10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8, 10-11)
Neither do I Condemn Thee: Go, and Sin No More – Yes, these are the words that Lord Jesus spoke to the woman who was caught in adultery. In fact, there was no need for the Pharisees and the Scribes to bring her before Jesus as they were the religious leaders of the day and they had more than enough power to execute judgement on her as they wished.
But in this particular case, they decide to bring her before Jesus in order to know how He would deal with such a complex issue as adultery. Not only that; in their hearts, these Pharisees and Scribes really wanted and expected Jesus to make an error in judgment so that they could accuse Him of wrong-doing and label Him as a false Teacher.
But, unfortunately, those Pharisees and the Scribes did not know that – they were dealing with someone who knew every sin they had committed in their entire life; someone who knew them inside out. While bringing the Adulteress before Jesus, they also presented themselves as the most righteous ones in the society who never breaks any of the Laws given by Moses.
Anyway, Jesus decides to expose their hypocrisy by being silent at that moment and later He just gives a one sentence answer to their question.
And the answer was very simple but it brought into limelight the unworthiness and sinfulness of the very people who pretended to be holy and righteous before men. It convinced the Pharisees and the scribes that they did not have the right or responsibility to judge another sinner as they were as sinful and despicable as the very woman caught in adultery.
Anyway, at the end, as soon as the Pharisees and the Scribes heard the answer of Jesus, they left one by one. The very words of Jesus, though just a sentence, since it was filled with the Power of the Holy Spirit, started to convict the crowd of their own sinful nature and finally they had to put down the stones that were in their hands and leave the scene.
As God says in His word: He showed mercy to someone who deserved mercy. But the Pharisees and the scribes, though they knew the Word of God very well, did not know the heart of God.
I think you might have already heard hundreds of times Pastors and Preachers preaching on this topic:
How Jesus dealt with the woman who was caught in adultery; how Jesus showed mercy to her.
But I am not going to follow the same line of thought. Instead, I will be analysing it from a different perspective; a bit different from what you might have heard from the pulpit.
First let us look at the response of Jesus to this woman. Read the verse below.
10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
Please read the above verses carefully. You might find them to be just a very simple, casual response; but indeed, it is not. This response contains a very serious command; that is – Jesus, while offering forgiveness to that woman, also commands her not to sin any more.
He says – “Go, and Sin No More.”
Actually, this response of Jesus really surprised me because, He is commanding the woman not to sin anymore; yes, it was a command and not an advice as we assume.
He really meant it when He said: “Sin No More.”
Remember, He did not say:
“Please try to avoid committing sin again” or “don’t always commit sin – it is not good for you.”
Instead, He strictly forbids the woman from sinning any more. So, here, we find Lord Jesus expecting the woman to have a complete change in her way of life; He wanted her to completely leave her sinful life. That means when Jesus offered her forgiveness, He also demanded something important in return from her; that was – “She should leave her sinful path and embrace a life of holiness based on obedience to God’s Commandments.”
Saints, now you might have already got a clue about what I am going to talk next.
Well, I think most of the Christians who read the story of this woman who was caught in adultery might feel a kind of indignation and dislike towards her as most of us consider adultery as a sin that is far more serious than any other sins. Not only that, we might even feel a bit prouder about our own righteous spiritual life as most of us may not have committed anything as serious as adultery.
But, Saints, let me ask you seriously – Do we have the right to be indignant towards another sinner? How many times Lord Jesus had forgiven us and expected us to leave our sinful life and return to the path of holiness. But did we listen to Him?
Of course, it is true that our sins are not as same as that of the woman above. But still they are sins, right? they still offend God and ruin our soul; they still have the power to drag us into the kingdom of darkness.
If we examine the life of many of the so-called Christians around us, we could find that; though they have professed faith in Christ; they still have not given up their worldly lifestyle.
They still adore everything the world adores and embrace everything the world offers. They still daringly and wilfully break all of the Ten Commandments thinking the Grace that they heard from the pulpit will deal with all those sins.
Saints, Sin is a Sin – no matter what type it is – Sin, irrespective of its nature and magnitude, separates us from the Grace and Love of God. As you know, all of us have been forgiven by Christ a million times.
Each time, when the accuser of the brethren goes before the throne of God to accuse us, like the Pharisees and Scribes did to the woman above, Lord Jesus just lifts His head and says to us the same thing that He told that adulteress:
“Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Yes, each time when Christ forgives us our sins; he also commands us – “go, and sin no more.” But are we listening to Him? Are we obeying Him? No; we are not obeying Him; we are not listening to Him.
After receiving forgiveness, unlike the woman in the above story, we still get on with our sinful life; because, we are not willing to separate ourselves from the passions and pleasures of this perishable world. We love to love the world and Christ at the same time.
In fact, majority of the believers in Christ still go on with their usual sinful life style after receiving forgiveness from Christ.
Saints, you might wonder why I say this so emphatically – the reason is:
Christian world has as much moral and ethical issues as the secular world has. Every type of sinful lifestyle that were unheard of in the church 50 years ago have become common among the so-called born-again believers.
For example – Just take the issues of Divorce, Fornication and Pornography within the church. As you know, these evils are more prevalent within the church than without the church. If Christians were living a life of obedience, then, the above-mentioned evils wouldn’t be so rampant in the church.
So, now the next question that comes up is – Why the contemporary church is plagued with so much moral and ethical issues? The reasons are too many but I would like to focus on just one of them, that is the appearance of Western Liberal Evangelical Christianity.
Yes, the Liberal Evangelical denominations based in North America has played a very important role in allowing the world to be in the church. They accommodated worldly values, ideas and systems in to the church in order to spread the love of Christ. But while spreading the love of God they forgot to mention the wrath of God.
As a result, they produced believers in Christ who neither fear God or obey Him. These denominations also, for the sake of not offending their sheep, stopped preaching about the Commandments of God.
They encouraged their sheep to have faith in Christ but they did not teach them to walk in obedience to God’s Commandments. the topics like Obedience and Holiness almost disappeared from their pulpits.
As you read, in the story of the woman caught in adultery; Jesus commands her not to sin any more.
But, in the contemporary liberal Evangelical Christianity do we hear Shepherds demanding or commanding their sheep – “Sin No More.”
No, we don’t hear them commanding their sheep as Jesus did.
On the contrary, what is prevalent among the liberal Evangelical Shepherds is – they often lighten the burden and the guilt of the sinner by comforting and condoning what he does against the Word of God.
They talk about sin as if it is something that is akin to a lifestyle mistake which do not warrant any severe punishment from God Almighty.
The Hyper Grace message that they preach from their Pulpits often create a sense of comfort in the sin laden minds of their Sheep. In addition, it also removes the fear of God from their hearts and helps them to sin without feeling guilty.
In fact, this Hyper Grace message even makes the hearts of their sheep insensitive to the conviction of the Holy Spirit; most of the time these sheep do not feel a thing when they wilfully break any or all of the Commandments of God Almighty.
Of course, many of the Liberal evangelicals will argue that – it is impossible to live a sinless life as Jesus commanded. Remember, this is not the first time Jesus commanding someone not to sin anymore. There are other examples too in the Bible.
As you see in the above verse, Jesus is commanding the man whom He healed at the pool not to sin any more. So, here you might wonder why Jesus is commanding people not to sin any more while knowing fully well that we are weak vessels and it is impossible to live a life 100% free from sin.
It is because He knows us inside out; He knows us better than we know ourselves. He created our hearts and He has endowed us with free will. If we are smart enough to exercise our free will to disobey God; then, we could also exercise it to obey God. But it all depends on whom we love the most; the world and our own self or God, Mammon or God?
Furthermore, He empowers each one of His children with the power of the Holy Spirit so that they have the required strength to resist the temptation to live in sin.
The Grace that saved us is not just mere grace; it is the power of God wrapped in Grace. Genuine Grace from God not only saves us from our sins but also it keeps us away from sin. That is why Apostle Paul Says:
Yes, Apostle Paul is right in saying that:
“Sin cannot be your Master because you are under Grace”
in other words; a genuine believer in Christ has been empowered by God through His Grace to take victory over sin; therefore, sin cannot have dominion over a child of God.
So, when Jesus says: ““Sin No More.” He really means it and we need to be serious about staying away from sin; otherwise it might result in very fatal consequences that can seriously damage our relationship with Christ.
Remember – The Word of God is the final authority in everything concerning the Kingdom of God and your Pastors and Preachers do not have the right or authority to replace what His Word says with their own ideas and interpretations.
Saints, my sincere advice for you is – Like the Bereans, compare everything you hear from the pulpit with the Word of God and choose only what agrees with it. Amen.