Divorce Court

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How do we illustrate what we have done with relationships today? Salvation does not come through marriage and righteousness does not come through divorce. How do these two statements relate to one another? – Read Jeremiah 2:13.

Read the following lyrics by Peter Gabriel. Notice the idolatrous language. Can you come up with at least three more love songs that have similar language.

love I get so lost, sometimes
days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
when I want to run away
I drive off in my car
but whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are
all my instincts, they return
and the grand facade, so soon will burn
without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside
in your eyes
the light the heat
in your eyes
I am complete
in your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
in your eyes
the resolution of all the fruitless searches
in your eyes
I see the light and the heat
in your eyes
oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
the heat I see in your eyes

CPT: The Wrong Question (Matthew 19:1-6)

Jesus responds to the Pharisees by referring back to Genesis and God’s intention of marriage, making the case that religion is no refuge from divorce.

– Read Genesis 1:26-28. Based on these verses why did God create man and woman?

– Read Genesis 2:18-25. In what sense does man and woman becoming one flesh imitate God? How does this relate to them being naked and unashamed?

– Read Genesis 3:7. Now that they sinned they were naked and ashamed. What did they try to do in their own power to cover their sin?

– Read Genesis 3:20-21. What did God do to cover their sin?
The Pharisee were trying to use the law to make them righteous. It was their fig leaf, their self empowered attempt to cover their sin. They asked Jesus the question: “Is it lawful?” Read Galatians 3:10-11 and Romans 3:19-24. Why was this the wrong question?

The Wrong Emphasis
(Matthew 19:7-9)
The Pharisees insist that Moses commanded divorce but Jesus points out that Moses allowed for it because of their fallenness. To the Pharisees, righteous may be had for keeping the law but Jesus points out that divorce may be necessary but it is never good.

– Read Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Did Moses command divorce?

– Read Matthew 5:20, 48. Why was their focus on the law and commands the wrong focus when it came to divorce?

– Read Galatians 2:21. How does this verse condemn their emphasis? How does it often condemn ours today?

The Wrong Response (Matthew 19:10-12)
The disciples respond by essentially giving up. Their fundamental mistake was to misunderstand the role both marriage and celibacy were used in the purposes of God. Whether married or celibate, the point is sanctification.

– Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-9. Celibacy is a gift for some. In this passage Paul points out that marriage is also a gift in helping one resist temptation. What criteria does Paul use to determine if you have the gift of celibacy?

– Read Matthew 22:29-30.  Because holiness is the goal of both marriage and celibacy – are people seeking marriage seeking a soul mate or a flesh mate?

– Read Ephesians 5:22-31. In other words, marriage is not about happiness, it is about holiness.

Christ is the only refuge from divorce and the ultimate goal of marriage.

If religion is no refuge from divorce (Matt. 19:1-6), what is?
– Read Matthew 11:28-30. What is the action step for those facing or in the midst or recovering from a divorce? Seek Christ!

If self righteousness is not our goal (Matt. 19:7-9), what is?
– Read Matthew 18:21-22; Phil. 2:1-11. How should one act when facing a divorce, or recovering from a divorce or even in the midst of a struggling marriage? Imitate Christ. We have His righteousness, His mind.

If giving up is the wrong response (Matt. 19:10-12), what is the right response?
-Read Philippians 4:4. Joy even now, in the midst of pain. 10-13. If celibacy is no more a proper source of happiness than marriage than what is a proper source of joy?
-Read Philippians 4:10-13? He is! REJOICE IN HIM!

Read the following article: Applying Law & Gospel to Divorce and Remarriage


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