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Scripture Memory: The Door.

VERSE : 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.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

19 February 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Deliverance from Fiery Trials, Dan 3:19-30)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Colin Wong (The Fool’s Heart, Psalm 14)

26 February 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Elder Lim Teck Chye (Genuine Concern for Sinners, Dan 4:19, 27)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Ps Tan Soon Yong (The True Worshipper, Psalm 15)

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CAN I DIVORCE AND REMARRY? (Part 1)

Many things have gone wrong with marriages since sin came into the world. According to the latest statistics there is now one divorce for every four marriages in Singapore. The majority of marriages that ended in divorce lasted for only 10-12 years. The solution that is often recommended is that couples should spend more time together.

The grim picture is that many couples are taking marriage and divorce too lightly. Whenever questions on marriage and divorce arise they get answers from all the wrong places. Many are told that marriage is merely a social and legal construct which was meant to provide a stable environment for children. Since marriage is man-made, it is not binding and can be dissolved for any reason. But these are not the right answers to questions on marriage and divorce.

 The right answers must come from God Himself. Since marriage originates from Him, He is obviously the best authority on the subject of marriage. We should therefore seek the answers to all questions on marriage and divorce in His Holy Word.

God’s Word tells us that marriage was instituted before sin entered the human race. It was God who brought the first man and the first woman together and joined them permanently in a one flesh union (Genesis 2:18-24), and then He gave them the command to ‘be fruitful and multiply.’ (Genesis 1:28) It was God who put a special commandment in place – “Thou shalt not commit adultery” – in order to protect the marriage bond from being violated.

The sanctity of marriage can also be seen clearly in the New Testament: Our Lord Jesus blessed it by performing His very first miracle at a wedding – when the couple ran out of wine during their wedding reception, He provided a large quantity of good quality wine out of six stone water pots. It was Jesus who upheld the divine origin and permanency of the marriage bond when He boldly declared, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6).

Furthermore the Scriptures teach us that Christian marriage is meant to reflect the permanent union between Christ and the Church: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” (Ephesians 5:23-25).

Biblical instructions on marriage are not only helpful to those who are already married. They will also help those who are unmarried and who may get married at some point in time, if the Lord should lead them to do so. Specific instructions are given for three groups of Christians in the seventh chapter of 1 Corinthians.

1. Instructions for Christians Married to Other Christians

“And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)

 Life partners are meant to be partners for life! This is implied in Genesis 2:24 which says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” The word ‘cleave’ in this verse means ‘to cling to one another permanently until death by any one of the parties should separate them.’

Therefore, husband and wife must remain faithful to each other. Both must take their marriage vows seriously: “I take thee....as my lawfully wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death us do part.” These vows must be kept no matter what happens – till death us do part, and not till divorce us do part.

Couples who are planning to be married should never consider divorce as an option after they are married. If a conflict should arise between them and there is a heated exchange, the ‘d’ word must never be mentioned. Why? Because God never ordained divorce. He ordained marriage, but only endured divorce because of man’s sin, and even that has to be carefully regulated.

During the time of the prophet Malachi many Israelite husbands were divorcing their aging wives in order to marry younger women from foreign lands. Malachi rebuked them for doing this, and said that they were dealing treacherously! “Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.  And did not He make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.” (Malachi 2:14-16) Thus we see that divorce is actually contrary to God’s plan. God hates it!

But what if one marriage partner goes astray and becomes unfaithful because of temptation? Then the other partner has two options: The preferable option is to save the marriage by working towards reclaiming the straying partner, following the pattern given in the book of Hosea.

But what if circumstances make this impossible (e.g. the straying partner refuses to give up his or her adultery)? Then the other option may be used: Sue for divorce. Divorce should only be used as a last resort, and only when adultery has been proven – not just alleged or suspected. This is what Jesus taught concerning divorce in Matthew 19:9 – “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.”

From the phrase ‘except it be for fornication’ we understand that it is legitimate to divorce and remarry on the grounds of proven adultery. However, statistics have shown that only a tiny fraction of divorces (1%) are filed on the grounds of adultery. Most civil divorces in Singapore (51%) are filed on the grounds of ‘unreasonable behaviour.’ This covers a wide variety of reasons, including mental or verbal abuse, accumulation of excessive debt, addiction to alcohol or gambling, and the absence of emotional or financial support.

If you ever encounter any of these problems in a marriage relationship please do not think of ending your marriage. Seek to overcome them with the grace that Christ gives to us. Take time out of your busy schedule to talk things out objectively and to understand each other well. If you were to probe carefully into the root cause of marital problems, you will soon discover that in most cases it is a breakdown in communi-cation.

And if you come to an impasse in dealing with all the sticky issues that stand between the two of you, don’t be ashamed to get the help of a Christian marriage counsellor or pastor to facilitate better communication and prayerful resolution of the problems.

And don’t act rashly to file for divorce on grounds of unreasonable behavior – remember that God hates divorce! In His eyes unreasonable behaviour is not legitimate grounds for divorce. Even if the state legally permits you to divorce on such grounds, you should remain unmarried after that. This is stated clearly in 1 Corinthians 7:11 – “But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried…”

There are however, two possible ways that a Christian who has divorced on illegitimate grounds can remarry. The first is when his former spouse dies. As 1 Corinthians 7:39 says, “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.”

 The other way that a Christian who has divorced on illegitimate grounds can remarry is when his former spouse becomes attached to someone else and marries that person. This would amount to adultery by his former spouse, which then gives the Christian legitimate grounds to remarry.

There is a good reason why Christians who divorce or separate on any other grounds except proven adultery should not remarry: It keeps the way open for their marriage to be restored. Who knows that the estranged husband or the estranged wife may return one day just like the prodigal son did, with a totally changed heart? Then they can be happily married to each other again. All things are possible with God. Reconciliation is always the best option for Christians who are married to other Christians.

If the Lord leads you to marry, please ensure that you are well-prepared for a life-long commitment of marriage, and then seek His help to build a strong Christ-centered marriage that will glorify Him! Doing this requires much effort both by the husband and by the wife. Both of you must be willing to put in the effort to be faithful and committed to each other. You need to do these things well and consistently. Therefore pray that God will make you the best marriage partners that you can be and that you ought to be, so that you can build a strong Christ-centered marriage that will glorify Him.

Despite doing all this, problems will still arise occasionally. Even the best Christian marriages have problems because men and women are constituted differently. But you can resolve them by making a conscious effort to do more listening than speaking. This will help you to understand your spouse better and to clear up any misunderstanding. You must also keep yourself in control of your reactions – don’t say or do anything that you may regret later on. And this is something that you can do, with God’s help.

                                                                                                       —Pastor

                                                      (To be continued) 

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NS Talk

Date      : 25 Mar 17 (Sat).

Time      : 9am - 12.30pm (lunch provided).

Venue : Life Mtg Hall

Speakers : Eld Lee Heok Seng & Mr Yeo Hock Seng

Testimonies : Shawn Lim & Ryan Cheung

Register by 18 Mar @ http://lifebpc.com/ns-talk  

Enquiries : Contact Rev Quek KK 

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Missions Seminar - White Unto Harvest

  Venue:   Beulah Multi-Purpose Hall

  Date:      Saturday 1 April 2017

  Time:     3 - 5.45pm (Dinner at 6pm)

  Register at: http://lifebpc.com/missions-seminar

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1) Session is pleased to announce the appointment of Dn Michael Sim as the Church Operations Manager cum Warden with effect from 1 March 2017.

2) Infant Baptism on Easter Sunday, 16 Apr 17. Parents who intend to have their infants baptised must register by 12 Mar 17. Please email to Church Office giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

3) YAF Retreat 2017. 29 Apr to 1 May at Changi Cove. Theme: Renewed Minds and Transformed Lives. Speaker: Rev JJ Lim. Join us for a time of learning, fellowship & fun! Register at: https://yafretreat2017.wordpress.com/ . Contact: Arthur (87213071).

4) Life BP Church Camp 2017 will be held from June 12-15 (Mon-Thu) at Batam Holiday Inn Resort. Do book your annual leave now to join us for a blessed time of fellowship, and exhortations from God’s Word.

 

Preaching appt:  Rev Seet at Indonesian Service, 4.00 pm. Rev Wong at New Life Tamil Service, 9.30 am and Life Evening Service, 6.00 pm. Rev Lee at Thai Service, 2.30 pm. Rev Khoo on overseas mission till 23 Feb.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

December 3 & 10 - Holy Living

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 2 Peter 3:11