Tim Keller | June 9, 1991
This story of Jesus meeting a woman accused of cheating shows his kindness towards those society often rejects. The text beautifully shows Jesus’ mercy, but also his respect for Moses’ Law. It teaches us to treat others gently, showing Jesus’ perfect mix of kindness and fairness.
1. If you’re hurting, you need to turn to him
When you’re in trouble, even if it’s self-caused, you need to stop blaming others and stop feeling like a victim. Think about Jesus on the cross, understand his message of non-blaming, and give yourself to his will. By doing this, his grace can change your life, giving you forgiveness, power, happiness, and wisdom, reminding you that no one is too hurt or broken to be saved.
2. Whenever Jesus Christ, though, gives you a word of grace, it always includes a challenge to obedience and to growth
Real grace is not just forgiveness, but a loving and caring action against self-harm. This grace, like adopting a troubled child, welcomes you freely but also asks for growth and obedience. So, while seeking Jesus’ grace gives comfort to the hurt, it also puts forth a challenge for change.
3. Some of you cannot change bad habits because you’re taking them to the law instead of to the cross
To break free from bad habits, you need to take them to the cross, trust in Christ’s actions instead of your own, and accept His grace. This acceptance softens the heart, making real change possible. The key is understanding that Christ’s non-blaming comes before our ability to “go and sin no more.”
4. We have to be careful not to count sexual misconduct too lightly or too heavily
Jesus’ teachings highlight that adultery, defined as any sexual activity outside of marriage, affects our ability to trust and be open. Sex within marriage reflects the perfect unity and closeness we hope to have with God, demanding total dedication. However, it’s crucial to remember that sexual sin is not worse than other sins, and Christianity offers peace and acceptance to everyone, including those who have been sexually harmed.
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