No Condemnation

Romans 8:1-4 ESV

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.

When we are all born into this world, we are born under condemnation, into sin, with sin natures, separate from God, and unable in our own flesh to be approved by God and to share in his holiness and righteousness (Rom. 3:23; Rom. 5:12-19; 1 Co. 15:21-22, 42-49).

So, Jesus Christ, God the Son, left his throne in heaven, came to earth, took on human form, and suffered as we suffer, and was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. Although he was loved by some, he was hated by many who then put him to death on a cross. But, it was God’s will that he should die, for in his death he put our sin to death, and in his resurrection, he rose victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death, on our behalf (John 1; Philippians 2; Is. 53; 2 Co. 5:21; Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).

In our sinful state, we were under the law of sin and death, that is our sins condemned us to hell and to eternal separation from God. We were condemned to die in our sins because we, in the flesh, had no way to be made righteous with God (Rom. 3:23). For, in our sinful state, we could not keep the law perfectly, and thus we were condemned to die in our sins.

But, thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, he made the way for us to be made righteous with God, and to be set free from the law of sin and death. Through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, which submits to Jesus as Lord, and which dies with him to sin that we might live with him to righteousness, we are forgiven our sins, we are delivered from our bondage to sin, and we are empowered of the Spirit of God to now live godly and holy lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord, pleasing unto God (Rom. 6:1-23).

But, we need to understand here that our salvation from sin is not mere forgiveness of sin, or a mere promise of eternal life with God in heaven, but it is deliverance out of our slavery (addiction) to sin. Yes, none of us can be perfect, which is why Jesus had to die for our sins. But, God’s grace empowers us to live now according to the Spirit and to no longer walk (in lifestyle) according to the flesh. Thus, it is we who are walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh who are no longer under condemnation, not those who merely make a profession of faith in Christ.

Romans 8:5-8 ESV

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.

God’s grace to us, in saving us from our sins, is not just a get-out-of-jail-free card so that we can escape hell and have the hope of heaven when we die. It is also not merely forgiveness of sins. It is deliverance from addiction to sin, and it is empowerment to walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit.

For, God’s grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts (worldly passions) and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14).

Thus, if after we make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, our minds, hearts and behaviors do not change away from living according to the flesh to walking by the Spirit to please God with our lives, then what scripture teaches us here is that we are still under the law of sin and death, because we do not submit to God’s law. We are still in the flesh, still bound for hell, because we are still in the flesh, and thus we cannot please God.

So, we are not saved from our sins merely in the sense of being saved from the punishment of sin, but we are saved from our sins when truly we are delivered from our addiction to sin so that our lifestyle is transformed away from living to please our sinful flesh to now living to please God with our lives. And, all of this is possible because of God’s grace, and because it is him working in us that makes it possible for us to live to please him.

Romans 8:12-14 ESV

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Some people are teaching today that God requires nothing of us other than some nondescript faith in him in order for us to be saved from our sins and to have the hope of heaven when we die. But, Romans 6 and Romans 8 alone dispel that notion, as well as does the bulk of the New Testament.

For, when Jesus died on that cross for our sins, via his blood shed for our sins, he bought us (purchased us) back for God that we might now be God’s possession, and so that we would now honor God with our lives. For, when we truly trust in Jesus Christ with our lives, he becomes our Lord (owner-master), and we now become his bond-servants to righteousness (See: Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; 2 Co. 5:15; Tit. 2:14; 1 Co. 6:20).

I love that old hymn that says, “Jesus paid it all. All to him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.”

Yes, we owe Jesus our very lives because of what he did for us on that cross. And, coming to faith in him involves giving our lives over to him, and submitting to his Lordship over our lives.

For, Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, and take up his cross daily and follow (obey) him. For, he says, if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them for eternity. But, if we lose our lives for his sake, i.e. if we die with him to sin and live with him to his righteousness, then we have the hope of eternal life with him (See: Lu. 9:23-25, 57-62; cf. Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Jn. 6:35-66).

So, if we want to be free from condemnation, then we need to be in Christ Jesus. And, to be in Christ Jesus means that we are no longer walking (in practice) according to our sinful flesh. But now, empowered by the Spirit of God, we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and we are now walking (in conduct, as a matter of course) in agreement with the Spirit of God.

For, it is not those who merely profess faith in Jesus Christ who are the children of God, but is those who are being led by the Spirit of God who are God’s children. And, to be led by the Spirit certainly means that we are following our Lord in surrender to his will and in obedience to his Word, not in absolute perfection, but in lifestyle, in practice, one day at a time, until the day that Jesus comes to take us home to be with him forever.

Thus, the promises of God given to us in Romans 8:15-39 are for those who, in Christ Jesus, are walking (in practice) not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, by the Spirit, as we yield to the Lordship of Christ in our lives. For, they (we) are the ones who are no longer under condemnation, but who are set free from the law of sin and death.

Nothing Can Separate Us

An Original Work / March 28, 2013
Based off Romans 8:28-39

Nothing can separate us
From Christ’s love now within us:tio
Not trouble, hardship, nor famine,
Nor danger, nor sword.
No, in all of these things
We are more than conquerors!

For your sake we face hardship.
We are sheep to be slaughtered.
I am convinced that death,
Nor life, nor anything else
Will separate us from
The love of God now in Christ.

What, then, shall we say to this?
God for us: who against us?
He who did not spare His Son
But gave Him for us all –
How will He not, with Him,
Graciously give us all things?

Who brings a charge against us?
God justifies His chosen.
Who is He that condemns?
Christ Jesus, died, rose again.
He’s at the right hand of God,
Interceding for us.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

3 thoughts on “No Condemnation

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