Of Fornication, Divorce, And Adultery

C H U R C H   R E F O R M   S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

Jesus and the Adulteress 2

Jesus and the Adulteress

Adultery (a consequence of Divorce and Remarriage) and Fornication (a consummation of lust) are distinct in nature. However, both damn one’s soul to eternal fire unless one truly repents.

FORNICATION

It is a sexual sin that is either performed by non-married individuals or by married individuals having affairs. In other words, it is sex outside the bonds of matrimony. Its literal meaning is to play the harlot.

“Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6: 18-20

If a married person cheats on his/her spouse, it is not adultery. It is fornication.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

“It is reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.” 1 Corinthians5: 1

Fornication is not befitting a Christian, no matter how one tries to spin it. See Sex and the Christian.

“Flee fornication.” 1 Corinthians 6: 18

“Now the body [is] not for fornication, but for the Lord…” 1 Corinthians 6:13

“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Tim 2: 22

“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints…” Ephesians 5: 3

There are ways to avoid fornication.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].” 1 Corinthians 10: 13

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3: 5

“Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7: 2

Fornication is not only forbidden, it is a sin that excludes those under its sway from any inheritance in God’s Kingdom. If you are under its spell, whether you’re a “Christian” or not, you better repent now and sin no more before death catches up with you.

“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Jude 1: 7

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6: 9, 10

DIVORCE

When Jesus was asked a question on divorce (the context), this was His answer:

“Haven’t you read, Jesus replied, that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19: 4-6

The “male and female” verse Jesus was referring to was this one:

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

But what does that verse really mean?

It means that there is a duality inherent in God, Father and Son. Therefore, God created that same duality in mankind, male and female. That duality is itself God’s image in mankind.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…’ ” Genesis 1:26

So God made them male and female, a duality that mimics God’s own duality of Father and Son.

“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30

See The Trinity Doctrine is not in the Bible for an in-depth exposé.

The resulting process of creating mankind male and female had more to do with reproducing the image of the duality inherent in God rather than with marriage. However, like Jesus pointed out, marriage does bring the two together as one. That’s why God hates divorce.

” ‘For I hate divorce,’ says the LORD.” Malachi 2:16

Divorce is a terrible act that does violence to the union of male and female, who are both made in the dual image of the one God. Divorcing one’s spouse is tantamount to trying to severe God the Father from God the Son.

” ‘The man who hates and divorces his wife,’ says the Lord God, ‘does violence to the one he should protect,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 2:16

A man and a woman become one flesh upon marrying. When they divorce they spit on the covenant they made before God, as they attempt a vicious act to rip that one flesh apart.

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10: 9

Consequently, because of their blatant disregard, neither one can marry again – unless the woman committed fornication, which then would allow the husband to wed anew.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

In God’s eyes divorce causes one to forfeit the privilege of marrying again, because it belittles the seriousness that God imbued the marital contract with.

ADULTERY

Adultery is a by-product of Divorce and Remarriage. When a divorcé/divorcée has casual sex, that’s fornication. However, when he/she remarries, he/she commits adultery.

Furthermore, a non-divorcé who marries a divorcée ends up committing adultery because he’s marrying someone’s wife, even if she’s an ex. However, we couldn’t find a bible verse that describes a non-divorcée of committing adultery if she were to marry a divorcé.

“And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” Mark 10:12

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

“Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery.” Luke 16: 18

Jesus and the Adulteress

Jesus and the Adulteress

Shunning adultery is one of the 11 commandments.

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Exodus 20: 14

Even in the Old Testament when a man married another man’s ex-wife it was adultery, because what God joins together no man can put asunder. Therefore, even when a man divorces his wife, she’s still his wife in God’s eyes.

“And the man that committeth adultery with [another] man’s wife, [even he] that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Leviticus 20: 10

“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery…” John 8: 3

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10: 9

A Christian husband cannot contemplate divorce unless his wife commits fornication.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

However, we’ve scoured the bible trying to find a verse that allows a wife to divorce her husband if he commits fornication and couldn’t find one. Most likely it’s because the husband is the head of the wife. Consequently, God has allowed the husband some leeway.

“For the husband is the head of the wife…” Ephesians 5: 23

But such leeway is by no stretch a carte blanche void of consequences. As the helpmate the wife needs to do her level best to help her husband out of such a deadly sin.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:6

If she can’t handle it and decides to divorce him, this is the Lord’s command according to the Apostle Paul:

“A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7: 10, 11

The only time a woman can remarry is when her husband or ex-husband dies.

“A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7: 39

However, there are those who say that the bible allows believers to divorce their unbelieving spouses. But the Apostle Paul clearly stated, in 1 Corinthians 7, that it was his opinion and not the Lord’s command.

12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

It is quite obvious that the Apostle Paul was mostly leaning toward the spouses staying together rather than divorcing one another. And even if divorce were to occur, the following scenarios (which could apply to any couple really) would kick in:

I. The wife leaves her husband.

a) He does not want her to leave and refuses divorce. Still, she leaves and forces a divorce upon him which he does not respond to, truly does not want, and wholeheartedly does not agree with. The divorce materializes anyway by legal default. She then finds another man whom she commits fornication with, or remarries and commits adultery. Upon such fait accompli, the believing husband is now free to remarry as per biblical laws.

However, even if the wife never commits fornication or adultery after said divorce, the husband can marry again because he is not the one who put her away.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife…” Matthew 19:9

We think (because there’s no direct biblical directive) that it is quite possible that if such a man, because of dire circumstances, has to legally work on and sign divorce papers in order to protect concerns and belongings he’s worked for his whole life, that God could still allow that man to marry again, but such a man would have to really have his heart right (i.e., wholeheartedly not wanting the divorce and/or trying hard to reconcile with his wife). It goes without saying that, in said particular circumstance, such a man must really seek the Lord’s face.

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

b) If the husband willingly and wholeheartedly grants his wife a divorce, the husband cannot remarry or have an affair, otherwise he will commit adultery or fornication.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

II. The husband leaves his wife.

The wife would never be able to remarry unless her ex dies.

“…let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7: 11

“A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7: 39

Releasing oneself from a bad marriage to an unbelieving spouse is not a blanket permission to get remarried. The Apostle Paul (not the Lord) only stipulated it as a condition to get out of bondage. He never implied or indicated that a person who divorces could remarry against biblical laws. If that person could, he definitely would have mentioned it because the laws against adultery are very clear.

Further, many believe that if a divorcé/divorcée was not a Christian when he/she got divorced, once he/she becomes a Christian he/she can remarry because salvation makes everything new. Sadly there are no verses in the bible to back that theory. It is also an egregious act of adding to God’s words.

“Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” Proverbs 30:6

If you were married prior to becoming a Christian, you are still married when you become one. Ditto for divorce. Nothing can change or expunge that.

Otherwise, it’s like saying for instance that if a single non-Christian teenage girl becomes pregnant and then turns to the Lord, she can expect her pregnancy to “miraculously” vanish because she’s now born again and thus everything has become new. Or better yet, if a murderer turns Christian, he can anticipate those he killed to “miraculously” rise from the dead because he’s surrendered his life to the Lord and thus everything has become new.

Sorry, but the salvation in Christ that makes everything new doesn’t work that way.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

How do new things come when one becomes a Christian?

“Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” Ephesians 4:28

Things become new by living a life that is totally different than the one prior to salvation. Therefore, one’s actions as a Christian (i.e., following God’s laws) prove one’s salvation.

“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:26

“Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.”  1 John 2:4

Salvation in Christ purges one’s soul of sins, but not of their temporal or earthly consequences. See The Consequences of Sin

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4

A true Christian must accept the consequences of his/her actions, even the aftermath of those that took place prior to becoming saved. In so doing, he/she denies himself/herself and carries his/her cross for the Lord.

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 6:24

That’s why, even when saved, one of the consequences of sin is hardship.

“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food…” Genesis 3:19

“There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin.” Psalm 38: 3

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.” Hebrews 12:7

The laws are for the believer to use properly, and for the unbeliever and lawbreaker to stand condemned.

“We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” 1 Timothy 1: 8-11

Such air-tight laws are because God hates evil, and adultery is as such to Him. Therefore, to help prevent adultery He has thus made it almost impossible for a marriage to be dissolved.

“…you hate all evildoers.” Psalm 5:5

” ‘For I hate divorce,’ says the LORD.” Malachi 2:16

And you can bet that God’s hate is probably as strong as His love – okay, maybe not as strong since He gave us Jesus, but pretty strong – and that’s why marriage should not be rushed into without a clear understanding of what it entails, or without knowing how to avoid falling for the wrong person. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2: 24

Unless true repentance occurs, adultery not only destroys the soul, it also guarantees eternal damnation.

“… go and sin no more.” John 8: 11

“But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.” Proverbs 6: 32

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6: 9, 10

If you are already in the grip of adultery, wisdom, courage, and strength from the Holy Spirit will be fundamental, especially if you’re in a situation where you’re married to someone’s (ex) wife and children were born from such a union.

Repentance towards all implicated parties is a good first step. Then, here’s what Jesus commanded if one were ever bitten by adultery’s venomous fangs:

“But I say unto you, that whosoever looks upon someone’s wife to set his heart upon her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” Matthew 5:28-30

Therefore, the Lord did command that any and all adulterous relationships ought to be cut off; one of the parts of your body (i.e., your current “wife” who’s actually someone else’s wife and who became one with you, as in the two shall become one flesh) should be cut off.

As such, Jesus did away with the old law which allowed adulterers (and fornicators) to be killed. Now, instead of death, they get a chance to repent, sin no more, and cut off their unlawful relationships.

However, their responsibility towards their children (from said entanglements) is not to be neglected.

“But if someone doesn’t provide for their own family, and especially for a member of their household, they have denied the faith. They are worse than those who have no faith.” 1 Timothy 5:8

CONCLUSION

Fornication and adultery are the works of the flesh.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Galatians5: 19 – 21

Therefore, ask yourself one simple question: would you want to risk your eternal destiny just because you want to have sex or just because you want to remarry?

“…fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8: 13

Children born as a result of fornication or adultery are not guilty of any crime.

“The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.” Ezekiel 18: 20

When it comes to fornication, remember the old saying: “Flies spread disease – keep yours zipped.” And the nastiest disease fornication spreads is that of a warped soul. So, to get your mind off sex, find a way of escape by keeping yourself occupied: evangelism, helping the poor, a second job, prayer and fasting, etc. See Understanding the Duties of Ministry. However, if you really can’t get your mind off it, then get married. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

And when it comes to divorce/adultery, remember also that other saying: “It’s cheaper to keep her.” That goes for your wallet (divorce) as well as your soul (adultery).

So be wise.

“Fear the LORD and shun evil.” Proverbs 3: 7


ADDENDUM

Explaining Matthew 5:28

Matthew 5:28

Popular Translation:

“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” KJV Version

Biblicism Institute Translation (in bold color):

“But I say unto you, that whosoever looks upon someone’s wife to set his heart upon her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Biblicism Institute translation)

Comment:

In the popular translation, the Greek word gune that is translated as woman really means a woman who is married or wife. In this instance someone’s wife or even an ex-wife, since an ex-wife is still her husband’s wife in God’s eyes.

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10: 9

The Greek word epithumeo that is translated as lust after has even a more powerful meaning: set one’s heart upon. Remember, Jesus looks at the heart.

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

In Matthew 5: 28 Jesus was referring to someone’s (ex)-wife, just like the woman caught in adultery in John 8:3 was someone’s (ex)-wife who married another man, and Jesus told her to “go and sin no more.”

Remember, adultery is the by-product of Divorce and Remarriage.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

When a man sets his heart upon someone’s (ex)-wife, Jesus already sees it as the foundational act which will cause that man to marry such a woman, hence that man is already in the throes of adultery.

Thus in Matthew 5:28 Jesus was really reiterating Matthew 19:9 in a more profound way, so profound that He said right after:

“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30

That stark command was Jesus’s other way of saying “go and sin no more” (by cutting off the relationship), because those who are guilty of adultery will not enter the kingdom of God.

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6: 9, 10

Visit our Bad Translation section.

Read also: Jesus was not a Jew

Read also: Can a Man Have Many Wives?

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36 thoughts on “Of Fornication, Divorce, And Adultery

      • Your question is very broad.

        We’ll tentatively say, Yes, with the caveat of what is explained in the article above (i.e., divorced individuals).

        And by legally we presume you mean God’s laws.

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  1. I really do not see any difference between fornication and adultery. As you mentioned in an article earlier, it is the sexual act that itself consummates a marriage. A ceremony really means nothing – ask Jacob about that when he though he was marrying Leah. If a married person attempts to have sex with a person outside of marriage, they are attempting to consummate a new marriage (whether they realize it or not) and it is both adultery and fornication. I doubt God matters if they have an official ceremony in his eyes to distinguish fornication from adultery. For the same reason I do not believe in “pre-marital” sex. An initial act is marriage and subsequent acts are adultery (save for the multiple wives exception if a man has sex with additional virgins). At least that is what the bible teaches.

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    • Sorry, but that is NOT what the bible teaches.

      Fornication is distinct. Its literal meaning is playing the harlot (i.e., having sex here and there with no responsibility and no commitment). Biblical verses after biblical verses quoted above prove that. You choose to ignore them in order to spin them your way.

      Marriage is a covenantal oath between man and woman, with God-assigned authorities, the parents on both sides, agreeing to their offspring being joined as one. Please read The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

      Otherwise, you make the marriage Covenant, as ordained by God, of no effect because marriage is not just the sex, it is the union of 2 people for life, in general with the intent to produce children and with the blessings of both families .

      As for Leah, her father gave her away in marriage, while Jacob went to the place where Leah was after his mother had told him to. So there was agreement on both sides.

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  2. Her father gave HER SISTER away to Jacob. That was the formal agreement. Jacob certainly was not expecting Leah in the bed chamber. It was a total bait and switch as is clear in the scripture. As I just mentioned on the other post, clearly the sexual act took precedence over the fact that Jacob never agreed to marry Leah.

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    • You still don’t understand biblical marriage. He took LEAH – granted, it was a bait and switch – under a MARRIAGE AGREEMENT. He slept with her under a PENDING MARRIAGE AGREEMENT. He didn’t go to his uncle’s place to FORNICATE. He went there to GET MARRIED.

      That bait and switch was similar to the bait and switch Jacob himself did to his brother when he got his father’s blessing, and his father said that the blessing would stand and Esau (Edom) wept (Gen 27:38).

      Further, look at these verses in Genesis 29: 20,21:

      “So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her. Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my WIFE that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.”

      Jacob wanted HIS WIFE so he could finally consummate the marriage with sex, the FINAL ACT of the marriage process. SEX is the seal that binds the agreement process. SEX is the signature on the contract, if you will.

      You really should get your verses straight. FORNICATION is different than MARRIAGE. What’s next for you? RAPE is similar to marriage?

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  3. hmmm.. I definitely respect Biblical teachings and KNOW that Marriage has an immense spiritual and religious aspect. However, how can God permit a man to abandon his wife for no cause, despite all her possible efforts, refuse to provide financial support, inflict emotional and physical abuse on her, despite counseling & intensive appeals by family & friends, and impose years of separation, during which he broke many of his vows—I repeat, how could God then allow that good woman to be further punished beyond her own broken heart and broken-down life because of an abusive husband who deserted & abused her???!! How is that her fault? How has SHE sinned?!! Why must she give up any future love or marriage and place in society?? Should she kill herself on a Funeral Pyre??..
    I guess I speak on a personal basis. Divorce is awful. It is a spiritual failure or disaster in every case. However, I do not believe that Women should always be left with all the blame in each instance!!..
    I really do not know how to square my sense of fairness & justice with these Biblical principles. Not to mention, what do you do if your spouse loses his mind? Please respond if you have a sincere religious answer. Thanks!-

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    • How can God allow it???

      1) That’s you painting yourself in a good light. Is it true? hmmmm!
      2) If we ask your husband, he’d probably paint a good picture of himself and a bad one of you.
      3) Should you kill yourself? Don’t be so melodramatic. And on a pyre to boot? What are you writing? A movie script?
      4) Who said women get all the blame in every instance? Are you trying to generate pity for yourself?
      5) Your sense of fairness and justice? Don’t be so full of yourself, dear. If you have any sense of true fairness and justice, it’s from God. How do you square that?
      6) What do you do if your spouse loses his mind? Love him. Isn’t that what you vowed to do when YOU (not God) decided to marry him – and no one, especially NOT GOD, forced you to? You made your bed, sleep in it. Besides, was he cheating, abusive, or crazy? Jeez, lady make up your mind and keep your fiction straight. hm!

      How can God allow it?

      Ask Him. He smites liars, self-righteous blasphemers, and adulterers. He should know.

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  4. Are you saying that if you are married to a woman who has been divorced you should divorce her so you will no longer commit adultery with her? (Assuming her ex is still alive…)

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  5. I can’t believe that not even the church is teaching this. They have truly messed up the meaning of adultery. Thank you BI for rectifying this.

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  6. Why is it a “sin against the body” to have sex with a harlot? Paul makes a special point to say that this sin is unlike all others. What about this act makes it sexual immorality?

    Is it because the harlot is already ‘one flesh’ with other men? Therefore the immorality. Just as it is for a man to sleep with another man’s wife who is also ‘one flesh’ with another man.

    Is this the defilement?

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    • Once you become a Christian, it is not just your soul that is given to God but your body as well.

      God intended sex for husband and wife to produce children, itself a great spiritual act whereby God is working with mankind to fill the earth. However, fornication is sex outside these God-given parameters.

      By fornicating, itself a selfish pleasure, the body is thus defiled, because the commandment of God regarding sex is made of no effect and DEBASED (or defiled), which in turn defiles the body that commits it.

      There’s no other circumstance where one uses his whole body to sin thus.

      “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” Romans 12:1-2

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  7. Not a day goes by in which a drunken, brutish man beats his wife to the point of, and even to death. There is NO legal protection to keep this from happening, certainly not restraining orders that seem to be enforced after the fact. Is it Scriptural for a woman to “stand by her man” even in the certain knowledge that the next time he beats her, or their children, they will die? How could this possibly be the existence that God has set forth for a woman?

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    • 1) God didn’t set forth that woman’s predicament. SHE chose her man, not God. It’s called consequences.

      2) There might not be legal protection to prevent something like that from happening, however God did set out how one goes about getting married to help prevent as much as possible such things from occurring. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

      3) If these things do occur, the wife can separate herself from her husband temporarily until the husband gets some help and changes for the better. Family members are key in such an instance. The husband needs to know that his wife is surrounded by people who can protect her and provide for her. See The Family is God’s plan.

      4) As a last resort, the wife can divorce her husband, even though God hates divorce. The only consequence of such an action is that she would never be able to marry again. That’s all. However, if she decides to marry after divorcing her husband, she would become an adulteress. Hence, she won’t see the kingdom of God. Now, that’s bad. Really bad.

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  8. The aspect that a woman cannot remarry really bothers me, except her husband dies. While the man can remarry based on the biblical law of marriage. But Paul said if the unbelieving departs, let him/her depart. In that portion does it not mean that the believing partner can remarry because God wants them to have peace? Pls make it clear to me. God bless

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    • That part about the unbelieving spouse has already been made clear in the article. Please re-read it carefully. Plus, it was Paul saying he/she can depart, NOT the Lord – he was quite explicit.

      Further, a divorced woman can NEVER remarry as long as her ex is alive. And why should that aspect bother you? God established those rules.

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  9. I eloped as a youngster, with no familial consent. My parents were completely against the marriage, my dad called it a sham from the start. God was not part of the picture back then. I divorced this man five years ago. I have since been trying to be a good Christian. I have not dated, even though I’m urged to, even at church. Going to church almost feels dangerous to me because the other divorced men are like sharks, circling us single ladies, ready to get involved with just about anybody as long as they are Christian. Therefore I need strong advice right now. So my question is this: my marriage was never quite bonafide, but in my gut I think the rules still apply: I cannot remarry unless the ex dies. Or I have to reconcile with him. Which won’t happen because he’s had a traumatic brain injury and is now unable to care even for himself. But mostly because id rather be alone for the rest of my life than deal with a sociopath and abuser again. I have one child from this marriage. Does my conclusion sound right? I respect this website and your advice, I know it comes across harsh but the truth hurts. Thanks for any reply.

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    • Thank you.

      Excellent question, and even though we are not in the business of meting out personal advice there are a couple of points we can elaborate on. However, as a rule, when in doubt always follow your conscience, and you seem to be on the right track – your conscience is where God speaks and His laws echo.

      In any case, you went ahead and married that individual without parental consent.

      On one hand, there are consequences for disobedience. God’s rule for getting married is to obey your parents by obtaining their blessing, which you failed to secure. The purpose of said blessing is to cause everything to go well with you and to protect you from this very situation you are now experiencing.

      “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you.” Deuteronomy 5:16

      Your parents’ disagreement with the union cannot be used as an excuse to nullify a marriage that already occurred. Besides, there are no laws in the bible to confirm such a possibility. Ultimately, the marriage covenant is between a man and his wife – meaning, you must now carry your cross for the Lord.

      “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife…” Ephesians 5: 31

      On the other hand, you received from that union a gift from God, a child, the ultimate purpose of marriage, which is accomplished. Most everyone seems to forget said purpose, as they have bought into the fallacious fantasy of “falling in love” just for the sake of finding someone.

      There’s nothing wrong in being alone at this point in your life. You have produced a child, who now should be your whole focus and anchor.

      “She shall be saved in childbearing.” 1 Timothy 2:15

      So stand on God’s laws, and after you have done all to stand, stand – especially as an example to your child.

      God bless you and thank you for reaching out.

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  10. I have found your writing to be quite good […]

    Others before you and in the current day write and speak extensively about sin. Doing evil or doing good represent our response as to “who” we belong to. We must always be very careful about focusing our attention upon ourselves and the things of this world as our first priority. Our first priority is Christ Jesus our Lord. All focus must be on Him and Him alone. Walking away from sin will happen as we are drawn closer and closer and this is a process where we learn to put away those things that are not helpful replacing them with those things that are. We are to Love God first with all we are and then Love others as our response. Even this won’t happen unless and until we have need to change. Love is never forced. […]

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      • Platitudes? [..]

        We must always be very careful about taking the law right past the cross […]

        Obeying the law is a response – the effect. The cause is Love. God IS love. 1 John 4:15-16.

        Please understand I am not challenging you on the need to obey the law. Obeying or disobeying God is the manifestation of the innermost part of man and who we belong to. [..]

        In His Grip,
        Tom

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        • 1. Yes, platitudes. Going on and on about the same idea, paragraph after paragraph, adding nothing new and convoluting and messing up your own train of thought. Learn to be concise.

          2. How can anyone take the law pass the cross, if the cross is God’s fulfillment of the law?

          “It is fulfilled.” John 19:30

          3. Obedience to God’s commandment is Love. You seem to think that because God is love, love is separate from the law. WRONG! God IS the Word or the Law (John 1:1). Hence the Law is Love. And…

          “Love is the fulfillment of the law.” Matthew 23:23

          And because love originates from fulfilling the law, it has the LAW at its source.

          However, because of your platitudes you can’t even see straight: you say that obeying the law is the “response” (biblically obeying the law is LOVE), and that Love is the “cause” not the response. Ugh?

          See the contradiction? And that’s why we say PLATITUDES!

          4. Glad you’re not challenging obeying the law. However, you need a realignment in your thinking. LOVE = LAW = LOVE. No distinction. Everything revolves around the law, even mercy and faith.

          “you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy, and faithfulness.” Matthew 23:23

          Thanks for reaching out.

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  11. No. Everything does not revolve around the law. Everything revolves around God. We don’t obey the law to be saved but because we are saved. […]

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    • Correct. But if you remember, the discussion was about Law and Love, and that all of the attributes of our faith revolve around the Law. Don’t change the subject now.

      “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15

      And you’re right, we are able to obey the law because we are saved (i.e., because Christ fulfilled the law, which itself is how He loved us, and because He dwells in us to help us follow the law).

      HOWEVER, when we are saved we MUST obey the Law, otherwise we are NOT really saved. Again…

      “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15

      Our salvation is an ongoing process.

      “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12

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  12. Does the Greek word porneia really translate as fornication? Because some sources do translate it as prostitution, as in sex for money.

    If so, isn’t Matthew 19:9 wrong when it says, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”

    Shouldn’t it be “except it be for prostitution“?

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    • The Greek word porneia derives from porneno, which has a literal meaning of “indulging lust”, and which is also the root word for the English word porno. So it’s not just sex for money, though it is translated as both “fornication” and “harlotry”.

      Fornication (i.e., playing the harlot) is the indulgence of unlawful lust for selfish pleasure, whereas harlotry or prostitution is the indulgence of unlawful lust for money. Their common core is the indulgence of lust.

      Consequently, Matthew 19:9 is perfectly translated as is. See some real Bad Translation.

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  13. Matthew 5:32 says that, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery.”

    Shouldn’t we construe that the cause of fornication in that passage is the same as the cause of fornication in this Deuteronomy 22 passage:

    23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.

    In other words, the only time a man can put away his woman is when she’s betrothed and commits sexual immorality or fornication, and not when she’s actually married. Besides, that would help stem the tide in our divorce-obsessed culture.

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    • You’re wrong. It’s NOT the only time.

      First, Jesus said, “except for fornication.” Period. He didn’t say, “except for fornication during betrothal.”

      “Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:6

      You’re the one who added “betrothal” by making strange connections with unrelated biblical circumstances.

      Second, that Deuteronomy passage is very well defined with a specific situation, as opposed to the passage in Matthew which doesn’t confirm a Deuteronomy-type circumstance.

      Third, you are insinuating that the Deuteronomy passage is the only instance of fornication within a “marriage” context that can happen. Wrong.

      “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.” 1 Corinthians 5:1

      Paul was very explicit in that verse, and just because the Matthew verse you quoted is not as categorical doesn’t automatically make it Deuteronomy-like. If it were, Jesus would have made it very clear.

      Arbitrarily connecting bible verses because you want to stem the divorce tide is not the way to go. The only way is to obey God’s commandments and apply His principles. See Sex and The Christian.

      And finally fourth, you totally neglected this other passage from Deuteronomy 22: 13-21:

      “If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin…

      “If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.”

      That woman, who committed fornication while betrothed, ended up fully married when she was discovered, and the law asked for her (or any fornicator and adulterer) to be killed.

      However, Jesus removed the death penalty from that law when He told the accusers of the adulteress: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)

      Still, He commanded the adulteress to “go and sin no more (i.e., go and cut off the unlawful relationship)”. And in the case of a married woman who fornicates, instead of death He said “to put her away, for the cause of fornication (Matthew 5:32).”

      In other words, evil must be purged.

      “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” Matthew 5:30

      Like

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