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M: Face to Face 11/17/19: Get Real With It

GET REAL WITH IT

Face to Face Sermon Series

The bagpipe player

In today’s lesson we’re in John 8, where an adulterous woman comes face to face with Jesus. But instead of reading about it, here’s a pretty good video that depicts exactly what happened.

[Video: Clip of the Adulterous Woman from “Jesus of Nazareth”]

“Then I certainly don’t condemn you either.

Go, and from now on, be free from a life of sin”

(John 8:11b TPT).

Definition of ADULTERY: “Sex outside of marriage.”

If you want to get technical you can say that fornication is premarital sex and adultery is sex when a married person cheats on his spouse. But for our purposes we’re talking about ALL sexual sin.

Since NHCO is a church made up of many first-generation Christians, it’s possible that you do not know what the Bible says about adultery. So without much commentary let’s go down the list and read these verses:

“You must not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14 NLT). (#7 of the 10 commandments)

Jesus: “He told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries someone else, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:11-12 NLT cf. Matthew 19:9; Luke 16:18).

(Just in case you think you’re fine because you’ve never committed adultery, never been divorced in remarried, read this…)

Jesus: “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28 NLT).

Next, here’s the reason they’re about to stone her…

“If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man and the woman who have committed adultery must be put to death” (Leviticus 20:10 NLT).

So actually the Pharisees in John 8 were not fulfilling the law perfectly because they failed to bring the MAN to be stoned as well.

Is Jesus allowing adultery in violation of the Torah? That’s not what He said. Jesus did NOT excuse this woman of her sin, in fact not only did He AGREE with the Law, He said if you even ENTERTAIN THE THOUGHT of committing adultery IN YOUR MIND, you have committed adultery in your heart.

1. DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.

Not that we are crystal clear on what the Bible says, does that now mean we will be free from sexual desire?

What exactly DID Jesus say?

The Pharisees were ANGRY at Jesus, forcing Him to answer their question on what to do with this woman! They wanted to TRAP Jesus and were perfectly willing to sacrifice this woman in order to humiliate Jesus and stay in power.

How could Jesus stop the public execution of this woman without violating the sacred law of God!

WHAT’S YOUR ANSWER, JESUS???!!! they demanded. Let’s read this passage so we can study Jesus’ profound answer.

“Angry, they kept insisting that he answer their question, so Jesus stood up and looked at them and said, ‘Let’s have the man who has never had a sinful desire throw the first stone at her’” (John 8:7 TPT).

Upon hearing this they all began to slip away beginning with the oldest.

Did Jesus contradict the law? No.

Is He excusing adultery? No.

So what is going on with this answer?

Jesus is in total agreement with the perfect law of God. But all these would-be executioners are feeling the way all of US felt after reading the perfect standard of God.

None of them have been able to keep the law.

Neither have we.

So did God give us a law that He doesn’t expect us to keep? No.

THE LAW WILL NOT SET YOU FREE, BUT A FACE TO FACE ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS WILL!

2. LET LOVE (NOT LAW) SET YOU FREE.

“Then I certainly don’t condemn you either. Go, and from now on, be free from a life of sin” (John 8:11b TPT).

Underline “be free from a life of sin.”

The law reveals our sin, but the law will never set us free from our sin.

The love of Jesus does what the law could never do.

But does this really work? Doesn’t it just turn us into hypocrites? Doesn’t Christ’s grace and mercy just make us feel like “it’s ok” to keep sinning? How does this really transform us? How do we get set free from the vicious cycle of sin, confess, repeat???

3. LOVE JESUS MORE THAN YOUR SIN.

21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power[e] within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:21-25a NLT).

Underline “the answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord”

What does this mean?

Listen, condemnation will never set you free.

You will not give up your life of sin because the church or your parents keep telling that you’re wrong. You will give up your life of sin because–here it is–you’ve come to love something, Someone, MORE than your fleshly desires.

In other words your HEART is transformed by love for Jeuss.

Our friend Chris Yuan struggled with homosexual feelings all his life. Today he is a Christian professor at Moody Bible Institute and lives free of the homosexual lifestyle. He still has homosexual feelings sometimes, but he doesn’t live by those feelings. Why? He loves Jesus more than his sin.

Christopher Yuan did not give up homosexuality because someone kept telling him it was wrong. He gave up homosexuality because he discovered a love more powerful than his lustful desires.

Love Jesus more.

Stand for closing prayer.

Adultery is NOT God’s will for our lives.

But the law will not set us free.

What set this woman free from her sin?

A face to face encounter with the love of Jesus.

Questions for Meditation & Discussion

1. By faith what did the Father say to you in this message?

2. What does the Bible say regarding adultery?

3. What was Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees trying to trap Him?

4. If Jesus was obviously not condoning adultery, what was He really saying?

5. If law will not set us free from our sin, what will?

6. How does a face to face encounter with Jesus transform our hearts?

7. How will you love and obey what God is saying to you today?

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