Written by Doug Miller
Thursday, 27 June 2013 16:57


           MARRIAGE – GOD’S PLAN                                 

(Matthew 19:1- 9)      

     Marriage has been a part of mankind’s existence since the Creation; God instituted this bond in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world.          

     When God created Adam, He brought all the animals to him so that he might name them and realized that he could not find a suitable companion among them (Genesis 2:18-20). God, then, created a help meet from one of Adam’s ribs and he called her Woman because he could recognize that she was comparable to himself.         
Jesus refers to what Moses has recorded for us in the next verse (ver. 24) when He begins to answer the inquiry of the Pharisees as written by Matthew in our text (Matthew 19:5-6). 

     Sin enters the world in Genesis 3:1-7 and, just as mankind did not honor God as the Almighty Creator and Ruler of the universe; neither does he respect God’s plan for the home. From the descendents of Cain came the first aberration of marriage – polygamy. Lamech, the seventh from Cain, “took for himself two wives” (Genesis 4:19). But, King Solomon has to go far beyond that with 700 wives and 300 concubines (I Kings. 11:3). And, there was just as much authority for number 700 as for number 2 – namely, none!!     

     Divorce was the next modification that man introduced into God’s plan. We have no particulars regarding the very first one; but, it was widespread enough – even among the Israelites – that God gave a command concerning it in the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). In the Old Testament, the word fo“uncleanness” (“unseemly thing” – ASV) is generally rendered “nakedness” and, in most cases (but not all), sexual activity is implied.          

     However, by the time of Jesus, one rabbinical school of thought had redefined this Hebrew word to include just anything that might upset the husband. Because this loose view of “uncleanness” was so popular at the time of Christ, these Pharisees were testing Him (Matthew 19:3). Jesus answers with the respect for marriage as God intended it (vers. 4-6).         

     Since a husband or wife may sabotage a marriage (even though one mate can be neither “at fault” nor in agreement with such behavior), the one who is “guiltless” may put away that mate who has sinned. This is the only reason one may scripturally leave the marriage, other than death (ver. 9; Romans 7:2-3; I Corinthians 7:10-11, 39).          

     There are some who teach mankind is not amenable (answerable, held accountable) to the law of Christ UNTIL they obey the Gospel and are then“added to the church . . .” (Acts 2:38, 41, 47b). This is an attempt to allow the alien sinner to circumvent God’s law of marriage – divorce his/her mate and “remarry” as many times as he/she desires while not in the church. Then the one he/she has when he/she is baptized into the church is his/her mate and the law of Christ will apply to that “marriage” from that point forward.          

     To say that alien sinners are not subject to God’s law of marriage would imply that God does not recognize a sinner’s marriage. If this were true, all children born, as products of this “union,” would be considered to be born out of wedlock. Marriage was in existence long before the church was established; even before the Law of Moses was established.            

     In Acts 24:24, we find Felix, who was not a member of the church, and he had a wife. Did God recognize his marriage? Cain had a wife (Genesis 4:17); Pilate had a wife (Matthew 27:19). In I Corinthians 7:14, God recognizes the wife of the unbeliever. And none of these were members of the church. One more example: King Herod and what John the baptist told him (Matthew 14:3-4). What law was Herod and his brother Philip amenable to? Neither one was not a member of the church; neither one was a Jew.            

     There is another verse that is “appealed to” many times in order to support this false doctrine – Romans 8:5-8 – which says: “. . . because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (ver. 7). In order to make this apply to their erroneous teaching, they believe this scripture is referring exclusively to alien sinners because it uses the phrase: carnal mind.           This argument is defeated, however, when we look back to the church at Corinth. Paul said some of the church members there were carnally minded (I Corinthians 3:1-3). The above verse in the Roman letter (also authored by Paul) says it is the carnal mind that “is not subject to the law of God.” It does not say alien sinners are not subject to the law of God.     

     The carnal mind must be changed to a spiritual mind; but, what causes this change? -- the law of God concerning repentance (Matthew 21:28-29; Acts 26:20).