In order to attempt an answer to your questions, let’s read Matthew 5:32, “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery” (NKJV). Here are the words of the Lord Jesus on the matter of divorce and remarriage. He states very emphatically that there is only one justifiable reason for divorce and that is INFIDELITY; in other words, ADULTERY. That alone is cause for dissolving a marriage and giving one the freedom to remarry. To remarry for any other reason (with the exception of DESERTION by an unbelieving spouse…see 1st Corinthians 7:12-15) would result in adultery.

As to your specific question, there are two views as to whether a remarriage, based on an unscriptural divorce, results in an ACT of adultery or a STATE of adultery. The word “commits” in Matthew 5:32 is in the present tense and it can indicate a continuous STATE of adultery, but not always. In that same verse the word “divorces” is also in the present tense but I think we all know that you only divorce someone ONCE, thus it is an ACT and not a continuous STATE. So, some look upon the unscriptural divorce and remarriage as resulting in a one-time act of adultery. They would say that “only the act of getting remarried itself is adultery.” Those who espouse the view that adultery is a continuous act would say that “each time the husband and wife (in the unscriptural marriage) engaged in sexual relations they would be guilty of adultery.”

Your second question, “If it is a continual state of adultery, should the two people divorce?” is even more complex. One would think a divorce would be necessary in order to end the adultery yet there is no command in the New Testament for a remarried couple to divorce. In the Old Testament one could be put to death for adultery, as we see in Leviticus 20:10, “The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.” Later, in Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Moses speaks of divorce (that didn’t involve adultery before the writing of divorcement was given) and remarriage, and yet there is no word about being “put to death” or about “getting a divorce.”

Since the New Testament is absolutely silent on this issue, my view is that it is NOT a continual state but rather a one-time act. In that case if the believer REPENTS of his/her sin of an unscriptural divorce and remarriage, they would not have to get a divorce. After repenting, the husband and wife should seek to honor the marriage union by making Christ the Center of their marriage and then devote the rest of their lives to glorifying God in their marriage. (303.5) (DO)