Jesus stands with the accused
In Biblical times there was a law that said a man could send his wife away with a certificate of divorce if she no longer found favor in his eyes (Deu 24:1-4). “She grew old and wrinkled, so I traded her in for a younger model.”
This was not a good law, and Jesus didn’t like it. When asked about it he basically said, “Moses gave you this law because you have rocks for hearts” (Matt 19:8).
It was a bad law for bad husbands. Worse, some of these heartless husbands were only obeying the first part of the law. They were sending out their wives without giving them a certificate of divorce.
It was a rotten deal for women. Sent out into the cold with no means of support, they couldn’t remarry without committing adultery. They were in an impossible situation. Someone had to say something.
“Whosoever sends away his wife and marries another, commits adultery” (Luke 16:18).
Jesus hammered these hard-hearted husbands with the very law they were exploiting. “You men think you’re clever, but you’re hurting women and breaking the law.”
In a religious culture obsessed with rules, divorced people are sometimes judged as second-class citizens, even adulterers.
“As long as you sit quietly, you are welcome in our church. But you can never have a prominent role and don’t even think about looking for love. You had your shot, you blew it, and we will lovingly punish you for as long as we can.”
Where does Christ stand on this issue?
As always, he stands with the accused, defending them and shielding them from the heavy stones of criticism and condemnation.
“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
Extracted from the book Stuff Jesus Never Said
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“Who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.” The second half of the truth to romans 8:1, so very often looked past and never mentioned.
Many versions leave out that descriptive phrase which is why it is often not given attention. However, walking not after the flesh but after the Spirit is simply describing “those who are in Christ Jesus”. If you are in Christ Jesus, you do not walk after the flesh. Walking after the flesh is describing a habitual sinful lifestyle, chasing after desires of the flesh. It does not mean that person will never stumble. Otherwise, the verse would read something like, “You are only free of condemnation if you never do anything sinful.” This is exactly what Paul described in Romans 7, doing things he does not want to do, and not doing things he does want to do. His heart desires to walk after the Spirit, but he was not always successful in living out that reality.
You said it describes “those who are in Christ Jesus”, How are you in Christ Jesus Brandon? Please use scripture.
So we lose our free will after being born again? So if I were to backslide right now into sin, that is walking in the spirit?
God bless, take care.
You are twisting my words, but to answer your question. We are “in Christ Jesus” by receiving the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus and what was accomplished at the cross. It isn’t our good works that save us. Our good works are a result of our faith in God and being in Christ Jesus. John talks about those who practice righteousness versus practicing sin. Practicing does not mean you always get it right. There is a difference between lifestyle and an instance of stumbling. Committing an act of sinful behavior does not invalidate someone’s salvation. That is different than someone who continually, knowingly, and willfully practices sin. Not sure what free will has to do with it. How are you “in Christ Jesus”? It certainly isn’t through your “goodness”. Romans 3:23. Your “goodness” is like filthy menstrual rags apart from being washed in the blood of Christ. It’s like going from being single to being married. There is a learning curve. There are still natural consequences that come when we choose to act in a way not honoring to God. You’re not in one day and out the next based on your daily performance. When Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery, she didn’t ask for it and didn’t earn it. She hadn’t even repented. He told her he didn’t condemn her and to go and sin no more. He didn’t say, “But if you do sin, then I will start comdemning you.” When he tells us not to do something, it is for our own good because he desires good things for us, not because he is waiting to bring down the hammer. To suggest otherwise dishonors what Jesus did at the cross, and it cheapens the grace of God. When I have screwed up, it is God’s grace and mercy and kindness that leads me to embrace him and change. Fear of punishment and condemnation never inspires heart change. Behavior modification comes through heart change, not the other way around, and heart change only comes through the kindness of God. Romans 2:4 God disciplines those he loves. Discipline is a training process, not a punishment and condemnation process.
Brilliant response, full of grace and truth. Well said 🙂
Actually it is proven that phrase was added by translators. It is not found in the original Greek and this is proven as the Bible will interpret itself. Let us say it was in the original text (which it isn’t) surely other verses would agree with this but they don’t. When you Sin who would condemn you? God obviously according to that version but the Bible is clear Romans 8:34 Who then is the one who condemns? NO ONE….” Bible interpret Bible. If that was true then God would be condemning you if you walk after the Flesh but the Original greek is Clear and the Bible has interpreted itself proving that it isn’t meant to be there. Any good Greek reference will tell you that and again the Bible s clear.
Okay, let’s say it was added. Now that puts even more emphasis on “those who are in Christ Jesus”. Once again, What does that mean to be “in Christ Jesus” and please use scripture to explain.
But it does say it in verse 4, “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. “
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,” means the same thing that verse 4 say’s. Being “in Christ Jesus” (is) the righteousness being “fulfilled in us”.
Face it, that is why they put it up there in verse 1 because its is saying the same thing!
Watchman is saying the same thing as Paul say’s in Galatians 5:25, “ If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Because it is by actually walking (keeping in step) in the Spirit that we shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16. No, he would not be telling us Christians to “also walk in the Spirit” if we had no free will.
He is saying that we do have the Spirit, “But ye are … in the Spirit” Romans 8:9, but the flesh can rise up, if we do not also walk (keep in step) in the Spirit.
Bottom line; “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (also after the Spirit, Galatians 5:25).”
Romans 8:9 says that we ARE in the Spirit if we belong to Jesus. This in the sequence of the book of Romans up to that point shows that we belong to Jesus when we come to Him in faith. Walking in the Spirit is not how Christian we can make ourselves look. It is a state of being granted to us via Jesus.
Well said Colleen and Romario.
Walking in the Spirit is done on the basis of our desire and esteem of the righteousness of God.
A true desire is no feverish work done in order to get something that one has no true heart value for.
When we are roused with a serious desire for God, because we are being set free by the gift of God’s love, we are acting by the same power Adam received after the breath of life was breathed into his nostrils.
You and I cannot effect any positive change with anxious works. We can try out of anxiety to be saved or to just prove that we can do it, but we could not enjoy such works. If we could, then we’d be gods, and could save ourselves; but a tree cannot bear fruit by itself.
This walking in the Spirit is a pure act of fruit bearing on the fruit tree of God’s GRACE given to us through Jesus Christ.
Rejoice, for that is another fruit of the TREE of God’s Love, planted in the soil of our converted lives. It bears fruits of good works in us, to God’s honor.
Adam’s sculpted image by itself could not stand up from the ground. Nor can we truly work goodness without GRACE.
I think I’m saying the same thing as some others, but in a different way. Blessings
In the flesh – self righteousness, filthy rags, works oriented, self focused
In the Spirit- Christ in me, abiding in the Vine, God’s gift of righteousness, Jesus focused
An illustration: has anyone ever been eating at the table, a nice, tasty, enjoyable, delicious meal, and then one quarter of the way eating but still has great hunger appetite, decided that you were done eating? I hope no one has ever done this in the history of mankind. Perfect honesty is not just to say the truth with our mouths; but it is the way we live also, even without the words, when unnecessary. You are in an appetite for the food you’re eating because your hunger has not yet been assuaged. You are in the Spirit, Who is actually activating you to walk, from your inner being, and you would have time to think about whether or not you have freewill to walk or not to walk in the Spirit? I think not. But since you did not set yourself free, you also cannot honestly stop yourself from being free. Why would you, since in the first place you wanted to be free, and consented to be free by Jesus Christ? Can the Ethiopian change his skin? Is a converted human more powerful than the Holy Spirit, who has submitted himself/herself to the power of the Spirit? Do children behave this way? And Jesus uses them as a standard criterion for getting into the Kingdom. Now getting into the Kingdom should now be easy: just be like little children. They are always having fun except for when adults interrupt.
Please read the original Greek.
KJV transcribers thought this Good News was too good to be true and repeated the end of verse 4 to verse one. This mistake has gotten many Christians to chase the carrot at the end of the stick. Verse 1 makes the Good News bad because you have to do something to earn The Free Gift. I think this verse leads more people to confusion and self-righteousness than any other verse except possibly 1 John 1:9.
8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Watchman, what if I told u that the second half of romans 8:1 “Who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit” was added by translators for easy readability, but it is actually not in the original?? Every bible school student or bible scholar atleast knows that it was added. Romans 8:1 is simply this “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” No additions, No subtractions.
I agree Frank, there are no comdemnations to those in Christ Jesus! Praise the Lord for his promises. So then we really have to ask the question… What does it mean to be “in Christ Jesus” please explain using scripture. (for the third time)
Watchman- 1 John 4:15, 3:23-24 are a few that say what “in Christ Jesus” is and how we get there. John 14:23 tells us that if we love Jesus then He and the Father will come and live with us. Traditional views focus on the “keep my words” part. But It is our loving Jesus that inspires us to keep His words
Early manuscripts do no not contain that statement. However, the ninth verse defines for us what it means to walk after the Spirit. It says to walk after the Spirit is to have the Holy Spirit in you.
So if the 2nd part of the first verse is maintained, it appears to contradict what the ninth verse says – since no man can be in Christ without having the Spirit of God. shalom!!!
Good point and great book, Merry Christmas!
1john 2:5, john Ch15 are good places to look for this. Yes those who believe are most definitely saved. Paul gives a def of believe in 1Thess2:13, and Jesus gives one in john 14:12. The definition given by Paul is to have the Word of God work effectively through you. The definition Yeshua gives is to do the works he has done. To Love is to obey as established. So without putting words in anybody’s mouth, I would like to ask a question. A person is born again, endures shortly, falls away (ignores Gods discipline and doesn’t return or repent) in adultery, fornication, and doesn’t obey the Gospel, will he still be saved? Romans 6:12, we still have a choice after knowing the truth.
Watchman, you seem to be very selective in your application of Scripture. Verses do not stand alone in their interpretation, and simply applying them based on the English rendering often leads to misunderstanding. Preceding and following verses, target audience, the whole of the Bible, historical and cultural context, and of course the Holy Spirit all lend to how a verse should be understood. In most New Testament places when it talks about obeying, it is referring to belief in what Jesus accomplished and receiving His salvation. When we do receive His salvation, we are changed, but that does not mean we never stumble. We don’t change first before being saved. We are changed at salvation, but that does not mean we never again commit an act of sin, and when we stumble the Holy Spirit reminds us of our identity in Christ. He doesn’t kick us out until we fix it. Apart from Him, we can never make ourselves suitably presentable. It is only in relationship with Him that we can find freedom and deliverance from the bondage of sin. If you are suggesting that our behavior is what saves us or keeps us saved, then you are dangerously wrong. Yes our behavior may indicate where our hearts are at. I already mentioned earlier about Romans 7. Regardless, only God knows the heart, and that is what He looks at when deciding our fate. When we get to heaven, we will most certainly be surprised at some of the people who are there and some who are not. Someone can do all the right things by outward appearance and still not have genuine heart change. Someone can also be struggling with outward change but genuinely be desiring and moving toward a healthy heart condition spiritually. It isn’t for us to decide who is or isn’t saved. We simply challenge believers who we think are making choices not in alignment with their identity in Christ, but we are called to speak the truth in love, and that is something that should be done prayerfully. Regardless, your mind seems made up about how you see things, and nothing any of us say is going to sway you. I am sure the same can be said about most of us regarding your views. You aren’t truly trying to understand our perspective. You seem to see yourself in the role of an OT prophetic watchman who doesn’t want the stain of our blood on your hands by you not speaking out. While I admire your dedication, we are not in rebellion and not practicing wickedness. I seek the Lord daily for His guidance, wisdom, discernment, understanding, and most of all love so that I can grow in my walk with Him, bring glory to His name, and the light of His love into the darkness. There is a very real enemy who seeks to stand in my way, but my focus is not on what the enemy is doing. I do need to be aware of the enemy, but my focus is on what the Lord is doing and has done.
If you take the verses for what they plainly say I come to a different conclusion. 1 Thess 2:13 says that the people received what they were told as God’s truth and the truth worked within them. John 14:12 says that if a person believes on Jesus then He will be able to do Jesus works. Not that doing the works is belief but belief leads to works.
I have a question that answers your question. Is a person saved(or stay saved) because they are morally pure and flawlessly obey or are they saved because they are looking to Jesus, Jesus sacrifice/resurrection for their salvation?
Obeying the gospel is vital. But what is the Gospel? Our doings or Christ’s doing? Which “doings” does the gospel say to place your faith in for continued salvation? Jesus or self?
The context of Romans 6:12 says that because we HAVE been crucified with Christ and HAVE been raised up with Him we now have the ability to choose to not sin. Before Christ we were in sin slavery, obeyed it with no power to disobey it. We get to choose now. We are no longer slaves! Romans 6:22 is amazing. Since we have been made free from sin slavery and are God’s servants now we HAVE the fruit of holiness AND eternal life!!
Might you be somewhat edging outside the boundary of safe and prudent thinking, along those lines? The Bible tells us that when a man is tempted he is being drawn by the temptation of which he is weak. The Bible is describing here, not suggesting that the tempted person loves to sin and hates to do good. It is a description of the heart of man. God wants us to know ourselves, that we are no match for sin. We should seek Him with our whole hearts. It is not good to paint a picture that has in it a subtle suggestion that people like or love to sin. We should stay away from extremes and stay within the parameter of the Spirit’s impressions upon our hearts as to what sin is, as we read the Bible. Your arguments and the manner/tone in which you present them subliminally suggest salvation by works. Grace must echo from grace. It is by grace that we are saved. Nor can one’s good works be true, without grace as its foundation.
No one in rightful mind really wants to be lost. It is the power of sin that makes it seem that way. But God so loved the world that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life. This is the Father’s thinking regarding us. We do better to stay in the same vane as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Remember, yea, yea or nay, nay. Anything besides, you know what the Lord says of it.
If he truly was saved, (born again) then he will be chastened as Paul tells us in Corinthians 11:31,32. Its first up to us to pull a 1 John 1:9 by judging ourselves and confess, but if not God will chasten us so we are not condemned with the world. The chastening consist of, weakness and sickness and even “sleep”(verse 30)! Now the interesting thing about this “sleep”, indicates that it is not the same as “death”.
In the gospels, sleep is always mentioned with those that Christ raised from the dead, John 11:11, and Luke 8:52, as they were just sleeping as opposed to being dead, thus, “which are fallen asleep in Christ…”(1 Corinthians 15:18). We are not as the others that have no hope, as they die in their sins and are “dead” in trespass and sin, not believing in Christ, for Christ know who are his, 2 Timothy 2:19. Such knowing comes with the territory of being, God!
Paul mentions this again in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, “…that the spirit may be saved…”
Paul, affirmed constantly, “ that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” This, good works, can only be maintained by ‘Walking in the Spirit’, not just having it granted, as doing the works is belief as Paul has affirmed! Thus, this profitableness does more than making ourselves look good, but helps keep us good.
“A person is born again, endures shortly, falls away (ignores Gods discipline and doesn’t return or repent) in adultery, fornication, and doesn’t obey the Gospel, will he still be saved?”
Yes, because (using Scripture as you like us to do) in John 10:28 Jesus says, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”. Note that: a) they will *never* perish, which is confirmed (using the Hebrew literary device of synonymous parallelism) in the second part of the verse with: b) ‘…no-one will snatch them out of my hand’. So, we have three points here, just in that one verse which, remember, are the exact words of Jesus: 1) Jesus said HE gives them eternal life, and as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who is ever going to break that level of salvation; 2) they will *never* perish (emphasis mine) which phrase contains no conditions, no ifs or buts – they will NEVER perish. This is an absolute term stating complete finality. Never, never, never perish!; and 3) No-one will snatch them out of [His] hand. Now, many people take that last one too far and say ‘Ah yes, but they can always jump out of their own accord’ – but this is simply a literary loophole exploited by people looking for one. Looking for a loophole that lets people lose their salvation because they do something, anything, wrong. The previous parts of the verse verify that Jesus is stating the permanent nature of a person’s salvation status; HE gives it, they will NEVER perish, and nobody can snatch them out of His Hand.
And, unless this is true, then neither you, Watchman, nor I, nor anyone else, have any right whatsoever to rejoice in our salvation. Because if it depends in any way on human frailty, whether that’s keeping the Rules, not ‘falling away’, or any other performance-based salvation, then it is really not a salvation worth rejoicing in, because then we can lose it like the bursting of a soap bubble. And that is no salvation at all becasue it still depends on us. No, He who began the good work in [you and I] WILL CARRY IT THROUGH to completion in the Day of Christ Jesus. Now that’s a salvation that’s worth rejoicing in.
Right tonycutty, we are saved by grace, (but) through faith! If one leaves the faith, one has no grip on grace, as it is through faith we procure this grace by which those who “believe” are saved. It is no doubt true, that those with a genuine, strong faith, will not be lost!
As far as you say, our salvation does not depend on, “keeping the Rules,and not ‘falling away’,…”
But then why does Paul speak so urgently to ”… exercise yourself rather unto godliness.
For bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” That which is to come is “Eternal”
Faith, then, is the motivator of this “exercising”, 1 Timothy 4:7,8, that he say’s many will depart from, giving over to “…seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” 1 Timothy 4:1, as you and I both see happening today.
Many interpret this as speaking to those that never where saved, yet why does it say they “depart from” it. One must be first “in” to then, depart “from”. Why else would Paul also say;
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life,…” 1 Timothy 6:12. Because faith is the channel through which one lays hold (procures) this grace that saves! We must fight this fight as it is a good one, one which leads to life eternal.
Thanks for that my brother. The whole argument, though, makes it as if Grace too is something we either lay hold of, or we don’t. But Grace is given freely, whether we like it or not. Sure, to live the life of faith in this life, we need to lay hold of it through that faith. But Grace is not dependent in any way on our response; it’s there all the time. However, one who does not lay hold of Grace through faith does not profit by it, at least in this life, because he misses out on all the blessings that walking with Jesus brings (cf.Psalm 103:1-5). I think, Thomas, that we’re basically saying the same thing but from a slightly different angle. But I’ll make it clear that I am a strong proponent of ‘once saved, always saved’ even if only because dependence on the flesh *in any way* means that a) the sacrifice of Christ was not complete because there’s then a loophole by which we can become ‘unsaved’; and b) if our salvation depends *in any way* on our flesh – in other words, by keeping the Rules – then we have no right to rejoice in our salvation because at the end of the day it depends on us. And we know that sort of dependence is always doomed to failure.
The answer to these controversies is found in v13. If you live according to the flesh you will die….. Those in Christ are not condemned to death because they are walking in the Spirit and choosing to put to death the works of the flesh. Therefore it is perfectly acceptable to add the second half of v1. This was not added by legalistic translators but occurs in some later greek manuscripts.
I’d agree with that, Brian. The verse is there not too much later in the chapter anyway, and in much the same sort of context. I personally see it as an affirmation of the way in which those who walk in the Spirit choose to do just that putting to death the fleshly works. It’s just saying it twice, is all 🙂
By placing the promise for no condemnation upon our not walking in the flesh, aka fleshly actions, then we are only free from condemnation when we are not acting fleshly. And for some of us: new Christians, people naturally weak in self control, anyone weak in a specific area and the times we get to be condemnation free are few and far between if at all. That is why the key is in verse 9 where it isn’t us and our behavior at all but solely because we belong to Jesus.
It’s true. I was listening to a really good sermon and the pastor said that if he murdered his wife and served time in jail for it, he could get a minister’s license. However, if he divorced her, he couldn’t get a minister’s license.
I’ve heard something like that too. It’s nuts.
I was a member of a world wide church that predicated it’s membership on 29 Bible teachings. One of them was “The Divorce and Remarriage evil” At first the scriptures utilized seemed on point, but 30 plus years later, I realized how much it was misinterpreted and taken out of context. The bottom line, is that we were no different from the pharisee’s. People could get saved but if they’re in a divorced, remarriage situation, they’re still in sin. Romans 7 was heavily used to back their claims! Ok I say: If a man comes to salvation in a divorce and remarriage condition, and dies a few days later in a car accident..Then what?..Exactly! My same sentiments!
I would be careful saying that Gods law (not moses law) is a bad law. They are His laws, not moses. You are in great error and grave danger saying those things about the laws God has set forth. God never changes, what was truth, hasn’t become false, and what is false, hasn’t become true, even if you twist Paul’s words as peter says is easy to do. Be careful mr Ellis, you are in grave danger. Jesus even said he brings only what the father has commanded, not himself, so it must not change. Why would he say in deuteronomy 13 not to believe in a teacher that teaches against moses, but send a teacher that teachers against Moses? Please use scripture and not baptist theology about what religion is.
Any law that contradicts God’s heart – “what God has joined together let no man separate” (Matt 19:6) – is a bad law. This bad law was certainly man-made (see Matt 19:8), not to mention weak and useless (Heb 7:18).
Your attempts to intimidate (grave danger indeed!) and bully those of us who are confident of our Father’s love will come to nothing. I encourage you to attend to the judgmental spirit in your own heart rather than go about condemning others.
Watchman, try reading Hebrews 7. It very clearly says that the OT law was weak and insufficient and has been done away with, replaced by new covenant and new priesthood.
Watchman: Moses wasn’t just a one-off murderer in Egypt; he was an organised murder crime lord. He organised the slaying of thousands of people at the hands of his Levite thugs at Sinai. He ‘made’ [i.e. forced] people to drink gold wixed with water (although quite how is anyone’s guess as gold is insoluble). No, Moses may well have been called the ‘Servant of God’, but by any moral standard he was a monster. Who would want to obey his laws? He was a prat.
tonycutty, lets be clear, he was no major idiot, or delusional, dummie as you say, (that’s what prat means) “organized murder crime lord” ? It will do you good to remember the “she bears” 2 Kings 2:23,24! If you want to know why this happened, read this. I found it helpful, as I too also used to think it way over the top, no doubt! Thanks
Hey Tom, thanks for the link to the article; I read it and found it interesting but I didn’t agree with it I’m afraid. (Such is the freedom we have, of course). What didn’t I agree with? Any of it. Sure, I look at the actions of those people with 21st century eyes, but, to me, that doesn’t change the fact that Moses was a mass-murderer. I’m surprised he lasted as long as the border with Canaan; 40 years in the desert with his worries and his attitudes make me amazed that he wasn’t prime thrombie material. He certainly threw enough of them!
As for the She-Bears, well, I don’t know if you’re trying to ‘warn’ me or similar, but my salvation is secure and my life is in His hands. I have seen death and I am not afraid of it; indeed, I look forward to it in the same way that St. Paul did. I wouldn’t care if I was mauled by bears tomorrow; I can’t wait to be with Jesus in that way that only physical death can bring. Bring it on! Everyone has their time, and mine is in the Lord’s hands, she-bears or no. So, thanks for the warning (at least I think that’s what it was; I am Autistic and can’t read inferences very well) but I am secure no matter what. It is well with my soul; human priorities are no longer part of my make-up.
I would imagine you didn’t expect that this desire would be part of my answer! Still, I remain on this earth *only* to do God’s will; He can take me any time and I would rejoice. Life has no meaning for me outside of Him in any case!
And when I meet Moses, he can talk it out with me himself 😉
Cheers bro 🙂
Good word Paul. I once had someone tell me that because my ex-wife cheated on me and divorced me, that I could not even be saved because I had been through a divorce. I knew this person was twisting their interpretation of Scripture, and I knew what they said wasn’t true. Even if being divorced could somehow block our salvation, God doesn’t hold us accountable for other people’s choices. However, it still got under my skin and made me question myself for a while.
” However, it still got under my skin and made me question myself for a while.” This is because their Pharisaical words reflect the character of their [figurative] father, the devil. He’s the Liar, the Thief and the Accuser. He only comes to steal, kill and destroy (Jn 10:10) Like their father the devil (Jn 8:44), they want to steal your peace, kill your joy, and destroy your assurance. And all this is achieved? By, yes, you guessed it, Lies, of which he is the father. The biggest lies of which are the Accusations. So, you see? These are all hallmarks of the devil’s work, spoken by his [again, figurative, as these are usually believers and fellow children of God] children, whose words in these instances can be safely ignored. Please note I’m NOT calling modern-day Christian Pharisees ‘children of the devil’. This is simply not true. But what Jesus meant in John 8:44, and what I mean here, is that they are acting more like the devil; doing his work; rather than children of Father God. How to behave like children of the Father? Mat 5:44-45 says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven”. Now that’s more like it 🙂
“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife” (1 Timothy 3:2). It could be argued that Paul is here rejecting polygamy, not divorce.
The law is found in Deuteronomy 24:1-2, and at the time Christ lived, Flavius Josephus, who also lived then, paraphrased it and referred to it as the “law of the Jews”:
“He that desires to be divorced from his wife for any cause whatsoever, (and many such causes happen among men), let him IN WRITING give assurance that he will never use her as his wife any more; for by this means she may be at liberty to marry another husband, although before this bill of divorce be given, she is not to be permitted so to do…” (Antiquities of the Jews —The Life and Work of Flavius Josephus), Book IV, Ch. VIII, Sec. 23, p. 134).
The Apostle Paul knew the Greek word for divorce (apostasion) and knew his culture. He also knew Christ would accept anyone, even him, the “chiefest of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). Unquestionably some early converts had multiple wives, slave wives, and concubines. Each of these relationships, though given the nicer title, polygamy, was adultery. Paul rejected the heads of such households as leaders in the church. The command to give a writing of divorcement in Deuteronomy 24 limited a man to only one wife and thus prohibited polygamy and the adultery inherent in it. (From Bruce D. Allen.)
Thank you, Kevin, I’ve been curious about learning more about the divorce laws of the time since this is the explanation I keep hearing. I’m glad you posting this with sources and everything so I can look more into it later. I really appreciate it.
Truth indeed. Such wicked treatment of men of their wives back then was totally devoid of love and GRACE. Thank the good Lord, that good shepherd of the sheep Who in His coming to address most effectively, the general sin problem of all humanity, paid special attention to this private oppression of women by their husbands. And He Who is both, friend of the wounded hearts, and the divine lawgiver of mankind, rescued the so- called “weaker”, yet, stronger vessel, from such wretchedly dehumanizing oppression– on equal par with slavery of the meanest description–by exposing and identifying the sin of absolute disgrace, calling it “HARDHEARTEDNESS.”
A hard heart is like a rock on which one throws a ball; but it bounces right off every time, having no effect on the rock. Love has not captured such an heart yet, for it has, steeped in selfishness, repelled the ennobling and constantly prevailing impulses of God’s love.
I must also warn, in the Name of Jesus Christ, that the oppressed does not in turn oppress. But she should learn of Jesus Christ Who is meek and lowly in HEART (Matthew 11: 28-30), from Whom, if she is willing, shall find true rest of soul, of body, and of mind. For Jesus Christ is her heavenly husband, from whom her earthly husband should learn to be a good husband.
I state this because today more women initiate divorce from their husbands than husbands do, a ratio of 70 to 30 percent.
“So called weaker”? Don’t disrespect the Holy Bible friend and don’t swing your pendulum so far. The Bible teaches it and biology proves the Bible true. All it’s referring to is her frame/body as in “vessel” and it is weaker. Even her bone density. Women can’t compete at the level of men in sports and military standards were lowered for them. It’s called weaker. I know this is off topic but we need to believe all of the Bible.
The Lord and His word do not constrain reason. They encourage it. I am set free by my Master.
Woman is stronger in childbearing. It is by her that people are BORN to populate the world. Men plant the seed but women bear it through fertilization.
A man can’t do that. There are different ways to be stronger besides physically. “Skill is stronger than strength.”
God says, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make him an HELP meet for him.” He does not say that it is not good for the woman to be alone and that He will make an HELP meet for her.
She is primarily made for him. God does not give her to him for competition. He gives her to him as a gift most suited for him.
When we need something, especially if God is the Person deciding our need, then that commodity is superior to us.
For example, we need grace by which we are saved. No matter how strong we are physically, without those things we need to survive temporally and eternally, we are weak, indeed.
God determines that the man needs the woman as his HELPER. Both are stronger than each other, respectively? But God emphasizes the man’s need of an Help meet.
She is stronger not for herself. She is stronger in that she is HELP MEET for the man.
Does a man’s car move faster than he? A man’s wife is more important and better than his car.
You have moved away from the actual scripture which states that the woman is the weaker vessel. Why is it important? Because for this reason we give her honor. Chivalry is based off of this. It’s why a man holds the car door open for his wife and not the other way round. It’s why on the Titanic the cry was “Women and children first”. The church is not superior to Christ and the body is not superior to the head. Men have set the bar in every area of “strength” and “skill” and your opinion has no foundation in scripture or life.
That’s wonderful! I was never divorced but that was only a technicality, as I could have been… (not a good situation!) So thank you for that.
Bless your dear soul for your appreciation of simple truth. May the God of love transform our lives with the beautifying power of simple truth.
lets just say I didn’t want to be a bishop, then what?
Then go be one…actually we should be called to a ministry office. Paul stated be the husband of one wife. This was addressing the customs of the day in the Pagan cultures of multiple wives. Paul was saying be the husband of one wife. This doesn’t mean it’s a requirement for one to be married to be in ministry.
Encouraging post, Paul.
Oh so glad you tackled this topic! There are countless Christians who truly believe if a believer gets a divorce they can never remarry. They go so far as to teach even if a women is being beaten by a man she shouldn’t get a divorce. They have said separation for a short time may be necessary for personal safety but we must work for reconciliation. These traditions are filled with the stench of “Phariseeism”. They seek and demand believers fulfill their traditional rules at all cost. I believe spousal abuse occurs more frequently than reported by Christians because they are told by religion that they must submit to their husbands without question, and to get a divorce is the unpardonable sin. I have a relative who was in an abusive marriage and when I told a fellow believer she got a divorce from this wretched individual, he said “doesn’t she know she can never remarry again?” I wasn’t a fully mature Christian at the time but this idea seemed contrary to God’s heart. I am glad I researched the Scriptures and saw these were traditions of mere men.
I do understand that this is a very controversial topic. In our human eyes there seems to be no easy solution for the issues arising from this gaping wound of humanity, DIVORCE. While we rejoice that God forgives and pardons divorced people as He does any other sinner, we must also appreciate the importance of the subtle descent into degradation, on the other hand, as the great divider, destroyer, and accuser of the brethren, Satan, targets the marriage institution, which is set by God in this world as a reflection of the love of Christ for His Church. Marriage is to reflect the glory of that love as the moon reflects the glory of the sun. Jesus made it clear that He had no interest in divorce. He hates putting away. We should also express some appreciation for the Father’s mind and intent for marriage, here. If one gets to divorce one’s spouse, be it husband or wife, it had better not been prosecuted with a HARD HEART. For that is the bottom line with respect to Matthew 19:8. Every time a divorce occurs more hearts are being broken; sad. It impacts our world. You suffer from my divorcement, and I suffer from yours. Don’t think that one family’s destruction has no effect on others. While we must not condone any kind of abuse, We should be compassion toward the abuser in the hopeful salvation of his/her marriage, if at all possible.
Well, people tend to gloss over the Bible. You know the portions where the parts where the pages stick together for most Christians. The same God “hates” divorce, also commanded the children of Israel to divorce when they had married into pagan tribes. The Word of God rightly divided reveals the truth about divorce and remarriage. Adultery and abandonment are clearly approved and Godly grounds for divorce. Abuse is also a righteous ground for divorce, Paul addresses in 1 Corinthians 7 the spouse who neglects or abandons the marriage covenant. Physically beating one’s spouse and/or children, sexually abusing one’s spouse and/or children is grounds for divorce. Marriage doesn’t trump a individual believers rights in Christ. God loves and protects His children. He is not setting up some sacred cow institution which eliminates His love and protection for His kids. He allowed a whole to be drowned just to protect His people Israel in the exodus.
You along with traditional religion have exalted the marriage institute as some sacred cow that trumps common sense, wisdom, love and goodness. I wonder if roles were reversed would you be talking this way. I note that its about 95% males that seem to be making these staunch rules for marriage. I wonder if you were being punched, kicked, hair pulled out, bruised weekly or a few times a month and having to watch as your kids suffer would you be preaching patient, reconciliation…
Right Berris, we should be about “the hopeful salvation of his/her marriage, if at all possible”. One must rightly divide the whole council of God, and not gloss over! When one does, they see that this is the heart of God.
Paul spoke to this when he said; “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. 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.” 1 Corinthians 7:10-12
1. Commandment from the Lord!
2. Wife is not depart from Husband
3. Reconciliation if she so inclines to depart
4. Husband is not to divorce (because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the Church) Ephesians 5:23 Thank God Jesus wont divorce us!
Every bit of this goes along with the heart of God concerning marriage, instituted at the beginning with the coming together of Adam and Eve, because a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great! Ephesians 5:31,32.
Good word Paul, thank you for this encouragement and this site AND all the time you have invested in helping others like me. I “happened” upon E2R. It’s been a blessing and an eye opener. Thank you and God bless you with more wisdom and insight from Him to help us so we can be a help to others. Grace and peace to you and yours!
Thank you for this. I will be sharing it on our Give Her Wings FB page tonight.
Grace is not a set of rules that condemn.
Correct. Lord Jesus is ALWAYS our Defence Council and Advocate & Satan ourproscutor and accuser. John 5:22. : The Father has committed ALL Judgements to Him. He can’t condemn us. We are freed.