Is it possible not to sin anymore?
Jesus commands in John 8:11 a woman caught in adultery “Go and sin no more.” Would He say this if it was impossible to stop sinning?
Many different explanations have been given, differing in varying degrees of stupidity. Some people say that Jesus said these words, like parents tell a child who bites his nails to stop biting them, hoping that the child will stop doing it, but without really expecting it to happen. Others believe it was sarcasm on the part of Jesus. He asked this woman to go and sin no more in order to expose the Pharisees. It seems that everyone has an explanation for these words, one more original and more implausible than the other. However, almost no one would dare to look at these words differently: What if Jesus really meant what He said?
What does it mean to sin no more?
What if “go and sin no more” was a command to stop living in sin? Is it impossible? What did Jesus mean? John writes that we deceive ourselves if we say we have no sin. (1 John 1: 8).
James 1: 14-15 describes this sin that lives in each of us. “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
There is sin in each of us. After all, it is our own lusts that attract and deceive us. This is what John meant when he wrote that we have sin. However, this does not mean at all that we should give in to these temptations. Only after lust is able to conceive sin can we say that we have committed sin. In other words, it means that it is only when I accept these thoughts and temptations that arise in me that I commit sin.
When Jesus says, “Go and sin no more,” He did not expect that this woman would get rid of her sinful flesh and would never again be tempted. He wanted her to say “no” to the sin living in her, so that at the moment of temptation she would not give the lust to conceive sin.
Isn’t that the same command that He gave to all of us?
The power of the cross.
Doesn’t Jesus Himself say: “If anyone would come after me, let himdeny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) What did He mean here if not that we should reject the thoughts and desires that tempt and deceive us? That we must take up our cross and put these thoughts to death before they lead to sin? In this way, we can follow Jesus’ example — endure temptations, but not sin in them. (Heb. 4:15)
Taking up your cross is the key to this life. If we take up our cross upon ourselves and do not allow lusts to turn into sin, then we will follow Jesus as He commanded us. Then we keep the commandment given to us – “go and sin no more.”
“For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Rom. 8:13
“So put your members to death: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil lust, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Ear. 3: 5.
“But those who are Christ’s crucified the flesh with passions and lusts.” Gal. 5:24.
From what has been written above, it becomes clear that in order to belong to Christ, we must fulfill what has been written. “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15.
Is it possible?
When we begin to try to live in victory over sin, we quickly find that it is easier to talk about it than to do it. Despite our good intentions, we fall, over and over again.
“I say, walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh.” Gal. 5:16. The key to success is walking in the spirit. Walking in the Spirit means being obedient to the Spirit. If we do that, it’s very clearly written what will happen then. Then we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. And if we do not fulfill the desires of the flesh, that is, we do not give in to the temptation to sin, this means that we have not sinned!
There are a thousand reasons why we cannot go and sin no more. One might think that Jesus was referring to this particular woman, and this concerned a specific sin – fornication. You can also say that He only wanted to teach the Pharisees a lesson and did not mean literally what He said. And you can also imagine that this is just an exhortation that we make all our efforts to live as best as possible, until something happens that cannot be avoided – a fall, and we fall again.
However, the truth is that Jesus did not say any of the above.
He said: “Do not sin in the future.” I am personally sure that Jesus meant exactly what He said. Imagine for a moment that Jesus knew about all the things that were about to happen. Imagine that He knew that His words would be written down and then, after 2000 years, they would be proclaimed among the believers.
Imagine that He said these words, “Go and sin no more,” because He wanted us to stop sinning. Stop sinning. He spoke not only to this woman in her situation, but He spoke to all of us. To all who believe in Him.
The Bible does not need to be divided into parts for later explanation, interpretation, and study. We just have to read what is written in it and execute. What does it say? The Bible is the Word of God, written by God-fearing people, inspired by God. There is nothing superfluous in it. God knew what He was doing. I trust Him.