Monday, January 4, 2010

John 8:1-12

John 8:1-12
“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

Two things the Lord Jesus Christ promises to all who receive the grace of God through Him. The first is that those who follow Him shall not walk in darkness. Now the sphere of darkness Jesus is referring to is the realm of sins darkness. Including not only ignorance of God and His ways of dealing with sin; but also the shame and guilt and bondage found in it. For Jesus Christ came not to condemn the world but that world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). Now this saving work by God we receive, by the grace of God, when we believe in Jesus Christ the Lord (John 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 10:9-10). For Jesus Christ is the light of world who illuminates the way of life for us. Now this way of life is through grace and truth, not the law. “For the law was given through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17

For though the law is holy, and just and good, mankind is not. Mankind is universally sinful sold under sin (Rom. 7). That is we are not only born in sin; that is Adam's sin. We have all committed sins and thus we are incapable of being justified by our own obedience to the the law, which requires sinless perfection if one were to stand approved before God by it (Lev. 18:5). Yet there is nothing inherently in the law that will liberate anyone from sin. The law only reveals our sin, then passes judgment on it, but in no way does the law liberate anyone from sin (1 Cor. 15:56; Rom 6:14; Gal. 3:19-24). Neither sins power over the flesh or God’s universal judgment against it, does the law in of itself bring. The law then does not liberate sinners from sin nor God's wrath against us because of it. Therefore since the law cannot save us, and thus by default, we cannot save ourselves by our own obedience to it. Therefore we are all commanded by God to look to the Lord Jesus Christ's crucifixion death where God out of His great love for us all had His Sinless Son suffer and die in our place to pay our sins penalty. So that if anyone looks to Jesus Christ's suffering death to pay for their sins they will not only be saved from God's judgment but they shall have everlasting life (John 3:15). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

That is God's promise to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead (Rom. 10:9-10, 13). For it is by Christ's resurrection from the dead and ascension back to the Father that we receive not only remission of our sins but the Holy Spirit for new and everlasting life when we believe in Him (Eph. 1:13-14). Now this way of life is not devoid of living Godly lives. Those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and have experienced new life through Him by Holy Spirit rebirth are to be walking in newness of life with Him (Rom. 6:4-6). For it is through Christ’s cross that God “…has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Col. 1:13-14 Therefore believing in Jesus Christ through the grace of God (Eph. 2:8-9) and walking in newness of life with Him means the progressive sanctification of one’s life here and now (1 John 3:1-3). For it is through the Lord Jesus Christ that God has given us both a new standing (Rom. 5:1) and nature within Himself (2 Cor. 5:17).

Now in stating these things our sin nature is not eliminated while we live on in the flesh. Our sinful nature is not eliminated it is crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6). Therefore those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will not walk in darkness as their life’s pattern as the Lord Jesus has said (1 John 1:6-7). Therefore there will be both victories and set backs in this life as we are being conformed to the image of Christ. So don’t confuse being born-again; that is born from on High (John 3:3-5) with sinless perfection (1 John 1:8-10). For only One is sinless in the sight of God and that is Jesus Christ the Lord, which is why we need God’s grace and Christ’s Righteousness to make us approved in His sight (2 Cor. 5:21).

Therefore this way of life is not the pursuit of righteousness as the Pharisees are often noted for, which only produces self-righteousness (Luke 18:9-14), hypocrisy (Luke 12:1), and or bondage in those who hold to their ways (Matt. 16:11-12). Strict religious observances devoid of justice, mercy, and faith, which pass by the love of God, is not the way of life the Lord Jesus Christ brings and commands (Matt. 23:11; Luke 11:42). Therefore believers are not commended to those ways rather to the fruits of the Spirit of God which is in accord with the new nature every believer has and must live out rather then the sinful passions of the flesh (Gal. 5:16-23). Our lives then as Christ’s followers must also then reflect a desire for repentance yes; but also an active outreach of grace by which repentance is genuinely embraced. And clearly Jesus was an agent for that when He sought a means to pardon the woman in John 8:1-12 rather than condemn her for her sin. In many ways then Jesus through this event not only reveals Himself Savior of all who stand condemned under the Law (Rom. 3:19-28). But in so doing He demonstrates to us just what He intends for us to do after He liberates us from the judgment of it. For though this woman was a transgressor of the Law, the Pharisees by their very actions show themselves no friends of it. Indeed the Law for them was a means to wrest privilege and power out of it, while exercising authority over the people through it. Their way of life then is not Christ’s (Matt. 23). For Jesus commands His disciples to be both merciful and service orientated in their lives (Matt. 5:7; Mark 10:42-45) as His ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-19); and that we can only do through the gospel. For the law makes no provisions for mercy as Jesus demonstrated when He tactfully used it to prevent the Pharisees employing it to condemn the women caught in adultery. While Jesus’ command to the woman was go and sin no more (vs. 11). For when Jesus liberates anyone from sin and its judgment. He does not want us to return to it.

Therefore Jesus’ Person and Life brings the way of life for all to believe, for everyone who sees their need. Jesus Christ is God’s Everlasting Light to the world. Pointing the way to God through Himself, by faith, which is the only way out of sins darkness and God’s judgment against it (Luke 1:79; 2:32). That is why the Scripture declares: “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” Matt. 4:16

We must all then Look to Jesus Christ as the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). For that is where our only hope is found. Obedience to God must be born out of knowing Jesus Christ personally through the grace of God, not the Law. “For the law was given through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17 Therefore following the Lord Jesus Christ means not only trusting in Him for salvation but also keeping His commands. That is what God requires of everyone (Deut. 18:18-19). For that is how we abide in Christ's love. For Jesus Christ the Lord brings everlasting life to all whose hearts are open to believe it (Luke 2:32; John 1:4-5) and thus receive it (Rev. 3:21). As the Lord Jesus Christ has declared: “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” John 12:46

Scripture Quotations
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

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