NCF's "The Sunday Sermon" - March 12, 2023
What does Jesus have to say about divorce? We want to know because divorce is common today. While Jesus’ words warn the church not to be too permissive regarding divorce, the church must speak up against getting a divorce for any reason. Married couples cannot divorce just for irreconcilable differences. Jesus, however, does permit divorce on the grounds of marital unfaithfulness. Paul adds the other exception as grounds for divorce of willful desertion by a spouse. To permit divorce for these reasons does not mean there must be divorce for these reasons. There are many divorces today that do not happen under these exceptions. What is the church’s response? Is it grounds for church discipline? It can be but often divorced brothers and sisters come to us without us knowing the reasons for their divorce. The church is supposed to offer them forgiveness and not treat them like second class citizens but demonstrate loving understanding since we all sin. Jesus made this point in the previous verses. If anyone looks at a woman with lust, he has committed adultery in his heart. How many of us have sinned in this way? We do not dismiss sin, but when we repent of it, it is forgiven!