Go and Sin No More?

Posted on 04/08/2018 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

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by Edward Mote

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
but wholly lean on Jesus' name

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
all other ground is sinking sand
all other ground is sinking sand

When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
all other ground is sinking sand
all other ground is sinking sand

When He shall come with trumpet sound
Oh, may I then in Him be found
Clothed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne!

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
all other ground is sinking sand
all other ground is sinking sand

by Anonymous
addition lyrics by Benjamin Faust

Rejoice in the Lord always
and again I say rejoice!
Rejoice in the Lord always
and again I say rejoice!

Rejoice, rejoice
and again I say rejoice!
Rejoice, rejoice
and again I say rejoice!

This is the day that the Lord has made
I will rejoice and be glad today
In His Presence is the fullness of His Joy complete
so I come and I lay my troubles and cares at the Master's feet

Not height, not depth, not the shadow of death
can ever separate me from how He Loves me with
His Joy that's overflowing as it's bubbling up
Rejoicing is the wine of God that's filling my cup

by Frances J. Crosby

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
oh, what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
born of His Spirit, washed in His blood

This is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior all the day long

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love

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Today, let's start our discussion by reading a passage from the book of John.

John 8:2-11 (NASB)

2 Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them.
3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court,
4 they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?"
6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.
7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.
10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?"
11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more."

Most of us have heard this account many times. And often, when someone is living a sinful lifestyle, some of us might be tempted to direct those last words we just read at the person sinning.

"Go and sin no more!"

The religious leaders brought the woman into a public gathering.

It would have been shaming enough to do it in private, but they had come to shame her for the world to see.

They ignored their own sins, and pointed their self-righteous fingers at hers instead. But their only power to free her from sin was to put her to death.

We generally don't kill someone living in sin, but it's easy for us to harbor some level of condemnation towards them as we tell them, "Go and sin no more!"

Of course ultimately, sin separates us from God, sin was the reason Jesus had to die on the cross, sin destroys families, relationships, nations, and the very soul of the one who practices it; and the sentiment, "sin no more," is repeated in many ways
throughout the Scriptures; but to the one who seems to feel completely powerless to stop a sin that holds them bound, "go and sin no more" only serves as a spiteful reminder that they are, indeed,
unable to do so.

The thoughts in the mind turn those words into a mocking, judging voice in the head.

"You are worthless," it might say, "because you
continue to do this thing."

We might find a small window in which we are able to abstain, but then it closes, and we are left with more shame than we had before.

let's take a
closer look
at what might
have been behind
Jesus' instructions
to "Go and
sin no more."

In John chapter 5,
we read another account
of an impossible "order"
Jesus gave.

John 5:2-9 (NASB)

2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes.
3 In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, [waiting for the moving of the waters;
4 for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.]
5 A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, "Do you wish to get well?"
7 The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me."
8 Jesus said to him, "Get up, pick up your pallet and walk."
9 Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.

"Go and sin no more."

"Get up and walk."

To the one bound by sin, the first one seems as impossible to follow as "Get up and walk" is to someone who is unable to even get out of bed.

And if we used the same approach and level of judgment for the physically ill as we do for
those trapped by various sins, what a big bunch
of lunatics we would be.

So there was something else going on there when Jesus told the woman to sin no more, and told the man to get up and walk.

You see, behind Jesus' words was supernatural power. He was not lost in the mind, attached to this world, identified with His form, or confused by a multitude of compulsive thoughts.

His words were not like OUR words. There was Power behind them; Presence; A still, rushing wind; A silent, thundering voice; An earth-shattering calm.

The power of which Jesus spoke that moves mountains, is not a brute force or an act of our mind's stirred-up will power; Instead, it is something that the mind cannot comprehend.

And if you are inwardly still and silent, you just might hear His voice today.

We might spend our whole lives searching for His presence, listening for His voice, longing for His touch; asking the skies, "Where is He?" and, "When will I find Him?"

And all the while, He is Right Here; and He is Here Right Now.

"But I can't see Him, or feel Him," you might say. And so, you either keep trying by doing this or not doing that, or you give up, or you place your trying into that imaginary place called "the future;" while the whole time, the only way in is to Fully Surrender. Not just on the outside, or in words or concepts, but to the very center of your being.

And when you hear those wordless words speak to you from the innermost silence, "Rise up and walk," or, "Go and sin no more," then you can know that whatever He says to do, or to not do, you are freed and empowered to obey His Loving command.

So be at peace. Surrender to His hand. Rest in the fact that anything worth doing, is done by His power, not the power of your will or your mind or your beliefs or your striving.

And as you rest with Him in the temple of your body in the time called Now, without fighting, without striving, without inner conflict, without attachments, without identifying with the things of this earth and the forms of matter and mind that are all passing away, then you will hear Him; in the silence, in the noise; in the things that happen, that come and go; you will see His face everywhere you look; you will experience His presence everywhere in everything; and you will find that you are hearing and obeying His wordless voice with no striving, no struggling, and no real effort at all.

That is what it means to be "abiding in the Vine." And you will be able to say from your being, "It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me."