Would Jesus conclude that I have left my “life” of sin, when He observes my life?
3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared, "Go now and leave your life of sin." 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." - John 8:3-12
After seeing my story on YouTube, a man wrote to me in anguish of soul. “I am as the seed upon the rock... I have failed Him so many times and don't have the strength to turn from a re-occurring sin. Like a dog to its vomit, I am sick. I know hell awaits me and there is no peace in my heart of hearts. I am a fool to pursue being a slave to flesh when I can be a son to my creator who authentically loves me and won’t abandon me.”
This poor soul is in bondage, but he has something wonderful going for him—he still knows the truth about the consequences of his sin. He is far better off than the multitudes who keep right on going in their sin, thinking they are “covered under grace”, or those with corrupt consciences. He knows the truth about Paul’s warnings in Gal 5:19-21, 6:8, and Eph 5:3-6 and he realizes a real hell awaits him if he does not stop living in his sin. This is exactly as Jesus commanded the woman in this passage to stop doing. He forgave her and then commanded her to stop doing it. This teaching is an excellent illustration which shows Christ abolished the external regulations of the law, yet not our need to uphold the moral law.
Contrary to false teaching, Christ’s grace gives us the power to stop sinning, not permission to keep sinning. That is called carnal Christianity and we all start out that way as baby Christians, but we can’t stay that way. While we may still stumble into sin or yield to a temptation, true Spirit-filled followers of Christ mature and cannot continue to practice their old sins. According to 1 Jn 3:4-10, 2 Tim 2:19, Tit 1:16), people who continue in their sin, cannot even consider themselves to be Christians. As uncomfortable as this may be, it is a black-and-white word from God. If we are trapped in sin, Jesus said we are a slave and we will have no permanent place in the family (Jn 8:31-36). If this applies to you…turn from it NOW in repentance, as if coming to Christ for the first time. Do not be deceived! Perhaps you do not yet have the Spirit of Christ in you (Rom 8:9, Jude 1:19). He is the only one who can set you free from slavery to sin (John 8:36). You must humble yourself before God and ask Christ to fill you with His Spirit, and you must be willing to fully surrender your life to Him. If the Spirit of Christ is in you, you must then walk in the self-control provided by the Spirit (Rom 8:12, Gal 5:22).