Friday, September 25, 2009

No Condemnation


“No condemnation” (Romans 8:1)

Today we find ourselves at the pinnacle of God’s word. As Christians, when read Romans 8 we ought to be saying “Amen” through the whole chapter. Today I want to start at the beginning of the chapter and next week I would like to tackle the end of the chapter. I want us to see the great news that because of Jesus Christ there is “no condemnation.”

Earlier in Romans we read “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (3:23). Then in chapter 5 we see Christ’s electing work of salvation “by faith” the Father gives us peace through Christ. We read that “while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (5:6). Paul then writes, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (5:8). Because of Christ’s work on the cross sinners are reconciled through his blood by his grace. In chapter 7 we see Paul’s struggle against the flesh, “For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members” (7:22-23). Many argue that Paul is speaking of his life before Christ but to keep this short I’ll say I disagree because a person who does not know Christ does not have this war going on. Those who do not know Christ do not “delight in the law of God” nor do they care that sin dwells in them. Paul finishes speaking of the war between his flesh and obedience to Christ. Chapter 8 begins with Paul reminding himself that there is “no condemnation” for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Sin, Satan and self will always tug at your heart to believe the lie that reconciliation is unattainable. They will speak lies that say Christ is not enough. They will tell you that your sin is too great to be forgiven. They will say you need to earn your way into God’s favor. But God’s grace is sufficient. For those who trust in Christ’s finished work we know sin, Satan and our flesh will be defeated in the end. Sin was removed and Satan defeated at Christ’s death and resurrection. We long for the day to see Christ face to face gazing upon his glory. Christian, rest in God’s promise that in the righteousness of Christ there is “no condemnation.”

“No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine;
alive in him, my living Head,
and clothed in righteousness divine,
bold I approach the eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ my own.” (Charles Wesley)

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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