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What question had the Pharisees just asked Jesus in Mat 19:3, and what was His reply?  See Mat 19:4-6.  How did the Pharisees understand Jesus’ answer, and how does that contrast with most Christians’ understanding today?  See Mat 19:7.  What was their response?  Had Moses in fact given a command regarding divorce as they were presenting it?  See Deut 24:1-4 which is the passage referred to.  While this passage acknowledges the reality of divorce, is its purpose to justify divorce as lawful in certain circumstances?  On the contrary, in what way would the command given in these verses have been a warning against divorce and had a minimizing effect upon it?  Think: When people divorce supposing things will be better with some other spouse, do they typically find it so when they remarry?  What would be the temptation in such circumstances?  In what way is the command regarding divorce given in Deut 24:1-4 also a warning regarding our covenant relationship with Christ?  See Heb 6:4-6, 2Pe 2:20-21; cf. Jer 3:1.

How is the way in which many Christians today use Scripture to justify their position on a given topic similar to the way the Pharisees used Deut 24:1-4?  Are we guilty of this?  Is the way that many Christians use 1Co 7:15 to support divorce and remarriage much different from the way the Pharisees used Deut 24:1-4 for the same purpose?  Cf. 1Co 7:10-11, 39.

What was Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees’ use of Deut 24:1-4 to support their understanding of divorce?  See Mat 19:8.  Should we suppose that just because God allows something as permissible that it therefore has His approval and blessing?  Cf. Num 22:9,12,19-22.  Why did Jesus say Moses permitted the men to divorce their wives?  How is this like God’s dealings with Balaam?  Cf. Psa 18:25-26.  Who else is noted in Scripture for his hardness of heart that exemplifies God’s dealings with the crooked?  See Exo 7:13,22, 8:15,19,32, 9:12,34,35, 10:1,20,27, 11:10, 14:4,17, Rom 9:17,22.  What does the example of Balaam, Pharaoh, and the Pharisees teach us about the great danger of hardening our hearts to seek what is permissible instead of that which is desirable and we know to be safe?  Cf. 2Th 2:11-12, Pro 14:12, 16:4, Heb 3:7-8,15, 4:7.  In our walk with the Lord should our goal be to see how close we can walk in the ways of the world and still be saved, i.e., how close we can get to the abyss and not fall in?  Is such the heart attitude of those who are blameless and holy and whose faith is sincere, or is it that of Pharaoh, Balaam, and the Pharisees?  What should the goal be in our walk with the Lord?  See 1Ti 1:5, 6:11, 2Ti 2:22; cf. Num 16:26-27.  What is the remedy for a hardened heart?  See Deut 10:16, Jer 4:4, Eze 18:31-32, Rom 2:28-29, Col 2:11, Joh 3:3-7.

Observe that the Greek word for a divorce in Mat 19:7 is apostasion; what English word do we get from this?  In what way is divorce an apostasy?  Think: apostasy means a falling away or departing unfaithfully from a covenant relationship.  What is the binding nature of a covenant relationship, even if entered unfaithfully or under false pretenses?  See Jos 9:3-10:10.  When entering into the covenant of marriage, for how long do the two parties vow to remain faithful to one another?  Cf. Rom 7:2.  What implication does Jesus draw from the permanence of the marriage covenant in Mat 19:9?  Cf. Mar 10:11-12, Luk 16:18.  What is the significance that the Greek word in each of these instances for “commits adultery” uses the present tense, indicating an abiding circumstance, and how is this in keeping with the lifelong permanence of the marriage covenant?  Are we to understand that divorce / separation itself is necessarily sinful?  See 1Co7:10-11,15; cf. Isa 50:1, Jer 3:8.  At what point is it clearly not sinful to remarry, even if one has been divorced?  See 1Co 7:39.  What is the great danger to one’s soul of divorce and remarriage, or entering into an adulterous marriage by marrying one who has been divorced?  See 1Co 6:9-10, Heb 13:4, Hos 10:4.  What about the immorality exception? Next study!

Matthew 19:3-6 (Jesus’ Teaching on Divorce, Part 1)
Matthew 19:7-9 (Jesus’ Teaching on Divorce, Part 2)
Matthew 19:9 (The Exception Clause to Divorce and Remarriage)
Scripture Passages Related to Divorce and Remarriage
Matthew 19:1-9 (The Spiritual Significance of Marriage)
Matthew 19:10 (The Disciples’ Response To Jesus’ Teaching on Divorce)
Matthew 19:1-10 (Answers to the Really Hard Questions Regarding Divorce)
Matthew 19:1-10 (Answers to the Really Hard Questions Regarding Remarriage Part 1)
Matthew 19:1-10 (Answers to the Really Hard Questions Regarding Remarriage Part 2)
Matthew 19:11-12 (On Celibacy)

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