Oh how I wish the many people who attend BCF or any other related fellowship group, could know this truth … deep within their heart and soul.”Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8: 1
Are you ever disappointed with yourself? Maybe it seems that your journey toward holiness is painstakingly slow. Perhaps it seems that an approximation of Newton’s third law somehow applies to your Christian life: for every victory, there is an equal and opposite failure.
You are not alone. Even the great apostle Paul expressed serious disappointment in his ongoing battle with sin: “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). Reading of the depth of Paul’s frustration, it is worth considering that perhaps we aren’t actually disappointed enough. After all, it’s probably not typical Bible-study behavior in your church to cry out in lament over your own wickedness!
Yet even in his state of despair Paul knew that sin, however serious, would not—could not—have the final say. In the very next verse, hope breaks in: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25). Then, after the next sentence restates the problem, we ascend to one of the highest peaks in all of Scripture: Romans 8, which begins with the glorious promise of today’s header verse.
Why does Paul respond to his failures by saying, “Thanks be to God”? It is because “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” No condemnation, now or forever! Here we have one of the gospel’s most wondrous paradoxes: I am weak, failing, and guilty; but at the same time, in Christ, I am safe, secure, and loved.
How can this be? To answer, we can look back to another great “therefore” in the book of Romans: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). We don’t deserve such grace. God could rightfully let us drown in our wretchedness. Instead, through Jesus, He grants us peace and gives us hope. We are justified; Jesus has taken our condemnation so that now, when His Father looks at us, He sees Jesus and all His perfection.
You and I are sinful—yes, dreadfully so, and we remain so. But we are also supremely loved, completely forgiven, and never in any danger of condemnation. Do not suppress or ignore your disappointment at your ongoing flaws and failings. Let it drive you back to Jesus, in gratitude and relief.
The more aware we are of our sin, the more wonderful we will realize is the truth that there is not, and never will be, any ounce of divine condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
September 2, 2023
Truth for Life
”There is not, and never will be, any ounce of divine condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”