In John 8, we see a scene where a woman was caught in adultery and the Scribes and Pharisees were going to stone her which is what the Law Of Moses says should happen to such a person. These men thought that they could trap Jesus in His own words as they feared the loss of power as so many were flocking to belief in Jesus. So the Pharisees sought to exposure Jesus as a fraud.
“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.” (John 8: 3-9 KJV)
In response to their trying to trap Jesus in His own words Jesus started to write something with His finger on the ground. This passage does not say what Jesus was writing with His finger for these men to see but one could speculate that His response in words to them likely has a big clue. “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.”
It is likely that Jesus was writing down sins that the Pharisees and Scribes had committed themselves but were not punished for by the Law of Moses. Jesus was showing them their own sins and now, whoever among you is without sin to go ahead and cast the first stone at the woman. Jesus knew none would do so. They could see their own sin. How could they stone the woman?
And another couple of interesting thoughts about this scene. One is the question, where is the man she committed adultery with? Because the Law of Moses demanded He too be put to death. Yet, he is no where to be found. Another is where it states ‘being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last:‘. Why does it state ‘begginnig at the Eldest’? If you think about it, they have lived longer and have also sinned more! And they recognize how hopeless not sinning at all really is. Anyway, a couple of interesting observations to see. It is clear that the motivation of the Scribes and Pharisees really had little to do with the woman caught in adultery. They brought her to Jesus to accuse Jesus Himself! The Scribes and Pharisees simply wanted to discount Jesus and be able to accuse Him and shut Him up. They feared the popularity Jesus was gaining with the people.
These same Pharisees and Scribes were the group that Jesus said this about:
“O generation of VIPERS, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12: 34-36 KJV)
He called them VIPERS out for the kill. Coveting for money and instilling fear to accomplish this. And then we see Jesus get quite upset at these religious leaders in Matthew 23:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23: 29-39 KJV)
Look at those TOUGH TOUGH words of Jesus! We see here clearly just how much God hates religion! Religion is man working their way through self righteous deeds to be justified with God. But that is the sin of PRIDE, the same sin that caused Lucifer (the shining angel closet to Gods throne) to become Satan (our adversary and hater of God and humans). And more than that, these leaders were coveting for money and power to control the people. Just as Jesus warned Israel, in 70 AD, the Jewish people were dispersed into other nations.
“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: 10-11 KJV)
These are the verses of this scene where some are teaching that we must not sin or we may lose Salvation. Or others teach that we must ask forgiveness for every sin after Salvation or they are not forgiven. However, a close examination of the specific words and how they are arranged shows a different truth.
Here are some points that I see by looking closely at the words:
1. She called Jesus LORD.. not Rabbi, not prophet. She already believed that Jesus was LORD; the prophesied Messiah to come, God in the flesh as the Torah foretold as that is how she addressed Him.
2. Which came first ? Did Jesus say Sin no more and then I will not condemn you ? (works salvation) Or did Jesus first say NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU.. go and sin no more? (Salvation by faith alone) Go and sin no more or she will be condemned and lose Salvation? No. Go and sin no more so you do not have to deal with the consequences of the sin like she almost just got stoned for. Jesus first said He does not condemn her. The word condemn here in the Greek it was penned in Strongs concordance is: κατακρίνω from G2596 and G2919 and is defined as to judge against, i.e. sentence:—condemn, damn.
Jesus is saying He does not condemn her to punishment in physical death and hell. He says this first. And then He says to go and sin no more. In essence Jesus is saying to this woman that You are forgiven and saved (because she believed Christ was the Messiah and God) and no longer condemned and now go and live a Godly life.
That is picture of the Gospel Of Grace. REPENT and BELIEVE (change your mind about your sins and how you plan to pay for them and BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ and Messiah-God in the flesh who paid your sin debt and you shall be saved.) and then live Godly to the best of your ability.
“And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:15 KJV)
That is how I see it through the Gospel of Grace that Paul taught. Salvation and justification is a gift to be received without good works, nor religious rituals, nor not sinning as requirements. After we are saved we should be renewing our mind by the word of God (see Jesus prayer for believers in John 17) and the Holy Spirit guides and sanctifies us by the Word Of God.
“Sanctify them through thy truth: THEY WORD IS TRUTH.” (John 17:17 KJV)
Eventually, as we grow in the Word Of God and our mind is renewed we see things through God’s view and He places desires in our heart to accomplish good works that He sets before us. For Salvation? For our justification with God? NO. We are already saved and justified by faith alone in the only atonement for our sins; Christ who shed His blood and was crucified on the cross to pay for our sins. After Salvation is it more about conforming to the image of Christ.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. ” (Romans 12:2 KJV)
“For by GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that NOT of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)