7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
I have found the teaching of repentance and then faith a little perplexing since I learned of it. Some teach that sinners must be willing to go and sin no more before they are believers. The condition for faith is: "are you ready to give up your sin" or "would you like to trade that which you love - whatever sin - for the forgiveness of God?" As I look at the story of the woman caught in adultery, I see that Jesus, when telling her to go and sin no more, had already spoken those wonderful words of life to her: "neither do I condemn you." THEN he said, "go and sin no more." Did He ask her if she was ready to commit her life to Him before He was willing to remove condemnation? Did she have to repent and then be justified?Surely we should not ask the unregenerate if they are willing to give up x y or z sin before they have even come to faith. This would be getting the order of things mixed up a bit.
Repent! This is a message for the believer. We have the power to do this, Christian brother and sister, because we have Christ in us, the hope of glory. His Spirit gives us the power to live the Christian life. We have His life within us; the unregenerate do not. They need to step into a relationship with God by grace through faith FIRST. This is called receiving a gift in the New Testament.
The woman who Jesus did not condemn ... was then told to repent of her sin. We should likewise repent as Jesus does not condemn us, those of us who are His children. He has given us His life and His regenerating power. Repentance is a message for us.