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TITLE:  Whom Can I Marry?
TEXT:  1 Timothy 4:2-4; 1 Corinthians 7:39-40
PROPOSITION:  God regulates who is eligible for marriage.
KEY WORD:  Restrictions


  1. What about inter-racial marriages?
  2. Who can a person marry?
  3. Are we forbidden to marry any persons?

 Old Testament

  1. Deuteronomy 7:3-4 – Do not marry their sons, give their daughters
  2. 1 Kings 3:1 – Solomon married an Egyptian
  3. 1 Kings 11:1-4 – wives turned his heart away from God
  4. Ezra 9:12 – married to pagan women, put them away
  5. Numbers 12:1-8 – Moses married an Ethiopian, God defended the action
  6. The problem was “religion” not race, ethnicity, nationality, or color

 Who SHOULD a Christian marry? (Wisdom, good advice, best case scenario)

  1. Someone you love
  2. Someone who is willing to make a lifetime commitment to the relationship
  3. Someone of the opposite sex (males marry females)
  4. Someone who shares common faith – a Christian
  5. Someone with common interests, goals, desires
  6. Someone who understands the culture, traditions of the mate
  7. Someone who is eligible to be married (according to Matthew 19:9)

 Who is a Christian Biblically permitted to marry?

  1. Single – never married
  2. Widowed – A person whose first marriage ended in the death of the spouse
  3. Biblically divorced – A person who put away their spouse for adultery by that spouse

 Two Passages:

  1. 1 Timothy 4:2-4 – forbidding to marry (writing rules beyond what God said)
  2. 1 Corinthians 7:39 – phrase “only in the Lord”
    1. Some teach – In the Lord = she can only marry a Christian
    2. Problems with this view

                                                               i.      Why not apply to men?

                                                              ii.      Is this marriage adultery?

                                                            iii.      Should she divorce and get out of this marriage?

                                                            iv.      Why not apply to singles?

                                                             v.      Why not apply to divorced people?

    1. Other view – In the Lord = In keeping with NT teaching, principles
    2. In other words – marry someone who is eligible to marry.


  1. There is no restriction about marriage to a person of a different race.
  2. The restrictions are to marry someone eligible and meeting the Biblical requirements.

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