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Sovereign Grace Church - Sin No More - by Joseph D. Murphy

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Oct 15, 2017
Passage: John 5:14 & Jeremiah 31:34

Sin No More

…Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, 
lest a worse thing come unto thee

(JOHN 5:14)

The expression “sin no more” is found three times in the Word of God. We find it first recorded for us in the Old Testament, where our God declares of His beloved people that He will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more (JEREMIAH 31:34). Beloved, I trust that as you look to Christ, you see in Him the fulfillment of that promise. Believing sinner, our Heavenly Father has forgiven your iniquity (all the iniquity of your self-righteous pretense) and has granted you repentance to trust in the perfect righteousness of His Son. Further, through the precious blood of His Son we have received the atonement, a full reconciliation to God our Father by His sin atoning blood, through which we are made to be not-guilty, innocent, and without guile in His sight [Read JOHN 1:47].

The second time we encounter the expression “sin no more”, we find it in the account of a man which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. It is worth noting that this infirmity left the man powerless, which is emblematic of the people the Lord saves. Beloved, just as this man was powerless to do anything to be made whole, we too are powerless to save ourselves. Indeed, we remain ever powerless to save ourselves and must ever look to the Lord Jesus Christ to save us. After the Lord made this sick man well, our Lord said to him “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (JOHN 5:14). When he heard those gracious words “thou are made whole” he, better than anyone else, save the Lord himself, knew what sin led him to suffer this infirmity for thirty eight years. Now this man would live a life following after the Lord, not to gain the LORD’s favor and grace, because he already had it! Beloved, the favor and grace of God teaches us to deny sin, not to live in it. Though it cannot be thought that we should be without sin, as one brother put it, ‘all we have to do is wake up in the morning and we sin’; yet it is not the mark of a believer to live in sin or go on in it, as we once did before we were made to know Him [EPHESIANS 2:1-5].

The third time we encounter the expression “sin nor more”, we find it in the account of the woman caught in the very act of adultery. In this account we find a guilty sinner, like you and like me. Perhaps you object to being grouped together with an adulterer. Remember our Lord declares, whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery (MATTHEW 5:28). Now observe, our Lord did not say it would be as if we had committed adultery, rather He declares whosoever looketh to lust hath committed adultery already in his heart. You and I are just as guilty as that adulterous woman, in fact she is very emblematic of the bride of Christ, the Church. Just as the Lord says to this woman caught in the very act of adultery, “Neither do I condemn thee,” so too we hear in the gospel, our Lord declaring the same to His once spotted bride, the Church, “Neither do I condemn thee.” Beloved, by His righteousness we have been made holy and by His blood we have been purged of all our sins. We are before Him in love, in peace, without spot, and blameless. Though we can speculate, by our Lord’s words “go, and sin no more” this woman caught in the very act of adultery would have understood him to mean, ‘woman stop having sex outside of marriage,’ that of course is my speculation and my speculation, or for that matter any man’s speculation, will never help us. Indeed it will only serve to hinder and not help our understanding of the Scriptures. Our Lord declares to everyone of His beloved people, “Neither do I condemn thee, go, and sin no more.” What does this mean? Beloved, in Christ, we are saved to the uttermost! Indeed “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” Because we are saved, because we have been set free from the Law and it’s condemnation; in Christ we sin no more (1 JOHN 5:18). Yes, most certain it is, the adulterous woman ceased her adultery. Why was that? Was it because of the Law? No, the only thing the Law did for her was condemn her. She ceased her adultery, she ceased living in sin, first and foremost because the Lord set her free from the curse of the Law, and further because she loved Him, indeed our love and gratitude for Christ, constrains us to not live in sin anymore. AMEN! [2 CORINTHIANS 5:14]

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