In John 8, we read of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery. The Pharisees bring her to Jesus to trap him by asking what should be done to her, as the Law of Moses dictated that adulterers should be stoned to death outside the camp. Jesus ignored them and continued to write in the dirt. We pick the passage up at verse 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. 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 8:7-11)
Jesus forgave the adulterous woman, just as he forgives our sin when we are saved. However, the most important line in this whole passage is “go and sin no more”. The equivalent to this is our commitment to repentance, the effort to re-build our character with the help of Jesus to never repeat the sin or any of the sins that he forgave, to be pure in heart, mind and deed.
This is the hard part. We have to check our actions so often that it becomes habit, and seek our lord so often that we hear the tiny quiet voice. The growth of repentance becomes more sensitive and aware as time goes by. Littler and littler things are seen as the remnant of sin in our character. We see that certain phrases in society are cruel, and truth is very difficult. We see that kindness is very rare, and that aggression is all too common. We see people who call themselves Christian buying lottery tickets or playing bingo. We see pop stars that thank God when they get an award wearing almost nothing.
The hardest part of repentance for me is the prevalence and decadence of sex in our society. The internet’s biggest industry is pornography. Right now there is a battle raging over pornographers sending unsolicited e-mail to promote their sites – spamming users who probably would never go to one of these sites. This e-mail is very gross and graphic. Pictures and images can harm us and they cannot be deleted from our brain, but Jesus can protect us from their affect on our lives.
In Corinthians 15, Paul is talking about the dead becoming alive and incorruptible when Jesus returns and the living rising in the air incorruptible. In verses 55-57 he applies this to our situation. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
God supplies us a way out from sin through Jesus Christ. We will be tempted, but in our temptation if we cry out to the Lord for help, he sends his peace that conquers the things of the world. Sin is selfish, and the peace of God is eternal and filled with holiness. Last night I was dreaming about some movie where people were playing Russian roulette and deadly games. I woke up at 2AM unable to get back to sleep. I prayed for release to Jesus, and woke up three hours later refreshed, having had no further dreams that I could remember, but possessing a feeling of peace and goodwill.
We cannot see it, but the great battle between the spiritual forces of good and evil is happening all around us. If we belong to Christ, we will be there when our Lord Jesus is victorious. This is when Hell is created as an eternal place for Lucifer and all those who belong to him. Jerusalem will come down from Heaven to begin the thousand year reign of Christ on the new earth. After this, the source of our temptations will be gone.