Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Don't Judge Me, Bro!

Ok.  I have a bit of a pet peeve.  There is a beautiful story in John 8.  It is continually used by people engaged in wrongdoing to justify their bad behavior.  I believe they are missing the entire point of the story.  The story is not primarily a story about judgement.  It is a story about forgiveness.

You know the story.  The religious leaders have caught a woman engaged in adultery.  They drag her into the street and they are prepared to stone her according to the law.  Jesus tells them that who ever is without sin, should be the first to throw a stone.  This is where the story ends to most people who are doing something clearly in violation of God's law.  They will tell you can't judge me.  They may even quote the verse to you.  Read on.  When all of the people had left.  Jesus went to the woman, and helps her up.  He says to her that he does not condemn her.  The most important part of the entire story is the last line.  In the NIV he says, "Go now and leave your life of sin".  He doesn't tell her to keep doing what you are doing, because I will forgive you.  No, he says stop doing what you are doing!  He tells her to turn from her sin.

When we were lost we were slaves to sin.  We had no capacity to resist the pull of sin.  We were consumed with it.  It was with us day and night.  When we were redeemed by God's grace, he has broken the chains of bondage to sin.  It is because of that we are able to move forward and resist the power of our sin.  What we have done in the past is gone, and we are called to move forward in righteousness.  Christians will still sin, and do sin.  If we will turn our hearts to God he will make us more like him everyday.  We will continue to become more and more like Christ everyday.

You see this story is not about judgement.  This story is about forgiveness and the grace of god.  We look at the story like the religious leaders are central to the story.  I don't think that is the case.  The central figure in this story is the woman.  This story is a beautiful story about a woman captured in her sin.  Her God reaches down to her and says it is alright.  He then he raises her up and tells her to leave her life of sin.

Now put yourself in the story.  I was falling.  I was unfaithful.  I had found so many things to fill my life with.  I had failed as a husband and father.  I had tried to remove myself from the judgement of God.  I told myself it was alright.  I tried to justify my failings.  I did all this even though I had already been saved.  I used to be a bible school student.  I knew better.  I sought out another lover.  When I was at my absolute lowest Christ came to me.  He lifted me up.  He then told me to leave my sinful life behind.  Move forward into a new life.  After everything that I had done to hurt him, he lifted my veil and called me his bride!  Do see the beauty in that.  There is nothing you can do to separate yourself from the love of God.  However, if you want to enjoy the life that he has for you, then you have to forsake all your other lovers.  You have to leave your life of sin behind and move forward.  You may think it unfair.  He isn't asking you to give all that up for nothing.  No, he is asking you to do that because he has so much more to give you.  You are settling for the pig sty, when he has a feast awaiting you.

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