The Word of God Prohibits Remarriage While Both Spouses Are Still Living

A farther indication of the corrupted state of the heart of natural man is that Christ states that if a person divorces, he/she cannot remarry yet all kind of excuses are used by those not converted to re-marry. With this said, if the divorced person remarries then clearly there is added proof that a hard heart is evident.

Proof Verses that prohibit remarriage while both spouses are still alive.

1. Mark 10:9-12

Mark 10:9
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Mark 10:10
And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same [matter].

Mark 10:11
And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put awayhis wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

Mark 10:12
And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

In this gospel Christ covers both the husband and the wife, such that if divorce does occur and remarriage ensues, both spouses shall be considered an adulterer depending on who uses this law of divorcement.

2. Romans 7:1-3

Romans 7:1
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

Paul addresses a group of people who should know the canon of Hebrew law. Thus he states that it should be perfectly clear that remarriage is not permitted (See verse 3 below).

Romans 7:2
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to [her] husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of [her] husband.

Romans 7:3
So then if, while [her] husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

This verse of scriptures states that the only opportunity for re-marriage is after the death of either spouse. This is the only God sanctioned reason for re-marriage.

3. Luke 16:13-18

Luke 16:13
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

The tone of these verses are set by what is said in this thirteenth verse, for the context speaks to allegiance to God or Satan.

Luke 16:14
And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.

Luke 16:15
And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

The best intentioned ideals of mankind are abominations before God. Instead of abandoning oneself to viewing life according to God’s pronouncements, the Pharisees, as does all of unregenerate mankind, depends on their minds (heart) to view life. God would have mankind to know that human standards of judgements are at best a futile attempt to clear ones own conscience. If mankind is to understand his/her dilemma there must be an abandonment from his/hers’ own understanding to the
intent and constructive directive action of God’s laws and statutes. To the corrupt human heart God’s word is harsh and cruel, but necessary if salvation is to be gained. There is no other way.

Luke 16:16
The law and the prophets [were] until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

The Old Testament law and the prophets were in place until the time of Christ. John the Baptist heralded Christ’s arrival as “the way” into the kingdom of God. All that was said and done by the prophets and the law pointed to Christ’s coming incarnation, His life amongst His creation for a brief time in history, His suffering that led to his physical death but most importantly His spiritual death as payment for sin for those that the Father gave him, and His resurrection and ascension so that the Holy Spirit could be sent to dwell in the heart of the believer. The Holy Spirit would then, according to God’s word, re-direct the life of the believer thus restoring communion. This is God’s way of preparing the way into His kingdom. But unregenerate mankind would pervert the word of God with his traditions and attempt to press his own way into the kingdom of God.

Luke 16:17
And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

As the scriptures so often state “be not deceived”, God’s word will not, can not be changed to suit mankind’s purpose. This word must be understood from God’s point of view and His point of view only.

Luke 16:18
Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery.

As has been stated before divorce is not an option for the believer, thus this statement here in Luke 16:18 is not for the believer, for they should never divorce.

This statement is for the person who will [attempt to] put asunder that which God has joined together. If this law of divorce is used (it suggests an attitude of unbelief) then remarriage is forbidden.

Matthew 19:10
His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with [his] wife, it is not good to marry.

Matthew 19:11
But he said unto them, All [men] cannot receive this saying, save [they] to whom it is given.

Matthew 19:12
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from [their] mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive [it], let him receive [it].

Those who have received the Spirit of God receive His sayings and are sold out to service to Him. The following passage indicate that God, by His spirit, has given the true believer the ability to “hear” (which means to obey) His voice. The believer must turn from his/her way. God, by His Spirit, has made “the way” for this to occur:

Acts 3:25
Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

Acts 3:26
Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

The child of God once turned from his/her way will follow His Lord’s way:

John 10:1
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. (see Luke 16:16 above)

John 10:2
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

John 10:3
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

John 10:4
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

John 10:5
And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

John 10:6
This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

As is the case with all those that are not His, the unregenerate do not understand the intent of God’s word and neither do they want to. Christ was speaking this parable to a group of Pharisees and a man who He had given sight to (chapter 9). The man who had been healed, symbolic of being born again, believed Christ’s words (understood) and worshipped Him. On the other hand the Pharisees believed Him not (understood not).

John 10:7
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

John 10:8
All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

John 10:9
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

John 10:10
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

John 10:11
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

John 10:12
But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

John 10:13
The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

John 10:14
I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and am known of mine.

John 10:15
As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

John 10:16
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd.

“What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6). Christ’s statement to the Pharisees was final and to the point.

Because Jesus Christ is God there can be no overturning of his pronouncement on this subject. God does not sanction divorce.

The symbolism that marriage presents to the true believer is so beautiful. His betrothed bride (the true church) was found (by His word – by the law is the knowledge of sin [Romans 3:20]) not to be a virgin. Yet He forgave her and became intimate with her (became like her [a human being] and paid for her sins [Hebrews 2:14-17]) and will be intimately one with her (be like him [1 john 3:2]), after judgement day. After the wedding feast He will take her to her new home (the new heaven and the new earth [2 Peter 3:13]. There will be no sin there to ever break the relationship between Christ and His bride and truly what God has joined together no man will put asunder in eternity.

Men and women cannot put asunder what God has joined together and if this has occurred re-marriage should never be considered.

By R. Dean

4 Comments on “The Word of God Prohibits Remarriage While Both Spouses Are Still Living

  1. what should the situation be if an ‘unclean’ wife who is an unbeliever leaves her husband who is a believer and he does not want her to leave because he knows that God hates divorce, but she leaves anyway and institutes divorce procedings which he cant stop ?
    Id appreciate your teaching on this.
    If the man is divorced against his will can he then remarry ?

    • Hello Charles.

      The teaching of the LORD Jesus Christ in the gospels and the writings of Paul which expound on the Words of the LORD Jesus confirm that remarriage while one’s spose is still living is adultery.


      May The Deserted Believer Remarry?

      I Corinthians 7:15 does not teach that the desertion of a believer by his unbelieving mate dissolves the marriage and frees the believer to marry another. The notion that such is the meaning of the passage rests upon a misunderstanding of the words, “is not under bondage in such cases”.

      Men read the phrase as though it were, “is not (any longer) bound (namely, to the deserting mate) in such cases.” To be “under bondage” and to be “bound” are two different thoughts and two different words, both in English and in the Greek of the New Testament; and it is inexcusable that interpreters of Scripture confuse them.

      Paul does not say that the deserted believer is not “bound” to his former mate in such cases, as though God had now dissolved the bond that He made when He joined the two in marriage. But the apostle says that the deserted believer is not “under bondage.” This refers to the spiritual state of the believer who has been abandoned by his wife. He need feel no guilt or shame over his marital condition, such as might cause him to live in constant fear of God’s condemnation of him because he is not living with his wife, or such as might even cause him to try to get the woman back at the expense of his confession of Christ. Not being under bondage in the text is not a ground for remarrying, but a ground for letting the unbeliever depart.

      That not being under bondage describes one’s spiritual state before God is borne out by the words in the text that express the opposite of being under bondage: “but God hath called us to peace.” Peace is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the right to remarry, but the spiritual state of a believer who lives in the enjoyment of God’s favor, regardless of the most miserable circumstances of earthly life.

      If Paul taught in verse 15 that desertion is the dissolution of marriage and the granting of the right to remarry, he would have flagrantly contradicted what he would write a few verses later. For in verse 39 he stated in clearest and sharpest language that married people are “bound” (not: “under bondage”) to each other for life, and that death, and death only, gives a married woman the liberty to marry another.

      The teaching of the Westminster Confession of Faith in Chapter XXIV, VI, that “nothing but adultery, or such willful desertion as can no way be remedied by the church or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage . . . ,” is corruption of the Biblical truth of marriage, with deadly serious consequences for those who carry it out in their practice.

      Marriage is a life-long bond. The deserted believer, although not under bondage, is very definitely still bound to the woman who has deserted him (as verse 39 establishes beyond any doubt). He is not at liberty to marry another.

      Our young people must reckon with this solemn fact when they date and marry. It is possible to marry an unbeliever in haste, only to repent in the leisure of a long, lonely life, because the unbeliever departs. But it is also possible that a believer is deserted by one who gave every evidence before marriage of being a believer, but who proves herself an unbeliever by deserting. The comfort of this believer is the Holy Spirit’s purpose in the text. It simply has nothing whatever to do with the subject of the grounds for divorce and remarriage.

      By David J. Engelsma


      Is there an exception clause in the bible for divorce and remarriage?

      Men of today are like the pharisees of old. They are looking for a loophole in God’s Word to get a divorce and remarry another spouse that they think is better then the one they have.

      People that call themselves Christians look at the Word “except it be for fornication” and they see “except it be for adultery” or “except it be for sexual immorality”.

      In Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 adultery is substituted for fornication.

      What does fornication really mean?

      It is the unlawful sexual connnection between unmarried persons.

      Here in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 adultery is substituted for fornication.

      What does the word fornication really mean?

      It is unlawful sexual connection between unmarried persons.

      Fornication and adultery are two different words and two different sins.

      We see this in the following verses of scripture:

      Matthew 15:19
      For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

      Mark 7:21
      For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murder

      1 Corinthians 6:9-10
      Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
      Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

      Galatians 5:19-21
      Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
      Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
      Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

      Adultery is committed by a married woman that has had sexual relations with a husband.

      Forinication is committed by a woman that is single, an unmarried person. (1 Corinthians 5:1-11)

      This exception clause is only found in the book of Matthew and is not in the other gospels.

      Why is this?

      Matthew wrote to the Jews on this matter of espousal or betrothal in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9.

      This espousal/betrothal is not for us gentiles.

      Mark 10:1-12 and Luke 16:18 are for us gentiles (in the flesh only as those who have been born again are the Israel of God in the Spirit – Galatians 6:16) then and today.

      Luke 16:18
      Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

      Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 cover the Jewish betrothal of a Jewish woman and a Jewish man that seeks to be married.

      To show you that there is a difference in a married woman and an espoused woman look at Deuteronomy 22:22-23.

      Deuteronomy 22:22
      If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
      Deuteronomy 22:23
      If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;

      If you notice that these scriptures mention two different women.
      One is married to a husband and the other is betrothed to a husband.

      The married woman is a wife who has had sexual relations with her husband. The other woman is a betrothed wife, a virgin that has never known a man in sexual relations.

      A married wife has lived with her husband. The betrothed wife is still a virgin and has not lived with a man.

      The married can commit adultery whereas the betrothed wife commits fornication.

      Deuteronomy 20:7
      And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.

      Notice the words here – “a betrothed wife” and “but he hath not taken her”.

      Once a husband “took unto him a wife” they were no longer betrothed because they have become “one flesh”. This is because they have had sexual relations with one another.

      The man after this could not divorce his wife. (Deuteronomy 22:13-20 and Matthew 19:6)

      As I said an espousal or betrothal is a period of time between the purchase of a wife before the marriage. That is what espousal or betrothal means.

      The man purchases his wife from the woman’s father. This Joseph did in order to marry Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, ous Lord.

      This is an example of what I have in my weak way tried to explain to you who may be reading this article.

      When Mary was espoused to Joseph before they came together – sexual relations – she was found to be with child. When Joseph found out that Mary was with child, “he was minded to put her away privily.” (Matthew 1:19)

      To all appearrances Mary was guilty of fornication in the eyes of the world. Joseph had full intention of divorcing Mary.

      To show you that adultery and fornication are two different words lets look at the greek.

      In the greek “adultery” is “Moechia”.

      In the greek “fornication” is “Porneia”.

      Again, I say, under Jewish law, when a Jewish man desired a Jewish woman, he had to purchase her from her father. Once the purchase was made under Jewish law they became husband and wife, but the purchased wife remained with her father for a period of time to make sure that the woman remained chaste

      All of what has been written, pictures how Jesus Christ our Lord bought His Church bride (Acts 20:28)

      Acts 20:28
      Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

      Christ has purchased His church bride and this espousal or betorthed period has lasted for over 2,000 years. But the Lord Jesus is coming for His church bride, which will become His wife at the wedding in heaven as we read about in Revelation.

      God bless all who read this article.

      By C. Waller


      I hope that this helps answer your question Charles.

  2. I have a question about this. If there were two unbelievers who were married and got a divorce then the man remarried, then him and his new wife get saved. What do you make of the new marriage? Also would it be right for this person to go into the Pastorate?

    • Hi Jeremy,

      Your first question is answered in the article above.

      Could a remarried man or a man married to another man’s wife be allowed to be an elder or a deacon?

      The simple answer is absolutely no, because the Scriptures clearly forbid it in I Timothy 3 and the first chapter of Titus…

      I Timothy 3:2
      A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…

      Titus 1:6
      If any be blameless, the husband of one wife…

Leave a Reply to Test All Things Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s