John 8:10-11 from www.abideinchrist.com
“And straightening up, Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?'” (v. 10). “No one, Lord” (v. 11a).
Jesus offers forgiveness.
I can hear the legalists now screaming, “You liberals preach grace!” Jesus preached grace! Paul preached grace! A world of lost sinners needs grace! We need God’s free gift of eternal life. We need salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
The woman did not make any excuses (v. 11). She was guilty. She knew it. She stood condemned. She didn’t have to be convinced of that fact. She needed grace. She did not deserve it. “The wages of sin is death.” “The soul that sins will surely die.” She couldn’t earn it. She was a spiritual pauper in the need of the riches of God’s marvelous grace.
Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go your way; from now on sin no more” (v. 11). Let those words soak in. “Neither do I . . . ” “Neither do I condemn you.”
How could Jesus offer such a sinner no condemnation? He did it the same way He does to us. He knew that He was going to the cross to die for her sins. “For while we were still helpless” sinners. That is the way all sinners are. Helpless. A helpless sinner doesn’t merit forgiveness. A helpless sinner doesn’t earn forgiveness. “For while we were still helpless [sinners], at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).
Moreover, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (v. 8).
To every guilt-ridden sinner who puts their trust in Jesus Christ as their savior the LORD God comes today and whispers in your ear “neither do I condemn you.” “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Do you have that sense of peace and forgiveness? “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). You can have that peace right now by acknowledging your need of God’s forgiveness and putting your faith in Jesus Christ alone to save you. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9). Ask Him to save you right now believing that He died for you on the cross and rose from the dead.
Responsibility of the woman.
Now that you are saved what is your responsibility as a saved sinner? It is the same as the woman in our story. Jesus told her literally, “Stop your sinful habit.” Make a clean break with sin. A. T. Robertson observes it is imperative of prohibition, “No longer go on sinning.”
Jesus did not tell the woman to clean up her act and then He would forgive her. He said, “Neither do I condemn you; go your way; sin no more.” He said, now that you are saved, don’t continue with your sinful lifestyle. He didn’t say be obedient and then I will save you. He forgave her. He saved her by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
When you are saved by grace you want to live for Christ now that you have been saved!
Some Abiding Principles
Even a wicked sinner can be saved today. There is salvation for all who will put their faith in Christ.
I don’t care what happened last night, last month, last year, or whenever in your life. What I do care is that you will come to Jesus and receive the free gift of eternal life right now. Acknowledge to Him that you need His saving grace and forgiveness. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall saved.” “Whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through Him” (John 3:17). “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).
Resolve in your own heart that from this day on to live a life consecrated to Jesus Christ. “Go . . . sin no more.” You live the Christian life the same way you began, by grace through faith alone in Christ alone. You have the Holy Spirit within you to strengthen you and deliver you from temptation.
Correcting wrong starts with forgiveness, not rebuke. There is a keen reminder here that whenever we confront wrong we must be truly humble, not proud. We must take a long hard critical look at our own lives. Galatians 6:1 reminds us, “Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to yourselves, lest you too be tempted.” Never were those words truer than in our day. Don’t let the temptation of religious pride ensnare you. If you are in a position where you deal with those who are trapped in sin ask God for wisdom, and do not try to bring healing by yourself. Have an accountability group. The privilege of condemning wrong is based on righteousness, not knowledge. Are you without sin? Any sin? Are you spiritual enough to restore the one caught in a trespass? If you’re not, then don’t. Let a more mature believer be the caregiver (Matthew 7:1-2).
Take a few moments right now and celebrate your freedom in Christ. “It is for freedom that Christ set you free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).