John 8:11                             Neither Do I Condemn Thee                    7/4/2004         ßà 

  • Early In the Morning (John 7:53-8:11, 2Cor 8:9)

 

 

 

 

#1.   The Woman Taken in Adultery (John 8:4-5, Matt 11:19, 5:17, Gen 3:15, Lev 20:10, Deut22:22)

 

 

 

 

  • Justice and Mercy (Rom 6:23, 8:3, John 8:6, Ex 31:18, Ezek 36:26, Dan 5:5)

 

 

 

 

  • What Is Her Name? (Rom 7:1-4, Matt 5:17-18, Eph 3:10)

 

 

 

 

#2.       He That Is Without Sin (John 8:7-9, 2Thess 1:7-10)

 

 

 

 

#3.       Go, and Sin No More (John 8:10-11, 1John 1:8-9)

 

 

 

 

  • There Is Therefore Now No Condemnation (Rom 8:1-4, 1:17)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel according to John 8:1 (2X). As you perhaps know, the first eleven verses of John chapter 8 have been contested whether they really belong in the Bible as the inspired Word of God. I am convinced that they are because of the context. If you leave out these first 11 verses in chapter 8 the flow of the narrative from chapter 7 to chapter 8 is interrupted, as if you skipped something. It is impossible to make sense out of the beginning of chapter 8 when you leave out the first 11 verses. Moreover, when we look at chapters 1-13 we see that each chapter begins with a little story, and then the remainder of the chapter magnifies a certain aspect of the Lord Jesus Christ, or of the Gospel, based on this little story. This is the design of these segments, which later have been called chapters when the Bible was partitioned into chapters and verses. In chapter 5 the Lord Jesus healed the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda, and then Christ made this miracle the text of His sermon. In chapter 6 Jesus feeds 5000 men, and then Christ gave two sermons on Himself as the Bread of Life. In chapter 7 Jesus apparently refused to go to the Feast in Jerusalem, and then He made this Feast the background for the future manifestation of the Holy Spirit. And here in chapter 8 Jesus is confronted with an adulterous woman, and then He showed how these first 11 verses were a most striking illustration of the power of Him as the Light of the world. And so, we can conclude from the context that John 8:1-11 contains a little story that really came from the Holy Spirit inspiring the Apostle John to write these verses. So, let us read here this story that you all know very well:

  • Early In the Morning (John 7:53-8:11, 2Cor 8:9)

Joh 7:53  And every man went unto his own house.

Joh 8:1-2 ¶ Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

Joh 8:3  And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

Joh 8:4  They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Joh 8:5  Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

Joh 8:6  This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

Joh 8:7  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Joh 8:8-9  And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.                     And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Joh 8:10-11  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?   She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

 Every man went unto his own house”, but the Lord Jesus did not have a house. “He who was rich for our sakes became poor” (2Cor 8:9). He went to the Mount of Olives, slept on the ground, and early in the morning He was back in the temple and taught the people that were there in the temple. Where do we learn to know Jesus today? Something has replaced the temple, since the temple was destroyed in 70 AD. Today the church is the outward manifestation of the spiritual temple of God that replaced the OT temple. Here in church the Pastor must teach where we can find Jesus in the Scriptures. Here is where we are being taught the first principles of the Gospel. If the Pastor does not bring the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ, then the Pastor is not doing his job. We must hear the Gospel every Sunday in the sermon, because there are always unsaved people in the church. And we must come early in the morning. What does that mean? The theme of this chapter is the outshining of the Light of the world. Therefore, an appropriate metaphor is the early morning when “the Sun of righteousness arises with healing in His wings”. We must come early, which reflects our eagerness to hear the Word of God exposed. If we are indeed the “Bride of Christ”, then we will be eager to hear the voice of our Bridegroom. “And all the people came unto him”. What does this mean? Did all 2 million Israelites come to Him at that moment? Of course not! The context defines the meaning of the word “all”. Rarely do we find that the word “all” means “all without exception”. Rarely does “all” refer to everyone in the whole world. Most of the time the word “all” refers to “all without distinction”. So, here “all the people came to Him” refers to “all that were in the temple came to Him”. In other words, all kinds and conditions of men, young and old, rich and poor, male and female, from all different tribes and nations without distinction. If we remember this principle, “all without distinction” then we shall remain faithful to and harmonize many verses in the Bible. Let us now consider:

#1.       The Woman Taken in Adultery (John 8:4-5, Matt 11:19, 5:17, Lev 20:10, Deut 22:22)

Joh 8:4  They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Joh 8:5  Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

“This woman was taken in adultery, in the very act”. Here was the woman, but where is the man? Can we see that this was a deliberate setup? The scribes and Pharisees had concocted this plan so that they could trap the Lord Jesus on the horns of a dilemma. Can we see here “the wiles of the Devil”? And look here at the cruel plan of the scribes and Pharisees. They did not accidentally find this woman and the man in the very act, because they let the man go free. This was a setup. They had agreed with the man to seduce this woman, and then they would use her to trap the Lord Jesus in a dilemma in which He would be condemned no matter which way He chose. They had figured this out as the perfect dilemma for which Jesus would have no solution. How pitiful to see men’s brains trying to compete with the mind of God. How cruel to exploit this woman’s emotions for their own evil designs. How cold-blooded they acted to tempt this woman into sin to accomplish their evil intentions against Christ. How evil their motive, of those who were supposed to teach the people the Word of God. How anxious they were to discredit the Lord Jesus before all the people. They could not wait until they could talk to Him in private. Instead they interrupted Him as He was teaching the people and they rudely challenged Him to solve this unsolvable dilemma. Why was this an unsolvable dilemma? On the one hand, if Jesus would agree to have the woman stoned to death in obedience to the Law of Moses, then they could accuse Him before the Romans, because only the Roman governor could make decisions concerning life or death. Most likely Jesus would have been locked up in jail. Moreover, Jesus would no more be the “friend of publicans and sinners” (Matt 11:19). On the other hand, if Jesus would oppose to have the woman stoned to death, then before all the people they could accuse Jesus of compromising with sin, and of not obeying the Law of Moses, and of disrespect for the holiness of God and the righteousness of His Law. Then they could accuse Jesus of being an enemy of the Law of God, and of His own words, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matt 5:17). Then in front of all the people they could accuse Jesus of being a hypocrite. Listen to what the scribes and Pharisees said, “Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned”. Print this principle in your memory: Wicked men can also quote the Scriptures. Even Satan can quote the Scriptures. But what do they care for the Law? Nothing! Let us then not be deceived by men quoting the Scriptures. They can be haters of God. Can we see here “the enmity of the Serpent against the Seed of the woman”? (Gen 3:15) How would Jesus solve this dilemma? Most certainly the woman deserved to be stoned to death. We read:

Le 20:10 ¶ And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

It is clear that both of them must be put to death. We also read in Deut 22:22,

De 22:22  If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.

The purpose of this law is: “so shalt thou put away evil from Israel”. Would the Law of God then be able to prevent sin? No! We can see it here! This woman was willing to risk her life and an eternity in Hell just for the pleasure of a few moments. No! The Law cannot eradicate sin. People sin in spite of the threats of the Law. People sin in spite of the threat of eternal damnation. The unsaved simply do not care. But this is the nature of unsaved men. This is the constitution of the natural man. This is how we all came into the world, as enemies of God, and haters of God. And no law of God was able to change our behavior, or change our contempt for God’s Law. This is the material of which God desires to build a perfect temple for Himself. And so, God must find a way to apply:

  • Justice and Mercy (Rom 6:23, 8:3, John 8:6, Ex 31:18, Ezek 36:26, Dan 5:5)

God’s Law states the penalty for sin. God says in Rom 6:23, “The wages of sin is death”, and the death that God has in view is shown in Rev 20 to be the 2nd death, which is an eternity in the Lake of Fire.  But this penalty is not enough of a deterrent. Man continues to sin. Therefore God says in Rom 8:3, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh”. God’s Law was “weak through the flesh”. God’s Law was not able to hold back sin, because the will the flesh was stronger than any condemnation God could bring against sin. God could condemn all flesh, and God would be perfectly righteous to condemn all mankind to Hell. But God chose “to send His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh”. The Lord Jesus Christ came “in the likeness of sinful flesh”. He came with a body that was fully man, except for sin, because He had to be “the spotless Lamb of God”. And concerning sin God condemned sin in the flesh by condemning His own Son, who was bearing the guilt of others whose sins must be atoned for. We can see that developing here in this little story. We read in V 6,

Joh 8:6  This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

Jesus wrote on the ground with His finger. It is not recorded what He wrote. God did not want us to be distracted by what He wrote. We are only told that He “with His finger wrote on the ground”. This was not the first time that the Lord had written with His finger. Perhaps you remember that God wrote the 10 Commandments with His finger. God says in Ex 31:18, “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God”. God wrote these on two tables of stone. This was not because Moses lived in the stone age, but man’s heart by nature resembles a heart of stone. God says in Ezek 36:26, “I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh”. The second time the Lord wrote with His finger was when Belshazzar, grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Chaldeans, saw God’s writing on the wall of his palace. We read in Dan 5:5, “In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote”. This hand and this writing was to his own condemnation, because that same night was Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, slain. The third time the Lord wrote with His finger was here in John 8:6. This time the Lord Jesus wrote on the ground, for man was taken out of the ground. Symbolically it was as if Jesus wrote a duplicate of God’s righteous Law on man’s heart, and therefore man’s conscience is able to discern the Lord’s commandments. But just like Belshazzar, the scribes and Pharisees were so blind that they could not interpret the writing of His hand, to their own condemnation. Before we continue with Jesus’ writing on the ground of man’s heart, let us focus our gaze on the woman. Have you ever considered this:

  • What Is Her Name? (Rom 7:1-4, Matt 5:17-18, Eph 3:10)

Put a sticker here in John chapter 8, and please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans 7:1 (2X). This woman does not have a name, because God intended for us to see ourselves in her. This adulterous woman represents all those whom God has elected unto glory. This woman represents all who are becoming saved by the mercy and grace of God. Look at her. No one cared for her, except the Lord Jesus. He is her only hope. And then we remember that God wrote about us as if we were represented by “a woman who was married to the Law”. We read in Rom 7:1,

Ro 7:1 ¶ Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

Ro 7:2  For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

Before we were saved, we were bound to the Law of God as tightly as a woman who has been bound to her husband. And whenever we sin our husband “the Law” would accuse us of committing adultery with someone else, and our Husband “the Law” would ask that we be stoned to death. How can we escape such a tyrannical husband? The only way is through the death of one of the parties. God provided such an escape. We read in Rom 7:3,

Ro 7:3  So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Ro 7:4  Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

How is it that we “become dead to the Law by the body of Christ”? The Bible teaches that we were in Christ from before the foundation of the world. Therefore we were crucified with Christ, we died with Christ, we were buried with Christ, we rose with Christ from the grave, we ascended with Christ into heaven and we are seated with Christ in heaven. Therefore God cannot send us to Hell for our sins, because we were in Christ when He endured the equivalent of an eternity in Hell on our behalf, for the guilt of our sins. We have already gone through Hell with Christ and in Christ. But since we died with Christ we have “become dead to the Law through the body of Christ”, because Christ suffered death in His body. We died with Christ and so we have become free from our husband the Law. What a glorious deliverance. Is this the God whom we know? O, He is full of mercy, if we only dare to believe. We see ourselves in this adulterous woman of Rom 7:1-4, and we see ourselves in this adulterous woman of John 8:1-11. But through Christ and in Christ we have become the recipients of God’s mercy and grace. The Law has not been set aside. Jesus said in Matt 5:17,

Mt 5:17-18 ¶ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.          For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

But we died to the Law, and that is why we are free from the Law. This is the reason why "we are not under the Law, but under grace”. The Law has not died. The Law is in full force for all those who remain unsaved. They will experience the Law on Judgment Day when the Law shall accuse them.

But for us, our salvation is so great that God shows it to all the angels in heaven. We read in Eph 3:10, “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known through the church the manifold wisdom of God”. This is how justice and mercy are harmonized. God rejoices in the execution of His plan. God rejoices in being merciful. Let us return now to John 8:7 (2X). And here Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees,

#2.       He That Is Without Sin (John 8:7-9, 2Thess 1:7-10)

Let him cast the first stone at her.

Joh 8:7  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Joh 8:8-9  And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.                     And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Can you see the mercy of God for this woman? God’s Law is holy and righteous. Here we find the Lawgiver Himself turning the light of the Law upon these men, who really had so little respect for it. His enemies, His accusers, were not fit to demand the enforcement of the Law’s sentence. Only a holy hand from a perfect person is fit to administer the perfect Law. God stated here a fundamental principle: Only God is the Avenger. God gave the nation of Israel temporarily the privilege to carry out His Judgment. And again on the Last Day God will give the Saints the privilege to carry out the justice He demands. Let me read to you what God says will come to pass on the Last Day. I read from:

2Th 1:7-8  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,           In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

2Th 1:9-10  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;                       When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Did you hear me? I read in 2Thess 1:8, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God”. These people may never have stolen anything, or never committed adultery, or never killed, or never even told a lie. But God says that He  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God”. Knowing Him is all that matters. And then we read in John 8:9, “They being convicted by their own conscience went out one by one”. That they recognized they were sinners was a miracle in itself. Pharisees do not like to confess their sins. But under the influence of God the Holy Spirit even the hardest heart will do what God commands. Grace had not defied the Law, but grace had upheld the Law. One sentence from the lips of God the Son incarnate, and they were all silenced and they all left. Christ had not uttered a word against the Law and He had not condoned the woman’s sin. But His enemies were not able to find any ground for accusation against Him. But can you see that it takes the power of God to draw sinners to Christ? Here was a group of intellectual men who knew the Word of God almost by heart, they knew what the consequences of their sins would be, they knew that Jesus was more intelligent than all of them combined, they knew that Jesus could do mighty wonders such as God only could do, and they even were convicted by their own conscience. And yet instead of all this causing them to cast themselves at the feet of Jesus, it resulted in them leaving Jesus. Such is the heart of the natural man. Only if the Holy Spirit will make a soul alive will it ever come in a saving contact with the Lord Jesus Christ. God is sovereign, and who can deny it? Do we know this God? Do we serve this God whom the Bible describes as the only One God?

#3.       Go, and Sin No More (John 8:10-11, 1John 1:8-9)

Joh 8:10-11  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?   She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Jesus lifted up Himself. Where were all the accusers? The Law required two witnesses before any sentence could be carried out. But here not a single witness remained. There was no one to accuse her before Judge Jesus. The coast was clear for Jesus to act in mercy, because our God delights in mercy. You remember what the definition is of mercy. Mercy is God withholding what we do deserve. This woman deserved to be stoned to death, and after that she deserved to go to Hell. But then, after the last of her accusers left the scene, the Lord Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn thee”. Bang! This woman became saved on the spot. What were the consequences for Jesus by not condemning her? Jesus has been appointed to be the Judge of all the earth. If Jesus would not condemn her, it meant that He would be her substitute before the judgment throne of God. It meant that Jesus would take upon Himself every single sin that this adulterous woman has ever committed, and it meant that He would pay for those sins the penalty that she would have to pay if she would have remained unsaved. It meant that Jesus would have to suffer the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for this adulterous woman. Jesus knew this. She did not. But what were the consequences for this woman when she left the temple? Let us keep in mind that this woman represents all the Saints. What are the consequences for us once we have become saved? It means that God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, have come to dwell in our soul. It means that God will now direct our life. It means that I am not any more my own, but I belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ who purchased me and owns me. It means that my life has changed and that I am now looking for doing those things that are pleasing in His sight. This is a drastic change in our life. People will see this change. If people cannot see this change, then perhaps we have not been saved. But be careful to read and understand the words that we are reading here in John 8:11. The Lord Jesus Christ did not say, “Go and sin no more and I will not condemn thee”. This is no good news. If Jesus would have said that, then this woman would have been condemned from that moment. But the Good News was, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more”. Do we know this God? Do we know what He meant when He said, “Go and sin no more”? He meant, “Do not commit adultery any more”. Is it possible for us not to commit any sin any more? Well, let us hear what God says in 1John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”. No, it is not possible that we living on this earth remain free from sin. But what a blessing it is to read also the next verse, 1John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans 8:1 (2X).

In John 8:1-11 a sinner was exposed to the Lord Jesus Christ, but she left the scene uncondemned. How did it come to pass? How were mercy and justice harmonized? It is not here presented in a reasoned out statement of doctrine, but in symbolic action. The Lord Jesus showed that this problem was not insoluble for Divine wisdom. Here was a concrete case of a guilty sinner leaving the presence of Jesus uncondemned. The requirements of the Law were dealt with. Her sin was openly condemned. And yet, she herself was not condemned. Mercy flowed out to her, but not at the expense of justice. Jesus became her Advocate. We read in Rom 8:1,

  • There Is Therefore Now No Condemnation (Rom 8:1-4, 1:17)

Ro 8:1-2 ¶ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

What a joy to know that “there is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. But how will we know if we belong to that group of people who are “in Christ Jesus”? We know it by faith, for “the just shall live by faith” (Rom 1:17). Do we believe that we were as guilty as this adulterous woman standing before Jesus? Do we believe all that is in the Bible, even though we have not yet read it all? Do we believe even those things we do not like? Do we believe that Christ paid for all our sins; even the most wicked of our sins? But does our life reflect what we believe? Do we “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”? Is this really the new life that we live? How can we know if we have become saved? We must have faith, but the faith must be genuine. It must be a faith that is a gift from God. And to prove that it is a genuine faith we must examine if our walk of life is now directed toward spiritual things, rather than things of this world and things that are pleasing to the flesh. And then verse 2 speaks about “the Law of sin and death”. What is that? These are the commandments and ordinances and precepts and statutes and judgments that we read about in the OT. If we are absolutely required to meet all these, then this becomes “the Law of sin and death”. We are not able to meet even the 10 Commandments, how then are we able to meet more than these? But when we have died with Christ we have been made free from that Law of sin and death. Then what is, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”? This is the Law of the Spirit of life. It is the Law that we are saved by grace. God’s Spirit must have mercy on us, give us a new heart, and give us faith. This is the Law of the Spirit of life. It means that we were one of the elect for whom Christ suffered and died on Calvary, and therefore the Holy Spirit gave us a new life. And then God gave us the reasons why “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus”.

Ro 8:3-4  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:                           That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

God sent His only begotten Son into this world to take the penalty of the judgment on our sins in our place. This penalty we could not pay. After spending 1000 years in Hell we would still not be done paying for our sins. It would require an eternity in Hell, but then we would never get out of Hell because an eternity does not have an end. And so, we are not able to pay the penalty for our sins. But Christ is God, and He is able to pay this penalty in less than 24 hours, from Thursday night when He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, until Friday afternoon at about 3 O’clock on the cross the Lord Jesus Christ suffered the equivalent penalty that we could not pay. And Christ paid that penalty for us in order “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us”. The righteousness of the Law must be fulfilled for everyone who enters into God’s holy Heaven. Because Christ paid the penalty in our place, God’s mercy was extended to us. And since by God’s mercy all our sins were erased from our soul, God’s grace was extended to us and lifted us up to where Christ is, seated on the throne of glory, and we were adopted as sons of God. Just think about this: Can we even imagine what it means to be called “sons of God”? And all of that because Jesus said to us: “Neither do I condemn thee”.                         AMEN.                        Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.