Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Ten Commandments Series Part 9 “No Fault” Divorce


We have often talked about the importance of relationships and just how much they mean to God. In fact: When it is all said and done on planet earth, all God will have to show for His millennia of hard work is relationships. The very reason God sent Messiah as a sacrifice was to repair the breach in His relationship with mankind which had been caused by sin.

The Ten Commandments have stood for generations as a testimony to how God expects every individual to live. Nothing says “God” more than the 10 Commandments and yet they are, for the most part, completely misunderstood by the far majority of Jews and Christians, and everyone else as well. Even those who don’t believe in God know the big 10.

The Ten Commandments deal almost exclusively with man’s responsibility for relationships.

· Commandments 1-3 – Responsibility for relationship with God

· Commandment 4 – Responsibility for relationship with family, servants, animals, land, work and rest

· Commandment 5 – Responsibility for relationship with parents

· Commandment 6 – Responsibility for relationship with all life

· Commandment 8-10 Responsibility for relationship with neighbors and the community

We have studied all of these commandments and discovered the New Testament Revelation and the Grace-Filled Application of each one. There is only one Commandment left for us to complete this series – Commandment #7. And wouldn’t you know it … it also deals with our responsibilities for yet another relationship …

The 7th Commandment deals with how we should treat our spouse and our responsibility to the covenant of marriage.

Exodus 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery.”

Adultery specifically refers to sexual sin committed against the covenant of marriage. Marriage and sex are inseparable. I know that there are sexless marriages and marriage-less sex, however – in the beginning it was not so … and it is not intended to be so today! Marriage and sex are inseparable.

In order to understand the 7th Commandment, we must first understand how God views sex - what it is and what it's not. Many times people relegate sex to a physical act however, when God talks about sex in the Bible, He is referring to a much greater circle of responsibility than mere, fleeting physical contact.

The Bible explains that sex is the way one person:

· Thinks

· Talks

· Looks

· Touches

another person who, if they are not married to – it is sin!

Each one of us is not only allowed but encouraged to have sex with our own spouse. We can think, imagine, talk, look upon, and enjoy physical contact with our spouse under the blessings of the covenant of marriage.

God has reserved this covenant gift of sex only for marriage.

Sex is the only thing allowed by God in marriage that if you do it outside of marriage, it is sin. There is nothing else whatsoever prohibited outside of the covenant of marriage that is blessed in covenant of marriage except sex – the way we can think, talk, look at or touch another person.

Sex is the only gift God brings to the wedding. Sex is God’s marriage covenant gift. Sex is the only covenant gift God reserves for married couple. Sex is given to and given for the marriage.

God’s blessing on sex is given at the point of marriage, outside of marriage, sex is sin. Since sex is only gift God brings to the wedding, it must be pretty important to the marriage. And, if the devil can alter it in some way – it will tear up a marriage covenant quicker than anything else.

In fact, sex is so important to the covenant of marriage that it made the top 10 list in the Bible. The 7th Commandment is all about protecting and preserving the covenant of marriage and wouldn’t you know it – the 7th Commandment therefore deals with sex.

Matthew 5 NKJV

27 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, ’You shall not commit adultery.’

28 "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

The Ten Commandments are all about relationships and how much God thinks about them. The lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life are all violations of God’s law and therefore sin. (John 2:16)

29 "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

30 "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Each one of us is responsible for managing our own lives including our personal responsibility for getting rid of anything in our life that causes us to sin.

Simply put, The 7th Commandment says – Don’t cheat on your spouse

· In Thought

· In Deed

But also – Jesus expounded on this “Shadow Set in Stone” by expanding our responsibility for the covenant of marriage to include our responsibility to not break the marriage covenant over non covenant-breaking issues.

Matthew 5

31 "Furthermore it has been said, ’Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’

32 "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

The top 10 list is so important that more than 3 years later, when Jesus was on His way to the cross, as He is walking through Judea near Jerusalem He repeats the matter and rehearses again the responsibilities we all have towards our spouse in the covenant of marriage.

Matthew 19:9 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery."

Divorce can be a violation of the 7th Commandment … how? Because the Ten Commandments detail our responsibilities for the various relationships we have and the 7th Commandment establishes responsibilities for marriage.

Mark 10:1-12 What God has joined let no man separate.

Is God against divorce? He is squarely and firmly against “No Fault” Divorce. Well then, some say, maybe one of us should cheat so there will be biblical grounds for divorce. I wouldn’t advise attempting to trick God or put Him into some legalistic box … He just might come out swinging! Sin, including adultery, which can include divorce, is a matter of the heart.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that someone – perhaps you or someone you know – has violated the 7th Commandment in some way … or any other Commandment for that matter. What can be done to fix it? Nothing – You’re on your way to hell! --- Oh wait … that was under the Law … the Old Covenant … of course, under that old covenant you could get a year’s reprieve and cover your sins for a season by offering a blood sacrifice for your sin – but even that did nothing to keep you from winding up in hell. Sin costs and unfortunately sin demands a death.

The New Testament Revelation and the Grace-Filled Application reveals that there are two things which must be done in order for any person to be free from the sin which has an eternal claim on every person’s soul.

Two Things:

1. A perfect blood sacrifice must be made and accepted by God.

a. This was done on the Cross of Calvary when God offered up His Only Begotten Son, Jesus, as the perfect Lamb who took away the sins of the world.

b. Jesus, Messiah of the Jews, Savior of the World, is the only way.

2. You must be born again.

a. Realize you need a Savior

b. Repent of your sins

c. Receive Jesus as Lord of your life

You may say Pastor, what about the sin I have committed after I got born again? 1 John 1 advises us to not be slack concerning our daily sins.

1. Recognize our sin before God

2. Repent of our sin to God

3. Receive forgiveness for our sin from God

a. If there is anything God wants us to do beyond that – He will let us know.

b. Sometimes restitution and reconciliation can be made and sometimes it cannot – however … let God make that decision, not circumstances and certainly not another person.

c. Many times it is a matter of the heart, and believe me, God knows our heart.

You shall not commit adultery – nor violate any of the other commandments God has given His children. These commandments are all aimed at your future – You shall not … (not, you better not ever have)

If you have, recognize your sin before God; repent of your sin to God; and receive forgiveness for your sin from God – then … get rid of those things in your life which cause you to sin and don’t do it again!

God counts each one of us responsible for the relationships He recognizes as vital to His plan. Therefore, love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as you do yourself. (Luke 10:27)