Continue in the Word

Become a Disciple Indeed – Part 1

John 8:12-32

August 22, 2021

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.     Introduction (John 8:10-11)


A.   John 8:10,11  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

B.   Jesus has just freed an adulteress from her condemnation to death for her sin


1.    The whole event was staged to try and to trap Jesus so that He said something that the crowds of people would turn away from Him (John 8:6)  This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

2.    There was nothing genuine or moral in their question - the married man was nowhere to be found. He had been conveniently used, to trap this woman, to try and trap Jesus

3.    But the fact still remained, this woman was Undeniably Guilty - Caught in the act with a married man – and guilty of a capital offense under

4.    The truth is, Adultery was quite common place, even amongst the Pharisees

5.    And no one cared any more about right and wrong – only cared about destroying Jesus


C.   Within the space of 5 minutes, Jesus does the impossible…


1.    He removes all her accusers. Exposes ALL of them as adulterers themselves and unqualified to judge her

2.    He refuses to condemn her Himself

3.    Instead, He pardons her, and says she is free to go. She has a new life

4.    And He encourages her to not sin any more as an adulteress


a.     Evidently she could live absolutely free of that life and that bondage!

b.    She was free of the penalty for her sin

c.     Someone so lost, and so sinful was allowed to go free

d.    This is not a once off event… The same thing will happen when Barabbas the murderer is set free, and Jesus takes his place on his cross!


D.   It All Occurred that day because of Jesus!


1.    NOT because this woman was able to stop sinning

2.    Or because of her great faith in God

3.    It was simply because she and Jesus crossed paths that one day, and Jesus extended mercy to her, as He headed to the cross to take her place in punishment for her and the whole world’s sin!

4.    John 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

5.    1Peter 3:18  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.


E.   For the remainder of this chapter, Jesus extends an invitation to everyone who had just watched and saw that woman go free, to follow Him, and to keep following Him. Why? To become free indeed themselves (John 8:31,32)


1.    John 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

2.    John 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free [AS WELL]


II.   Message


A.   The Invitation (8:12-24)


1.    If You Will Follow Me… (8:12)


a.     John 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

b.    That’s where we have to start! FOLLOWING Jesus


1)    Not just watching Him and hearing all about Him

2)    But actively FOLLOWING Him / pursuing Him / seeking to be LIKE Him


c.     If you will follow me, Jesus promises…


1)    You won’t walk in darkness anymore – in ignorance and danger

2)    Because I am the Light of Life

3)    Living in darkness shortens life, makes us more depressed, health problems


d.    I am the only light and hope for this dark world – and a dark world it is!

e.     What a statement!


1)    John the Baptist said the same thing about Jesus – Jesus is the Light for all men

2)    John 1:3-5  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.


f.     Jesus had not come to judge the world (yet). That is what they wanted Jesus to say


1)    Instead, Jesus speaks of forgiveness and saving this sinful world!

2)    Religion and religious leaders have never really helped

3)    But Jesus can help – He can save even the lowest of sinners and make them free

4)    If they will just start following Him!


a)    Everyone wants a pill to fix things, or a prayer, but the problem is simple

b)    People don’t want to follow Jesus!


2.    I Speak My Father’s Truth (8:13-18)


a.     The Pharisees accuse Jesus of promoting Himself


1)    John 8:13  The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.

2)    You only are promoting yourself Jesus. That proves you are not speaking truth


b.    John 8:14  Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.

c.     I know I am confusing to you. How can I be the Messiah…


1)    If you don’t know everything there is to know about me?

2)    If I am not judging the world?

3)    If I am not fighting the Romans?

4)    If I am not clearing out the riff-raft of sinners and harlots and publicans


d.    But when someone says the truth about themselves that does not make them a liar


1)    It is not a lie if it is true!

2)    And everything that Jesus carefully said about Himself was true


e.     Then He exposes their prejudice: John 8:15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man


1)    You Pharisees judge everyone based upon physical things like: their genealogy, their looks, their associations, nationality, visible outward sins, differences

2)    If someone sins differently than you… you judge them

3)    If they look different, talk different, come from different places… you judge


f.     I judge no man that way (1Samuel 16:7) …for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

g.    Yet, when I do judge, I judge righteous judgment

h.    And someone else agrees with my testimony and witness


1)    John 8:16  And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

2)    He is referring to God The Father


i.      My Father agrees with what I say – God is my second witness (John 8:17,18)


1)    John 8:17,18 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

2)    God The Father shows he agrees with me by three things:


a)    By the miracles that only God can do

b)    By the prophecies that say what the Messiah will do when He comes

c)    By the lives that have been freed and changed and transformed by Me


j.      Look at what I have done with all the darkness you want to get rid of… (Harlots, publicans, adulterers, the blind, the deaf, the lame, crippled) I have saved them!

k.    So…


1)    Stop looking at My plainness of looks – Jesus was not handsome or fashionable

2)    Stop judging based on my lack of formal education – never went to university

3)    Stop imagining what I am supposed to be doing

4)    And search the Scriptures and see if I am not doing what God said the Messiah would be doing (Isaiah 32 and 35 and 53, Psalm 22, Deuteronomy 18 and so on)


3.    You Don’t Know Me or My Father (John 8:19-20)


a.     John 8:19,20  Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

b.    They asked,


1)    Where is your Father? Where is this “father” you constantly speak about?

2)    Show him to us!

3)    Your only father we know of was Joseph, and he is dead!


c.     Jesus then exposes their empty religion – ignorance of God

d.    Jesus responds, You don’t know ME or my Father


1)    Prejudiced about God – have Him perfectly figured out don’t you?

2)    Prejudiced against me – I am not what you expected


e.     But I am showing you God the Father “if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.


1)    Because we are the same (John 14:6-11)

2)    John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

3)    John 14:7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

4)    John 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

5)    John 14:9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

6)    John 14:10  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

7)    John 14:11  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.



f.     Wow! That is a crazy statement for Jesus to make!


1)    To say that God was His Father making Him the Son of God

2)    That He is from above and not just a normal kind of guy

3)    This will get Jesus in trouble at the end of this chapter (8:58-59)


a)    John 8:58  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

b)    John 8:59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.


4.    I Go My Way (8:21)


a.     John 8:21  Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

b.    He has to go somewhere alone – He has to go all the way and no one can help Him

c.     Jesus is heading in one direction


1)    He is headed to the cross (death), and then into the tomb (burial)…

2)    And then, “you won’t find me there…” because I will be gone! The resurrection


d.    And all you religious zealots will die in your sins - WHAT A STATEMENT


1)    Remember the context… You will end up judged just like you were so quick to judge that adulteress woman

2)    So, No matter how many prayers you pray, and how many good deeds you do, and how righteous you think you are

3)    You won’t end up where you think you are headed!


e.     You will remain as guilty as this adulterous woman was, and die in your sins!


5.    I am not of this World (8:21-24)


a.     John 8:21  Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

b.    John 8:22  Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.

c.     John 8:23  And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

d.    John 8:24  I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.


e.     The Pharisees imagined that the only way for Jesus to go somewhere where they could not follow would be if Jesus committed suicide

f.     That is a false doctrine anyway – suicide does not damn you

g.    Jesus speaks of going to an entirely different world, ABOVE them – called heaven


1)    You are from dust

2)    I am not of this world – I am from God


h.    And He says clearly that if you choose to not BELIEVE that I am the Messiah, then you will only die in your sins!


B.   Who Are You? (8:25)


1.    John 8:25  Then said they unto him, Who art thou?

2.    NOW they are asking the right question!

3.    The Pharisees are shocked


a.     You don’t talk like us super-religious leaders

b.    You don’t even talk like other cult leaders

c.     You sit amongst the people you speak to – you love them and care about them!

d.    You speak of only the word of God – not of what other famous people said about the law or words

e.     You don’t care what we think of you

f.     You only care that people hear what God said


4.    “Who are you?”


C.   Jesus Responds… I am Someone you have Already Decided to Reject (8:25-29)


1.    John 8:25,26 … And Jesus saith unto them, [I AM] Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

2.    The truth is (if you have been paying attention)…


a.    I am who I already told you I am – I am the “I am” (look again in vs 24)

b.    I am from Above

c.     I am the Light and Hope of this world

d.    I am the Son of God, come in the flesh

e.     I am your Messiah

f.     You miss it all if you are not paying attention!


3.    And there is so much more about God that I want to teach you (John 8:26) 

4.    But you can’t comprehend it all – not yet! (John 8:27)  They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.


a.     Your own “self-righteousness” has made you so Biased – Prejudiced against me

b.    They imagined Jesus was just a pawn sent by some other person

c.     To them, God wouldn’t have sent this Jesus-fellow!


5.    Then Jesus exposes their sin!

6.    So, I am Someone you will Murder (28,29) – THIS IS THE BEST PART


a.     John 8:28,29  Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

b.    Notice what Jesus was carefully describing…


1)    After beating and torturing and whipping and crucifying me

2)    And then after sealing Me in a tomb

3)    And then discovering I am back alive & ascended to heaven where I came from


7.    THEN you will understand…


a.     That I am your Messiah that YOU lifted up not in worship, but in crucifixion!

b.    That is am doing everything and enduring everything to save you and make all of you free just like this adulterous woman now is!

c.     All I have ever said and done was to please my Father, so He could pardon the entire world!


D.   That was when MANY believed (John 8:30)


1.    John 8:30  As he spake these words, many believed on him.

2.    Jesus’ powerful words convicted and convinced them; got them to believe on Him!

3.    That was when many in that crowd became SAVED!


a.     Born again! Converted – no longer Jews anymore, but Christ followers (Christians)

b.    Free from the punishment of their sin! That initial, child-like BELIEF is what frees ANY sinner from the coming judgment against their sins!


4.    What does it mean to Believe on Jesus?


a.     It means more than just liking what Jesus said

b.    More than agreeing with what Jesus taught

c.     It means: these people chose to believe His words over their religion, and over their feelings, and over their pride!

d.    It means they trusted Jesus with all their heart now – that He is true and right and able to save THEM and make THEM free like He did that adulteress!


5.    Why did they decide to believe Him?


a.     Firstly, because of His words – they made sense to their hearts (Romans 10:17)
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

b.    Also because of His character of life – better than the Pharisees

c.     And also because of His selfless miracles – always selfless and so amazing


E.   And THAT was when Jesus told them to KEEP Believing (8:31,32)


1.    John 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

2.    Note: You don’t keep believing to stay saved


a.     Salvation happens when we decide to believe in what Christ DID in our place on the cross

b.    That simple decision to believe activates the full payment available for all our sins – there is no further payment needed, ever!

c.     Act 16:30  And [THE JAILOR] brought them [PAUL AND SILAS] out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

d.    Act 16:31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

e.     A Done Deal


3.    But we are supposed to KEEP believing because:


a.     There is so much more to enjoy believing than the initial belief in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection – that is only the beginning of the Christian’s life!

b.    These brand new Jewish believers were just scratching the surface… belief is enough to GET saved, but not to become Christ-like, and to get answers to prayer, and get victory over sinful behaviour, and to turn the world upside down!


4.    In simple words:


a.     A one time, repentant belief saves your soul from hell

b.    But Continuing to believe through all troubles, saves your life

c.     Continuing to believe Disciplines you, moulds and forges you into a better life

d.    Continuing in this Book does NOT just set you free… (like the newer versions of the Bible say)

e.     Continuing to believe actually MAKES you free, indeed!


III.         Application (John 8:31)


A.   John 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed

B.   To Continue in Christ’s Word means…


1.    Never quitting learning this Book – just keep on:


a.     Reading, page by page, chapter by chapter this Bible, the words of eternal life

b.    Studying to understand the meaning – don’t stay ignorant

c.     Meditating on God’s commands and His promises instead of constant news and troubles and past hurts


2.    Keep Praying through every promise in here – without fainting and giving up

3.    Keep Doing what you discover Jesus says to do (James 1:22) But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

4.    Keep Enduring. Do NOT be like the soil of Matthew 13:3-6; and 13:20,21


a.     Mat 13:3  And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

b.    Mat 13:4  And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

c.     Mat 13:5  Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

d.    Mat 13:6  And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

e.     Mat 13:20  But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

f.     Mat 13:21  Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. [AND QUITS]


5.    What a wasted life a quitting Christian is – KEEP BELIEVING!


a.    And don’t say, “Well, at least they were saved”

b.    That is NOT all Christ died for

c.     That’s like looking at a couple who are always fighting and arguing, and saying, well at least they are married! Can you imagine going through the marriage ceremony and getting married, but never growing and maturing in your love and in the depth of the relationship that is possible? Can you imagine only just getting through the marriage ceremony and then doing nothing more! What a waste!


IV.The Invitation Still Stands


A.   Jesus has already exposed all your sins – whether adulteress or Pharisee, you and I sin

B.   And He WILL judge everyone who thinks they are good enough for heaven

C.   But he would like to SAVE those who know they are not good enough, and who don’t want to die the way they live – in their sins!

D.   Would you be saved today?

E.    Believe on Jesus! Chose to believe His words over your religion, and over your feelings, and over your pride! Trust Jesus to be true and right and able to save YOU and make YOU free!