John the Baptist was sent for the specific purpose of preparing the way for Jesus Christ the Messiah. He pointed people toward the time when Jesus would come to earth. He did this powerfully and unafraid even to the point of confronting Herod about his adultery with Herodias. He seemed to have no doubt about his purpose and God’s plan for his life. He carried it through even until his death. Jesus said no one who had ever lived was greater than John.
“ I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is! – Matt. 11:11 (NLT)
John the Baptist had doubts and Jesus called him the greatest person to ever live. So, if you have doubts about Jesus don’t let satan beat you up about it. Jesus already knows that you have those doubts. Do what John the Baptist did, ask Jesus about your doubts. Jesus can use those doubts to bring you into a closer relationship with Him. As you draw nearer to Him, those doubts will start to disappear. You will have joy in your salvation and strength to overcome all your battles.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
David was chosen by God to rule over His people Israel. God had brought him from the lowly position of shepherd to the highest position in the land. He had watched over and protected David from all of the enemies of Israel and had given him victory after victory. Springtime was when all of the kings went out to war. Whatever David’s reasons were for staying home in the spring we will never know. Instead of going out to lead his army as he should have, he sent the army out to fight while he stayed home living a life of leisure and idleness. As the trite old saying goes, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. David got caught in that trap and fell into sin. His sin led him to adultery and finally to murder. As we are told in the book of James, sin brings death. It brought the death of a marriage, a husband and finally, the death of David’s son. When Nathan confronted David about his sins, David became humble and repentant. God forgave him but there were still the consequences of his sin that he had to face. We must be careful to stay on course and not deviate from what God has called us to do. If we stop and stay idle before the job is finished, we put ourselves in jeopardy. When God shows us our sins, we need to have the same heart David had and react the same way. God is not looking for ways to punish us but to forgive us and restore us.
In this short passage of Scripture, we get to look at sin from all four sides. There is sin as the devil sees it, a tool for death and destruction. There is sin from the human viewpoint as seen by the accusers. There is sin from the viewpoint of the one who committed the sin. Then there is sin from the viewpoint of Jesus, a wrong that demands forgiveness. The accusers had caught this woman in the very act of adultery, how this happened we are not told and we don’t need to know. Under the law, the woman was guilty and deserving of death. Jesus had come to change all of that. He was bringing a new way of looking at and treating the guilty party. From the reaction of the accusers when Jesus questioned them, we know that, at some point, all of them had transgressed the law. In Jesus’s way of thinking, regardless of what they had done, they were as worthy of death as the woman was. Under the law, there was big sin and little sin. Under grace, there is just sin, liars are lumped right in there with murderers. We may often find ourselves in the position of the accusers or in position of the woman who committed the sin. Jesus was using this situation to teach a two-fold lesson. First, He was teaching them the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. If we were caught in this situation, would we want others to show us mercy? Then we must show mercy. The second and most important lesson is that sin is forgivable and that is the road we should choose. To receive God’s forgiveness, we are required to forgive others of their sins.
In this short passage of Scripture, we get to look at sin from all four sides. There is sin as the devil sees it, a tool for death and destruction. There is sin from the human viewpoint as seen by the accusers. There is sin from the viewpoint of the one who commtted the sin. Then there is sin from the viewpoint of Jesus, a wrong that demands forgiveness. The accusers had caught this woman in the very act of adultery, how this happened we are not told and we don’t need to know. Under the law, the woman was guilty and deserving of death. Jesus had come to change all of that. He was bringing a new way of looking at and treating the guilty party. From the reaction of the accusers when Jesus questioned them, we know that, at some point, all of them had transgressed the law. In Jesus’s way of thinking, regardless of what they had done, they were as worthy of death as the woman was. Under the law, there was big sin and little sin. Under grace, there is just sin, liars are lumped right in there with murderers. We may often find ourselves in the postion of the accusers or in position of the woman who committed the sin. Jesus was using this situation to teach a two-fold lesson. First, He was teaching them the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. If we were caught in this situation, would we want others to show us mercy? Then we msut show mercy. The second and most important lesson is that sin is forgiveable and that is the road we should choose.
To receive God’s forgvieness, we are required to forgive others of their sins.
4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. — James 4:4-6 NIV
When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we were instantly given the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we received that Spirit, we become a part of the bride of Chirst and He has so much more that He wants to share with us. God placed Him in our hearts to lead us and to guide us into all truth. The Trinity longs for the time when we will allow the Holy Spirit to do just that. They are jealous of the time we spend focused on worldly things. Just as new lovers and newlyweds want to spend all of their time together, so does God want to spend His time with us. Just as Jesus warned us that we have committed adultery with a woman/man when we allow immoral thoughts to remain in our minds, we commit adultery with the world when we spend time on worldly things. To the extent that those things become more important, take up more of our time and cause us to make comments that hurt other people, we have become friends with the world and enemies of God. We are incapable of serivng two masters.
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. — Matt. 6:24 NIV
We could replace the word money in this verse with other words, such as drugs, grandkids, popularity, power, sports, vocations, possessions or you can fill in the blank and the verse would still be just as true. Anything that we put above being obedient to God in any and every respect becomes our idol and we become enemies of God. When we face a choice in what to do or say and we feel that little nudge from the Holy Spirit, we must learn to stop and think. Do I really want to hurt my spouse, my Jesus who died for me? If not, then we need to temper our words and/or actions or completely change them so that they honor and glorify God. We need to remember David’s request:
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. — Psalm 19:14 NKJV
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.–Gal. 5:19-21 (NIV)
If we continually persist in committing any of the actions listed above, we are walking by the flesh. Our flesh is in control of our thoughts and therefore our actions. If we are having problems in any of these areas we need to do some heart-searching. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to have control of our thoughts before they become actions. Just as surely as dust enters our homes and settles on our fixtures, so do evil thoughts enter our minds and try to take up residence in our brains. We can choose to wipe the dust away or let it build up. The choice is ours. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and He certainly does not want any of the world’s junk living with Him. He is there to help us keep the temple clean. 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”–Matt. 15:18-20 (NIV)
1 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. 4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery.5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” 6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. 9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”—John 8:1-11 (NLT)
The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees were still looking for some substantial charge they could bring against Jesus. If they could get Jesus to say anything against the law of Moses, then they could charge Him with blasphemy. But, as Jesus had done in the past, knowing what their thoughts and intentions were, He again avoided their trap. It would be fantastic to know what Jesus wrote in the dust, but whatever it was, it was sufficient to chase the accusers away. After they left, Jesus asks the woman, “does even one of them condemn you?” She says, “No, Lord”. Then she heard the most beautiful words a sinner can hear, “neither do I, go and sin no more.” Can you imagine the peace and joy she must have felt when she heard Jesus speak those words? We don’t have to imagine that feeling! Jesus has spoken the same words to each of us that has accepted Him as our Savior and Lord, The peace! the joy! the freedom! the liberty that flows over us at that moment is something the world could never give us. And it’s free because Jesus paid it all! 31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? —Romans 8:31 (NLT)
10 If someone obeys all of God’s laws except one, that person is guilty of breaking all of them. 11 After all, the one who said, “Never commit adultery,” is the same one who said, “Never murder.” If you do not commit adultery but you murder, you become a person who disobeys God’s laws. 12 Talk and act as people who are going to be judged by laws that bring freedom. 13 No mercy will be shown to those who show no mercy to others. Mercy triumphs over judgment.–James 2:10-13 (GW)
The law(s) were given to the children of Israel to show them that sin was in the world. Without the law there would have been no disobedience of the law and therefore they would not have understood sin. With the law, they understood sin and also understood that no human being could live up to the perfect standard required by the law. The law was their/our teacher to show them/us that we all need a Savior. This was no surprise to God. Before the foundations of the earth were laid, He had prepared a perfect Lamb to be our Savior. Because God is merciful, He sent His only Son into the world as the only perfect human. Jesus came to us knowing that He would be sacrificed for our sins, although He was sinless. Now we live under grace, the unmerited favor of God. We did nothing and can do nothing to earn grace and salvation. It is a free gift from God. 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.–Ephesians 2:8,9 (NLT)
We should sing praises to God daily. He is a marvelous, amazing God. “What a wonderful Savior is Jesus our Lord”!!!!!!!