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"Buy one! Get one free!" Such advertisements make thousands rush into shops. Hardly anyone takes seriously the divine offer: "Salvation free!" Is it because we have not made the simple plan of God's great salvation clear to people? A woman in a village of Samaria was living in adultery. She was enjoying sin like drinking water. But the moment she found out that Jesus was the Christ, and drank the Water of Life given by Him, she could not contain it within herself. She ran to her village and became a Gospel broadcaster. But the villagers were apprehensive of accepting the message because it was "she"—a woman like her—who brought it to them (Jn 4:42). Because her testimony in the society was so bad, they couldn't believe that she was changed. Nevertheless, she was really saved and that was by her simple faith. That's why Jesus told the religious leaders and influential men of His day, "I assure you, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you" (Mt 21:31). Man wants to do something and "earn" salvation so he can boast. But God will never share His glory with anyone. He has said, "I will not give my glory to another" (Isa 48:11). He gives His salvation absolutely free, so all glory, honour and praise may go to Him only! Our responsibility is to accept His offer in simple faith. This faith is emphatically stated in Ephesians 2:8,9, "God saved you by His special favour when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." Believing on Christ is the only way to be saved! Don't get stuck up worrying over the awfulness of your past life. Come to God as you are! The Blood of Jesus will cleanse you from all sin. You will be instantly justified—as if you had never sinned! Salvation is free. Believe and receive it—now! Just as I am— without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee, O! Lamb of God, I come! (Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871, an invalid) (This hymn sung in all Billy Graham Crusades has brought to Christ more sinners than any other in all history!)
Remember the words of Jesus in John 8: 1-11. The Pharisees had brought a woman caught in adultery. (I've always wondered where was the man? He would also have been involved. But that is for another topic.) They wanted to trick Jesus, but of course, He knew that. They wanted to force Jesus to allow them to stone her according to their law, which would have been contrary to Jesus's forgiving and compassionate nature. The other choice would have been to forgive her, which would have given them fodder for their accusations that Jesus couldn't be God's son or He wouldn't encourage people to violate God's commandments. Of course we all know the story. Jesus said, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." And of course, we sinful people cannot throw a stone or any accusations at each other, because we all are sinful. So, after all the accusers had departed, Jesus asked the woman where were her accusers, saying, "Has no one condemned you?" And she answered, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." (Verses 10-11) How did Jesus react to this woman's sin? He forgave her. Notice, she had addressed him as "Lord", accepting and believing that He was the Son of God, putting her faith and trust in Him. And isn't that the key to our own forgiveness, in adultery or any other sin? Believing in Jesus and putting our faith and trust in Him. If we repent from our sin, believe in Jesus, and trust and follow Him, of course He will forgive us of our sin! He saves us from all our sin, breaking the agony and chains of slavery to sin and death! The second part of your question is a bit more complex. Jesus said to the adulteress, after forgiving her of the sin, "...go and sin no more." We do not know from the story if the woman was married, a widow, or never married. But for her to move on in her life to "sin no more", would imply that she is never to enter into another such relationship with another man. Consider how God views marriage: the most sacred and binding covenant that He created for people, which is supposed to be a reflection of our relationship with Him. Once a man and a woman have chosen to join together in a sexual relationship, they have formed an unbreakable and everlasting bond, as was intended by God. Once you have chosen to participate in an adulterous relationship, you have really entered into that covenant of marriage, haven't you? Sexual infidelity demonstrates our unfaithfulness and the breaking of a covenant, not only with the other person in the relationship, but also with God. Paul says in his letter to the church of Corinth in 1 Corinthians 6:18, "Flee sexual immorality...he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?" So, if, as followers of Jesus, we are following God's design and plan for our lives, once we have chosen to have a sexual relationship, we have created an everlasting bond and covenant with that other person. How can we go forward to create a new sexual relationship and the resulting bond with another person? We have broken our covenant to the first person and to God. (I foresee objections to my answer within the context of victims of sexual abuse or crimes, so I will add this: I don't believe this would apply to victims of sexual crimes, sexual abuse, or rape, because the victim certainly did not participate in choosing nor willingly entering into the behavior, and therefore, could not presume to have entered into a bond or covenant.)
Romans 22-26 includes everyone in God's mercy and forgiveness, with words like "we" and "all". That means you and me sister! The reason for God's forgiveness was spoken by my savior Himself when Jesus says God loves the world in John 3:16-17. That's powerful motivation in my life, and with God's help, through the Holy Spirit, I can live a life that pleases God. I try to remember that right relationship to God comes first, then a right relationship with myself, leads to right relationship with others. The order is important and I really rely on the Holy Spirit to guide me there.
Can an adulteress be forgiven and be happy in a future relationship? We have been sprinkled [with his blood] to free us from a guilty conscience, and our... we must continue to come [to him] with a sincere heart and strong faith.... There is victory over the “sting” our conscience had over us. Rom 9:1 I am speaking the truth; I belong to Christ and I do not lie. My conscience, RULED BY the Holy Spirit, also assures me that I am not lying 1Pe 3:21(BBE) And baptism, of which this is an image, now gives you salvation, not by washing clean the flesh, but by making you free from the SENSE OF SIN before God, through the coming again of Jesus Christ from the dead; Heb 10:22 So let us come near to God with a sincere heart AND A SURE FAITH, with hearts that have been purified from a guilty conscience and with bodies washed with clean water. Heb 9:14 Since this is true, how much more is accomplished by the blood of Christ! Through the eternal Spirit he offered himself as a perfect sacrifice to God. HIS BLOOD WILL PURIFY our consciences from useless rituals, so that we may serve the living God. Before Christ the guilty conscience remained. Heb 10:2 If the people worshiping God had really been purified from their sins, they would not feel guilty of sin any more, and all sacrifices would stop. Heb 10:9 Then he said, "Here I am, O God, to do your will." So God does away with all the old sacrifices and puts the SACRIFICE OF CHRIST in their place. Heb 10:10 Because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do, we are all purified from sin by the offering that he made of HIS OWN BODY ONCE AND FOR ALL.(conscience) Heb 10:22 So let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with hearts that have been purified from a guilty conscience and with bodies washed with clean water.
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