The Great Eight (Part 5)

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. (Romans 8:1-9 ESV).

We need to expand our reading a bit today. Therefore I have chosen to focus our attention through the ninth verse of “the Great Eight.” The question when we realize that Jesus accomplished a status change from condemned to “now, no condemnation” is who gets this status change? I am only going to briefly mention this today and save most of it for some of the future devotionals. There are two simple statements for us to look at today:

  • First, not everyone can say, “There is now no condemnation over my life.” It is only those “who are in Christ Jesus.” Some are in him and some are not. Paul assumes this everywhere in his writings. There are those “in Christ” and there are those who are “outside” of this relationship. Paul is absolutely not a universalist; later he will write, with grief, that there are those who are “accursed, separated from Christ” (cf. Romans 9:3). The opposite of the precious phrase “in Christ” (en christō) is the terrible phrased “[separated] from Christ” (apo tou christou). It is no small thing; and, we should know that position.
  • The second point is this: only by being in Christ does Christ’s condemnation become your condemnation. If you want to be able to say now and at the last judgment, “There is no condemnation for me, because Jesus endured it for me,” then you must be “in Jesus.” If you are in him, what happened to him, happened to you as well; however, if you are “separated from him,” you have no basis for saying that what happened to him happened to you.

My invitation to you is to answer that question. Are you, or are you not in Christ? He has done everything. He has set the date for the great celebration banquet; he has determined the guest list; he has sent out the invitations. If you have any inclination that this is important in your life, you then have received such an invitation. It merely requires you RSVP with a “yes.”