John 8:1-11 Neither Do I Condemn You do not continue in sin!
"Pastor is it OK to sell a Bible to a prostitute?" You see Laura was a member of a small church in Brazil. She sold Avon products to supplement the family income. One of her weekly routes took her through the red light district. One day after asking her pastor if it is Ok to sell Bibles to prostitutes she took a few Bibles with her on her Avon trips to the red light district.
God opened a door to present Bibles and Christian books in a house of prostitutes. Oddly enough, the house was located directly across the road from a large evangelical church. Ten of these women gathered around a table one afternoon as Laura shared with them the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. A few Bibles and some books containing testimonies of transformed lives were sold that afternoon.
Several months later there were terrible rains and floods in that part of Brazil, causing several deaths. With the floods came mudslides in communities that had been swamped by the rising rivers. Two of the prostitutes who had attended the book demonstration earlier that year talked about the danger and decided to read the Bible they had purchased. It seems their thoughts were the Bible is like a mystery novel, so they started with Revelation in order to find the conclusion of the story. What they read frightened them. They came to REV 21:7, 8: "The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, and the sexually immoral, the idolaters and all liars, their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
The gal who owned the Bible became alarmed and exclaimed, "We're lost! We're lost!" Her housemate replied, "No, you're lost. I'm not lost because I do penance every day." Still alarmed and concerned, they continued to read. A few days later God sent Laura. These two women literally pulled her off the street and shoved the Bible into her hands. "Read this part right there! Tell us what it means!" they ordered. Laura read the verses and responded, "It means that when you practice and live in one of these sins, you will not be permitted to enter heaven."
Again, the owner of the Bible cried, "We're lost! We're lost! I told you we were lost!" Her friend again assured her, "No, you're lost. I'm not lost because I repent every day."
"Repentance," Laura explained, "is when you confess your wrong and completely turn around. You did not repent. Repenting is turning from your sin. You only felt guilty for your sins."
Again, the prostitute shouted even louder, "We are lost! We're lost!" After sharing the plan of salvation and trying to pray with them Laura returned home planning to visit again. One week passed by and she made her way down the muddy and rutted dirt streets of that little suburb. On arriving at the home of the two prostitutes, she was handed a note by the one who had been so assured of her false repentance. Laura, Enclosed is the money I owe. Thank you so much for help. After your visit last week, I returned to my hometown and am living with my parents. On Sunday I attended an evangelical church and gave my heart to the Lord Jesus. If ever I visit your city again, it will only be to attend your church. Jesus has made me a different person. Maria Isabel
We can never estimate the power of God's Spirit working through His Word to convict, regenerate and transform lives in Jesus Christ. This is true story by Richard Jacobsen.
When Jesus Christ comes into your life, He sets you free! There is no greater freedom in all the earth than having all your sins forgiven and being at peace with God. John eight opens with Jesus teaching a crowd of people who were coming and going in the Temple. It was early in the morning when Jesus began to teach them. Not everyone of course was ready to hear Him teach. A group of Pharisees called for His death, and were ready to trap Jesus.
1. How does JESUS DEAL WITH SINNERS? (8:3-6)
Jesus helps people where ever and in whatever condition He finds them. He was busy teaching when He was interrupted by an unkind group that wanted to censure Him. They came in dragging a woman who they want judged. Here was a woman who was found in the act of adultery. These men testified that she was caught in "the very act" of adultery. They bring Him a woman caught in adultery on a religious holiday. She was Morally naked, Spiritually ruined and Socially shamed.
There is no question about her guilt. John repeats the statement twice in two verses. She had lived in uncontrollable adulterous relationships so long that she is now described as an adulteress. Where was the man? There had to be two sinners? Who set the deliberate trap for her? She was guilty. There is no question about that. But it is also a candid reminder that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". Is this woman the only one with a spiritual problem? No, we all have a spiritual problem.
Stop Being Everybody's Victim by John Powell,
The late US syndicated columnist Sydney J. Harris accompanied his friend George to his favorite newsstand. George greeted the man selling the newspapers courteously, but in return he received gruff service. He barely acknowledged his customer and never even looked up at him when he requested the late night edition. Accepting the newspaper, which was shoved rudely in his direction, George politely smiled and wished the newsman a pleasant weekend. The proprietor grunted an indiscernible sound and seemed relieved that the two men had completed their transaction. As the two friends walked down the street the columnist asked, "Does he always treat you so rudely?" "Yes, unfortunately, he does," George responded. "And are you always so kind and friendly to him?" "Yes, I am!" George continued as they turned a corner. "Why are you so nice when he is so unfriendly to you?" With a look of deep contemplation, George explained, "Because I don't want him to decide how I am going to act."
2. What will Jesus you do with those caught in sin?
This is an ordered scheme to "test" Jesus with the idea of proving Him false. They were skillfully laying a trap. It was a setup. The men demanded, "the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” DT 22:22. They stressed stoning the woman in the recorded quotes of their conversation with Jesus, but the Law demanded that both parties be stoned. It was only under the condition of persistence after previous warning and after the actual witness of the act of adultery by two competent witnesses that a couple was to be stoned. The men continued to press their point. They were not after the poor woman as much as they were after Jesus. They were saying this "testing" Jesus. They wanted grounds to "accuse" Jesus. He is the one they are really after. This self-righteous, self-appointed judge and jury were out to hang Jesus. They kept stressing their point. "They persisted in asking Him". They kept the pressure on Jesus. Come on; tell us teacher, what do You say? When it comes to sin it is only Jesus who can handle it.
Who decides how you are going to act? Is it your circumstances or the difficult people in your life that determine your responses? When we allow our conflicts to control us, we behave as though getting rid of our predicaments is our only priority. Therefore, it doesn't really matter how we treat one another. For example, we say, "This person is causing me distress right now so I don't care about exercising patience, self-control, and loving-kindness. Instead, I want to let them to know how angry I am because of their actions." We forget our trials will eventually subside. But the way we handle conflicts will influence our lives for a long time. Will you only respond to the momentary crisis or will you be more concerned about the enduring value of what kind of person you are becoming? Who decides how you will act when the pressure is on?
3. What does it mean that JESUS is THE SAVIOR?
As the men kept harshly pushing their question, with the aim of trapping Him, "Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground". We don't know what He wrote. As these men keep on in questioning him, Jesus stood up and invited any one among them who was without sin, to throw the first stone. By this statement they could not possibly say Jesus rejected the law. Jesus specifically enjoined them to throw the first stone. Now, you, which one of you, is sinless? Moreover, if they threw the stone they would have been guilty of breaking the Roman Law against capital punishment! Only the Roman government in Jesus' day could execute a criminal. Then Jesus again "stooped down, and wrote on the ground". A deadly silence fell over that crowd. The audience, who had been listening to Jesus, the Master Teacher, anxiously listened for His answer. They had been in captivated attention waiting. Then the men who brought the woman in suddenly deserted her, one by one. They were now thinking about their own sin! What would you say to this poor sinner? What word of hope would you offer her? Would they be biting words of fury and dislike? Would you take the opportunity to really scold her and set her straight? How do we deal with sinners, caught in the very act?
4. What does it mean when JESUS Offers FORGIVENESS? WE see that JESUS Offered Forgiveness. This condemned woman needed grace. JN 8:11, And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more." RM 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Jesus offered grace!" We need God's free gift of eternal life. We need salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The woman did not make up any excuses. She was guilty. She knew it. She stood condemned. She didn't have to be persuaded of that fact. She needed grace. She did not deserve it. "The soul that sins will surely die." She couldn't earn it. She was a sinner in the need of the riches of God's marvelous grace. Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go your way; from now on sin no more". How could Jesus offer such sinner forgiveness? He did it the same way He does to us. "For while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”. A sinner doesn't merit forgiveness. To every guilt-ridden sinner who puts their trust in Jesus Christ as their savior the LORD God comes today and whispers in your ear "neither do I condemn you." Do you have that sense of peace and forgiveness? "Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" RM 5:1. You can have that peace right now by acknowledging your need of God's forgiveness and putting your faith in Jesus Christ alone to save you. We see that the woman could not go on the same.
Now that you are saved what is your responsibility as a saved sinner? It is the same as the woman in our story. Jesus told her literally, "Stop your sinful habit." Make a clean break with sin. "No longer go on sinning." Jesus did not tell the woman to clean up her act and then He would forgive her. He said, "Neither do I condemn you; go your way; sin no more." He said, now that you are saved; don't continue with your sinful way of life. He didn't say be obedient and then I will save you. He forgave her. He saved her by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. When you are saved by grace you want to live for Christ!
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall saved." "Whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through Him". "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him".
"Go and sin no more." You live the Christian life the same way you began, by grace through faith alone in Christ alone. You have the Holy Spirit within you to strengthen you and deliver you from temptation. Correcting wrong starts with forgiveness, not rebuke. There is a sincere reminder that whenever we confront wrong we must be truly humble, not proud. We must take a long hard critical look at our own lives. Ask God for wisdom, and do not try to bring healing by yourself. Have an accountability group. The privilege of condemning wrong is based on righteousness, not knowledge. Are you without sin? Any sin? Are you spiritual enough to restore the one caught in a trespass? If you're not, then don't. Let a more mature believer be the caregiver. Take a few moments right now and celebrate your freedom in Christ.
If Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more what would that mean to her and us? With the life style she was living it comes to my mind that she would have to stop lying. She would have to stop drinking. She would have to stop swearing or using bad language. She would have to stop gossiping. She would have to start wearing different clothes. She would have to stop cheating. Maybe you can think of other things she would have to do to live a clean life in Jesus. She would have to start living a holy life.
When Jesus changes a life, He wants to make them whole and holy. I would like to close with thoughts on being whole and holy. The word whole means that life is lived to the fullest in becoming mature. Jesus said that we are to be perfect even as our heavenly Father is perfect. That means we are to do and act in a right way. I like to put it this way “some people grow older but they do not grow up. One teacher back in my college days said when you pastor a church you will find people who never get past the bottle feeding in their spiritual life. That has happened to many people who have come to Christ. They are forgiven and bound for heaven but they do not continue to grow in their likeness to Christ. When you read the book of Revelation when Jesus was talking to the churches He said more than once “Never the less, I have this against you.” These churches had become stuck in their spiritual growth. This brings me to the second word which is holy. The Bible says if you are a child of God you can not go on sinning as life style. I ask do you are you like this woman living a sinful life? You need to come to Jesus. Have you continued a life of sinning though He has saved you? You need to let the Holy Spirit come into your life and put to death the nature that causes you to sin. Is God speaking to you about your spiritual life?