Key Verse: “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:11
Genuine Repentance involves more than simply saying sorry for our actions towards God and others. The fruit of repentance is that we have a desire to put right our actions. Now, it must be said that there are some wrongs that cannot be put right, for example in the case of murder, there is no action we can take to bring the person back to life. There are other problems which are really complex in nature, take the husband who walked out on his wife and kids, leaving them to fend for themselves twenty years ago. These sort of situations cannot by nature be fixed in an instant, but that is not an excuse to take no action at all. We should be sensitive to the Holy Spirit prompting and Scripture teaching and act accordingly.
The fruit of action from repentance is clearly seen in the life of Zacchaeus. After encountering Jesus, we read in Luke 19:8, “But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Zacchaeus repented of his sins and made restitution for his wrong actions in accordance with Scripture (see Exodus 22:1 and Leviticus 6:5). True repentance means that we change our mind, turn away from sin and act in obedience. Zacchaeus demonstrated his fruit repentance by committing to put things right in front of Jesus and the crowd.
There were two instances in the New Testament when Jesus told someone to “sin no more,” and they were each under very different circumstances. The first is when Jesus healed the man by the Pool of Bethesda and the second was woman taken in the act of adultery. When Jesus says, “Go and sin no more,” He is not speaking of sinless perfection, he knows that we are going to mess up again. He is warning us against a return to sinful lifestyle choices. Jesus words are both extended mercy and a demand holiness.
When we repent and receive His forgiveness, we experience a change of heart. When the women met Jesus., she didn’t become perfect, but she was changed forever. Grace changes everything! Romans 6:1-2 remind us, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”