Starting Over

Starting Over

By Phil Robertson

            They were ambitious, antagonistic and angry. They probably didn't want it to come to this but they felt like they had no choice. For years they had been revered and praised by the people for their wisdom and insight into God's word. They were the Pharisees and the scribes. They had dedicated their lives to defending the word of God. But now people didn't seem to care and their popularity was waning.

            Like caged animals hoping for a crack in the gate, they leaped onto a desperate pitiful soul in hopes of reclaiming their prominence. She was indeed a pitiful creature who possibly had a reputation of giving in to sexual desires. However, on this day, she was more than just a tramp, she was bait. They needed her to help them catch the greatly admired Jesus in a moral and doctrinal trap.

            “Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst (of the crowd), they said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do you say?’” (John 8:3-5).  

            This woman was just a pawn in a despicable scheme. If Jesus said “stone her,” the people would have questioned His compassion and mercy, because many of His followers were the poor and the “sinners.” But, if He didn't follow through with the stoning, His authority as a teacher of the Law would be questioned. 

            Jesus chose not to say anything at first. He just scribbled in the sand with His finger. After a continuous barrage of questions from the accusers, He finally said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone.”

            It was of course a brilliant reply. Beginning with the oldest to the youngest, all the angry scribes and Pharisees dropped their rocks and walked away.

            Many have tried to use this story to prove Jesus offers grace and forgiveness regardless of the Law. That just isn't true. Eager to trap Jesus, the religious leaders failed to fulfill the requirements of the Law to justify an execution. The Law required two to three witnesses (Deut. 19:15, 17:6), and that both adulterers, the woman and the man, be stoned (Deut. 22:22).

            After all the accusers were gone, Jesus finally turned His attention to the woman who was probably standing in a puddle of tears. Knowing she had slipped by on a technicality, Jesus told her, “Go and sin no more.” He never questioned her guilt, and neither did she.

            Just a few moments earlier, she was on death row. Now, she is not only alive, she has been forgiven. Isn't that amazing? 

            “Starting over” is a wonderful concept. Jesus calls it grace. And all of us must have it if we're going to escape our own judgment (Eph. 2:8-10). But grace doesn't excuse sin. Jesus charged this woman to change her thoughts, motives, actions, and goals. Understanding how close she came to being executed, don't you think she did?

            Jesus knows all about us just like He knew those religious leaders and this woman (Heb. 4:13). May we all accept Jesus' gracious acquittal (Mark 16:15-16).

By Faith, We Know...

The best kind of exercise is godliness. (1Tim. 4:7-8)

The sharpest of all swords is the word of God. (Heb. 4:12)

The greatest of all paths is pursued by faith and not by sight. (2Cor. 5:7)

The richest of all treasures is available even to the poorest of men. (James 2:5; 2Cor. 4:7; Rom. 1:16-17; Eph. 3:8)

To be rich in good works is far more important than to be rich in this world’s goods. (1Tim. 6:17-18)

The most beautiful apparel is the apparel that adorns the inward being, the heart. (1Peter 3:3-4)

The most effective manner of revenge is kindness, which can only be administered in the proper spirit. (Prov. 25:21-22; Rom. 12:17-21)

The most secure of all banks is in heaven, and making deposits there is more important than making deposits in an earthly one. (Matt. 6:19-21)

The greatest and truest peace must be had while fighting the good fight of the faith.” (1Tim. 6:12; Eph. 6:10-12; Phil. 4:7)

Those who enjoy the sinful pleasures of this world shall miss the joys of heaven. (Luke 8:14; 1Tim. 5:6)

The greatest multitude of people ever to assemble shall be gathered in the shortest span of time for the most important reason, and you and I will be there. (Matt. 25:31-46)

(Bill Crews, The West Main ANCHOR)

A Moments Wisdom

--Look ahead and prepare; don’t look back and regret.

--A hypocrite never intends to be what he pretends to be.

--We need less publicity on how to stay young and more on how to grow up.

--If God gave you as much time this week as you gave him last week, how long would you survive?

--When all is said and done, more is usually said than done.

--What will we tell our children we did without?

--It is easy to raise doubts about duties we don’t want to perform.

--It’s too bad so many people are thoughtless instead of speechless.

--Enjoy the little things. One day you may realize they really were the big things.

--Don’t cut what you can untie.

--The robe of flesh wears thin, and with the years God shines through all things.

--Have courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake. (Victor Hugo)

Test Your Bible Knowledge of the Flood

1. Why did God purpose to destroy the world? __________

2. Why did God choose Noah to build and be saved by it? __________

3. How long did it take for Noah to build the ark? __________

4. How long did it rain? __________

5. What was the first thing Noah did after exiting the ark? __________

6. What was the symbol of the covenant God made after the flood? __________

Upcoming Sermons

7/12/20 AM - Just Like Jesus; PM - God Will “Take Care” of the Wicked

7/19/20 AM - What to Do When God Says “No”; PM - How Can a Loving God Allow Evil to Exist?

7/26/20 AM - Why Do We Love the Lost?; PM - Living with Gomer

  1. Wed PM Bible Study
    8/12/20 07:30pm
  2. Sun AM Bible Study
    8/16/20 09:30am
  3. Sun AM Worship
    8/16/20 10:30am
  4. Sun PM Worship
    8/16/20 05:00pm
  5. Wed PM Bible Study
    8/19/20 07:30pm
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