Adultery and Divorce

Jesus told us: “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Matt 5:31-32)
Today, it seems like couples are divorcing left and right. For what reasons? I’m sure there are plenty of divorces for the one and only single reason Jesus told us divorce was proper. But I feel there are many separations due to “irreconcilable differences”. If we are to be Christ-like and obey His direction, couples need to find common ground and stand on it together while finding ways (together) that will cause the flood waters of the relationship to recede so that both can walk farther to find harmony. Now I also will say that to live a truly righteous life in matrimony, we would have never let the waters rise so high in the first place. In a truly righteous life, a marriage would last “until death do you part”. This is true if we take what we just quoted Jesus and add to it what He says about adultery, the final product being a life-long marriage.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matt 5:27-30)
In essence, what Jesus is telling us is that we are doomed to the blazing pits of hell with every adulterous thought we think, with every sinful act we watch and with every sinful act we commit with our hands, feet and bodies save for the fact that He served Himself up to be sacrificed on the cross and paid those sin debts, in full, so that we would be able to live in His light for eternity.  Thank you God for sending your Son to save a society of sinners, like me.

Baptism and Dying to Self

Baptism and dying to self, is the basic Christian ritual marking the death of our earthly bodies and transforming into a spiritual person living with and for God.  We are submerged into the water (buried) as a dead sinner and then rise  up out of the water (resurrection) newly cleaned and sinless by the blood of Christ.  Our old self is dead and our new self is blameless, but only by the Grace that God has shown us by sacrificing Christ, the Holy Lamb.  Read these verses, below about baptism and the dying of self:

He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”  Luke 3:3

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”   Luke 9:23-24

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”  Romans 6:4

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,and overflowing with thankfulness.  See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.  For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.  In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.  When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:6-15

 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!Galatians 2:19-21

From just these few scriptures alone, we can gather the powerful message of the cross and washing of the blood of Christ.  We are “born again” with the Holy Spirit living inside us.  Our past is nailed to the cross and is dead.  We have new life, reconciled to our God, the one and only God.  We shall worship no other gods before Him.

(See more about God’s Acceptance)

Love and teach Thy Neighbor

In the Old Testament, the book of Exodus first tells us of the Ten Commandments.  Nearly everyone has heard of these.  However, the book of Leviticus gives us a much greater list of laws of the land.  And then, in the new covenant, explained in the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus gave us the 11th commandment to love and teach thy neighbor:

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. ”  John 15:12

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”  Luke 10:25-28

The final Christian truth I will mention in this series is the truth of discipleship, or the teaching part of love and teach thy neighbor.  We are not to keep what we learn to ourselves but to teach to others in love.  We are to teach others what we learn by reading the Bible.  After Christ was crucified, and laid in the tomb, he was risen on the third day.  This is the Easter celebration.  When the apostles met with Jesus for the last time, before He ascended to Heaven He told them:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. ”  Matthew 28:18-20

Read more in Basic Christian Truths