“Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you, Jesus declared. Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:10-11
Some leaders of the Law had brought a woman to Jesus who had been found guilty of adultery. They wanted to see if Jesus would have her stoned as according to the Law. Jesus challenged them that anyone without sin could cast the first stone. No one did and they left. He then tells the woman He won’t condemn her either, but she is to leave her life of sin.
People love to point out that Jesus did not condemn her. They love to see the forgiveness that Jesus had. All of this is true and very good, but Jesus did not just stop with not condemning her, He told her to leave the life of sin.
Forgiveness is great but there must be more. There must be a change. The repentance must include a turning away from the sin.
Many people want to be able to continue living in their sin while asking God to forgive them. They will also tell other believers that they must be forgiven because they are sorry for the sin, yet they will not flee the sinful activity.
God is more than willing to forgive you. The reason for the forgiveness is for you to have a chance to change and start over. This gives you the ability to do things correctly, not to go back into the same sin.
Along with your own personal changes, you must be willing to forgive others, then tell them about the need to change. Believers need to tell others that living the life of sin is wrong once you believe in Jesus. Encourage others to turn from the sin and fully follow Him.
Are you turning away from your past sinful lifestyles? Are you encouraging others to turn from their sinful lifestyles? Are you just forgiving? Or are you condemning?
I pray today that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; that you will embrace the new life Jesus has given you; that you will forgive others; that you will encourage others to turn from sin; and that you will love of Jesus loved.