The Church - Part 2

God takes divorce very seriously. He says, "for the man who does not love his wife but divorces her covers his garment with violence (Mal. 2:16)." Likewise, He also says that what He "has joined together, let not man separate (Matt. 19:6)." We understand this practically in our marriage vows when we make the promise "till death do us part." Death is the only legitimate way to break the bond of marriage.

A husband and a wife become one body when they consummate the marriage. Similarly, we become one spirit with Jesus Christ when we are joined to Him (1 Cor. 6:17). The first relationship is physical but the second relationship is spiritual. This spiritual relationship however does not just apply to Jesus but to the body of Christ. If we are each joined spiritually to Christ are we not joined with each other? This is what Paul is trying to say when He says, "for just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body (1 Cor. 12:12-13)."  This is made even more clear when Paul says, "so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another (Rom. 12:5)." Everybody who is a christian is united to other Christians in Christ through the Holy Spirit.

It is quite obvious that all Christians are perfectly united in a spiritual sense, since it only depends on the Holy Spirit. However, we are not perfectly united in a physical sense (not meaning sexually), even though that is Jesus' desire (meaning united in love on this earth). When Jesus prays that we would "all be one (John 17:21)," He is praying that we would be united in a physical sense, similar to marriage. It is a sin to break the physical relationship between a husband and wife, and it is a sin to break the physical relationship between members of the churches. Churches that divide, or should I say divorce, are sinning against God if they are members of His body.

In general, there is no "right" side when churches divorce. Just like you have to work out all of your problems in a marriage relationship, churches have to work out all their problems in a Holy Spirit relationship.




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