Neither Do I Condemn You {John 8}

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By Lisa Moore

In John Chapter 8 we find Jesus preaching in the temple, when a group of scribes and Pharisees bring a woman caught in the act of adultery to Him for judgement.  "...they said to Him, 'Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.  Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such a woman; what then do You say?", (vs. 4-5).  Seems reasonable right?  After all adultery is a sin, this woman was clearly guilty, and in Deut. 22:22 and Lev. 20:10 the Bible teaches that the penalty for adultery was death.  But Jesus knew the intentions of these men weren't set on seeing the Law obeyed.  Instead they were setting a trap to see if He would contradict the Law.  "They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him.", (v. 6).  And in response, as Jesus so often did, He used this situation to teach about His liberating love.

Instead of jumping on the bandwagon and grabbing the biggest rock He could find, Jesus replied, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.", (v. 7).  The Bible tells us that one by one, the crowd left leaving only Jesus and the condemned woman.  "Straightening up, Jesus said to her, '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.", (vs. 10-11).  The woman saved by grace, walked away forgiven and set free in Christ. 

There was no condemnation for this woman not because Jesus was ignoring or changing the Law, it was because Jesus Himself is a fulfillment of the Law, providing righteousness through faith.  In Matthew 5:17 Jesus says, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill."  God's true purpose of the Law was never for us to use in judgement and condemnation of one another, but instead to show us our need for a Savior. Only Jesus kept the Law perfectly, and all of its sinful penalties were poured out on Him.  Through His work on the Cross, Jesus provides the path to righteousness and a freedom from condemnation that comes from believing and trusting in Him.

In verses 31:32 Jesus says, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."  He goes on to explain, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.  The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.  So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.", (vs. 34-36).  But exactly how does Jesus free us?  This snippet of a study on the book of John by Dr. Charles Stanley explains, and was too good not to share.  Dr. Stanley explains that we are freed through Jesus in the following ways:

1. "Through Jesus' death on the Cross and resurrection, we are freed from the penalty of sin."  Since Jesus paid our sin debt in full, like the adulterous woman we are no longer under condemnation.
2. "We are freed from the power of sin."  We no longer are slaves to our sinful nature, but through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit are free to seek and to know God.

3.  "We are freed from the purpose of sin."  James 1:15 tells us, "When sin is accomplished it brings forth death."  Our sin nature prevents us from obeying God and experiencing His best.  Jesus sets us free to become everything God created us to be for His honor and glory.

4.  "We are freed from the personality of sin."  Because of Jesus we are know longer known for our sins.  Because of Him we are made into new creations.

The adulterous woman is a beautiful reminder of how Jesus shows us grace instead of judgement, and forgiveness instead of condemnation.  Through Him we can be free of our bondage and live a liberated life covered in His love.

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