9) Why is the sentence, “Go and sin no more,” not apart of our thoughts/words?
That was one of the thoughts from Monday’s post. As I wrote it then I knew I’d want to do a follow-up on it for more than one reason.
First, because it’s a massive statement to be thought let alone said.
Second, because of recent issues involving church discipline.
While in some instance the passage this quote is taken from is considered an extra-biblical text (for more info: here). The theme of the story, and the story itself does not deviate from or give a different picture of Jesus in any way whatsoever. So it’s safe to assume this story actually happened, just not in the chronological order assumed in John.
But that’s beside the point, the point is, “Go and sin no more,” a sinner being forgiven.
“What? How could Jesus say this to someone even though he knew they’d sin again.”
First, why would Jesus say, “Go and sin as little as possible”? Does that make since? Nu-huh.
Second, Jesus is a sinner’s forgiveness. It’s the point of his coming, to take all (by all I mean all) of the sins of sinners and pay for them. Leaving the sinner as though they’d never sinned. (Which doesn’t allow for ‘living-like-hell’ syndrome, but for gratitude.)
“… As the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. (Col 3:13)” This ought to hit hard.
We forgive and call for ourselves and others to, “Go and sin no more,” because it is precisely what Jesus did to and for us.
So in terms of church discipline this means we forgive. The bit about forgiving 70 times 7 (maaaath/ Matt 18:21-23) isn’t just for some and not for others, it’s for all, when we are sinned against we forgive.
As it comes to repentance I want to know someone is truly repentant, but will I? No. I won’t truly know if someone is truly repentant, the same way I won’t truly know someone is a believer. It’s not in my hands or capability to know. Sure it’s possible to have a reasonable assumption, but in the end it’s just an educated guess (like true false on a test).
The point is this: go and sin no more trusting Jesus to be the final authority on their repentance and their forgiveness, the same way you trust him to be yours.