I’ve been forgiven
Synopsis of sermon 11/29/2015
Delivered by Bishop Walker
Text: John 8 (NKJV)
8 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 Now early[a] in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught[b] in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded[c] us that such should be stoned.[d] But what do You say?”[e] 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.[f]
7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up[g] and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,[h] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.”
We all have been benefactors of forgiveness. Having said this, there are so many unreasonable expectations that are placed on children of God, it is unreal. We are progressive, meaning we are becoming, but have not yet arrived. Although we have not arrived, there should, however, be some measurables along the way. In other words, some things we used to do, we don’t do anymore.
Stepping out of it is not the hard part. Staying out of it is much harder. The good thing is, once I understand who I am, I know what I’m capable of and so I keep myself out of some situations. In the text, it talks about a woman being caught in the act of adultery. People often talk about this text and how it is about the woman caught in her adultery, but the revelation is much deeper than that. This is really about the first time grace was given.
In the text, the Bible doesn’t name the woman it talks about. Whenever the name is not mentioned of the main character of a scripture, it means we are all included in that situation, which means we can apply the scripture directly to ourselves. In the text today, the scribes and Pharisees come to Jesus after catching the woman in the very act. They say that she should be stoned. Now we have:
- The reality of being caught in the very act
Have you ever been caught with your hand in the cookie jar? There are a lot of emotions tied to this. No matter how good you think you are, we all have had moments where we were caught in the midst of our weakness. You need to know:
- No matter who you are, the struggle is real – There is struggle in the life of all us and that struggle is real. You have to be on guard at all times, because the devil is always looking for an opportunity to exploit you.
- The devil will make it fun of you in private and make it shameful for you in public – No matter what your issue is, we don’t know how long you been dealing with it. In fact, you would be surprised of how many people that you know that once had pasts that would surprise you ( if you knew about it). The devil will lead you on to make it shameful publically.
- How do we deal with the devil’s tricks?
- By self-realization – Don’t get caught up in what people think you are. Know who you are for yourself. Paul says in Romans 7:24 (NKJV) 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? – After you get through jumping, shouting, and praising the Lord, you have to be willing to ask the Lord to help you out, because you got some real issues.
- Have sense enough to run – When you are confronted with something that can consume you, then you have to run! Sometimes you simply have to run!
- Spiritual Resolve- You come to a place where you are just done! When I was a child I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Now we must:
- Reveal the contradictions of your accusers
Religious leaders brought the woman to Jesus to say she was caught in the very act of adultery. One has to wonder where the scribes and Pharisees were to be in a position to catch her in the very act. Were they in her window? If so why? Tell your neighbor to get out of your window!
Religion vs relationship:
- In religion, people would rather antagonize rather than evangelize – Don’t use religion to beat people up. You would be surprised to know how many pew devils there are. One of the worst things you can have is members with stones in their hands. If it wasn’t for God’s grace where would you be?
- You got to catch the fish, before you clean them. Rom 3:23 says 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
- Prov 24:16 says 16 For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.
1 John 1:10 says 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
- Religious people have selective morality – She is accused of this act. You can’t commit adultery by yourself. It takes two to tango. Where is the man during this accusation? Nowhere is the man brought up on charges or accused of any wrong doing. They just brought the woman to Jesus. People do the same today. We give some people a pass, but we want to throw stones at others. This is called Selective morality. We throw people under the bus, but when we are down, we want people to pray for us.
III. Rejoice for complete acquittal
Jesus does something in this woman’s life that is so important. It is about Jesus’ act of grace.
- He created space for grace – It’s interesting; A doctor recently said that if people believed that their sins had been forgiven, half of his patients would walk out of the hospital the next day. Lots of time, we allow what we have done, hold us captive. We blame what we have done as a reason that God put sickness and diseases on us. God doesn’t work like this.
- Finally Johnny decides he’d had enough. He decided that he would confess. He figures his fate for killing the duck couldn’t be worse than what he was suffering under his sisters blackmail tactics. Johnny goes and tells his grandma that he accidently killed her duck. When he told her, his grandma said, “I know what you did, because I was looking out the window when you did it and I forgave you then for what you did. I just wanted to know how long you was going to allow your sister to make you out of a slave”. Just like this, God has forgiven us for the things we have done. He forgives us and gives us his grace.
- One day, he takes aim at his grandma’s pet duck, thinking maybe he needed to try and hit something else. He draws back on the sling shot and on this particular day he hit’s the bullseye. Yes, that’s right, he kills his grandma’s duck. Johnny’s sister saw it and threatened to tell his grandma what Johnny had done. Johnny pleads with her not to tell what he had done and she agrees not to tell if he would do her chores. Johnny agrees and every time his sister was told to do something, she would make Johnny do it. Johnny had to do the dishes, take out trash, and anything else his sister did not want to do.
- Ex – There was a boy named Johnny and everyday he would try to take his sling shot and hit the bullseye on his target. Day after day, Johnny failed to hit the bullseye.
John 1:14- 16 says 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me. ‘” 16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. – Whereever Jesus is, grace is. What is grace? It is God giving me what I do not deserve. It is the acknowledgement of my own human condition and granting me what I don’t deserve regardless.
- They brought the woman to Jesus, trying to trap him. John 8:6 says Jesus writes in the sand. Sand is another form of dirt. We don’t know what Jesus was writing in the dirt, but I imagine he was thinking, “Dirt is talking about dirt” (referring to the Scribes and the Pharisees).
- The Bible says the Scribes kept pressing him. Jesus finally says in vs 7, “you without sin, cast the first stone” and from the youngest to the oldest, they start dropping their rocks.
- Jesus looked at the woman in vs 10. Jesus gets up from the ground and looks at her, then he asks “Where are your accusers?” If you can imagine, the woman probably was crying with her hands in her face. Jesus stops her from doing this and forces her to look around and she discovers that all her accusers were gone. This meant that there was no one left to condemn her, so Jesus says to her, “Neither do I condemn you”
- They wanted to kill her, but Jesus wanted to give her life.John 10:10 says 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
- Rev 12:10 – 10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
- Luke 6:41 says, 41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye?
- When the enemy wanted to kill me, Jesus gave me life – “Where are your accusers”, Jesus asked? John 8:11 says 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” They were gone. Since they were not there to condemn her, then He said he would not condemn her either. – Being accused of what you did not do isn’t grace. This is being not guilty. For Jesus to say he won’t condemn you, then He is saying he is aware that the accusations are true, but instead of throwing rocks at you, He is throwing grace at you.
You have to acknowledge what you did, if you want God’s grace. He gave me life, when my enemies wanted to kill me!