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Let’s begin by reading Matthew 19:9, “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”  The Lord Jesus teaches us here that if a man puts away, or divorces, his wife for any reason other than her committing fornication, and then marries someone else, he is committing adultery.  Although divorce is granted for any reason today, the Lord is clear in telling us that the only scriptural ground for divorce and remarriage is if there is fornication involved.  From the verse we just read, the indication there is that if a man divorces his wife because she has committed fornication, then the man is free to remarry.

The Greek word for fornication is ‘porneia’, from which we get the word ‘pornography’.  Its meaning is literally ‘sexual sin’.  It would include prostitution, adultery, incest, and other types of sexual sin.  Its definition is broader than the definition for adultery.  The Greek word for adultery is ‘moichao’ (moy-khah’-o).  Its meaning seems to have the thought of two married people having a sexual relation outside their marriage relation.  Adultery was specifically forbidden in the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:14 says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”  Under the Old Testament law, the punishment for adultery was death as we read in Leviticus 20:10, “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”

While we are not under the Law today, and forgiveness is offered for even this sin, this does show how serious a sin that adultery is in the eyes of the Lord.  From the Word of God, we see that if your wife has committed fornication, then you are free to marry someone else.  Let me point out two things.  First, if someone in the marriage commits fornication, this does not mean that divorce is required.  Many marriages have been restored even after fornication.  Secondly, while you may be free to marry another, please be sure that this marriage is “in the Lord.”  Before you marry again, make sure that you and your girlfriend are following the leading of the Lord.  Make sure that you both are seeking the Lord’s guidance in your relationship.  Make sure that you both are following the Lord right now, and are not involved in a sexual relationship before you are married.  To receive the clear leading of the Lord, we must make sure we are not walking contrary to the will and Word of God.  As we read in 1 Timothy 5:22, “…keep thyself pure.”  (107.2)