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A Picture of Real Freedom

All doctrine, everything the Scripture teaches us, has it’s ultimate expression in the life of Jesus.

We see a very familiar story in John 8:3–11. The Scribes and the Pharisees bring a woman caught in adultery to Jesus and they ask him what they should do with her.

As we read this, we have to remember that condemnation is a spiritual force. We see it very much at work in the lives of these religious people—the Scribes and Pharisees. They are uptight, self-righteous and mean-spirited. They are using this woman (and her sin) to test Jesus and to completely drive guilt and condemnation deeply into her heart at the same time.

They bring this woman, who is caught in the act, to Jesus with an accusatory spirit. Scripture tells us that Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger. He acts as if he didn’t hear them. He’s not going to listen to their mean spirits and self-righteous condemnation.

What about the woman? Before they bring her to Jesus, she is sinful. She has broken God’s law. She’s guilty. She should be stoned according to the Law. That’s is her condition before they bring her to Jesus.

What does Jesus do? How does He forever change this woman? This is important to see because he does the same for you and me.

First, He silences the accusing voices of condemnation and causes them to depart. Scripture says, “They left one by one.” It’s a vivid picture of what happens in the spirit realm when sin is brought to Jesus. He silences the Accuser (Satan).

Second, Jesus declares this woman (and you and me) free from condemnation. He saves her by saying, “Neither do I condemn you.” It’s exactly what He said in John 3:17. He didn’t come to condemn, but to save.

Third, Jesus sends the woman on her way in freedom from sin and condemnation. He says, “Go and sin no more.” Jesus isn’t making light of her sin. He holds her accountable. He calls it what it is, and at the same time He sets her free from it.

Jesus gives us the power of a “set-free” life. This is Jesus saying, “Because I have set you free, you can be free indeed from living a life of habitual sin. It doesn’t need to happen anymore.” He says, “Go and sin no more.”

When you sin, the safest place you can be is with Jesus. His presence frees us from condemnation and guilt. The best and safest place you can be when you’ve sinned is alone with Jesus.

You don’t need to feel condemned? What can you do today to get with Jesus and experience the “set-free” life He can give you?


One response to “A Picture of Real Freedom”

  1. This is one of the most powerful stories in scripture. I often have to tap it for myself — to release self-condemnation — and when I find myself with a rock ready to throw at someone else. As always, power from your pages, Pastor! We need this refreshing every day.

    Thanks to for reminding of the fact that Jesus did hold the woman accountable. He wasn’t one for showboating. Always the teacher and always connecting us to the eternal weight of our actions. This story makes me fall even more madly in love with Him every time I hear it!!!