Go And Sin No More

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Martin, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    In John chapter 8:1-11 we are given an account of the woman who was caught in adultery. The following is a brief explanation of those verses.

    ==In the first two verses John sets the scene for us. Jesus retires to the Mount of Olives for the night (I am not going to deal with the textual issues in this particular post). What He did while on that Mount is not recorded. However we can assume that He prayed and slept. The next early the next morning ("at dawn" - Gr: Orthrou) Jesus went to the Temple. While Jesus was there He sat down and began to teach the people. While this was happening some scribes and pharisees came in and presented Jesus with a test.

    ==It is clear from their words that this was not a honest question. They were not seeking to understand how they were to treat a woman like this. What these leaders wished to do was to catch Jesus in His own words. Elmer Towns, of Liberty University, has rightly explained the situation:

    "If He condemned her and called for her execution, He would never again be known as the friend of sinners. Also, He would be placing Himself against Rome, which did not allow the Jews to practice capital punishment for infractions of the Jewish law. If Jesus condoned her act, He would be upholding her sin and opposing the Law of Moses. Jesus essentially found Himself in a no-win situation" -Elmer Towns, "John: Believe and Live" pg78

    The Law of Moses did indeed call for this woman to be stoned. Consider Leviticus 20:10 as one example:

    The Law is clear. A woman caught in the act of adultery must be put to death. However the religious leaders forgot one very important thing (or so it seems). Notice that the verse in the Law places equal punishment on the man and the woman who are guilty of adultery. So why did they only bring the woman? FF Bruce has a interesting commentary on this point:

    "Adultery is not the kind of offence that can be committed by one person in solitude; if she was caught red-handed, how was her guilty partner allowed to escape? Probably he was the more agile of the two, and was able to get away, ungallantly leaving her in the lurch. Was no attempt made to give him chase and catch him? The impression we get is that the woman's accusers were not so much concerned with seeing that justice was done as with putting Jesus in an embarrassing situation" -FF Bruce, "The Gospel and Epistles Of John" pg414

    Could it also be that their view of women caused them to allow the man to go? We can't know for sure. However it does show that their motives were anything but pure.

    How does Jesus respond?


    ==Jesus saw right through their little game and He was not interested in playing. Jesus knew that no matter what answer He gave them they were ready to accuse Him (see above). He knelt down and wrote in the sand. What did He write? We don't know. I have read many commentators who tried to speculate one what Jesus wrote. Such speculation, while harmless, is unproductive. DA Carson explains the writing in the sands and its possible implications:

    "At one level, his writing on the ground was a delaying action that failed to satisfy Jesus' opponents, so they kept on questioning Him. However ambiguous his writing may be to us today, the words with which he finally responded are clear enough: If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. This is a direct reference to Deuteronomy 13:9, 17:7 (cf. Lv 24:14) the witnesses of the crime must be the first to thrown the stones, and they must not be participants in the crime itself" -DA Carson, "The Gospel According To John" pg336

    How did the Scribes, Pharisees, and the woman respond?

    ==Returning, for a moment, to the writing in the sand. Above Dr Carson stated that the writing in the sand may have simply been a delaying tactic on Jesus' part. This idea may find support here in verse 9. Notice that John says that it was Jesus' words that caused them to walk away. Not what He wrote in the sand. This, to me, makes it clear that we don't need to worry about what Jesus wrote. Rather, we need to worry about what He said. Whatever Jesus wrote was important however it is not recorded in Scripture for us. Therefore it is not productive for us to guess.

    Now that everyone has gone Jesus and the woman are left where they are.

    ==Jesus did not excuse her sinful actions. Nor was Jesus saying that people should not be held accountable for their actions. Rather Jesus forgave this woman, an act only God can perform, and commanded her to repent of the sin that was in her life.

    Modern Christianity misses this point all too often. The Gospel calls for a change of life, a change of walk. It calls for a new life (as a result of forgivness). If a person is still in sin, they are still in darkness, and are probably not saved (Jn 8:12). Jesus called this woman to "go and sin no more". Jesus is calling us, through His Word, to go and sin no more. He is calling us to repent.

    In Christ,
    Martin.
     
  2. TexasSky

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    Martin,

    There are methods of "catching people in adultry" that would not require the partner to be present. Pregnancy during the prolonged absence of a spouse if the first one that comes to mind.
     
  3. donnA

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    I'm not sure, are you saying christians don't sin,that if a person sins they are not a christian? If something else please explain.
     
  4. James_Newman

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    I think that is what he is saying. I would just say that a Christian who sins doesn't love Jesus.
     
  5. Brother James

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    If that's true brother nobody loves him.
     
  6. Martin

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    ==That maybe a possiblity. However the verse states that they, "in the very act" of adultery. That would seem to indicate that they were both present.

    Martin.
     
  7. Martin

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    ==I am saying that Christians don't practice sin. This is in line with John 8:12, 14:23-24, 1Jn 2:3-6, 3:9-10.

    Martin.
     
  8. James_Newman

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    John 8:12 speaks of following Him. Yes, a disciple should not be sinning. This is not a requirement for salvation in eternity. Being a disciple IS a requirement for reigning with Christ during the millennial kingdom. This is what we are to be striving for as Christians, not seeking to prove from our works that Christ died on the cross to save us. Thats kind of absurd, isn't it?
     
  9. Martin

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    ==Your reply gets into a whole different discussion. Not practicing sin is a result of salvation not a requirement for. Again I point you to passages like 1John 3:9-10. It is sort of like an apple true puts out apples. It does not put out apples to prove it is an apple tree! Rather it puts out apples because it is a apple tree.

    Martin.
     
  10. James_Newman

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    What about an apple tree that puts out apples most of the time, but drops a lemon every now and then. What kind of tree is that?
     
  11. Martin

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    ==I was not aware there was such thing as an apple tree that grew lemons. Can you name the tree (w/ reference)?

    Martin.
     
  12. guitarpreacher

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    You know what - Your righteousness (not sinning) is no more impressive to God after you're saved than it was before you were saved. Seems like the phrase "filthy rags" comes to mind. Even if you've been saved 100 years and the list of things you don't do anymore grows as long as your leg, it's still all about grace.

    I'm very thankful for that, since I'm a random lemon dropper myself.
     
  13. James_Newman

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    Nay, brother, I have never seen such a tree. But if the good 'fruit' of a christian is to be seen as the evidence of salvation, as apples are the evidence of the type of tree, then surely a christian would not be able to bring forth any other type of fruit. Or maybe it is not a good analogy.

    If Christians are apple trees, then 1John is written to apple trees to tell them that they ought not be giving out lemons.
     
  14. StraightAndNarrow

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    Paul in Romans says that we will continue to sin. What Christians are expected to do is to resist sin and to repent of the sins they commit. What is really crucial is to emulate the life of Jesus so that people will know we are Christians by our love.
     
  15. Johnv

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    Absolutely right. I sin frequently enough. It may affect my relstionship with the Lord, but to imply that I don't love the Lord, that's plain unscriptural.

    Heck, Paul said he was the chief of all sinners. I wouldn't question his love for the Lord.
     
  16. bruren777

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    Romans 3:23-24, For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. Being justified as a gift by His Grace through the redemption which is in Christ
    Jesus. (NASB)

    1 John 1:8, If we say we have no sin we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. (NASB)
     
  17. Martin

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    I think, as a collective group, everyone here is missing the point. I noticed one person quoted 1John 1:8, Great Passage! However we have to look at the whole picture which includes verses like 1John 3:9-10 or 1John 2:3-6 which, in part, states:

    "The one who says, I have come to know Him, and does not keep His commandments is a liar"

    Jesus Himself said:

    "Jesus answered and said to him, if anyone loves Me he will keep My word" Jn 14:23

    The Apostle Paul said:

    "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession zealous for good deeds" Titus 2:11-14

    Btw Paul did not call himself the "chief of all sinners" after his salvation. Paul was not talking about his Christian lifestyle rather if one looks at 1Timothy 1:12-17, where Paul makes the statement in question, he is talking about his pre-conversion life (vs13). Certainly Paul put no confidence in his good deeds because those can't save. And certainly Paul understood that he was deserving of the wrath of God because he was a sinner helpless before a Holy God. However Paul also understood that due to his conversion he would never be the same again (Gal 2:20). Was Paul sinless? Certainly not (Rom 7:14-20)! However Paul, once saved, did not live a lifestyle of sin.

    I could go on, and on, and on. The point is that salvation results in a changed life. Part of that changed life is the newness of life. No longer does the person walk in a lifestyle of sin. Why not? Because they are the children of God and, to use the Apostle John's wording, "he cannot practice sin" (1Jn 3:9). The Apostle Paul had very strong words to those folks who claimed to be Christians yet walked in sin (see Gal 5:19-21, 1Cor 6:9-11, and Eph 5:3-12). This is not about perfectionism and nobody is claiming sinlessness here. This is about lifestyle and the direction of a persons heart (and thus walk). This is the message that the great preachers of church history have always proclaimed (ie..salvation reslts in a changed life). I know that in recent years people like Zane Hodges, Tony Evans, Bob Wilkin, and others have risen up claiming otherwise. However the Bible is clear that no child of God practices sin. This simple fact the great preachers like Luther, Spurgeon, and Edwards clearly understood (examples can be given if need be).

    In Christ,
    Martin.
     
  18. Johnv

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    Really? He says "of who I am chief", not "of who I was chief". It's clear that he describes himself as he was at the time of writing, which was after hsi salvation.
     
  19. hamricba

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    Paul is probably talking about the horrific nature of sinning as a believer, rather than saying his sins outweigh everyone elses. Also, it's worth noting his statement smacks of absolutely zero self-righteousness.
     
  20. Johnv

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    I don't disagree with you.
     

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