DIG for Saturday the 21st of October…..did they ask for forgiveness…..John 8 v 11

Carrying on with my theme from yesterday I want you to look at a couple of encounters Jesus has with people in the Word.

Take the woman taken in adultery for instance (John 8 v 3 to 11).

We see Jesus accepting this woman and not condemning her (John 8 v 11).

Yes, we see Jesus telling her to sin no more, however this was after He accepted her.

Do we see the woman asking for forgiveness before His acceptance?

Now think about the thief on the cross (Luke 23 v 39 to 43).

The thief called Jesus Lord and asked for help (Luke 23 v 42), and Jesus said he would be with Him today i.e. after death (Luke 23 v 43).

Where in this account does the thief ask for forgiveness?

If there were any people who needed to ask for forgiveness surely it was an adulteress and fornicator and a convicted thief on a cross!

These are pictures for us today, showing us that we do not need to ask the Lord for forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a ‘done deal’, and not just for those of us in the church but for all men (1 John 2 v 2).

Forgiveness flowed for all and to all as His blood flowed down the cross (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

You are not required to ask the Lord for something He has already given you, simply thank Him for it.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have already been forgiven for all my sin, past, present and future, and that this forgiveness came solely through the shed blood of Jesus”.

John 8 v 11…..She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more

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DIG for Thursday the 27th of July…..Jesus is the perfect example of grace; He is grace…..John 1 v 17

Having written about the account of the ‘woman taken in adultery’ many times I was tempted not to write about it again today.

However it is such a wonderful encounter that I could not help myself!

This is an account highlighting the difference between law and grace.

The law was demanding, punishing when you got it wrong; that was why the men wanted to stone her (John 8 v 4).

However Jesus was grace (John 1 v 17) and he related to this poor woman with grace.

He did not relate to her with regards to her sin, He related to her as a person.

He did not condemn her, as the law would do, He showed her love and compassion and provided her with forgiveness (John 8 v 11).

Yes, He told her to sin no more, but this was after he showed her compassion and said He did not condemn her.

Throughout the Gospels the only people I see Jesus ‘giving a hard time’ were the religious bigots and zealots who hated Him and hated His grace.

Jesus loved and had compassion for the sinners, the condemned, the sick and the poor.

And He came to ‘solve’ the problem of sin for these people, and for all of us!

Jesus is grace and truth, and He relates to us today in grace and truth.

We now live under grace because Jesus came and performed His perfect and finished work.

That is good news!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that through the finished work of Jesus we now live under grace and not under law”.

John 1 v 17…..For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ

DIG for Sunday the 20th of November…..what would Jesus do; well, this is pretty obvious…..John 8 v 11

I haven’t seen one for a while, but do remember the WWJD bracelets that people used to wear?

‘What Would Jesus Do’ merchandise was seen in many places.

I often thought these were redundant and not necessary, as I thought it was pretty obvious what Jesus would do.

He would love and He would serve!

That seems to be what I see whenever Jesus had an encounter with another human being; He loved them and He served them.

I count healing as part of serving, but my favourite act of love and service has to be with the woman taken in adultery (John 8 v 1 to 11).

OK you may be saying, I can see that He loved her but what about serving?

Well, He set her free and that to me is serving.

Yes, He was compassionate and loving but He also helped ‘sort her out’ advising her to sin no more (John 8 v 11).

Jesus is our supreme example in how to act within human relationships, but I do not think we need to ask what He would do in various situations.

We can read the Word and know how He would act; we do not even need to ask the question!

Every time He would love and every tine he would serve; this is what Jesus would do.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Jesus and for His example that we can read in Your Word”.

John 8 v 11…..She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more


 

DIG for Sunday the 17th of July…..forgiveness then performance…..John 8 v 11

There is a lot of rubbish on Facebook and on the Internet in general however there are some good things as well.

Today for example I saw a video about the woman taken in adultery thrown at the feet of Jesus.

Now I watched this, as this account of the compassion of Jesus is one of my favourite accounts, telling us about unconditional forgiveness.

Once everyone leaves Jesus said, “neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more”.

The order of these words is very important.

Jesus tells the woman not to sin after accepting her, after not condemning her.

Forgiveness was unconditional from Jesus; it was not dependent upon the performance of the woman.

Jesus did however tell her to sin no more; He was expecting an improvement in performance but only after His acceptance and forgiveness.

This is contrary to most of the teaching in the church today, where forgiveness seems to come after performance.

We are told we have to stop sinning and perform good works; we have to live under law, in order to be forgiven.

This is not the case; we are forgiven through the performance of Jesus not through our performance.

As with the woman taken in adultery, we have unconditional forgiveness from Jesus; and out of the revelation of this forgiveness we can live a more holy life with less sin.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you have given me complete and unconditional forgiveness”.

John 8 v 11…..She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more

DIG for Monday the 25th of April…..compassion and mercy before concern over sin…..John 8 v 11

In the DIG yesterday I wrote about the woman at the well and told you how this account highlighted the compassion of Jesus.

His encounter with a second woman also shows us how compassionate Jesus is.

In the Gospel of John we see Jesus having a woman taken in the act of adultery thrown at His feet; this was a trap trying to snare Jesus (John 8 v 3 to 4).

Jesus however is only interested in the woman at His feet, being filled with compassion for her.

Jesus did not care about her ‘crime’ and He did not even seem concerned about her sin.

After confronting the crowd He asked the woman if any man condemned her.

She said no and then Jesus spoke out some of the greatest words of compassion that He uttered in His time on earth.

He said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8 v 11).

Jesus recognised that sin was not good for her, yet He forgave her and accepted her before He said anything about sin.

He showed her compassion and mercy and then spoke about sin; the order we see in this verse is very important.

Jesus is more concerned in showing us mercy and compassion than He is in our sin.

In this He is similar to God, who has in fact chosen to remember our sin and iniquity no more (Hebrews 10 v 17).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the love, mercy and compassion of Jesus, and thank you that this changes lives”.

John 8 v 11…..She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more

DIG for Wednesday the 13th of January…..neither do I condemn thee…..John 8 v 11

While looking for another Scripture this morning I came upon John 8, where Jesus has the woman taken in adultery thrown in front of Him.

I love this passage as we see the love, mercy and compassion of Jesus in all its fullness.

The religious Pharisees were out to get Jesus and in their mind they had Him between a rock and a hard place, they thought they were in a win-win situation; whatever Jesus did they could berate Him for it.

Yet Jesus threw this challenge back at the religious zealots and showered His compassion upon the poor woman.

What I love most about this account is the fact that even though the woman was guilty (it is pretty clear that she was an adulteress and therefore a sinner) Jesus accepted her unconditionally.

He did not say, “are you sorry, will you stop sinning?”

He told her that He accepted her and forgave her (that is what I take from the fact that He did not condemn her) (John 8 v 11).

He then advised her not to sin.

Acceptance and forgiveness came first from Jesus; the suggestion to stop sinning came after this.

Religious performance (or stopping sinning) is not a prerequisite for forgiveness; seeing less sin in our life is actually a fruit of understanding we have been forgiven.

Jesus gives us a picture here that forgiveness is for all mankind, with forgiveness having already been poured out through His shed blood at the cross (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossian 1 v 14).

We do not need to perform to receive forgiveness.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that through the shed blood of Jesus I have already been forgiven”.

John 8 v 11…..She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more

DIG for Tuesday the 29th of September…..He healed them there…..Matthew 19 v 1 and 2

One of the things we learn about Jesus is that on many occasions He healed ALL the people that came to Him.

In this account we do not read that He healed them all but we see that He healed them THERE.

The Lord really spoke to me this morning about this word THERE.

Jesus did not ask the people to go elsewhere, in terms of location but also in terms of their life situation or actions.

There were no pre-conditions to receiving healing from Jesus in other words.

Jesus healed them THERE, in whatever situation they were living in at the time.

We never see Jesus saying, “Well, if you stop sinning I will heal you”.

He never said, “Well, if you stop living with that man that is not your husband I will give you living water”.

We do see Him telling the lady taken in adultery not to sin, but that was after He accepted her and had forgiven her (John 8 v 11).

Healing, deliverance and freedom comes with no conditions and no prerequisites.

Jesus healed the people where they were at; He healed them THERE.

The same is true today.

You can see yourself healed and set free no matter what circumstances you are in; all you need to do is come to Jesus and let Him heal you THERE.

This of course is not an excuse to sin, but it is a comfort to know that we do not have to perform in order to see healing in our lives.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you want me healed and made whole, and you have provided for this in the finished work of Jesus Christ”.

Matthew 19 v 1 and 2…..And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coats of Judea beyond Jordan: And great multitudes followed him: and he healed them there

DIG for Sunday the 28th of June…..yes, He warned her about sin, but after He had forgiven and accepted her…..John 8 v 11

Sin is a problem in the earth, it has earthly consequences for us but it is not the big problem for God that the church seems to make out.

As I preach what is known as the “grace message” I am often accused of giving my fellowship a licence to sin.

If you came and asked them I am sure they would tell that this is not what I give them; I often tell them about the earthly consequences that sin can bring upon them.

However all our sin (even future sin) has been paid for by Jesus and is not an issue for God (1 John 2 v 2 and Hebrews chapters 9 and 10)

Through the shed blood of Jesus we were forgiven about two thousand years ago (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

Forgiveness came before you ever repented of your sin and became saved; it came before you ever met Jesus.

In the account of the woman taken in adultery we see Jesus full of compassion and mercy forgiving and accepting the woman, even in her state of sin (John 8 v 1 to 11).

He said He did not condemn her and then He said go and sin no more (John 8 v 11).

The order of this account is very important; He did not say go and sin no more and then I will not condemn you.

No, forgiveness, mercy and compassion came before any performance or lack of sin.

The church today seems to have this round the wrong way, saying that if we sin less and do good work God will forgive us and bless us.

This is nonsense, the order is the way we see Jesus doing it in John 8, compassion, and acceptance, mercy and forgiveness came first without the need for performance.

Jesus knew there that sin could cause problems for the woman in front of Him but He also knew that what she need first was love and acceptance.

Religion lies to us when it says we need to perform and ask for forgiveness and acceptance, this is not true.

We were forgiven when Jesus shed His blood and we were accepted (or made righteous) when we accepted the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus and His finished work.

Do not let religion lie to you about this, believe that you are loved, forgiven and accepted by God right now.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been forgiven through the shed blood of Jesus Christ”.

John 8 v 11…..She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more

DIG for Thursday the 12th of February…..mercy and compassion, but no condemnation…..John 8 v 11

As I read through the Gospel of John I see encounter after encounter where Jesus displays His love, mercy and compassion.

In His encounter with the woman taken in adultery I see (what is for me) the ultimate expression of His compassion and love.

The Pharisees accost him and He has an obvious sinner thrown in front of Him (John 8 v 3 to 6).

There is no debate that the woman is a sinner, she was caught in the act, but that is not the issue here.

The issue is what will Jesus do with a sinner.

Well, He will show them love, mercy and compassion.

Jesus does not ignore the sin, but first He delivers forgiveness and acceptance (John 8 v 11).

Jesus said that He did not condemn the woman; in other words He gave her forgiveness and acceptance.

Then He said that she should not sin.

Now that is good advice as sin would not be good in her life, just as it is not good for us.

But she did not have to perform (i.e. stop sinning) before she received forgiveness; forgiveness was unconditional as it is for us.

We are forgiven because of the finished work of Jesus Christ, and we can sin less out of that realisation and because we have been forgiven.

To stop committing sin is good for our lives and for those around us however it is not conditional for our forgiveness and acceptance from God; that is conditional on the performance of Jesus and His work was complete and perfect.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you for my unconditional forgiveness”.

John 8 v 11…..She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more

DIG for Tuesday the 7th of October…….why do religious people always put sin at the centre of things…..John 8 v 3 and 4

Have you ever noticed that religious people always want to put sin at the centre of everything?

They focus on sin (other people’s sin you may also have noticed) instead of the Son.

As a believer our focus should always be upon Jesus and not upon sin.

Jesus dealt with the sin of the whole world when He completed His work on the cross (1 John 2 v 2).

In John 8 we see a bunch of religious people trying to catch out Jesus by setting the woman taken in adultery in the middle of things; they wanted everyone to focus on her sin (John 8 v 3 and 4).

I imagine them throwing her into the middle of the group, trying to make a spectacle of her and her sin.

Jesus turned this situation around and made a spectacle of the religious bigots instead!

Jesus did not then ask her about her sin, He did not focus on it.

Instead we see him treating her with compassion, giving her acceptance and forgiveness before suggesting that she sin no more (John 8 v 11).

Yes, Jesus did not want the woman to sin and He also does not want us to sin, but He also does not want us to focus on sin.

He wants us to focus on Him and His finished work.

Beware of people who focus on sin instead of the Son.

Beware of people who talk more about sin than about the Son.

Focus on Him and on what He has done to your sin; indeed have no more conscience of sin (Hebrews 10 v 2).

He has dealt with your sin and it has been removed from you, in fact God remembers it no more (Hebrews 10 v 17).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ, thank you that I can now focus on Him”.

John 8 v 3 and 4…..And the scribes and the Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act