Summary: WHEN WE MISUNDERSTAND THE RELATIONSHIP OF FORGIVENESS AND FREEDOM WHEN IT COMES TO SIN, WE WILL SHORT CIRCUIT TRANSFORMATION IN OUR LIVES.
Enslaved to Free
April 3, 2011
Over twenty years ago, when James Ealy's conviction in the slaying of a pregnant woman and three children was thrown out on appeal. A very guilty man was given his freedom.
Freed but not transformed. Over the years he amassed numerous arrests for sexual assault, unlawful restraint and unlawful use of a weapon. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1995 in that case.
In December of Ealy was arrested in the Nov. 27 killing of Burger King manager Mary Hutchison.
In 1982 Ealy, then 17, was accused of using a piece of fabric to strangle 33-year-old Christine Parker, her two daughters, ages 12 and 15, and the older girl's 3-year-old son. The boy, whose body was found curled up in a ball on a bathroom floor, had been also been molested. Mary Hutchison was murdered during an attempted robbery. She was strangled to death with a cloth and brutally stabbed.
Unfortunately for too many, parole, pardon, getting away with it, getting off easy, or just simply forgiveness fails to lead to transformation.
T.S. In John 8 we discover an encounter that helps us understand how transformation is the key link in our moving from enslaved to free.
8 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
11 "No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." NIV
WHEN WE MISUNDERSTAND THE RELATIONSHIP OF FORGIVENESS AND FREEDOM WHEN IT COMES TO SIN, WE WILL SHORT CIRCUIT TRANSFORMATION IN OUR LIVES.
I. Transformation will not lead to the freedom to sin.
A. Sin is always an issue.
In the passage Jesus never dismisses the Pharisees accusations. They were true. Under the las she deserved to die, even if they were using her sin as a trap for Jesus, her sin was still an issune
The Pharisees were right. Lev. 20:10 "'If a man commits adultery with another man's wife--with the wife of his neighbor--both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.
B. Sin always has consequences.
It would be easy to think sometimes that if we are forgiven that sin has no consequences. But there are consequences to sin.
Sometimes it is the legal consequences of sin that cannot be escaped.
Our choices have an impact upon us everything from children born out of wedlock to sexually transmitted deseases.
David and Bathsheba
2 Sam 11:2-5
2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant."
To cover up his sin David goes on to arranged for the death of her husband Uriah. He seemingly gets away with it until confronted by the prophet Nathan.
Then broken he repents confesses and crys out to God for restoration.
Ps 51 is the record of his turning back to God.
51 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.