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The Law and Gospel views on Christian Marriage and Divorce

By Pastor Moyibi Amoda

Out of Two God had manifested One, the Man, Male and Female. This was what Adam confessed as God brought the ‘help meet’ to him; God did not give the “help” a name. God had left all naming of God’s living beings to Adam. “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field: (Genesis 1:19-20).
And God upon the making of the help meet for the man “brought her unto the man” (Genesis l:22b). The name that God gave to the entity created from the bones of Adam was also Adam’s name for the same person “she shall be called, Woman, because she was taken out of Man”.

It is this Beginning Realization of Adam and the Woman that define for Jehovah and Jesus what Marriage is, namely was the result of a husband separating himself from his father and mother and cleaving to his wife to make of two one flesh. This was the reality of the husband-wife entity, two becoming one Body. It is for that reason that the husband and wife “were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:25).

A “person” constituted of the same bones and the same flesh is a Body—thus the “Head” is naked, and “the body naked and both members are not ashamed. Marriage for God and thus for the Lord Jesus is integral to the Creation Process. This was what Man, the man and his wife, were at the beginning, members of the same body. After the fall, the two members of One Body had become two individuals. As two individuals, they were now aware of their nakedness and were ashamed before one another. This transformation in the consciousness of the man and woman was the result of their disobeying God. “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked: and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons…And the LORD called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat.” (Genesis 3,7,9-12).

The Fall described above is evidence of the change produced by sin. The gender differentiation of Man had become the gender alienation of the man from the woman. She that was “the bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh” has become “the woman whom thou gavest to be with me”. The Two Members of One Body had become Two Individuals separated from God by sin and from one another by guilt. Creation Marriage had, died, to be replaced by Cohabitation Marriage.
“The Woman whom thou gavest to be with me.” When the Law was given to Israel God recognized that the husband and wife were together only as cohabitants; it was Cohabitation Marriage that God addressed in the Law. Cohabitation Marriage is marriage between offsprings of Adam created in God image but who had become since the Fall one who begets both sons and daughters in his own image (Genesis 5:1-5). Cohabitation Marriage is marriage between two individuals with two different minds and wills both dead in sin and transgressions. The province of the Law, however, was given to Israel alone, not to the world. The world without Israel was Heathen. Gentile, who “were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12).

The Lord Jesus characterized the heart of Israel of the Law as “hard”, and the Law only regulated the conduct of man. not their hearts. The churches of the Gentiles to whom Paul wrote were churches saved from the Law in two senses. Being saved on the basis of the Gospel of Christ, they were beneficiary of Christ fulfillment of the Law. In every member of the churches of the Gentiles, it was not the Law that constrained them, but the Love of Christ.
“For the love of Christ comtraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for alL then were all dead. And thai he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again “ (II Cor 5:14-15).


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