the New Testament Christian.

The doctrine of Marriage starts in Genesis and goes throughout. The Apostle Paul would not contradict Jesus or the Old Testament. That is bad doctrine.

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9 minutes ago, Pastorj said:

The doctrine of Marriage starts in Genesis and goes throughout. The Apostle Paul would not contradict Jesus or the Old Testament. That is bad doctrine.

This is a very good point worthy of consideration. 

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4 hours ago, Pastorj said:

The doctrine of Marriage starts in Genesis and goes throughout. The Apostle Paul would not contradict Jesus or the Old Testament. That is bad doctrine.

I'm not sure we disagree.  However, things said by Paul contradict things said by Jesus until taken in context.  But I'll stand by my statement that if one wants to know what God's plan for marriage is in this age, it's to be found in 1 Corinthians 7.  Of course, other things related to marriage are found throughout the scriptures

 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

 

On 8/30/2018 at 9:24 PM, Jordan Kurecki said:

Does “Not Under Bondage” Mean Divorce Is Permitted?

The word rendered “bondage” (1 Cor. 7:15) is the Greek term douloo, which means “to make a slave of.” Observe how the word is translated in Titus 2:3 — “enslaved to much wine.”

Biblically speaking, marriage is never viewed as slavery! The “bondage,” i.e., enslavement, does not refer to the marriage union. If the unbeliever departs, that is not the Christian’s responsibility. The brother or sister is not enslaved to maintain a togetherness (note the allusion of 1 Cor. 7:5) at the expense of fidelity to the Lord.

Interestingly, douloo (under bondage) in verse 15 is, in the Greek Testament, a perfect tense form, dedoulotai. The perfect tense denotes a present state resulting from past action. Its force here is this: “was not bound [past action] and is not bound [present state].” The sense of the verse thus is:

Yet if (assuming such should occur) the unbeliever separates himself, let him separate himself: the brother or sister was not [before the departure] and is not [now that the departure has occurred] enslaved ....

Whatever the “bondage” is, therefore, the Christian was not in it even before the disgruntled spouse left. But the saint was married (and is) to him, hence, the bondage is not the marriage!

Let the reader substitute the word “marriage” for “bondage,” giving the full force to the perfect tense (i.e., “has not been married, and is not married”) and the fallacy of viewing the bondage as the marriage itself will be apparent.

First Corinthians 7:15 does not expand upon the Savior’s teaching with reference to divorce and remarriage, as much as some wish that it were so.

https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/683-what-is-the-meaning-of-not-under-bondage-1-cor-7-15

I thought this was worth re-quoting. I think it refutes the notion that 1 Cor 7 allows remarriage.

Edited by Jordan Kurecki
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19 hours ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

 

I thought this was worth re-quoting. I think it refutes the notion that 1 Cor 7 allows remarriage.

Jordan,

Your interpretation goes contrary to Jesus, therefore is wrong. I will find some time this week to go through 1 Cor. 7. Just been busy.

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2 minutes ago, Pastorj said:

Jordan,

Your interpretation goes contrary to Jesus, therefore is wrong. I will find some time this week to go through 1 Cor. 7. Just been busy.

Actually I think my position harmonizes with Christ, if you divorce and marry someone else you commit adultery, with the exception that you already mentioned earlier of fornication during the betrothal period. 

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22 hours ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

 

I thought this was worth re-quoting. I think it refutes the notion that 1 Cor 7 allows remarriage.

Not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but that website you cited teaches the false doctrine that Christians can LOSE their salvation.

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On 10/2/2018 at 12:33 PM, (Omega) said:

Not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but that website you cited teaches the false doctrine that Christians can LOSE their salvation.

Didn't realize that, I think they also teach baptismal regeneration it seems. However, that doesn't mean the comments on 1 Cor 7...even Catholics are right about the Deity of Christ and the Trinity. 

 

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I understand that Jordan, which is why I made the disclaimer of having no intention to prove that the author of that thesis was somehow guilty of eisegesis regarding 1 Corinthians chapter 7. But he (Wayne Jackson) is the same author who holds to the false doctrine that Christian's can lose their salvation. I would never be concerned about you not having the ability to rightly divide the word of truth. I know that you most certainly can as it is evident in your posts. Keep on truckin in your pursuit for the absolute and irrefutable truths contained in sacred scripture. I look forward to your future posts! I'm here to learn from my brethren. :)

God Bless!

 

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After looking at these passages presented, I've come to this conclusion:

Marry a believer

* a getting to know or courtship period is necessary, people sometimes are unpredictable or give false information, so making sure a mate is saved is a vital aspect before tying the knot

If in a marriage with a non-believer, either:

* stay if he's acceptable and treats you nicely

* leave if he's abusive or unbearable, however stay separated but don't remarry

Now, Jordan stated that a man should accept a cheating spouse, but what man does that? I've seen how men stop loving cheating wives, it affects men more than women who are more prone to forgive cheating husbands. Still, a painful betrayal in both cases

 

 

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On 6/26/2018 at 9:40 AM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Oh, I definitely have thoughts on the matter; but there is simply no way that I can add yet another heavy doctrinal discussion to my schedule.  I am already a bit overloaded with that in which I am involved at present.  

One thought for consideration -

Does "hardness of heart" refer to an unforgiving heart (that is -- the refusal of the one against whom the fornication was committed to forgive)?
Or does "hardness of heart" refer to an unrepentant heart (that is -- the refusal of the one who has committed the fornication to repent thereof)?

If the first is the case, then Joseph's consideration to put away Mary (when he thought that she had committed fornication against him) would indicate a "hardness of heart" in Joseph's case.  Yet to me such an accusation against Joseph seems completely contrary to that which is revealed in Matthew 1 about his character and consideration.

Pastor Markle,

Both the unforgiving heart and the unrepentant heart are hardened. However, Joseph had neither. During that time, putting away the woman you are betrothed to when they commit fornication is not wrong; it was permissible in the law. The Bible even says he was going to put her away privately so as not to embarrass her, which is not something a person with a hardened heart would do. The change of heart for Joseph happened in verse 20 of Matthew 1 when the angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him that Mary's conception is not that of a man but by the Holy Spirit of God. This was the reason why Joseph did not put Mary away. Matthew 1 is clear about this topic.

 

Blessings to you.

 

 

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On 4/21/2018 at 12:32 PM, Jordan Kurecki said:

Does Jesus divorce us and end his relationship with us when we are unfaithful to him?
 

Just remember the above is not scripture. divorce and remarriage are sinsas I understand them. I sinned twice and Christ forgave me of both. Yes, I repented and it is under the blood, just as much as any other sin you may have committed. Consider yourself before you labor your mind on these two sins. God hates ALL sin, equally...maybe, God knows.

It was  a sin in my life, to divorce my wife for fornication...regardless of the fact fornication was acknowledged. Thank God that through Jesus' work forgiveness was assured when we sin. Please consider the following...

28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: 30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit. ~ Mark 3:28-30

...AND...

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. ~ John 8:10-11

...also, was the following woman saved?

16   Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 41 And many more believed because of his own word; ~ John 4:17-18, 41

 

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On 10/3/2018 at 6:00 PM, *Light* said:

the false doctrine that Christian's can lose their salvation.

Then of course, there is the clear Scripture that on Judgment Day,  A Multitude of Christians who were sure they were saved (apparently) right up to the day they died, 

to whom Jesus Himself Says 'be gone' and at that point it is too late to repent, be immersed, be saved.

King James Bible
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
---------------

King James Bible
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
--------

Noting that Peter did repent,  was immersed in Jesus' (Name/Life),  and is saved.

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1 hour ago, 1Timothy115 said:

Just remember the above is not scripture. divorce and remarriage are sinsas I understand them.

Amen.  Just as the Father in heaven reveals absolutely and clearly in His Word and His Spirit. 

It seems that sin in many (all?)  areas is 'approved' by the worldly and actually promoted by them opposed to God. (noting the astronomical increase in sin in all areas including divorce and remarriage and idolatry and greed, and , well,  all society and almost all 'churches'. )

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The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak(Matthew 26:41).

I am unfortunately divorced not by choice. I understand how hard it is to accept the narrative that God would command an innocent party or anyone for that matter to remain unmarried or reconcile after a divorce. The decision to pick up your cross daily and follow Christ is not an easy task, but it is possible with His continuous help (Philippians 4:13-17). He will never leave us nor forsake us, as long as we continue to rely on Him (Deuteronomy 31:6).  

Unfortunately, there is so much misinterpretation of God's word that we need to be very careful what narrative of God's word we are following or believing. It is crucial to our salvation! God has a stern admonition to pastors and leaders or any individual who lead God's people astray with lies and their own interpretation of erroneous narratives of God's word (Jeremiah 23). We should not add to God's word nor take away from His word by our own interpretation (Revelation 22:19). God's word, His Holy Scriptures are not for private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20-21). I would like to make this statement clear that divorce in and of itself is not a sin. Yes! God hates divorce! (Malachi 2:16) But divorce itself is not the sin. God divorced Israel in (Jeremiah 3:8) because is bride committed whoredom against Him. How heartbroken God was with Israel's condition of sin against Him. But after God divorced Israel and gave them an ultimatum in (Jeremiah 23:14) God pleaded with whoredom Israel after a bill of divorce to return to Him for He is STILL married to them. God did not go searching for a new bride. This shows that the bill of divorce was a separated time period but not a dissolving of the marital covenant between Him and Israel. They were still married. Divorce only separated the union while one party was still remaining in sin. God's whole purpose was to reconcile with whoredom Israel, but only under the condition of change from Israel sinful ways. A condition has to be met.

In regards to (Matthew 19) when the Pharisees came to tempt Jesus on the issue of divorce and remarriage and to justify their causes, Jesus reinstated the sacredness of the marital union and confirmed in (Matthew 19:6) that when mankind (anyone, Christian or non-Christian) take part of the marital union which is God's Holy institution, they accept the ordinance of what is joined together under this Godly institution, and that no man on earth can put it asunder. Man's decree cannot dissolve the marital union, it only separate the individuals in that union. As humans, it so hard for us to accept the consequence of our actions. But we cannot escape it. If we do not face these consequences now, we will have no choice but to face our consequences on the day of judgement. When we choose to get married without consulting God and waiting upon Him, we make our lives much harder. God is not to be blamed, we are. I understand that many of us prayed and believed the person we marry was God's answer to our prayers, or we found ourselves in situations that allowed us to make unwise decisions to marry. No matter the reason or the cause the devil created a deception and we fell for it. We need to own up to our mistakes and sincerely seek God's forgiveness and guidance according to His Holy word. Many of us need deliverance from Hardness of Hearts.

I know this subject touches the deep matters of the heart. But our hearts will deceive us, especially when it wants its own desires (Jeremiah 17:9). Not everything that feels good to us, is good for us.

Matthew 19:9 has been used as the exception clause passage to appease our reasoning for remarriage. The bible clearly states that out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established (2 Corinthians 13:1). In Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 Jesus explanation for the only reason you can divorce a spouse is during the betrothal period with good reasoning. Matthews writing was to the Jews and their custom for marriage was very strict. The Greek word for fornication is porneia and the Greek word for adultery is moicheia. Porneia refers to fornication and can also refer to a range of sexual sins, including marital unfaithfulness and moicheia is the sexual sin of adultery. However, in context Matthew used the two words interchangeable which shows that he was addressing the sins in their specificity. The betrothal period in the Jewish custom was liken to a marriage. In (Luke 16:18) and (Mark 10:11-12) we can see that Luke and Mark account for good reasons does not talk about the betrothal period. In 1 Corinthians 7:39 shows that marriage is liken unto the vows we take until death do we part. Why make such promises if it will not be kept. We should not make promises we cannot keep, we will be held accountable for them. 1 Corinthians 6:9 states the condition of those who partake in such sins. Note that adultery and fornication are specifically addressed in their own entity. In Matthew 10:5 Jesus commissioned His disciples to minister to the lost sheep of Israel first before going to the Gentiles and the Samaritans. For good reason, Israel will have no excuse, because Jesus came to them His own first (John 1:11-14). We will have no excuse because the gospel came to us through the word of God (Matthew 24:14).

 

Reflective Points

 Although divorce is permitted, neither party is free to remarry. Only if one dies may the other ex-spouse marry. As far as this view of the Bible is concerned, a married couple can separate. They can even obtain a divorce from the courts. But God considers that the bonds of the original marriage contract continue. Thus, any remarriage would be illicit.

Marry someone who is not bound to another (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:6) – Of course, we must not be bound to another, either.

Remain in that marriage for a lifetime. Once bound, God intended a man a woman to not be separated (Matthew 19:4-6) until death (Romans 7:2-3).

If separated, remain unmarried or be reconciled (1 Corinthians 7:10-11). When we sin, we cannot go back and undo our transgressions. We must repent and live with the consequences. If one becomes separated from the one to whom he was lawfully bound, his options are to either remain unmarried (if his wife will not have him back) or be reconciled (if she will take him back). There is no third option to marry another.

Sometimes reconciliation is impossible and its okay. Not having a romantic relationship is not a death sentence. As humans we need “Love” to thrive, not romantic love. Love for God, family, friends, neighbors etc; is sufficient. Jesus commission us to love everyone. When we have love in our heart there will be no void or emptiness (1 John 4:8). The love of God completes us. 

Repentance Requires turning away from whatever sin we are asking for forgiveness from

Repent. One who is in an adulterous marriage is guilty of adultery (Matthew 19:9; Romans 7:3). The word of God is clear in its condemnation of the sin of adultery (1 Corinthians 6:9; Hebrews 13:4). Repentance is a prerequisite for forgiveness (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 8:21-22).

How does one repent of adultery? One repents of adultery by stopping the adultery. Repentance requires an end to the adulterous relationship – even if this relationship is an adulterous marriage. When the people of Ezra’s day were guilty of marrying foreign wives (Ezra 10:10) – a violation of God’s marriage law under the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 7:3) – Ezra gave them this command: “Now therefore, make confession to the Lord God of your fathers and do His will; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives” (Ezra 10:11)

 Adulterous remarriage is not the unpardonable sin or unforgivable sin. However, if any individual is remarried to another who have a living spouse they are committing the act of adultery everyday of their life. They cannot simply ask God to forgive them and carry on as normal in the adulterous marriage. They are remaining in the sin. They have to forsake that sin, by putting it away, making the way clear for God’s forgiveness.

God cannot forgive when we continue in sin, He only forgives when sin is  sincerely repented of and put away, forsaken, abandon, leave, give up, leave behind, renounced, deserted, quit period. (Forsaken also includes giving up something valued or pleasant)

Please I implore you all to study God’s word for yourself to show yourselves approve (2 Timothy 2:15). Do not depend upon pastors, leaders or anyone that can lead you astray with soothing words and misinterpretation of scripture. As Christians we are all called to give an answer for the hope we have in God's Holy word (1 Peter 3:15-16). We will be held responsible for the vows we break. The marriage vow states “till death do we part” even if the other party break their vows you are responsible for staying true to the vows you made. A marital vow is not made only between two parties, but also to God who is the author and head of the marital institution (Deuteronomy 23:21, Ecclesiastes 5:4-6, Psalm 15:4). A vow is made to be kept. If you are a true follower of God you would desire to do what thus saith the Lord, no matter how difficult it may seem to you. Remember, God give us strength to make it through difficulties. Rely on Him. He will never fail you.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

God’s grace is sufficient, but not sufficient for us to remain willing in sin. His word brings light and truth to us so that we can be cleanse from ALL unrighteousness.

Remember: God loves us all. Jesus said if we belong to Him, we shall know the truth, and the truth shall set us free.

What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul (Mark 8:36).

God’s grace is sufficient, not sufficient for us to remain in sin but to free us from sin.

I hope and pray we all desire to be set free from the bondage of sin. It will be worth it all. Let us pray for each other. There is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun. Our salvation is worth more than any happiness here on this earth that would keep us from being with our Lord and Savior for all eternity.

Blessings to you all.

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