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Friday, May 4, 2012

Bible Study - verse by verse # 51

Matthew 18:35 Because God has forgiven all our sin, we should not withhold forgiveness from others. Realizing how completely Christ has forgiven us should produce a free and generous attitude of forgiveness toward others. When we don't forgive others, we are setting ourselves outside and above Christ's law of love.

Matthew 19:3-12 John was put in prison and killed, at least in part, for his public opinions on marriage and divorce, so the Pharisees hoped to trap Jesus too. They were trying to trick Jesus by having His choose sides in a theological controversy. Two schools of thought represented two opposing views of divorce. One group supported divorce for almost any reason. The other believed that divorce could be allowed only for martial unfaithfulness. This conflict hinged on how each group interpreted Deuteronomy 24:1-4. In His answer, however, Jesus focused on marriage rather than divorce. He pointed out that God intended marriage to be permanent and gave four reasons for the importance of marriage (19:4-6).

Matthew 19:7, 8 This law is found in Deuteronomy 24:1-7. In Moses day, as well as in Jesus' day, the practice of marriage fell far short of God's intentions. The same is true today. Jesus said that Moses gave this law only because of the people's hard hearts - permanent marriage was God's intention. But because sinful human nature made divorce inevitable, Moses instituted some laws to help its victims. These were civil laws designed especially to protect the women who, in that culture, were quite vulnerable when living alone. Because of Moses' law, a man could no longer just throw his wife out - he had to write a formal letter of dismissal. This was a radical step toward civil rights, for it made men think twice about divorce. God designed marriage to be indissoluble. Instead of looking for reasons to leave each other, married couples should concentrate on how to stay together.

Matthew 19:10-12 Although divorce was relatively easy in Old Testament times, it is not what God originally intended. Couples should decide against divorce from the start and build their marriage on mutual commitment. There are also many good reasons for not marrying, one being to have more time to work for God's kingdom. Don't assume that God wants everyone to marry. For many it may be better if they didn't. Be sure that you prayerfully seek God's will before you plunge into the lifelong commitment of marriage.

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