(A Series on Jesus)
C.R.3/22/87p.m. John 8:1-11
PROPOSITION: Instead of the guilt, condemnation, judgment and fear that accompanies sin,
Jesus offers the look of love, a second chance, a new challenge and a stern warning for those who turn to Him in repentance.
- THERE is a whole lot of shaking going on in the church of Jesus and in Christian circles.
- SIN that has been hidden for years is coming to the light. (Pastor's in our movement. Christian leaders. Believers in the church are no longer going to be able to lead a double life.)
- JESUS is not going to allow His Bride to continue in her spotted, stained condition.
- HEBREWS 12:25-27 says;
"See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken--that is, created things--so that what cannot be shaken may remain."
- WE have seen it around here and we will continue to see it as we move towards the Lord in obedience.
- THE question is, "What are we going to do about those who are sinners?"
- EITHER those who are outside the family of God, and have disregarded the laws of God.....or those inside our fellowship who have disobeyed the Lord.
- HOW are we to handle it when one of our own falls into sin?
- HOW are we to handle the sin of those who God brings in for the harvest?
- THESE are some things that we must decide beforehand......and not wait to react when it happens....because it is already happening.
- TURN with me, for an answer, to see the way Jesus handled such an incident.
- I BELIEVE He is the best one that we can learn from.
- READ John 8:1-11.
- I WANT you to see the pure shame of this incident.....the fear.....the condemnation for sin.....the hopelesness.....the judgment in the eyes of this woman.
- THE religious leaders of the day have passed the death sentence.....and they go to Jesus to try and put Him on the spot.
- WOULD He share their contempt for this woman?
- WOULD He take a stand with them that she needs to be stoned?.......If He did He would be in violation of the Roman law which forbade Jews to pass the death sentence.
- WOULD He take a stand on behalf of the adulterer?......If He did they could accuse Him of disregarding the laws of Moses.......actually condoning adultery.
- EITHER way they had Him...so they thought.
- SO they put Him on the spot.
- THE Pharisees were there to condemn and destroy the sinner for her sins.......and use her to make themselves feel and look good against Jesus.
- THEY believed that they had the right to destroy the sinner.....punishment was their prerogative.
- SHE was a "thing"....and instrument to bring a charge against Jesus....no name, no personality, no heart, no feelings......just a pawn.
- IT is easy for the believer to adopt this posture against the sinner.
- IT is easy to become censorious towards the sinner......the adulterer......the homosexual.......the punk rocker.....the drug addict....the alcoholic.
- AND we gather our self-righteous robes around us and condemn with our words and attitudes....and take it on ourselves to pass sentence and eventually destroy......because we are so perfect, right?
- I HAVE said it before, "If we are going to see God bring in the harvest....they are going to come in all shapes and sizes and conditions.
- IF we are going to stand around and click out tongues at them, God will not draw them.
- THEY already know that they are in a mess. They already know that alcohol is in control of their lives. They know they are immoral....and are not deserving of the love of God.
- THEY already know that they are dead in their trespasses and sins.....they face that every day in the mirror....they don't need us to remind them of it....and destroy them for it. (Tell the story of the resolution in the District Council floor.)
- LIKE babies the harvest will arrive and do what babies do.....mess in their diapers.....just like you and I did and do.
- AND it will be up to us to decide, before hand, our attitudes.
- WILL we consign them to be stoned, or treat them like Jesus did this woman in the story.
- HOW did He treat her?
- I SEE four things that Jesus did that we MUST commit ourselves to do in those situations if we are going to reach out the way He is directing us to.
II.THE LOOK OF LOVE
- THE first thing that I notice about Jesus' handling of this woman is His look of love.
- HE had pity on her condition.
- VERSE 3 says that they brought her in and made a public spectacle of her....they made her stand in front of the whole group.
- THEY had absolutely no compassion for her and her feelings.
- I BELIEVE that one of the reasons that Jesus looked down to write on the ground was that He couldn't stand the brokenness and shame of the whole scene....He couldn't bear to look at it.
- HE felt her shame. He felt her pain.
- HE wanted to forgive her.
- THEY wanted to stone her.
- JESUS was looking at the situation with a totally different perspective than the Pharisees.
- WE must have the look of love....striving.....working to make people whole, not looking for their execution.
- IT is a whole new attitude towards the sinner that is being called for here.
- WHO of us can stand before the Lord and pick up the first stone?
- WHO is without sin to do that?
- BUT wait that's not all the picture.
III. THE SECOND CHANCE
- THE next thing that I see here in Jesus is that He gave the woman a second chance.
- THE Pharisees had legal grounds to stone the woman....she was caught in a sin that called for the death penalty.
- JESUS did not contest the validity of the accusation.
- BUT He did not agree with the sentence of the Pharisees.
- THEY said "Death!"
- HE said, "Life!"
- HE gave her another chance.
- HE said, "Neither do I condemn you.....go"
- DOES that mean that Jesus condones adultery?
- IT is still a violation of the law He came to fulfill....a a law that reflected the holiness of His Father.
- BUT instead of the death sentence He gave her another chance.
- DOES that mean that Jesus was light on sin?
- NEVER! He hates sin...but He loves the sinner....and is willing to be patient FOR NOW......hoping to love them into repentance.
- PAUL said in Romans 2:4;
"Don't show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you towards repentance."
- JESUS gave that adulterer a second chance.
- HE was not so concerned with what had been as with what could be.
- NOW I have to tell you that I have a problem with a "God of the second chance" philosophy that subtley promotes a lax attitude towards sin in believers.
- THIS story in John 8 is primarily about sin in the life of an unbeliever...although many of our attitudes should be the same towards believers who fall.
- GALATIANS 6:1 says that if a brother is caught in a sin the spiritual ones should restore him....not crucify him....that is assuming he wants to be restored to God.
- BUT, as believers, just because Jesus gives second chances to sinners and believers, we dare not presume on the grace of God.
- HEBREWS 10:26 says;
"If we deliberately keep on sinning, after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God."
- BUT for this sinner, Jesus gave a second chance.
- IF He did, shouldn't we?
- IT is not softness on sin.
- LOOK at the next reaction of Jesus.
IV. THE NEW CHALLENGE
- IN verse 11 Jesus says, "Go now and leave your life of sin."
- THERE is a new challenge.
- JESUS has not come, for now, to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him, might be saved.
- HIS goal was that she be saved.
- HE was giving her a second chance, so that she might be saved. That was the purpose of the second chance.
- HE didn't say, "Don't worry, it is quite alright. Those mean old Pharisees won't bother you now."
- HE said, "Go and leave your life of sin......I am not going to be passing final judgment right now. Untill then you have the chance to leave your life of sin."
- SHE had a chance to choose righteousness.
- THIS was no easy forgiveness. It carried a serious challenge with it.
- THIS is a pattern for the church in its dealings with sinners.
- WE need to accept it and act apon it right now.
- DECIDE now how you are going to react...that you are going to respond like Jesus.
I HAVE DECIDED