Divorce (and How to Avoid it)

Sermon from CCM:Kingsway


This sermon was preached by Andy Brownlee at the CCM Kingsway site of Christ Church Manchester on Sunday 6th October 2019.



This message was part of the ‘SERIES NAME’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Burnage in EARLY/MID/LATE YEAR. The full series included the following sermons:


This sermon was based on Mark 10:1-12

Teaching About Divorce

1And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his custom, he taught them.
2And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” 5And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7’Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
10And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”


The Pharisees Question

  • The Pharisees ask Jesus “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” Jesus doesn’t answer their question; he knows it’s a trap so instead he responds with a question: What did Moses command you?
  • But Jesus didn’t ask, what did Moses permit? he asked them, what did he command? Then Jesus pointed out that the law was given because the people might have hard hearts.

  • The Pharisees come to Jesus supposedly trying to figure out how to do divorce right and Jesus response essentially is to shift their focus from how to do divorce right to how to do marriage right because if you do that you don’t need to know how to do divorce right.

Watch Your Heart

  • Tim Keller : “The Gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” The more you believe that the softer your heart gets.

  • So, what difference does a soft heart make to a marriage? A soft heart means you listen when Godly people give you advice about marriage. A soft heart also means that you notice when you start feeling resentful or bitter towards your spouse and rather than withdrawing, you address the issue.

  • A soft heart means that you learn to forgive, you learn show grace to the other person. A soft heart means that you know you’re weak and that you need God’s help to stay faithful to fulfil your marriage vows.



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