The Great Eight (Part 7)

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. (Romans 8:1-2 ESV).

Set free! Before we go further into “the Great Eight,” I want to mention just a few benefits of being released from our condemnation. I am only going to mention them for you to ponder. Remember that these are for those of us who believe, who are in Christ Jesus. If that’s not who you are I hope they will be a call for you to come to Christ. If you have any question, please read again yesterday’s devotional, or feel free to contact me through email or message.

First, there is no longer condemnation in physical pain. Believe me, as someone who deals with chronic pain every day, I understand the discouragement and challenge of even the simplest of tasks. When we suffer physical pain, and it lasts a long time, and seems to get worse instead of better, and it even seems that it may end in death and not healing, the accuser (our own thoughts, the devil, Job’s friends) comes and says, “It’s punishment. You are under God’s condemnation. That’s why you are suffering so much.” Our reading answers that assault. My sins are covered. I will not come into condemnation. I have passed from death to life (cf. John 5:24). Knowing that the pain is very temporary becomes a means to endure.

Second, there is no condemnation in relationships. Suppose you feel disappointed or even deeply wronged in your marriage. Where will you find the moral power to forgive and keep on loving and wooing and hoping and not resort to returning evil for evil and condemning? It is in our knowledge of “no condemnation. You can, and should, remind yourself again and again that, even though you are a sinner, in Christ Jesus God does not condemn you, and your future is free for everlasting joy. From that reservoir of mercy and hope, and God will work wonders of grace in your life.

Third, there is no condemnation in the failures of parenting. I’m often asked what to do when your children break your heart? There is ample reason for thinking it was our fault. And you will never be able to sort that out, ever. Only God can. So how will you keep going? How will you keep loving? In the end you don’t have to sort that out. Your standing with God does not hang on your figuring out how much was yours and how much was not. Your standing before God as a loved and forgiven child is this: there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. With that freedom, you can admit your failings freely and you can humble yourselves before your children so that God may heal.

 

On and on we could go. No condemnation and work. No condemnation and peer pressure. No condemnation and sexual temptation. No condemnation and pride. No condemnation and racism. The practical implications of this glorious truth are endless. Don’t stay outside. There is always room in Christ. Come, fly with me!