It probably took Noah 75-100 years to build the Ark. Even though God was sorry He made man, Noah found grace in His eyes. Noah preached, but no one turned to God. If any of them came to God, even in the last hour, they would have received God’s grace. Grace is unmerited favor from heaven, something offered to us that we don’t deserve.

Some churches are big on grace and small on sin, while others are big on sin and small are grace. Both views are unbalanced. Churches that teach on sin but not much on grace are where active and passive legalists thrive. Active legalists teach that by being a do-gooder, your works will save you. Passive legalists measure your spiritual sanctification by how well you follow their religious rules.

Both sin and grace must be taught. But where sin abounds, grace much more abounds.

Legalism sets itself up as honorable.

In John 8:1-11, the Pharisees bring a woman to Jesus, saying she was caught in the act of adultery. They state that in the Law of Moses they are commanded to stone her. They were testing Him so they would have grounds to accuse Him. This was a setup to trick Jesus. As is seen in Deuteronomy 22:22-24, both the man and woman engaged in the act of adultery should have been brought to the gate for punishment. But where was the man? And where were the eye-witnesses?

The leaders wanted to press Jesus to give an answer to degrade His meek and mild character. The unsaved leaders put the woman in the middle of everyone to disgrace her. They wanted the attention in this situation, while hiding their own sin.

Jesus is honorable, compassionate, and merciful.

Jesus came to Jerusalem, obeying the Law of Moses to attend the feast. He sat down to teach, as was the custom of rabbis, while those listening stood. He probably gathered the largest crowd to hear Him teach, something the Pharisees disliked.

When they asked Him the question, He replied, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Jesus knew that there were several passages that say the eye-witnesses to the adultery could cast the first stones at the adulterous couple.

With one statement, Jesus took all the attention off of the woman and put it on the conscience of those bringing her to Him. They left, one by one, because no one is without sin. Jesus was now alone with the woman. Jesus shows Himself as the meditator between her and the Father. He commands her to go and not sin anymore.

Application Points

Sin never has power over grace, but grace dominates over sin. Sin is a big deal, but grace in Christ is a bigger deal.

  • When you are without Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you must consider who Jesus is and what He said.
  • God is just and must punish sin. God is merciful and filled with compassion. God is eternally just and eternally merciful at the same time. He did not send Jesus to condemn the world, but to show His compassion. Justice and mercy embrace in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe. All of our sin is covered in Him, and no sin is too large or too dark.
  • Don’t continue to come to church and hear of Jesus without knowing Him. Surrender your life to Christ today.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • Romans 5:20-21 - Grace reigns over sin
  • Genesis 6:5
  • Romans 3:23-25 - All have sinned, but God gives grace
  • Ephesians 2:4
  • Deuteronomy 13:9, 17:7, 22:22-24 - Punishment of adultery
  • Leviticus 24:14 - Eye witnesses of adultery
  • Jeremiah 17:13 - Those who turn away from God
  • Exodus 23:1 - Do not help a wicked man
  • Luke 4:18-19 - Prophecy from Isaiah about Jesus
A Hymn to Encourage: “Grace Greater than Our Sin” by Julia Johnston

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount out-poured–
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Sin and despair, like the sea-waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater– yes, grace untold–
Points to the Refuge, the mighty Cross.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
All who are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?