The Gospel is a message that I need to hear.
Over and over again, until it sinks into my head, heart, prayers, and soul; I need to be reminded of the love of God for me in Jesus Christ. I need to be reminded and convinced that God’s love for me in Jesus Christ is so lavish, so relentless, and so uncompromising that it seeks me out right where I am and invites me to live free from the burden of sin.
The fall sermon series on the Outrageous Love of God has been a series of messages that I have needed to hear. On a number of Sundays this fall, I found myself glad that we had a second worship service because I needed to hear the words of Jesus again in order to let them sink in and have their full effect in me.
This Sunday was another one of those weeks. In the passage we studied on Sunday Jesus was presented with a person who had failed mightily. The woman was caught in the very act of sin and was presented to Jesus by the Scribes and Pharisees, those great lovers of God’s law. The questions is put to Jesus, “What do we do with this sinful woman, because the Law of Moses instructs us to stone such a one?”
In his response, Jesus moves the crowd from self-righteousness to self-awareness, pointing them to the truth that all of us, all of us, all of us, are in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness. (If you missed the sermon you can listen to it here). The only one who is in a position to condemn sin is the one who was without sin, Jesus the Christ.
And that is true of your sin and mine. The one only who is in a position to condemn you for the wrongs of your life is Jesus; not the crowd, not religious people, not moralists, and not even you!
Jesus died for you. Jesus rose for you. Jesus prays for you. Jesus has chosen not to condemn you for your sin but to forgive your sins and free you to live a life free from sin. Jesus takes sin very seriously. He does not want it in our lives. Sin breaks Jesus’ heart. Sin, both the sin in our lives and the sin in others’ lives, should break our hearts.
The love of God for you is so great it will not rest until you are free from the bonds of sin that entangle you. So live free today. Live free from the condemnation of self and from your desire to condemn others. Live free from the sin and temptations that seek to devour you. Live free in the love of God that wants to liberate you from the damage that your sin and mine are doing to our lives.
Jesus said to the sinful woman, “Neither do I condemn you, now go and leave your life of sin.”
Grateful to be receiving the lavish love of God alongside you,