by Gary T. Panell
Maybe you think a person who is an adulterer cannot be forgiven. You could not be more wrong. In fact, Jesus wants to forgive adulterers! We have an example of this in the Bible: “Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?’ 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.
“So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first. And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, 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. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you? She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more. Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:3-12)
It is interesting in this story that the man was not brought in also. Who knows, maybe that is what Jesus wrote on the ground the first time. The statement that Jesus made next was “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” Maybe the second time He wrote on the ground, He was writing their sins, starting with the oldest. If we are honest, all of us have committed this sin of adultery, in our hearts at one time or another. Jesus said another time: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28) You could also say, “Whoever looks at a man to lust for him has already committed adultery with him in her heart.”
Notice that she was not told by Jesus that she had not sinned. In fact He told her to go and sin no more. He also told her that He did not condemn her. Jesus said He came the first time to this earth to be our Savior. It is not that He does not hate adultery. He does, and Scripture talks about this a lot. He hates the sin, but He loves the sinner. He could see this woman’s heart, though, and He knew she was repentant. She called Him Lord, and I am sure she went from there a changed person, knowing how much God loved her!
God loves you and me too! The Bible says: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:17-18)
Then we have a story in the Old Testament of the Bible about a very famous king, King David. Many people have heard about his sin with Bathsheba. We find the story in 2 Samuel 11:2-5. “Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, ‘Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’ Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, ‘I am with child.'”
David also had the woman’s husband killed and brought Bathsheba to the palace to live with him as his wife. Then David was confronted by the prophet Nathan who let David know, in no uncertain terms, what God thought about what he had done. But David was such a man that he admitted his sin and repented of it immediately.
We see his prayer of confession in Psalm 51 that starts out like this: “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight-.”
Yes, he did have the scars in his life from his sins, but he was forgiven. He also went on to become the greatest king Israel had ever known.
Then there is the true story in the New Testament of the Bible about the woman at the well. To set the background first, let me explain that Jewish men did not talk to strange women, and especially not to Samaritans! However, we find Jesus speaking to this woman in the passage in John 4:7-29. “A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.’ For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, ‘How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’ For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?’
“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’ The woman answered and said, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.’
“The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. ‘Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. ‘You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’
“The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He. And at this point His disciples came.The woman then left her water pot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, ‘Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?'”
You see Jesus knows everything we have done, but He still loves us and wants to forgive our sins. Look at these verses in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 about this subject. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
Right now if you want to be washed spiritually, by the blood of Jesus, you can pray this prayer: Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. I believe that Jesus Christ Your Son died on the cross for my sins. That He came to life the third day, right now, I repent (turn from) of my sins and receive the LORD Jesus Christ as my Savior. In Jesus name, Amen.
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