We most often think about sin in terms of right or wrong, but it’s also about freedom or slavery. Life reminds us how easy it is to be consumed by errant desires. The forgiveness of sins is not extended so that mankind can become moral, it is extended so that mankind can enter into a union with God. We then attempt to live more purely not to be an impressive citizen, but to surrender ourselves to God, that we might notice and have the courage to respond to the prompting of God’s spirit in us, and live out a faith expressed in love. This is true freedom.
Perhaps this is why Jesus chose not to shame the woman at the well over her indiscretions (ranging from multiple past husbands to a live-in lover), and did not propose an improvement in moral performance as the key to a new life.
Observing moral law was the Pharisee’s oppressive gig, and Jesus gave them an earful about it. Christ knew that in the hands of human people, sin management was impossible, beside the point and a total dead-end. Rather, Jesus instead told the woman that He was the solution. The same is true for the rest of us.
Ebright, Ian. (2012). “Petraeus and Sin as a Spectator Sport.” http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/worldview/petraeus-and-sin-spectator-sport