Grace Has No Stones (2)

  • Her answer is simple, “No man, Lord.” His forgiveness is instant, “Neither do I condemn thee.” This is where we left off in part 1, right after verse 11 of John chapter 8.

    Jesus first gave her the gift of no condemnation. He said “I don’t condemn you”. Then He imputed righteousness, grace and power to her when He said “go and sin no more”. He wasn’t giving her a command. He was empowering her to live a sin free, bondage free life.

    The church of today says it just backwards. It says quit sinning and we’ll quit condemning you. That’s works. That’s performance. That’s the exact recipe for failure. There’s no power or ability in that.

    Grace does not cover up sin, it gives us the power to live righteously. Grace is God’s willingness to use His power and His ability on our behalf, even though we don’t deserve it. When this woman looked to Jesus by faith and received the grace He offered to her, her salvation was instantaneous. That’s how it works for all of us!

    Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved!” It doesn’t get any easier than that! Even small children can comprehend that truth and make it real in their lives.

    I know this will be difficult, but let’s try to imagine a situation. Here it is. You, for whatever reason, have been found guilty of a crime punishable by death. You are on death row. Now the day has come for your execution. You are strapped in the chair and the needles are in place. All that’s left is for the clock to strike the appointed hour and you will be executed.

    There is only one hope. A pardon from the Governor. As you watch the second hand reach for the number 12 on the clock, you begin to realize how hopeless it is for you. You are powerless to do anything. Just before the final tick of the clock, the phone rings and a full pardon is granted. Imagine that for a moment.

    We all either are or were guilty of the crime of sin punishable by death. Yet while we were yet sinners Christ died for us and gave us grace. The Governor of the Universe walked up and said, “you are free”. What will you do with that freedom?

    The woman in our story knew the kind of fear I asked you to try and imagine. As she is brought trembling into the presence of Jesus, she knows in her heart that she is about to be stoned to death.

    When this woman met Jesus, her life changed forever. Her sin was forgiven. Her guilt was removed. Her fear was turned to peace. What appeared to be a hopeless case suddenly became a time of forgiveness, salvation and joy.

    This poor woman’s story speaks to us today. It says that grace can easily reach way beyond where sin has taken you. No sinner is too far gone. No ones guilt is too deep. No one is beyond the reach of the grace of God.

    I’m certain there are those who would say that this woman’s sin was far worse than anything I’ve done. There’s no doubt the sin of adultery is a terrible sin, but it is no worse, in the eyes of God, than any other sin. James 2:10 says “For if a person could keep all of the laws and yet break just one; it would be like breaking them all”. All sin is evil in His sight.

    Some sins carry greater consequences than others. For instance, adultery can destroy your marriage; you might acquire a sexually transmitted disease; or a multitude of other terrible things can happen. Contrast that with someone who takes a piece of candy from a store without paying for it. It happens and no one but God and the shoplifter know anything about it.

    We look at those sins and we think they are worlds apart. Certainly they have different consequences if the sinner is caught. In God’s eyes, however, they are the same thing. They are both sin! That’s why Jesus came. To take away ALL sin, no matter what it is.

    This woman is trapped! What can she do? She can’t deny her sin; she was caught in the very act of adultery.

    To whom could she plead her case? The Law condemned her. The crowd condemned her. The religious establishment condemned her. No one would speak for this woman, but while she didn’t know it yet, she had found One Who would stoop for her!

    Oh how foolish the scribes and Pharisees were. In their effort to humiliate this woman, and to discredit the Lord, they brought her to the best possible place. They brought her to the very man who could deal with her sins in grace and forgiveness. They brought her to the one man Who could save her soul!

    Let me just say Jesus loves you, and He cares about you. He is the sinner’s Friend! There is nothing you can do to make God love you less and there’s nothing you can do to make God love you more.

    Here’s something from Graham Cooke that I use a lot. “One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to utterly convince you that you are completely, compellingly loved by God regardless of how you are showing up. That means to God it doesn’t matter, in that sense, whether you are doing well or doing badly. He has already chosen how He is going to be towards you, and He doesn’t change.”

    In the story of this woman we see that the law teachers, religious leaders and Pharisees used this woman to achieve their own selfish ends with no regard for the condition of her soul. Its obvious that she needed help. They didn’t care. All they cared about was destroying Jesus and His ministry.

    That’s religions role today. Discredit the grace of God. We can’t have people going around making mistakes and not punish them for what they’ve done. We have to have rules and standards for them to live up to. Religious systems prey on people’s insecurity.

    Religious legalists never change. They cared nothing about this woman, her sin, her soul, or her eternal destiny. They cared nothing about right and wrong. All they cared about was pressing their agenda, attacking their enemy, and promoting their brand of righteousness. Things haven’t changed! All Pharisees are the same!

    As I mentioned a moment ago, we will never know what Jesus wrote on the ground that day. It really doesn’t matter! What matters is this statement in verse 6, “But Jesus stooped down…”

    When Jesus stooped that day, He descended below the scribes and the Pharisees. He descended below His disciples. He descended below the crowds that had gathered in the Temple. He even descended below the guilty woman standing before Him.

    Her accusers had to look down to see her, now they had to look even lower to see Him! Stooping was not a new thing for Jesus! He often stooped during His ministry. He stooped to wash the feet of His disciples, to touch a poor leper, to embrace little children. He stooped to catch Peter when He was sinking in the waves, to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. He stooped to allow the Roman soldiers to beat Him with a cat o’ nine tails, to carry His cross to Calvary, and He stooped here to write in the dirt.

    His stooping is a picture of His grace. Let’s notice how the Lord extended grace to this sinful woman. When Jesus stooped here, He stooped for this woman. When He stood up, He stood up for her too! OOOOHHH I hope you didn’t miss that. He stooped, but He stood up. When Jesus looks at a life, He sees a person as they can become through faith in Him. God does not see you in the present. He sees you in your perfection.

    How was all this made possible? Why did the accusers drop their stones and leave the Temple? Why was the Lord able to forgive this sinful woman? Why is He able to offer people like us His grace and His salvation?

    When you see things from God’s perspective, you will always see that loving, accepting, encouraging, and nurturing are far superior to finding fault, condemning and fixing.

    In verse 10 Jesus called her “Woman”. He only used this term twice in the Gospel of John. Once in chapter 2 and again in chapter 19. Both times it was a title of honor applied to His mother Mary. It would be equivalent to the term “lady”. It was a term of honor given to a woman worthy of honor.

    This woman was anything but a “lady”. Jesus has a way of seeing things that are not as though they were. In other words, He did not see this woman as she was, He saw her as she could become through Him! Jesus took a wicked, godless, carnal, sinful woman and turned her into a lady!

    When He stooped and stood up, sin, death, Hell, Satan, and the grave were all defeated! When Jesus stooped and stood up in the Temple, a woman was set free from sin and certain death. When Jesus stooped to die and stood up three days later, He delivered His people from their sins!

    We don’t have to stoop to works and performance, the traditions of men, obeying rules and regulations that are man-made. We get to stand, because He stooped for us and then He stood up. Galatians 5:1 in the NLT says “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law”. In another translation it says “So stand strong for our freedom! The Anointed One freed us so we wouldn’t spend one more day under the yoke of slavery, trapped under the law”.

    I saw this story on a website and thought it appropriate to share here. At a special chapel service in an Ohio penitentiary, the governor was to grant freedom to several convicts. The suspense mounted as it came time for the governor to announce the names of those selected. “Reuben Johnson, come forward and receive your pardon!” No one responded.

    The chaplain directed his attention toward Johnson and said, “Reuben, it’s you, come on!” But the man looked behind him, supposing there must be someone else by that name.

    Then, pointing directly at him, the chaplain exclaimed, “That’s right, you’re the man!” After a long pause, he slowly approached the governor to receive his pardon.

    Later when the other prisoners marched to their cells, Johnson fell in line and began to walk with them. The warden called, “Reuben, you don’t belong there anymore. You’re a free man!”

    We have been totally set free from sin and death by the blood of Jesus and the finished work of the cross. It totally pardoned us. Yet many Christians today find it hard to leave the prison of religion and works. They continue to go back to being slaves to the law, instead of walking free in the grace of God.

    Jesus Christ Himself, stooped for you! He came to this world and died that you might live. He came to set you free. He has delivered you from all sin. He delivered you from dead religion. He has given you a new life. All you need do is accept His grace just like this woman did.

    Grace has no stones. Grace only has the gift of no condemnation and the power to live righteously in Christ Jesus. Grace and Peace.


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