Divorce & Remarriage #9

Fred R. Coulter—July 11, 1993

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In discussing the topic of divorce and remarriage, I think we need to understand something very important: Too many church organizations get into this for political reasons rather than truth reasons. Since I'm independent—and I thank God that He worked it out that way—what I want to do is stand by the Truth of God. I have no axe to grind. I have no politics to please, and I hate politics anyway. I can't stand it; that's what always got me in trouble. That's what got me in trouble when I was in Worldwide.

When I came into Worldwide, they said, 'Don't believe me, believe the Bible. If it's not in the Bible, you don't have to believe me. Follow me as I follow Christ, and if I'm not following Christ, you don't have to follow me.' Well, that got me in and out, as it changed through politics over a period of time.

And just to rehearse a little bit, I do not think that Worldwide—initially through what Mr. Armstrong believed—ever taught divorce and remarriage correctly. Part of the lack of discovering that problem was that in the 30s, the 40s, the 50s and the early 60s, you did not have a lot of divorce and remarriage problems because there were not a lot of divorces and remarriages.

The basic misunderstanding that was in the Church, as the result of Herbert Armstrong's study, was based on the English word fornication. Fornication was declared to be only be sex before marriage between unmarried people. That was the only grounds for loosing a marriage which otherwise may have been binding. Since this is going to be a high level study, we will refer to things that we know.

The Old Testament teaches clearly concerning premarital sex that if they are caught, they will marry, never divorce, with the exception that if the father rejects the man, then compensation was paid to the father—in the form of a dowry, I don't know if you would call it that—for loss of virginity for his daughter; that is the best way I can describe it. Then the daughter would subsequently marry, she would produce the evidence that she was not a virgin, and therefore, this was accepted by the person when they married. That was the purest sense of it when God had it for premarital sex.

Then in Deut. 27—a command of God—and when you get into the New Testament, I'll just mention here that I've listened to all of Raymond Cole's tapes on divorce and remarriage—all five of them—and he does a reasonably good job in the Old Testament on most of it, but he doesn't address certain basic things. He does not get into 1-Cor. 7 at all. I was very disappointed that since he was one of the main proponents of continuing the doctrine of Herbert Armstrong of fornication being premarital sex, and he insisted for years  and years and would not listen to anybody until it became politically expedient to do so, because Bryce Clark's—his main assistant and henchman—niece was married to Dennis Adams. Dennis Adams went out and committed adultery, ran off with someone who was practicing witchcraft, gave up everything in the Church. He still insisted for years that that was a binding marriage and that she could not remarry. So, he still didn't come to the knowledge of the Truth because he was answering a political question to let her remarry rather than seeking the whole truth in 1-Cor. 7.

So, I preface what I'm going to bring out here from the point of view that I have no axe to grind. I have no one that I'm going to say 'You can marry.' I have no one I'm going to say 'You should divorce.' We're strictly going to look at what the Scriptures say and answer any questions that you have.

Hosea is very important because Hosea was commanded to marry a harlot and have children of whoredom, and he knew it going in, so there was no basis for divorce which made a better basis for divorce and remarriage later at a different time; and even under the Old Testament would have been a basis for divorce and remarriage if it would have been one of those discoverable facts hidden; same way with Christ. He knew Israel—what she was—inside and out. Therefore, He entered into the marriage with nothing to discover. He entered into the marriage to marry Israel knowing exactly what she would do. So, knowledge becomes a very, very important thing.

What I'm saying is, that a lot of people who say it's easy to loose a marriage, it's not quite as easy based upon your knowledge. We're going to go through the New Testament and cover some Scriptures.

Luke 16:14: "Now the Pharisees, who were also covetous, heard all these things; and they ridiculed Him. And He said to them, 'You are those who justify themselves before men, but God knows your hearts…'" (vs 14-15). That's just what I said in so many words! In other words, I have no political axe to grind and I'm not going to justify myself before men because God knows our hearts.

"…for that which is highly esteemed… [or thought of] … among men is an abomination before God. The Law and the Prophets were until John; from that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone zealously strives to enter it... [in other words, you get into it by a great deal of exertion] ...But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the Law to fail. Everyone who divorces his wife…'" (vs 15-18).

Divorces or puts away is 'apoluon,' which means to divorce, to give an instrument of loosing the marriage—that's literally what it means: a written instrument of loosing the marriage—'apoluo,' separate

"…and marries another commits adultery; and everyone who marries a woman who is divorced from her husband commits adultery" (v 18).

Right there, it's ironclad. If there was nothing else said, that would be absolute. Does this tell us anything?

Mark 10:2: "Then the Pharisees came to Him and, tempting Him, asked Him, 'Is it lawful for a husband to divorce… ['apoluon'] …his wife? But He answered and said to them, 'What did Moses command you?'" (vs 2-3).

That means what was written concerning some of the things in Deut. 24[transcriber's correction], the one concerning adultery in which she is suspected of adultery and she's brought before the priest and she drinks whatever this would be—ashes of the heifer in it—and if her belly bloated up, she was guilty, and then what happened to her? She died!

Verse 4: "And they said, 'Moses allowed a bill of divorcement to be written to divorce'" In answering that, they are not answering the question! They are answering it in the sense that they have interpreted it. They are giving their answer from the liberal school that, yea, you can divorce for any cause, burned biscuits or whatever.

Verse 5: "Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'He wrote this commandment for you because of your hardheartedness.'"

But God commanded it! When you go back and read it, it says 'thus says the Lord.' Moses did write it, but he did not command it separately from what God gave. When you go back to Deut. 24 you will see that 'God said.' Moses did not unilaterally write this and say, 'I'm going to write this because of the hardness of your heart.' No, He's giving the reason why He told Moses to write it. You go back and you follow this all the way through, and these are the commands of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 18:17 says, "And the LORD said to me, 'They have spoken well…'" That's when He gave the Ten Commandments and then He gives the prophecy there!

Deuteronomy 19:1: "When the LORD your God has cut off the nations whose land the LORD your God gives you…"

So, these are instructions that he got from the Lord—these are all from the Lord, every one of these things, because I do not believe that Moses wrote anything that God did not specifically command him. Whatever Moses wrote was what God commanded him.

From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female! We'll talk a little bit more about the beginning of creation and what happened, because he's [Moses] going back to the original creation! God made them male and female, and the whole purpose of marriage is for lawful sex; that's exactly what it is. You have children and all the result of it because it's love. It has to have responsibility, so therefore, He has the command of marriage. God made it so that His whole intent in the first place was never to have any sex outside of marriageperiod!

He made us compatible sexual creatures—male and female. Two people can live in a house, being male and female, and never having sex; they're never one flesh. If they're married and agreed to not have sex, they're not one flesh because they don't come together in flesh, but they are married in a marriage covenant because that's what they agreed to. Whatever two people covenant to do with full knowledge, they should do it.

One flesh can only be accomplished with the sex act—period! From the beginning of the creation, 'He made them male and female, and on account of this'—on account of the creation of God, the very fact of the creation—'a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. This is all in the realm of sex.

1-Corinthians 6:15: "Don't you know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot?…." In others words, 'shall I sanction harlotry' is what he is saying, by his judgment—'I will make.'

"...MAY IT NEVER BE! WHAT! Don't you know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body…." (v 16)—or one flesh, 'soma'—because of the sex act. And this is not being joined in marriage. This is joining in the sex act.

"...For He says, 'The two shall be… [or come into] …one flesh'" (v 16). The Greek here is very clear: 'duo eis'—two into 'sarx mia'—one flesh. That's joining of the flesh.

Therefore, based on that, I said that two people could agree to marry and agree not to have sex—maybe one is a paraplegic, which happens—they are bound before God in that marriage covenant because they agreed to that. They are husband and wife in the sense that they agreed to live together under a marriage covenant, but they are not one flesh because they cannot have sex! However, people like that, more than likely—understanding that—actually become more one mentally together. And in some cases because of that, I have known people who have gone above and beyond in situations like that where, without sex, they have a better marriage than people with sex. So, the term 'one flesh' means to be joined in sex.

Is there a difference between the two bodies joining with a harlot and becoming one—that's why I said one 'body'; it didn't say 'flesh'—and a difference in marriage? Yes, because in marriage it is true! It is far more profound, it has the blessing of God; harlotry doesn't, you're just joining bodies. What he is saying is that the two becoming one body in harlotry has not the blessing of God even though it is a counterfeit of becoming one flesh as husband and wife. There is more to becoming one flesh in a marriage.

Mark 10:7: "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. So then, they are no longer two…" (vs 7-8).

That's the difference between the one body with a harlot and adultery or whatever you want, because God does not view them—except in the case of Hosea—as one because it's a perversion.

"…but one flesh…. [that's how God views it] ...Therefore, what God has joined together… [and it's actually this in the Greek]: …let not man separate" (vs 8-9).

In such circumstances who alone can loose something which God has bound? Only God! God is bound by His Own Word, but God can loose what He binds. Did God not loose the Old Covenant, which He bound? Yes! He did through His death, though He divorced her; He could not remarry, because it was full knowledge on His part. Human beings are not God, Christ in the flesh. So therefore, you cannot draw an absolute, perfect analogy between a physical marriage of carnal people and Christ and the Church or Christ and ancient Israel, because there may be things that, being human beings, they don't know as God would know; maybe a lot of things!

We can't be mixing apples and oranges here. The covenant that we have entered into with Christ is that it is binding—God won't break it because God is true and righteous and will not break His Word—we're the only ones that can break that covenant. If we walk out on God, we face the second death! That death terminates any obligation of God to that person, and that becomes important.

From the beginning of the creation—he covered that in a couple of places—we will have to all admit and know and say and understand that when God created Adam and Eve in the beginning, before eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they did not have hardness of heart. After they sinned, they had hardness of heart. So, things changed shortly after the beginning. Did not human nature change right after they sinned? Yes, it did! Absolutely! What He is saying here is that He is giving His intent from the beginning! Absolutely, without a doubt! For us today, we're in this because we have a change of human nature through the Holy Spirit for us who are called and have the Holy Spirit. That needs to be clarified. People in the world are not capable, because they are not converted!

Verse 10: "And when He was in the house again, His disciples asked Him concerning the same thing. And He said to them, 'Whoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, commits adultery against her. And if a woman shall divorce her husband, and be married to another, she commits adultery'" (vs 10-12).

No problem with that! We're dealing with not all the information given in that statement, but this is the standard to which you should enter into marriageperiodeven people in the world!

Matt. 5:27 is about lusting after a woman with the full intent of saying that that's what leads to divorce. In other words, don't even get involved in the thoughts which lead up to divorce—that's what He's really saying.

Matthew 5:31: "It was also said in ancient times, 'Whoever shall divorce his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement.'…. [that's going directly back to and acknowledging Deut. 24.] ….But I say to you, whoever shall divorce his wife causes her to commit adultery; and whoever shall marry her who has been divorced is committing adultery" (vs 31-32). You have something else that is in there, which is called the exception clause!

Verse 32: "But I say to you, whoever shall divorce his wife causes her to commit adultery; and whoever shall marry her who has been divorced is committing adultery"—except the divorce be based on 'porneia.'" Absolutely!

  • Who is speaking here? Christ is speaking!
  • Who is Christ? God!
  • What is one of His functions? Lawgiver!
  • What He has bound He can loose!

The exception clause is not what men have designed, but what Christ said. He said, 'I say to you' and there is no way you can construct that sentence any differently when there is remarriage involved, because if you separate and don't remarry, you're not committing adultery. Has to be! The Greek word for that is 'parektos'which is except, apart from, besides, without. Here's an exception clause that Jesus gave. When we get to Matt. 19, it's even a little more clear with the exception clause!

'Porneia' is fornication in the King James—means any form of sexual immorality, broad. God's design is to protect the marriage. What destroys a marriage? You go along and everything is fine and nice and wonderful—married 8, 10, 12, however many years, some as many as 30 or 40 years—and then all of a sudden that marriage is destroyed by 'porneia.' Today we have all kinds: adultery, fornication, homosexuality, and bestiality. Now they're going to have this virtual reality sex. I mean you've got everything, every kind of 'porneia' under the sun.

Is a woman or a man bound to live with someone who becomes a homosexual after the fact of the original marriage? Are they bound to never marry again? No! That's not what it's saying here! It says, 'If you divorce and remarry you're committing adultery except the divorce would be based upon 'pornea.' You're not committing adultery if you remarry because the whole thing is to remarry, except for 'porneia.' That's what he's saying. If the exception clause were not there, there would be no grounds for remarriage at all. That's what he's talking about, divorce and remarriage.

Matthew 19:3: "Then the Pharisees came to Him and tempted Him, saying to Him, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?' But He answered them, saying, 'Have you not read that He Who made them from the beginning made them male and female… [from the beginning God made them male and female and said]: …and said, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh"? So then, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.' They said to Him, 'Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?' He said to them, 'Because of your hardheartedness, Moses allowed you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever shall divorce his wife, except it be for sexual immorality, and shall marry another, is committing adultery; and the one who marries her who has been divorced is committing adultery'" (vs 3-9).

Now, you have a problem; there's an exception clause here; v 9: "And I say to you, whoever shall divorce his wife…" [It's obvious for any other circumstances if not for 'pornea'—the Greek there is 'ei me' which is in the subjunctive, which means that if you put her away for fornication and you marry another you are not committing adultery. That's what it means! Clear and simple—'ei me'—except for fornication or 'porneia.' "…except it be for sexual immorality…"

Let's go to where we find a very similar thing of that of 'ei me'—it is the same thing, it is subjunctive. There the 'ei' is written 'ei me.'

John 3:2: "He came to Jesus by night and said to Him, 'Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher Who has come from God; because no one is able to do the miracles that You are doing unless… [except—'ei me'] …God is with him.'"

He is stating something here very clear. That He would not be able to do these signs unless God were with Him, but because God is with Him, He can do those things. It's a true statement. The we go on and we have the 'ei me' all the way through.

Verse 3: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'Truly, truly I say to you, unless ['ei me'] anyone is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.'"

You will agree that He's talking about an improbability, that since you are not born again you cannot see the Kingdom of God. Since you are not now born again you cannot go into the Kingdom of God. But IF you are born again—which then comes into the realm of what could be—THEN you can see the Kingdom of God.

So, we have exactly the same thing here. It also says 'Except you be born of the Spirit it is impossible.' It's exactly the same thing that is used in Matt. 10:9. If you put away your wife for any reason other than fornication and shall marry another, commits adultery, because the marriage was not destroyed by 'pornea.' Loosed for another reason.

What we're dealing with is Christ—as God in the flesh—and what God alone binds is what God alone can loose! This exception clause loosens the marriage for remarriage. Otherwise, the rest of it makes no sense at all. In other words, if you put someone away for any other reason than for 'pornea' and you remarry, then you're committing adultery. But, you are not committing adultery if you put away for fornication and remarry. That's clear from the Greek.

Some people under those circumstances may choose either to forgive the one who has committed it, and then reconcile and God would honor that; or they may choose to go ahead and divorce and never remarry because they're burned on marriage, God would honor that. That's their decision.

This is a very clear exception! Jesus the Lawgiver is saying, 'I'm telling you to scrap everything you know about divorce and remarriage and go back to the beginning and God intended you to be one flesh and the only reason there's going to be divorce, which I will give is for 'pornea'; because it destroys the very essence of why the marriage was conceived in the first place.

That's what it literally means. I have no axe to grind. I'm not trying to loose people to get them to marry. I think different churches have gone so far it's incredible! The reasoning that they use is it's just ungodly. What we're supposed to do, being converted, is have our heart not hardened. We're supposed to take away the hardness of heart.

Matthew 19:10: "His disciples said to Him, 'If that is the case of a man with a wife, it is better not to marry.'…. [because he can't put her away for whatever reason they want to] …But He said to them, 'Not everyone can receive this word… [especially the Pharisees couldn't receive it] …but only those to whom it has been given'" (vs 10-11).

You disciples; you're going to understand that you're not going to be as the Pharisees and loose marriages right and left for any cause. I'm telling you the only exception.

Verse 12: "For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb…"

They can't marry and they can't have sex, so therefore, they cannot be one flesh and they don't fit into the category of being marriageable.

"…and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men… [this is physical castration; that was a practice] …and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs… [which is not by mutilation or by castration, but by choice] …for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven…. [there are some who have done that. God honors that] …The one who is able to receive it, let him receive it" (v 12).

That's very narrow grounds. If you have a marriage and you're trying to follow God's ways and so forth, it's going to be a rare case where 'pornea' happens; but it does happen. You can't take that 'pornea' and spread it all abroad to every kind of thing. People in the Church who have problems with their marriage, the thing they are to do is reconcile. That's what God says through Paul.

If a person before coming into the Church divorces because there was 'pornea' in their marriage, comes into the Church and subsequently marries in the Church, the offending mate who had committed the 'pornea' who was put away before they came into the Church subsequently somewhere else remarried is not living in adultery, because he was put away for 'pornea.' If he then comes into the Church, now what do you do?

The only answer I can see for that is what happens when you are baptized? You die! We just discussed what happens when you take such a broad thing. Now, the offender cannot put away the offended. Anyone who has knowledge of the Truth and says, 'The Scripture says that this marriage can be dissolved because of 'pornea.' 'I'm going to commit pornea to dissolve this marriage. Now I'm caught committing pornea and I am going to divorce.' That is a strict perversion of what this is! The offended party alone has the choice of divorcing. That is a deliberate perversion of the Scripture to make your circumstances ideologically mask, with Scripture, to fit your circumstances, but it's not correct!

Now, I'm even informed of those ministers in the Church who have been divorced and remarried two, three or four times. Believe me, they are twisting the Scriptures. They are living in adultery, without a doubt!

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I'm not aware of the great amount of lasciviousness concerning marriage that has gone on in different Churches of God to allow divorce and remarriage two, three, four or five times. We're talking about a whole different ballgame, and only God can read their hearts.

I will say that anyone who is converted and in the Church and has been taught what marriage is all about and knows what marriage is all about, then if, as Paul said, they separate they are to remain unmarried or be reconciled, because they know the Truth and are accountable to God for that—period! This applies to those who are converted and even to those who are not converted, provided they know and have the instruction. IF you know THEN you are held accountable to God! It's not a matter of conversion, it's a matter of knowledge!

Can't be any other way, otherwise you've got this rampant divorce and remarriage and licentiousness that is hailed as wonderful liberty and all it is enslaving people into sin, and they are living in a perpetual state of adultery.

What we're coming to, in the final analysis is that the availability of divorce and remarriage is really very narrow. It's not a broad thing. In the case of the unbeliever, there are so many things which cannot be applied in the same way today as it was then, simply because we are talking about those who believed in Zeus and all the pagan gods as a non-believer.

Whereas today, you've got a multitude of people who believe in Christ, howbeit not perfect. If you break the Law, the Law breaks you. 'Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.' But the one who is doing the will of My Father Who is in heaven. And many will say to Me in that day, Lord, have we not done many wonderful works? Have we not cast out demons in Your name' (Matt. 7). Christ is going to say, 'I never knew you, you workers of iniquity': 'anomos.' against law.

Many of the things that are going on in divorce and remarriage are against law and they're going to pay the penalty, and there are going to be some people who are going to pay the penalty of not making it into the Kingdom of God. That is a reality! It can center around divorce and remarriage and probably in a lot of cases it may center right there. God has to be the ultimate Judge on it, but Matt. 7 tells us, look, everyone, don't assume everything is going to be 'hunky-dory' because there are going to be a lot of surprises in that day.

We have some very interesting things as we go along. We go from general to specific.

Romans 7:1: "Are you ignorant, brethren… [Greek—very strong] …(for I am speaking to those who know law)…"—present tense participle—understanding right this minute law; which is general, not the Law, but law. General statement, all law. You understand the functioning of all law, which has to be those who understood the Old Testament. We're not talking, in this particular case, to Gentiles without the Law. If it includes Gentiles, then it's those who know the Law.

"…that the Law rules over a man for as long a time as he may live?" (v 1). That's a general statement; that applies to everything:

  • idolatry
  • having only one God before you
  • taking God's name in vain
  • the Sabbath
  • murder
  • adultery

—go right on down the Ten Commandments and whatever the commandments of Christ that He gave; tie it all in. Do not these things have dominion over us as long as we may live; however long that may be? Yes, absolutely!

Then he goes to a specific law. He shifts from the general principle of the Law to a specific one:
Verse 2: "For the woman who is married is bound by law to the husband as long as he is living; but if the husband should die, she is released…"

In this case it's not 'luo'—loosed. It's cleared, wiped out, the law of marriage does not apply, because marriage is binding until death.

"…from the law that bound her to the husband" (v 2). This is the way that it should be in all marriages, with the little exception! When we get to 1-Cor. 7 we'll cover that.

Verse 3: "So then, if she should marry another man as long as the husband is living, she shall be called an adulteress…"

  • What was Israel called?
  • Did they not marry other gods?
  • Did not the Law apply to them as a nation in doing so? (Deut. 28) If you hearken unto My commandments, blessed, blessed, blessed! If you don't hearken unto My commandments, cursed, cursed, cursed!
  • Did that not happen? Yes!

If I said there's no room for divorce, I meant there's no room for divorce and remarriage! You know. Christ did—as the God of the Old Testament—divorce Israel, but He never remarried another nation!He had full knowledge of what it was. But she was called an adulteress and He called her an adulteress. He even went further and said, 'Judah is treacherous!' So much so that backsliding Israel has justified herself.

Those are pretty heavy words! Read Jeremiah and Ezekiel. If you don't come away with your mind and almost like someone sitting on your chest, you're oppressed at some of those things. They're unreal!

"…but if the husband should die she is free from the law that bound her to the husband, so that she is no longer an adulteress if she is married to another man" (v 3).

Here's what Paul is getting to: down between the two covenants. There were some people under the Old Covenant who were faithful. They lived by that marriage agreement of the Old Covenant. If they would have done anything outside of the Old Covenant in relationship to God, they would be adulteresses. Under the Old Covenant they could not even enter into the covenant with Christ until He died.

The more rigid Jews today view what people do in coming to Christianity is adultery from the Old Covenant, because they don't know that the Old Covenant has ceased. The Old Covenant is the terms of the agreement. Laws were in the Old Covenant which are eternal and always binding on everyone everywhere, which are included in every covenant that God makes under any circumstances anyway. So, the abrogation of a covenant does not abrogate the eternal laws, howbeit they are part of the covenant. Protestants can't understand that. In our series on Scripturalism vs Judaism we come right to the heart and core of what the Protestants believe. They have accepted Judaism's proposition that the Law of Moses is everything that Moses said, and all the rabbis said and all the learned scholars said in this huge fence around here, this whole great expanded thing here is the Law of Moses.

When they come along and Christ says 'I'm stripping away all of the tradition,' they are taking the next step and stripping away all of the Laws when Christ said, 'Don't think I'm stripping away the Laws that are eternal. Those Laws run through every covenant that I make, because I'm God!'

Verse 4: "In the same way, my brethren, you also were made dead to the marriage law of the Old Covenant by the Body of Christ…" So, we have two things that were accomplished:

  • you were dead, my brethren
  • Christ died

Here we have a double ending of the Old Covenant relationship. Because when they're baptized, they died! Christ died on the cross. You have a double annulling of the agreement of the Old Covenant! That's what Paul saying here. This is very profound stuff!

The Law in this particular case refers back to the law of the husband, but also—since it doesn't say the law of the husband—can refer to the term the Law as the Old Covenant was called—this gets to be pretty technical stuff here, by the Body of Christ. When we are baptized with Christ it says in Rom. 6—and as I wrote in the book The Christian Passoverwe are conjoined into His death! It's a final, complete ending of that.

"…in order for you to be married to another, Who was raised from the dead… [referring to Christ] …that we… [he shifts here; this is really some heavy writing, because he packs so much in these verses] …should bring forth fruit to God. For as long as we were in the flesh, the passions of sins, which were through the law… [that defines sin for us] …were working within our own members to bring forth fruit unto death" (vs 4-5).

With the law of sin and death in you, even all of your good is not worthy before God, because you're going to die. What Paul is saying is even with the Old Covenant, though there was that relationship, you could never ever bring forth spiritual fruit to God, because they didn't have the spiritual fruit to do it. They all ended up in death because the 'wages of sin is death' and there was no expiation of sin, because Christ had not died. They were trapped in the death and there they were, though they had the Law.

That is profound stuff! That is not easily grasped by a lot of people. You have to have the Spirit of God to grasp it. Now you are cleared from the old Law—i.e. the Old Testament/Old Covenant—that bound you to the God of the Old Covenant because He died. You are cleared from the Law and that relationship because you likewise died in baptism.

Verse 6: "But now we have been released from the law because we have died to that in which we were held so that…" After arising out the watery grave of your death and understanding the death of Christ!

"…we might serve in newness of the spirit… [obviously the Laws of God that function in our lives as long as we live] …and not in the oldness of the letter" (v 6).

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Luke 16:14-18
  • Mark 10:2-5
  • Deuteronomy18:17
  • Deuteronomy 19:1
  • 1 Corinthians 6:15-16
  • Mark 10:7-12
  • Matthew 5:31-32
  • Matthew 19:3-9
  • John 3:2-3
  • Matthew 19:10-12
  • Romans 7:1-6

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 1 Corinthians 7
  • Deuteronomy 24
  • Matthew 5:27; 10:9; 7
  • Deuteronomy 28

Also referenced:

  • Sermon Series: Scripturalism vs Judaism
  • Book: The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

Transcribed: 7-2-11
Reformatted/Corrected: 4/2020