“’Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.’” John 8:10-11
Yesterday we looked at how the power to overcome sin is in hearing deeply in our hearts the truth of the cross, “I do not condemn you.” Today I want to look at the phrase after forgiveness has been secured, “From now on sin no more.”
Sin is not a popular topic in America today. We like to do our own thing, in our own way, and in our own timing without any interference from God. God is fine when we need help, but He had better not encroach on our “freedoms.” Hollywood has relentlessly told our culture that there is no sin in immorality and this message has taken a firm hold. Think for a moment of the price America has paid for neglecting God’s law in this one area.
If we had obeyed God’s boundaries instead of our passions there would have been no abortions (or the guilt and shame that go with them), no venereal diseases, no aids, no pornography industry, no rapes, no molestations, few divorces, few single parent homes, and no need for all the government programs that try to meet all of these needs. There would also be much less heartbreak as well as less depression and despair that often accompany a sexual relationship that has gone bad.
But before we blame America, let’s look at the church. The church has seemingly little power to “sin no more” according to all of George Barna’s research on church morality. As long as we’re acting just like the world, how can the world be expected to repent and turn to Jesus?
What is the gospel’s position on sin? Is it, “Go, and keep on sinning because I’ve died for you?” or “Go, for there is no such thing as sin anymore?” or “Go, sin’s not a big deal now that I have died for you?”
Jesus said, “Go. From now on sin no more.” He came to wash us of sin and the shame and guilt that accompany it, but He now expects us to be pursuing a lifestyle that is at least seeking to be free from sin. He forgives us again when we are seriously trying but fall because of weakness and immaturity, but that is different from a flippant attitude that presumes on God’s grace.
Let’s purpose to hear in our hearts His words of grace, “I do not condemn you,” and go from that place empowered to live for Jesus free from sin’s grip.