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Casting the First Stone

Caleb Breakey - Friday, May 16, 2014

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If your church doesn’t desire God’s presence or want to radiate his glory, leave. If your church doesn’t care about the greatest commandments of love and the great commission to reach others, leave. If your church cares more about the building than the people, leave.

But before you do, read John 8:2-11:

Early in the morning [Jesus] came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is with- out sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.

The church is guilty. She’s gotten in bed with the world. Turned her back on Christ, her husband. We’re justified in excommunicating her.

We’re justified in wanting better for Jesus. Right?

Thing is, according to Scripture, Jesus shows us that no, we’re not. As much as we want to stone the ungodliness in the church, Jesus simply signals us to calm down.

“Wouldn’t it be better to get rid of the filth, Jesus?” we question him as he bends to write in the sand. “We can do it right here, right now.” Then Jesus stands and says, “If any one of you is without sin...throw a stone at her.”

As we try to process his words, wanting so badly to just throw the rock, we hear Jesus

whisper to her: “Has no one condemned you?”

“No one,” she responds.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus says. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” 

Few of us are speaking truth in love to the #Church because it’s hard. This needs to change.
This passage shows us that:

• We are not to condemn someone, no matter how messed up.

• We are to speak truth in love to unlovely people, no matter how difficult the circumstances.

Today, few of us are speaking truth in love to her because it’s hard. This needs to change.

This is why we need invest in the body of Christ instead of consume.

From the song of solomon to the book of Revelation, the truth of scripture is that Jesus loves his bride the church. There’s just no getting around it and we ought to stop trying.Stephen Mansfield

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