Although Our Sins Are Scarlet…We Are Accepted

23rd January

Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.””

John 8:10-11

One of the greatest examples of God’s grace in the New Testament, is today’s story of the woman caught in adultery, found in John chapter 8. There is no getting away from the fact that the woman who had been found “in the very act of adultery” was completely guilty under Jewish law and by God’s holy standards. It is plain to see, clear as day, there in black and white; She was an adulteress. Yet Jesus’ response to this lady, was not one of condemnation but of acceptance, love and grace. Of course Jesus did not condone her actions at all. He clearly said to her, “Go and sin no more.” Jesus is against sin. Period. But rather than joining in with those who wanted to see her punished for her sin, Jesus truly showed why He came to this earth; to show God’s character of love, grace and acceptance. If there was anyone in the crowd that could condemn her, it would have been Jesus because He was without sin. But He didn’t.

This story really shows us an important picture about the character of God; both in our understanding of it, and our attitude to it. If God didn’t condemn a woman, who was clearly in the wrong, then how do you think He looks at us when we do wrong. With a stone in His hand, ready to throw at us? Never. He looks at us with His grace, bringing us into His embrace, as a loving parent to their child, gently reminding us of His grace and not condemnation, showing us His acceptance of who we are, and leading us into His holiness by forgiving our sin. Our crimson stains, our scarlet sins, are washed away by His love and made whole again in His grace.

Friends, know this. We are forgiven, loved and accepted, no matter how we look or what we have done. Go and sin no more, empowered by the grace you have received and changed by the radical love you are loved with.

No Longer Slaves But Friends

18th -19th April

Weekend Edition

I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are My friends, since I have told you everything the Father has told Me.”

John 15:15

Jesus’ words held so much power and authority yet He spoke with such intimacy and in such a personal way. In this weekend’s verse we learn what it means to have a renewed relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Jesus gives the analogy of a master and slave relationship. It was very rare to find any personal correspondence or relationship between a master and a servant. There was a level of respect and honouring of their position from the slave. Jesus uses this example to show the distance between God and man before He came. In order to be forgiven of sins, one had to present an offering in the temple once a year and rely on the High Priest to present their sacrifice to God. It all seemed so impersonal.

However, Jesus came, ‘being in the very form of God’, demonstrating the kind of personal relationship that God wanted to have with us. In sharing God’s heart with His disciples and followers, He broke down the barrier between God and man. “You are My friends, since I have told you everything the Father has told Me!”

The same stands for us today. God doesn’t want to hide Himself from us, like a far away, unapproachable supreme being. He wants to reveal intimate details of His character to us. He wants to have a personal and close relationship with us. In fact He wants to speak to us more than we think we want to hear His voice. Jesus, desires a personal audience with us because we are His friends. Yes He is a holy God, but that is why Jesus came. So He could be our righteousness for us. We can have a ‘friendship’ with God, because God doesn’t look at our sin that distances us from God, but looks at what Jesus did for us on the cross which brings us closer to God. That is grace, that is true friendship!!