Summary: Based on the story of the woman caught in sin this sermon shows the nature of true and false guilt and how Jesus deals with it.
(1) INTRODUCTION: Condemnation comes through being GUILTY.
In this story the woman was openly guilty, the Scribes and Pharisees were guilty at heart - Their consciences condemning them (Rom 2:15 cf. Ex 31:18).
God uses guilt to save us, Satan abuses guilt to trap and destroy us.
Two Types of Guilt -
(a) FALSE GUILT - Self Condemnation, feeling responsible for something we did not do. Feeling shameful, without perhaps even knowing what we feel bad about.
Reasons for False Guilt: Here are a few....
(i) Having a very strict childhood (not allowed to do many things and punished for small things).
(ii) Low self esteem. A negative picture of ourself and what we can achieve.Blame ourselves or accept blame when it’s not our fault.
(iii) Surviving a bad accident where others were killed - feel responsible.
(iv) Result of having been abused emotionally, physically or sexually as children or young people - feel guilt and shame.
(b) REAL GUILT - The type we see in this story. This is transgressing the Law of God and our hearts (consciences) condemn us.
Guilt is knowledge that what we have done is not right and a sense of personal responsibility for this action that we will be held accountable for.
(2) RESULTS OF ALL UNDEALT WITH GUILT:
(a) IN THE BODY: It causes physical problems. Worry and stress which put a constant strain on the body causing sickness (ulcers, headaches, stomach problems etc)
(b) IN THE SOUL: It causes mental problems. Guilt can bring on severe depression. It can cause one to lose all perspective on reality.
(c) IN THE SPIRIT: It causes spiritual problems - rejecting forgiveness and therefore hindering spiritual growth.
Satan loves guilt-ridden Christians - they are ineffective!
(3) WAYS WE DEAL WITH GUILT: Two are wrong and one is right...
(i) Ignore it and cover it up with hypocricy! (Scribes and Pharisees)
(ii) Suffer in Silence ! (The woman initially)
(iii) Deal properly with it - through the Blood of Jesus (Jesus’ solution)
(4) CONCLUSION: Free From Condemnation: God is greater than our hearts and is able to deal with all guilt and condemnation. Offer it up to Him and He will deal with it.
Care and Share Group Discussion:
(1) Discuss the differences between false and real guilt. Talk about how you have experienced these in your own life.
(2) How would you feel if you were the woman in John 8:3-11 ? What is amazing about this story ?
(3) What does this story show us about accusing others as the Scribes and Pharisees did this woman ? Have you been like the Scribes & Pharisees at any time or been accused by them ? Talk about it.
(4) Pray for each other pleading the Blood of Jesus.