The Apostle John tells the now-famous story of the woman caught in adultery. The scribes and Pharisees wanted to condemn her, but Jesus wanted to forgive her and set her free. The woman was transformed by Jesus’ grace, kindness and forgiveness. She discovered that Jesus’ grace is greater than our condemnation. The question is have you been transformed by Jesus’ heart of grace? Let me ask you three questions:
1. Do you ignore Jesus’ grace by condemning yourself?
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). The Apostle Paul said it like this: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). This means that you are no longer under the sentence of death due to your sins. You have been set free. Now, in order to understand that practically, when you sin, you must remind yourself of that fact. Jesus died for you. His condemnation was your condemnation. He was condemned for you. Your sin has been removed and forgiven. The antidote to condemnation is confession. Confess your sins to God, and accept His forgiveness. Don’t refuse to forgive yourself. Don’t deny Jesus the very thing He died for: your forgiveness! “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see!”
2. Do you ignore Jesus’ grace by condemning others?
Jesus had lots to say about those who hypocritically judged others for doing the same things that they did (see Matthew 7:1; 23:27). Paul did as well (Romans 2:1). There’s much confusion about judging…should we judge others by calling a spade a spade, or should we be “loving” and non-judgmental, and always accept others without speaking the truth? Well, the answer lies in your motivation…WHY are you judging someone? Here’s a good principle: we are to judge in order to discern, not to destroy. Jesus said, “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you” (Matthew 7:6). He also said, “A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit…Thus you will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:18,20). We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We are to gently restore someone caught in sin (Galatians 6:1). But the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart! Judge to discern, not to destroy. And remember how gracious God has been to you! As has been often quoted, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”
3. Do you abuse Jesus’ grace by continuing in sin?
In Romans 6:1 Paul asked, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” No, if we have truly understood and accepted Jesus’ grace, we are motivated to live in holiness, not in sin. When I am overwhelmed by the grace of Jesus, I am compelled to live for Him. I do not want to trample on His grace.
So, if I’ve been transformed by the grace of Jesus, I will…
accept His grace to me
extend his grace to others
apply His grace by living in holiness
May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you!