Tag Archive | no condemnation

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her.” (John 8: 7)

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Hello! How are you? How is life treating you? I missed writing last week- I experienced some technical difficulties which is why I did not write.  Anyhoo…I can’t believe it’s June already. It feels like somebody is just pulling the days off the calendar and not telling me.  Summer is practically here and the temperature is rising!

There are a few reasons as to why I chose the above scripture; but first, let me give you the passage in its entirety: But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, 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 women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 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.”  The point of this scripture is adultery. What does it mean when someone commits adultery?  It reveals the character of the one committing the adultery-which means the alleged party is cheating, as well as being disloyal, deceitful, dishonest, etc…

Now, it’s ironic that the religious leaders found this woman in the “act” of adultery. First off, why would they know about this woman’s business; and…(more importantly) where is the man (who was probably married)?!  She obviously was not alone if she was “caught” in the act of adultery-but she was the only one accused of breaking the Law of Moses. According to the Law of Moses, this meant death by stoning.  You know, Satan also accuses us of committing adultery. For believers in the LORD, it is “spiritual” adultery.  When we become Born-Again believers, we become Christ’s bride and Jesus is our Husband.  So when we sin, Satan is right there “accusing” us before God about our sin,. And believe me-we DO sin.  Sometimes it’s unintentional…but, sometimes it is because we don’t want anyone (including God) to tell what to do.  However, it is interesting to note how Jesus responded. He never reacted! Instead, He knelt down and starting writing in the sand.  The demand for Him to judge her was pressing with their determination, but what did He do? He stood up and posed a question to them…”He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  His question made them look at their own hearts, minds and behavior. They understood by His question that they also deserved death for their sins according to the Law of Moses. The knew that  “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10-12)  They also had to acknowledge they were subject to the same law they were using to condemn this woman. So what did Jesus do? He bent down and started writing in the sand again. I have heard some Pastors/Spiritual leaders say that they imagined Jesus writing the sins of those accusers in the sand. He was probably showing them the adultery they were committing against the same God they wanted justice from… and recognizing the consequences of their “secret sin.”That’s why they started to walk away one, by one. It ‘s funny that the older ones left first-they probably had a lot more sin (because of longevity) to repent from.

Now we see this woman is the only one left with Jesus. Can you imagine her fear? Her panic? Her open shame? Her reputation? What would now become of her? Everybody now knows what she did. Mind you-there  probably were whispers and gossip, but now it was all out in the open. Her sin was truly before her and her God. So, what does Jesus say to her as He lifts her up? “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.”   Can you imagine her confusion and relief? No one could condemn her because everyone is guilty of being a sinner. She knew what her sin was-there was no denying it.  But, the surprise was that Jesus (God, in the flesh) did not condemn her either. Remember, she wasn’t “scott free” now to go back and do whatever she wanted and go back to her old ways. No, instead Jesus forgave her “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” and said go and sin no more. She had to “go” and stop choosing to sin (sin no more).  Jesus knew she was human, but, that does not give her a “get out of jail free” card. She is now accountable for the truth and forgiveness that was freely given to her. She did not have to enter a program or perform a series of tasks to be given this gift. Forgiveness is God’s gift to us if we choose to receive it.

I have been just as guilty as those religious leaders and brought accusations on others without checking out my own behavior. (Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”(Matthew 7:3-5) Self-righteousness is so hypercritical. It’s basically tooting our “spiritual horn” saying “look at me! I’m just so wonderful.” In the meantime, our self-righteousness is just a stench in God’s nostrils. True righteousness is true godliness-thats why one cannot really be “religious”. Religion is man’s way of being right with God and bring Him down to our level. Relationship with God is what we obtain when we repent and receive God’s forgiveness so His Spirit can them dwell within us.

As you walk Every Day With Grace, check your heart and ask God to remove anything that comes between you and His love.  Your bridegroom will “never leave you or never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) Why look for another to give you what only God can? His love is pure and unconditional. It doesn’t matter what we look like, or where we have been. When Jesus sees you, He sees His bride calls you lovely.

 

“…Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? ” (Romans 2:4)

images  Hello. How is everyone? Are you enjoying this consistent inclement weather? I don’t know about you but I am so done with this weather! Here in New York/Long Island, the icy snow mix is slightly tragic for traveling to and from the home. It is certainly has been affecting my attitude…and we are supposed to get another snowstorm in a few more days!  I don’t know about you, but, I am so ready for spring!

I realized my attitude during all of this weather mess…it was making me cranky, anxious and stressed.  I found myself more short-tempered  and it seemed like the world was one big provoking machine. The issue is that I gave in to the emotional aspect of circumstances that I have  no control over and I gave into the temptation of sin-in thought, action, and in some cases-deed.  It affected my attitude, but, more importantly, it offended my God.  As a believer, I don’t want my actions to be un-Christ like. So, when I choose or give in to my own bad behavior, I remember that it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. (Romans 2:4) As I have said before, repentance  is to turn from one’s sin. That means you turn (180 degrees) and walk directly away from sin. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (Acts 3:19)

God’s is constantly reaching out to His children and His creation to receive His gift of salvation, but we have to accept His gift. Sadly, many do not repent and accept God’s gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” (Isaiah 30:15) “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.” (Romans 2:5)

Repentance is something Jesus constantly preached. “From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 4:17) “Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32) Do you see God’s love for you in this? Can you feel it?  Anyone who thinks they do not or cannot sin is deluded. You know, one does not have to be a “church/religious” person to receive God’s kindness towards repentance for salvation.  “For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.” (Matthew 21:32)  “I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:21) “He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,  and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:46-48)

Join me and accept the goodness and kindness of God that leads us to repentance so that we can live holy, Christ-like lives that brings praise and glory to God. “After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.” (Jeremiah 31:19) “When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, ‘So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” (Acts 11:18). God will even use friends, family, and the family of believers to help us to stay on the straight and narrow path. “So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.  If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” (Luke 17:3) “...yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2 Corinthians 7:9-10)

The God I serve is a God of accountability. “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” (Matthew :8) He is faithful to us even when we are not. He does expect us to be faithful to Him by obeying His commands-and if we don’t, there are consequences. “Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place” (Revelation 2:5) “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” (Revelation 3:3)

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, I leave you with this promise of God’s goodness and kindness: “But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer.  Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:18-19) It is only in Christ Jesus that there is no condemnation.

In His Love,

Melody