Words to Build a Life On – Jesus and Divorce
Matthew 5:31-32
Dr. Jeffrey Clark

The Big Idea: The problem is not simply divorce but the hardness of heart that may precede it.

  • God allows for divorce under certain conditions.
  • God’s original design for marriage never included divorce.
  • Divorce is a grievous matter and leads to many difficult consequences.
  • Divorce may be forgiven in the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Quick Review: Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?

My Story: This portion of Scripture has to do with divorce. According to statistics, for every 2 marriages that occur in a given year there is also one divorce. These numbers are not appreciably different among people who profess allegiance to a particular religion or church. Why such little difference in divorce statistics between the general population and people of faith?

Digging Deeper:

  1. God does allow for divorce in the Bible; however, Jesus says this is due to the hardness of men’s hearts (Matthew 19:8). A person may have Biblical grounds for divorce, but the deeper issue is the heart. How can believers seek to restore broken marital relationships?
  2. God’s original design for marriage is a vivid, compelling picture for all human beings. Consider the following verses and review the highlights of God’s original design for marriage (Genesis 2:24-25; Malachi 2:15; Ephesians 5:32).
  3. There are significant and many consequences for divorce, both in this passage and in evidence cited. What have you observed (or experienced) to this end?
  4. It would not be complete to discuss this subject without saying that Jesus is able to forgive, restore, reconcile; and heal. The tremendous power of the gospel is greater than all sins (Romans 5:20). Where can God’s people receive and extend grace?

Taking It Home: It’s time to fight for your marriage and family. How are you casting a positive vision for your marriage or family? How are you creating events that build unity? How are you communicating effectively and solving problems at home? When do you need to take the initiative to get help?


If you are visiting today, we want to extend a special welcome to you and invite you to an informal reception immediately following our worship service. On Saturday, Pastor Jeff will be available in the Celebration Center, and on Sunday, he will meet you at the Welcome Center in the entryway.


We are happy to welcome you to our Saturday evening worship service. We have an added event this evening and would like to invite you to stay for a family-friendly movie after the service. The movie will begin at 7:30 PM, and bottled water and popcorn will be provided.


Thank you to all of those who participated in our family photo weekends by having your pictures taken, and a special thanks to Jared Tadlock for making that possible. The photos will be edited and uploaded into our Churchteams directory in the coming weeks, and emails with digital copies will be sent out when the processing is completed. If you missed out on this opportunity, we would still love to have your family photo in Churchteams. Please login through our website and upload a recent picture so that we may continue to build up our church family directory.


There are still spots available for kids, ages 8-12, to sign-up for the Kids Guitar Camp, to be held on July 28-31 from 9:00-10:30 AM. Email us at [email protected] for more information or to register.


Our next baptism weekend will be on August 2-3 during the regularly scheduled services. If you are interested in baptism, please plan to attend one of the orientation meetings on July 26 at 5:00 PM or July 27 at 9:00 AM. Check out Pastor Jeff’s blog entry on baptism on our website as you consider this upcoming event, and contact the church office to reserve your spot.


This year’s game features a concert by Jeremy Camp, as well as a message from Tony Dungy. Submit your payment of $16 to the church office to reserve your seat. The deadline to get tickets in our group section is August 4. Invite a neighbor, and join us for a great game and post-game show on August 24.


Mark your calendars for the upcoming Children’s Progression Weekend, August 23 and 24! We celebrate the new school year commencing and kids graduating up to the next grade level in Children’s Church! All children, age 2 through 5th grade will begin and end in the Kid Zone during church services. They will no longer be released from the Celebration Center. This change will ensure a secure check-in procedure for all the children and will give them more time for worship and Bible Lessons!


In July, The Gathering will feature multiple Aspen Ridge Church ministry teams. Please consider attending to understand the impact of and the involvement opportunities within the many ministry teams.


Middle and High Schoolers, don’t miss a day at Bear Creek Beach. We are leaving the church at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, July 23. Students will need a modest swimsuit, a towel and $5.00. A picnic lunch will be provided.

Our summer continues to rock with a day at Elitch’s and a Newsboys concert on July 26. We leave at 9:00 AM for the park and our entrance fee for the day is $26.00. Students must bring a cell phone or watch. They can bring extra money for games, food or drinks and we suggest bringing a sack lunch. The concert is free. Students can bring a modest swimsuit for the water park, and can take a CLEAR water bottle inside.

The final day to sign up for either of the events listed above is Sunday, July 20, please see Hunter. The payment for Elitch is needed to sign up.

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