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The Scriptorium

Sin No More

Grace entails obligations.

The Gospel of John: John 5.1-15

Read and meditate on John 5.14, 15.

Jesus is not finished with this man just yet. He seeks him out in the temple to add a little perspective to what has happened to him. And to make sure the Jews know that He’s the trouble-maker they’re looking for.

                                    14But later on that day
He found him in the temple, and He said
to him, “See, you are well. And now, instead
of sinning, sin no more, lest something worse
befall you.” 15Then the man went to report
that it was Jesus Who had healed him.

- John 5.14, 15

1.  Apparently, it wasn’t enough for Jesus that He had healed this man. What is implied in the verb, found, in verse 14. Why did He do this? Should we be seeking even those who already know the grace of Jesus? Explain. Complete the following brief prayer: Lord, seek me every day like You sought this man, so that…

2.  Jesus connected this man’s healing with sin, but not necessarily as a cause-and-effect (cf. Jn. 9.1-4). Sin was the condition from which healing delivered this man, like the sinful condition in which the creation groans and travails (Rom. 8.20, 21). But His remarks imply responsibility on the part of the man for the degree to which that condition will control him in the days to come. Explain. Thank You for delivering me from the consequences and condition of sin. Today, help me to know deliverance from…

3.  What general conclusion about grace and works can you draw from Jesus remarks to this man? Is our salvation completely unrelated to works? Explain. Help me to want to sin nor more, Lord, but to…

4.  The man goes straight to the Jews to tell them that Jesus was the One Who had healed him. What shall we make of this? Was this man being ungrateful? Or was he simply trying to do his duty? Or something else? Do you think Jesus, seeing this, thought He must have made a mistake in talking with this man again? Explain. Lord, You do all things well. You are wise and loving and courageous, and I want to be…

5.  We’re not saved by works, but we’re not saved without them. How does this story illustrate this truth? Bring together into one prayer the prayers you composed from questions 1-4.

“Yesterday you were flung upon a bed, exhausted and paralyzed, and you had no one to put you into the pool when the water should be troubled. Today you have him who is in one person man and God, or rather God and man. You were raised up from your bed, or rather you took up your bed and publicly acknowledged the benefit. Do not again be thrown on your bed by sinning.… But as you now are, so walk, mindful of the command.… Sin no more lest a worse thing happen to you if you prove yourself to be evil after the blessing you have received.” Gregory of Nazianzus (329-389 AD)

We must not despise the freedom that Christ has provided for us in the Gospel. We must work out our salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2.12) and look to the Lord that we may “sin no more.” But we will, of course, and what should we do then (1 Jn. 1.8-2.6)?

Closing Prayer
My praise shall be of You in the great assembly;
I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the LORD.
Let your heart live forever!
All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
For the kingdom is the LORD’s,
And He rules over the nations.

Psalm 22.25-28

Psalm 22.26-28 (Darwall: Rejoice, the Lord is King)
The suff’ring King shall eat and praise with us the Lord.
Forever we His praise repeat and trust His Word.
Praise God above, all you who keep His vows and who His mercies love!

All nations shall repent and hasten to the Lord;
All those to whom His truth is sent shall praise His Word.
The Lord is King! His sovereign rule on high now we His people sing!

T. M. Moore

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, can show you how Jesus is central to all aspects of life in the world – and beyond! Our course is free, and you can study at your own pace, watching videos and using the free materials provided.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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