What’s The Point? (ATP) 

In the Bible there are instances where Jesus healed people and afterwards He said “Go and Sin no more.” If we are by our very nature sinful how can we do this and why would He say this? It seems impossible. 

This is a great example of why, as people of faith, we must study the Bible, not just read it. Reading is fine to start, to become acquainted with the text, however we must graduate and move on. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB) tells us, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” To be approved is to make sure one understands, not just accepts on hearsay.

The Bible is simple enough for babes and difficult for the most astute scholar. However, one cannot assume that they can just read and understand it all. What am I saying? Let me explain it like this: you can learn the basics about driving and get most places just fine. But it’s another thing completely to know why a car works the way it does and what to do in every scenario. I worked in a factory many years ago and once I was getting trained on a machine to make parts. There were these older men who had been working on these same machines for 30 to 40 years. These guys knew these machines so well that if they needed some kind of adjustment they could just bump it a certain way and make it do what they wanted. I could barely operate them by specific instructions! This can explain the scriptures too! The more we know about God’s character, the more we will understand what He is saying. If our understanding of God is distorted, so will our understanding of His word be. 

There is a universal truth about sin. Then there is the reality of it. Some people will say, “sin is sin, it’s all disgusting in God’s eyes.” While this statement is technically true, there IS a difference, for instance such as harming a child verses something like spiritual jay walking. When Jesus said, “Go and sin no more,” there are a few things we must understand. Firstly, this statement was made situationally. Though we have the account in scripture, we certainly don’t have every minute of the conversation nor do we have the fullness of Jesus’s knowledge of it, either naturally or supernaturally. There are at least a few ways we can understand this.

While all sickness is not necessarily a result of a specific sin, some certainly are. So for starters, this could be referring to that. When He said to sin no more He may have been addressing a specific sin that He and the hearer knew of. It may have been an open sin (that all the hearers would know, like the woman caught in adultery) or it could have been spoken in a way that only that person would know. We don’t know for sure, and honestly that doesn’t matter. We can be sure of this, when the Lord gives instructions, they will be clear to us. 

The statement we know could not possibly mean never sin again. 1 John 1:8 (NASB) tells us, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” However there is also another angle to this. Though we will sin, we ARE to be diligent to try not to sin. This also could be His meaning. Too many people justify sin, claiming that they will sin because it’s inevitable. This is a crazy way of thinking but since I have seen it too many times, it is clearly an issue with humans.

So where should we stand in all this? We should endeavor first not to sin. 1 John 2:1-2 (NASB) says, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” We try not to sin, but if we do we can be sure we have an advocate who covers us. We must realize that Jesus died for us to give us hope. See without Him, if we sin there was no hope of redemption. Now we are freed because if we do sin, it doesn’t completely ruin our path to God. We have hope! It is this very hope that helps us get back on track and not sin in the future. 

In closing, sin is never something we should just be ok with. How we respond to it matters, whether it’s our own or sin we see in someone else. The love of Christ sets us free from the bondage of sin. Romans 6:1-2 (NASB) asks us, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” The principle is that we should endeavor to not live in sin, essentially, to go forward in God not purposing to sin. Christians who endeavor not to live in sin understand the greatness of what Christ has done. Not in their perfection, but as they live out their perfecting.

Be Blessed,

Pastor Jeff