Divorce – Part Seven

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Divorce

WHAT FUTURE IS THERE FOR
A DIVORCED PERSON IN
CHRISTIAN SERVICE ?

 

Keep in mind that the Bible only considers the guilty party to be divorced (literally, “the one put away”). As you do, take into account the amazing forgiveness of our Heavenly Father through the Blood of Jesus. It is clearly taught in the Word that even a person guilty of adultery can find forgiveness. But, it comes with a warning: “…go, and sin no more…” (John 8:11). The guilty party must rid himself of the desire to be unfaithful, and having repented, commit himself fully to the Lord Jesus. The Lord is, “…faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9).

Forgiveness, however wonderful and liberating, does not rid a person of all earthly consequences to the sin he or she committed. It does not automatically remove scars, either from his life, or from the innocent party’s life, except by a possible miraculous acts of grace. Nor does it bring the marriage together again, especially if one or both parties have married again. Nor does it remove all the bad memories of the ordeal caused by the unfaithful party. In all the remaining consequences, though, we find that the power of the Lord is there to comfort, console, and minimize the bad results if the guilty party truly seeks God’s guidance from then onward.

One of the more controversial aspects of forgiveness involves how a guilty party, once they have repented and gotten things right with God, should be accepted by other Christians. An obvious answer is that the Christian community should act toward the forgiven sinner in much the same way that God does; loving, caring, and never bringing up their past sins again.

For if God forgives and forgets the sin, it becomes the duty of His children to attempt to do the same. Unfortunately, many legalistic churches have failed to study the Word fully regarding forgiveness of divorced people, and they end up making those guilty people who have been forgiven by God feel as if they were second-class members. In addition, they classify both innocent and guilty parties in the same category: DIVORCED. How wonderful that God does not do that !

While churches should be actively pursuing the salvation, dedication, and service of those who have been divorced [remember that the term divorced only applies to the guilty party], the Church must also be careful to proclaim the Lord’s warning against sin. Preaching and teaching must be done to strengthen the family unit and help parents fulfill their rightful duties with one another, and before God so that divorces can be prevented.

In our secular society, there is no longer a stigma attached to divorce. But, the world no longer sees sin as sin, and tries to justify all manner of behavior. The world cannot comprehend God’s forgiveness, either. So, churches must be careful to keep away from the world’s point of view, and seek to stand on Biblical principles. Many churches today still have an antagonism toward both the innocent and guilty parties in a marriage, even when a guilty party has sought and found forgiveness in the Lord Jesus Christ. His Blood can wash always ALL sins, including sexual sins.

The Christian who has truly repented of his sin—regardless of the type—and has been forgiven and remains on this earth must be accepted by churches to worship, work and serve in many capacities. But, just as the church should carefully screen its’ workers for other sins that might disqualify them from a position, the church should also make certain that a guilty party of a marriage has truly repented and overcome the sexual sin that brought about the divorce. Once the church knows this, it must rest upon the truth that what He forgives is forever forgiven, and cleansed by the Blood of our Savior Jesus.

 

 

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES TO SEXUAL SINS ?

 

Keep in mind that the Bible only considers the guilty party to be divorced (literally, “the one put away”). As you do, take into account the amazing forgiveness of our Heavenly Father through the Blood of Jesus. It is clearly taught in the Word that even a person guilty of adultery can find forgiveness. But, it comes with a warning: “…go, and sin no more…” (John 8:11). The guilty party must rid himself of the desire to be unfaithful, and having repented, commit himself fully to the Lord Jesus. The Lord is, “…faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9).

Forgiveness, however wonderful and liberating, does not rid a person of all earthly consequences to the sin he or she committed. It does not automatically remove scars, either from his life, or from the innocent party’s life, except by a possible miraculous acts of grace. Nor does it bring the marriage together again, especially if one or both parties have married again. Nor does it remove all the bad memories of the ordeal caused by the unfaithful party. In all the remaining consequences, though, we find that the power of the Lord is there to comfort, console, and minimize the bad results if the guilty party truly seeks God’s guidance from then onward.

One of the more controversial aspects of forgiveness involves how a guilty party, once they have repented and gotten things right with God, should be accepted by other Christians. An obvious answer is that the Christian community should act toward the forgiven sinner in much the same way that God does; loving, caring, and never bringing up their past sins again.

For if God forgives and forgets the sin, it becomes the duty of His children to attempt to do the same. Unfortunately, many legalistic churches have failed to study the Word fully regarding forgiveness of divorced people, and they end up making those guilty people who have been forgiven by God feel as if they were second-class members. In addition, they classify both innocent and guilty parties in the same category: DIVORCED. How wonderful that God does not do that !

While churches should be actively pursuing the salvation, dedication, and service of those who have been divorced [remember that the term divorced only applies to the guilty party], the Church must also be careful to proclaim the Lord’s warning against sin. Preaching and teaching must be done to strengthen the family unit and help parents fulfill their rightful duties with one another, and before God so that divorces can be prevented.

In our secular society, there is no longer a stigma attached to divorce. But, the world no longer sees sin as sin, and tries to justify all manner of behavior. The world cannot comprehend God’s forgiveness, either. So, churches must be careful to keep away from the world’s point of view, and seek to stand on Biblical principles. Many churches today still have an antagonism toward both the innocent and guilty parties in a marriage, even when a guilty party has sought and found forgiveness in the Lord Jesus Christ. His Blood can wash always ALL sins, including sexual sins.

The Christian who has truly repented of his sin—regardless of the type—and has been forgiven and remains on this earth must be accepted by churches to worship, work and serve in many capacities. But, just as the church should carefully screen its’ workers for other sins that might disqualify them from a position, the church should also make certain that a guilty party of a marriage has truly repented and overcome the sexual sin that brought about the divorce. Once the church knows this, it must rest upon the truth that what He forgives is forever forgiven, and cleansed by the Blood of our Savior Jesus.

Series Navigation<< Divorce – Part SixDivorce – Part Eight >>
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