This past Sunday, my pastor Dr. Dennis Brunet, made a statement and encouraged us to write it down. Speaking on Jesus’ words in John 8:11 he said, “The voice of Jesus is the voice of hope.” I not only wrote it down, but I also decided to write a devotional about it. It has been a while since I’ve written one, and this is an excellent topic.
In a world that today can seem hopeless, knowing Jesus does not condemn us is a beacon of hope. Our sin condemns us, to clear up any confusion. There are some universalist teaching out there that says we’re all going to heaven because Jesus died for us.
Jesus didn’t just die for us, He paid the penalty for us. Jesus was the propitiation for our sins. The Apostle John explains it in his first epistle:
“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)
If I were to take that verse out of context, I could come to the universalist conclusion that we are all going to heaven. However, there is the act of repentance and acceptance of the sinner to complete the transaction. We must repent of our sins, that is admit and turn away from our sins, and then accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
In John 8, the scribes and Pharisees bring a woman caught in adultery to Jesus while He is teaching in the temple. John tells us they did this to “test” Jesus. They were trying to entrap Him. They also made sure that they did in the most public of places. Jesus tells them to cast the first stone if they are without sin. After all her accusers have left, Jesus has this conversation with the woman:
“When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’” (John 8:10-11)
Again, taken out of context Jesus’ words could support the universalist teaching of total salvation, except for one word in the above passage. “Lord.”
The Greek word rendered lord is kyrios, and according to the Blue Letter Bible it denotes someone “to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord. This title is given to: God, the Messiah.”
This woman belongs to Jesus. Whether she got saved while standing before Christ or had done so before and gave into fleshly lust and committed adultery after conversion, Scripture doesn’t say. What it does tell us is that this woman was a follower of Christ and because of that Jesus told her she is no longer condemned by her sins. However, the Lord told her to “sin no more.”
So where is this voice of hope in what Jesus has spoken? Good question! The voice of hope is found in Jesus’ compassion towards us. He paid the price for our sin out of love for us, knowing that the Heavenly Father is a just and righteous God. God cannot abide with sin, so Jesus had to paid the price for our sins.
The greatest condemnation a human lives with is his or her own memories. Our conscience sears our souls and Satan tries to convince us that there is no remedy for avoiding hell. Satan hates the blood of Christ because he knows therein lies the power of salvation, resurrection, and liberty.
To hear Jesus’ voice tell you and me that our sins are forgiven and we are no longer under condemnation is the voice of hope. Our salvation brings not only hope, but also expectation, which is why Jesus told the woman to “sin no more.” The Apostle Paul explains:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)
Even as a Christian, my trying to live a sinless life is a hopeless endeavor. My flesh is stronger than my will. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit living inside of me is able to strengthen my will to overcome my flesh. It allows me to “go and sin no more.”
Have you heard the voice of Jesus? Has He told you that He does not condemn you for your sins? Have you come to the point of understanding your need for Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Have you accepted His free will offer of salvation through His sacrificial act on the cross? If you haven’t, won’t you do so right now?
Have you heard the voice of hope?
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Copyright © 2018 David Jeffers