“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 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. 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. 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. 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” (John 8:3-11).
The reason why we read and study the Bible, listen to sermons and read books on Scripture is because we want to know more about God and His word. But do actually believe what the Bible says is true?
Do we believe?
God, though He knows all things, is not the author of sin and evil, but everywhere in Scripture we find that He both makes and allows certain things to take place. We also see His direct interaction with and intervention in numerous events from Creation to the Second Coming of Christ. Do we believe that God has a plan and purpose for us sitting here listening to this message today? In fact we must face up to the claims of Scripture and determine to live holy and sanctified lives.
If we believe that everything recorded in the Bible is true, including the supernatural work of the holy and almighty God in Creation; the absolute sinfulness of man who is eternally lost unless he turns to Christ for salvation; the virgin birth, life, death and bodily resurrection of our Saviour, and His soon return to this earth, then we are truly blessed. From this position we can repeat the confession of Peter when he said to Jesus, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God … Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16, John 6:68-69). Those who do not accept all the truths presented in Scripture have no real understanding of it and it is certain that they do not have the life it offers those who do believe. It takes faith to grasp the teachings found within its pages for the Holy Spirit enables us to believe those things which defy human explanation and comprehension. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).
Do we live what we believe?
Those who have a sound conviction that the word of God is true aim to live according to its teachings in every part of their lives. Holiness, sanctification and piety are the hallmarks of a people dedicated to Christ. We are not to be like other people who see nothing wrong with sin, but should follow the Lord more closely every day. Added to this, we ought to constantly consider the condition of our faith, since our lives ought to reflect what we believe. What we put our heart, soul and time into makes us who we are. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Therefore all our efforts should be focused on pressing “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). So then, others shouls literally see what we believe as they observe our lives. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth … And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us” (1 John 3:18, 23-24).
If we believe we will sin no more
This has nothing to do with the heretical doctrine of sinless perfection, nevertheless should not all God’s people desire to be free from sin rather than engage in it? Jesus told the woman, “Go, and sin no more”, and He says exactly the same to those who come to Him for salvation. Sadly, many live in a way that suggests that Jesus has given them the freedom to sin as much as they please and still be welcomed into Heaven. The apostle Paul demolishes this notion in Romans 6:1-4, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” If we believe that Christ took away our sin, then we must live in a way that reveals our love and appreciation for Him.
Some who believe in holiness and sanctification have fallen into the same snare of self-righteousness that the Pharisees were in when they brought the woman to Jesus. They did not want her saved but rather desired that He would condemn her. As soon as we start to condemn everyone around us, it is proof that we are not as righteous in God’s eyes as we think we are. The very ones who thought they were holy were condemned by Jesus! Do we really want to be found in that condition when we met Him in glory? Yet the fact remains, the Pharisees were right about one thing; the woman was a sinner. Jesus did not let her walk away from the scene without calling her to repentance. The bottom line is that she must not continue in her sinful condition or she would be as eternally lost as her accusers.
The Lord Jesus Christ did not pay the supreme sacrifice on Calvary’s cross so that we could continue to sin as much as we want. On the contrary, His blood made the way for those who come to Him in repentance to be forever free from slavery to sin. Those who are in Christ are no longer lost in the darkness of sin, but are walking in the light of redemption. If we truly believe, then we will want it no other way.