Salutations. I’m reading through most of the New Testament, chapter by chapter, and logging some of my thoughts here in my journal. I continue this study, looking at the message of Salvation and John the Baptist’s Testamony.
Chapter 8 kicks off with the story of Jesus being questioned over the adulteress. Much has been written about this exchange in the past, yet rarely do I see much written about his final line to her, “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Verse 12 starts off with Jesus stating to people elsewhere, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
So, we do find forgiveness in Christ. However, we also get two other things from this. First, Jesus commands us to go and sin no more. Secondly, he makes it clear that those who walk with Him will not walk in darkness. The Bible later says we shall know them by their fruits. That makes it pretty clear that if a ‘Christian’ is living a life of sin, he may not be walking in the light. I do not suggest that we earn our salvation, but it would seem that those who are saved and following hard after Jesus should not be trapped in sin, either.
Verse 23 reiterates the fact that we must believe in Jesus, and if we do not, we ‘die in our sins.’ Again, Jesus tells us that before we die, we must have our faith in Him. This seems like a basic fact, but in an age teaching universalism, it needs to be said. I have a Bible teacher or two whom I respect that seem to support the idea of universalism in one way, shape or form.
Verse 34 ““Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” Many people do not realize just how sin turns you into its slave. As someone who has wrestled with many sins in the past, I can tell you that it binds you like chains. Thankfully, Jesus has the power to set us free. Verses 42-47: Jesus argues with priests about himself. He makes a point that if they loved God, they would love him. They would recognize His Words as truth.
At the end of the discussion, Jesus says, Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” (8:58) Here, Jesus uses the same name God used multiple times in the Old Testament. I had a friend once tell me that Jesus never referred to himself as God (just “Son of God”, somehow supporting the notion of polytheism, or multiple gods). Yet, the wording here clearly identifies Jesus as God…and it angers the Jews into trying to stone him.