And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
I’ve heard some Christians say, “God loves me the way I am, and this is just the way I am.” Yes, God does love us the way we are, but He wants to change us.
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Jesus said to the woman who had been caught in the act of adultery, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11). How could He say this? She was still immoral; she simply was caught in the act. He could say this because in a short time, on the cross of Calvary, He would personally take upon Himself the very condemnation she should have faced.
Notice something else that is very important. He did not say to her, “Go and sin no more, and as a result, I will not condemn you.” In that case, who could ever live up to that requirement? Nor did He say, “Just go your merry way, and the next time you mess up, I hope I will see you again.”
Rather, Jesus was saying, “Neither do I condemn you. Now, as a recognition of that, go and sin no more.” His act of forgiveness was followed by a challenge. This is important, because implicit in His statement was a warning not to keep living that lifestyle.
Jesus is saying the same to us. We are to leave our lifestyle of sin. It doesn’t mean we have to be perfect, because no one is. It doesn’t mean we need to be sinless. But it should mean we will sin less. God wants to change us. The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Our identity should not be in what we were but who we are.