Sunday, October 16, 2011

Promise First

"Think of what Jesus said to the woman caught in the act of adultery. He said to her, 'Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more' (John 8:11 NKJV). What is most significant about His statement is its order: promise first; command second. 'Neither do I condemn you' precedes 'go and sin no more.' We almost always try to reverse those. We say, 'If you can manage to go and sin no more, then God will accept you.'

God, however, motivates us from acceptance, not toward it. Jesus' affirmation would give this woman the security that could free her from her destructive relationship with sex. Without that, she'd never truly break free. God's approval is the power that liberate us from sin, not the reward for having liberated ourselves."
- J.D. Greear, The Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary, pages 53-54