February 29, 2024

By Virginia Brandt Berg

Audio length: 10:24
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Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you, keep you, and cause His face to shine upon you today.

The following is a poem by Elsie Ployer. Her poems have encouraged so many. It is entitled “Go and Sin No More.”

A woman was brought to the Savior,
Accused by some arrogant men
Of breaking a solemn commandment,
The seventh command of the Ten.

“Now Moses decreed death by stoning
For such as this woman,” said they.
“But what sayest Thou?” they inquired.
The Savior turned gently away.

They hoped to accuse Jesus also
Of breaking the Mosaic Law,
His reticence and composure
Perplexed them and filled them with awe.

The woman, embarrassed and trembling,
Remorse and regret in her heart,
Seemed desolate, utterly hopeless,
Their world and her world far apart.

Tradition says Jesus was writing
With one finger of His firm hand,
And that as they continued to censure
He traced all their words in the sand.

Yes, only in sand was it written
Where the wind could blow it away:
Thus every known sin may be banished,
Forsaken, forgiven for aye!

The scribes and the Pharisees waited
To hear Jesus’ answer, and then
Would God bestow foresight and wisdom?
He answered those self-righteous men.

He said, “Let the sinless among you
Be the ones to cast the first stone.”
The elders withdrew, others followed,
Until He and she were alone.

Not one of the men had condemned her,
Her gratitude rushed to the fore.
With His “Neither do I condemn thee,”
Then He told her to “Go sin no more.”

If she’d lifted her drooping eyelids,
One glance at Him must have sufficed
For her to behold God’s great glory
In the face of Jesus the Christ!

How sweetly this one has written of this very scripture that we love so much in God’s Word because it speaks of the love and forgiveness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

John chapter eight tells:

Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives, and early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down and taught them.

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery, and when they had set her in the midst they say unto him, “Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded that such should be stoned, but what sayest thou?”

This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger he wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking, he lifted up himself and said unto them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

And again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even to the last.

And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, “Woman, where are thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?” And she said, “No man, Lord.” And Jesus said unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee. Go, and sin no more” (John 8:1–11).

And I just want to say to you, if Jesus will do that for that woman with such a sin and under such condemnation, why, He’ll surely forgive you! There’s room at the cross for you!

In the year 1517 there was a great riot in London in which many houses were sacked.1 Insurrection reigned; guns from the Tower of London were thundering against the insurgents, and armed bands were assailing them on every side. Three hundred men were arrested, tried, and hanged, and five hundred more were thrown into prison and were finally put on trial before King Henry VIII.

The prisoners were tried in Westminster Hall, and on the appointed day the five hundred men marched in under escort, and every man had a rope around his neck. Before the king passed sentence of death, three queens entered the hall by a side door. They were Catherine of Aragon, the wife of the king, Margaret of Scotland, the sister of the king, and Mary of France.

They approached the throne, and prostrating themselves before the king, they reminded him that every man was pleading guilty because he wore a rope around his neck. The king was greatly moved, and the tears and intercessions of the three queens prevailed. Every one of the trembling men was forgiven and released.

In what way did those men plead their guilt? Each man, according to the custom of those days, wore a rope around his neck, and that rope had a voice which said, “I am guilty of the offense with which I am charged. I deserve death. Here is the rope with which to hang me.”

Even so, the way to win God’s forgiveness and favor is to come into His presence wearing the rope of confession. You remember the story of the publican who came with his “rope,” and he cried, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” And he went down to his house justified. (See Luke 18:13–14.)

There isn’t any forgiveness without confession, but there is instant forgiveness when we do confess, for forgiveness is offered on God’s terms, and these are His terms. We must remember there is no pardon except on the ground of atonement, Christ’s atonement.

2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us in the words of Paul, “For he hath made him (that is, Jesus Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” The sinless, spotless Son of God became sin in order that He might bear the consequences of our sin. The sinless one became the sin-bearer, for you and for me.

Jesus satisfied every demand of the law, and we have uncontested proof that our debt of sin is paid! Paul also says, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, and by him all that believe are justified from all things” (Acts 13:38–39).

There was no other good enough
To pay the price of sin.
He only could unlock the gate
Of heaven and let us in.2

There’s power in the blood of Jesus to cleanse you from that sin, but there’s no power anywhere else. Sin must be confessed to the Lord before He can forgive. Until that is done, there will be no rest for sins against a loving, personal God.

Proverbs 28:13 says: “He that covereth his sin shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh it shall have mercy.” And David said, “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day” (Psalm 32:3). That is, when he hid his sin, refused to confess it to God, tried to put a brave face on it and not own up to it, then God’s hand was heavy upon him. For unconfessed sin is just like poison drying up your life! Then David said, “My moisture turned into the drought of summer” (Psalm 32:4).

How beautiful, though, when we confess our sins and get right with God, and come up to Him in humility, like Psalm 32:5 says, “I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgivest the iniquity of my sin.”

My friend, come to Him, and know how willing He is to receive you. Confess your sin, and He will say, “Go and sin no more; neither do I condemn thee.”

There’s room at the cross for you. Amen.

From a transcript of a Meditation Moments broadcast, adapted. Published on Anchor February 2024. Read by Debra Lee.

1 Evil May Day or Ill May Day is the name of a riot which took place in 1517 as a protest against foreigners living in London.—Wikipedia

2 From “There Is a Green Hill Far Away,” by Cecil Frances Alexander (1848).

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