People talk a lot about acceptance and tolerance these days. They don’t believe in condemnation (of themselves, at least) or judgment.
The Apostle Paul spoke about freedom from condemnation, and he showed the only way to be guilt free.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1
I can get hung up in this verse for a long time!
There is therefore – I love that word, therefore. Paul has presented his struggle in Romans, chapter 7. He has presented the impossibility of keeping the law or being good on his own, and he ended the chapter with thanks to THE One Who can deliver from “the body of this death” – Jesus Christ. “Therefore” signals the outcome of what Jesus Christ has done for me.
Now – present time, at this moment. Salvation is not just for the future. It changes my life right now. It changes who I am right now. It is my present state.
No Condemnation – “No” is an absolute. It leaves no wiggle room for some sin or weakness to slip by. “No condemnation” means no blame, no denunciation, no guilt, no guilty judgment – not because of my goodness, but because of Christ’s work on the cross.
I have to take a moment and just absorb that truth – no condemnation.
God doesn’t find me guilty. I am free from the burden of my sin and guilt, washed clean by the shed blood of my Savior. I can almost hear Paul emphasizing the ‘NO’ as he wrote the words that God gave him.
To them which are in Christ Jesus – The state of ‘no condemnation’ is not apart from but in Christ Jesus. It lives in those who call on Him for salvation, who trust His redeeming grace, who cling to His work on the cross. “In Christ Jesus” is a place of security and safety. I am held in His heart, redeemed through His blood, saved by His grace.
Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit – This is not a condition for ‘no condemnation’ – the price of my guilt was paid fully at the cross – but a result of my relationship with Jesus Christ. “In Christ Jesus” is my new position, and it places me under new management. I don’t continue in my own way; instead, I follow the way of the Savior.
Romans 8:1 is the opening to a chapter full of the consequences of grace, but I will have to save that for another day.
Today, I want to rest in this statement – “No condemnation”.
Today, I want to remember that I am guilt free, removed from the shadow of my sin.
Today, I want to remember that I walk in the light of Christ and what He has accomplished for me and in me.
Today, when Satan waves the flag of my sin in my face, I want to raise the banner of Jesus!
Today, I want to rejoice in my Savior and give Him my unending thanks for His love and grace.
Today, I want to live out what He has accomplished in me, walking not after my own desires but gladly chasing after Him and His way.
Won’t you join me?
"Grace, grace, God's grace Grace that will pardon and cleanse within Grace, grace, God's grace Grace that is greater than all our sin.” Julia Johnson, 1910
Photo – “Across the Marsh”, Beth Mims