Confession of Faith (1617) - Article XXV
Of marriage we confess: That the same is honorable and an ordinance of God, who in the beginning instituted this state with the two human beings first created in the image of God, blessed it, and joined them together. And since this divine ordinance, through the hardness of the heart and the evil wantonness of man had fallen into great disorder, so that men through the lusts of the flesh, married whomsoever they would, and took unto them many wives, and then, for divers reasons, dismissed them by a bill of divorcement, and married others; therefore Christ, as a perfect Lawgiver, rejected and abolished the writing of divorcement and permission of Moses, together with all abuses thereof, referring all that heard and believed Him to the original ordinance of His heavenly Father, instituted with Adam and Eve in Paradise; and thus re-establishing marriage between one man and one woman, and so inseparably and firmly binding the bond of matrimony, that they might not, on any account, separate and marry another, except in case of adultery or death.
Hence, every believer who desires to enter into matrimony, must follow this doctrine of Christ and the above example, and unite himself in marriage only with one person, who has been, by a like faith with him, born from above, of God, and renewed, and created after the image of God. And such persons, after their parents and the church have given their consent, shall, in the presence of the church, with fervent prayer to God, be joined together by a minister. This we believe to be marrying in the Lord, of which God is Himself the Author and joiner (2 Peter 1:1; John 3:3; 1 John 5:4).
But all unregenerated persons, who are not yet sanctified by faith in Christ, and do thus marry, we also regard as being in honorable matrimony, but not in the Lord (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:12).
And, as Christ accepts none as His bride and a member of His body, but those alone who are united with Him by faith, so also, believers cannot sever their bodies which are sanctified and surrendered to God, as members of Christ and temples of the Holy Ghost from Christ, and unite them in marriage with the unregenerate, and thus be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, who are not known to the church, by faith and Christian baptism, as brethren or sisters, in fellowship, seeing that baptism is the first Christian ordinance in the church, after which all other ordinances of God follow (Ephesians 5:30; Galatians 3:26).
Thus marriage is advised by the Holy Ghost, to avoid fornication and all uncleanness; but if any one does not need this, and can without it, keep himself pure and undefiled, in a virginal state, in order to serve the Lord the better and without hindrance, it is commended still more highly. Hence, marriage is free for all, but no commandment.
How God the Lord in the beginning instituted marriage, read: "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helpmeet for him." "And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man ... .. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Genesis 2:18, 22, 24).
How Christ rejected all abuses of marriage, and renewed the ordinance of His Father, read: "Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and the twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no mare twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matthew 19:4-6, 8; 1 Corinthians 7:10).
"Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:2).
"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" (1 Corinthians 7:39; Genesis 1:27; 24:4; Exodus 34:16; Numbers 36:6; Deuteronomy 7:3; Tobit 7:13).
Concerning the transgressors of this, and their punishment, read: Genesis 6:3; Numbers 25:1; Nehemiah 13:26, 27; 1 Kings 11: 1.
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APA style: (1617). Confession of Faith (1617) - Article XXV. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C6653.html/c6653_25.