How Does A Spouse Who Unscripturally Divorces And Remarries Another Person Commit Adultery Against The Former Spouse?

Mark 10:11,12 states: “So He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.’”

Within a scripturally approved marriage, there are always three parties involved. There is (1) God, (2) the husband, and (3) the wife. God is the One who joins the two scripturally eligible persons in a marital covenant (Matthew 19:6; Genesis 2:24). The husband and wife are both bound to the law of God on marriage (Romans 7:1-4; 1 Corinthians 7:39,40). The wife is bound to the law of her husband (which is God's law) and the husband is bound to the law of his wife (which is also the law of God). They have both vowed and promised to be faithful to their marital covenant for as long as they both shall live.

There is a distinction to be made between “bound” and “married.” Only God is able to bind or loosen. If one spouse commits fornication, God authorizes the innocent party to either remain in the marriage or divorce the guilty spouse on the grounds of fornication. If the innocent party chooses to divorce the guilty party on the ground of fornication, God loosens the innocent party (the one who did not commit fornication) from the law of the other spouse (Matthew 5:31,32; 19:9). God has not granted the guilty party permission to be loosened from the law of his/her spouse (the innocent party is not bound to the law of the his/her previous marriage but the guilty party always is – a consequence for separating what
God has joined together due to the sin of fornication, Matthew 19:6, 9). He/she is no longer married to the innocent spouse, but he/she is bound to the marriage law.

Therefore, what Jesus stated in Mark 10:11,12, is that the spouse who divorced and remarried not for the cause of fornication is guilty of committing adultery against his/her spouse because the spouse is still bound to the law of the former spouse. It is up to the spouse who is in the adulterous marriage to repent and put away this sinful relationship to show fruits worthy of repentance (Matthew 3:8).

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