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12 Days of Meditation - Day 5: “Sin No More"

January 5, 2024, 12:00 AM



“Sin No More”

Read: John 5:9-10, 8:10-11

By: Brittany H. Kincaid (Rhema Scholar/YFH Alumna)


You may have heard the saying, “Only God can judge me.” You may have said this to yourself after making a poor decision. Often, we say these sayings to soothe feelings of guilt associated with sin. We may use such phrases as a defense against condemnation or shame. In efforts to escape the judgment of ourselves or others, we miss the intention and purpose of judgment.


The purpose of God’s judgment is to return us to a place of righteousness. It is not the Lord’s intention to senselessly punish or embarrass us. Judgment is not meant to evoke feelings of shame, but to bring a sense of conviction so that we will change our behavior. Judgment recognizes sin as sin. It also clearly articulates the consequences of sin. When judgment is done correctly, it results in changed behavior.


Since we are not forced to make any decision, it is up to us to respond accordingly when we receive judgment or correction. A person must be receptive to the correction. When we know that we have done wrong, after we have acknowledged our wrongdoing, we must be able to hear those who are giving us righteous judgment. When we are operating from a space of denial it is hard to accept judgment. When we cannot accept judgment, we also cannot change our behavior.


In the passages for today, Jesus’s judgment promotes changed behavior and instruction to pursue righteousness. In these passages the behavior change, and pursuit of righteousness are in the same instruction. This instruction is to sin no more. To sin no more, both parties must change their current behavior. They must intentionally choose to stop sinning.


Before Jesus gives the instruction to stop sinning, in both examples we see man giving judgment. The judgment of man does not give instruction that will bring either transgressor to a place of righteousness. In both circumstances, the accusers are seeking punishment rather than restoration. There is no mention of what behavior the transgressors should be engaging in. The focus is only on what they have done wrong. Restoration is seemingly not even considered.


In the case of the man at the pool at Bethesda, the Jews are only concerned that he has picked up his bed on the Sabbath. They could care less about his healing. They are concerned that he broke the law and want him to be punished. As for the woman caught in adultery, her accusers are seeking to punish her as well.


When the accused parties are with Jesus alone, they receive righteous judgment. Jesus acknowledged that they had sinned. He does not excuse their sin or encourage it. However, he also does not seek the maximum punishment. To help them to avoid punishment, He commands them to sin no more. In John 5:14 Jesus says...lest a worse thing come unto thee. Jesus is warning the man that if he continues down the path he is on, his situation can worsen.


Jesus does not seek to accuse us and condemn us. However, it is His goal for us to live a life of righteousness. We must not become comfortable with living a life of habitual sin. To be guided to restoration, we must spend time with God, even when we have done something wrong. We must be able to receive righteous judgment. Lastly, we must obey the instruction to sin no more.