Decrees on Discipline and DivorceApril 14, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Posted in Matthew | 2 Comments
Tags: Biblical marriage, church discipline, commentary on Matthew, confrontation, marriage, Matthew 18, Matthew 19, Sunday School lessons on Matthew
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
This passage of Scripture deals with church discipline. It is not a fun procedure. Regardless if you are the one being disciplined or one of the ones involved in doing the disciplining, it is a serious matter and a daunting task. But it must not be neglected. Sometimes surgery is required on one part of the body to keep the whole body healthy.
Christians should exercise self-discipline first. There must be obedience to the Word and agreement in prayer. The goal is restoration in the body and the removal of sin.
Humility is an overriding theme in Matthew Chapter 18, and humility is the key to forgiveness.
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
This is what God did for us, and He wants us to do it for others.
In Matthew 19 the King returns to confront His enemies head on. There is another occurrence of the transitional phrase which Matthew uses:
And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;
Jesus’s enemies tried to ensnare him with questions about marriage, but Jesus taught what marriage really is. It is a covenant before God rather than merely a contract before the state.
The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Marriage is a God-ordained form of government, but the vows made at a wedding are vows made BEFORE GOD Himself. Neither the civil government nor the Church have any real rights to “make up” laws concerning marriage. These are ordained by God. Both the Church and the civil government are to be witnesses of the vows since both have an interest in disciplining or arbitrating binding agreements, but the Bible also has the authority to forbid marriage.
He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
The problem of divorce was never a problem with the King’s plan. It was and is a problem with man’s heart. Why did God allow Moses to make a concession in this matter? Because the union of marriage is physical, not spiritual.