Jesus introduced something entirely new to the world. He fulfilled the Old Covenant based on law and introduced a New Covenant based on Grace. He retired the laws and rules of the Old Testament with the singular rule of the New: Love. He set people free from the enslaving power of sin and empowered us to walk according to the Spirit. Jesus changed everything, including the way we see people and sin.
The author of Hebrews wrote: “By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.” Is that different from how you’ve approached the Old Testament up to this point? If so, how does it impact you?
Jesus introduced the idea that we should be characterized by both grace and truth. Historically Jesus followers have erred on the side of one (truth) to the detriment of the other (grace). Which side do you typically find yourself on? Are there people in your life that you respond to with more grace or truth than you would if it were someone else? Why do you think that is?
Throughout most of Church history we have tried to “out-truth” our Christian neighbors. What would trying to out-grace our Christian neighbors look like today?
In the example of the woman caught in adultery, what did Jesus accomplish with the grace he showed her? Can you think of any similar cases to hers today, any similar taboos that might be broken? What could we accomplish if we showed those people similar grace?
It’s easy to feel good about the way Jesus showed the woman caught in adultery grace. Is it always easy to show grace to others? Are there any cases where we might be called to show grace that are hard or that might make us feel conflicted?
Jesus hated sin because of what it did to the people He loved. What are some “sins” that get to you, annoy or anger you, more than others? Why do you think those particular sins bother you?
We live in a world full of people thirsty for grace. What if the church convinced every person, “I care more about you than I do your sin. You are more important to me than your sin.” This week convince the people around you and across from you that you are for them.