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No Condemnation. Period.

By Scott, Delve Christian Ministries
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"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1)

What do you think when you see that? Sit on that verse. Ponder it. And see what it says - there is no condemnation for you if you are a Christian. Do you believe that? Do you really? If not, why might that be? What holds us back from accepting this to be the truth, perhaps without even realizing it? And, when we do accept that this is true, what exactly does this mean? And how does this change how we live our lives?

First, let's begin by tackling some of the reasons why we might want to reject this truth - because that is what it is! It is the truth. It's God's word, and all that he says is true. So what do we say when we disagree here? We might say things like, "I'm really not all that good. God still holds my sin against me. Maybe he forgave my old sins once, but I've sinned since then again! He looks at me and is disgusted and disappointed. Maybe he doesn't love me anymore. He just wants to punish me for what I've done. I don't deserve any of his love, and he certainly doesn't love me! My sin is so big that God has to reject me. Maybe I'm not even 'in Christ Jesus'. I think that God does condemn me, or at least I condemn myself." Do you see how terrible it is to accept these lies? And that is what those are! The devil, the father of lies, whispers them in our ears each time we've made a mistake or sinned. He encourages all this self-condemnation so that we can't see that God doesn't condemn us! Why should we condemn ourselves if God doesn't even do that? It isn't right! Ultimately, if we are condemning ourselves, we're saying that what Jesus did on the cross wasn't enough to pay for our sin. More still needs to be done. But we know that that isn't true - Jesus died for our sin, once and for all, past, present, and future. There is no condemnation for us if we are saved by Jesus. None. Nothing at all. Not even a tiny little fraction of condemnation. It is all completely gone in Christ.

So then, if there is no condemnation for us, what immediately follows? Well, to begin, we no longer need to live in fear. "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment." (1 John 4:18). We don't have to face punishment from God anymore, because Jesus bore that, so we no longer have to be afraid of anything! There is nothing that the enemy can do to condemn us. We stand before God's throne blameless in his sight. So we are free to be in relationship with God. He is our Father, and he's adopted us as his sons and daughters (Romans 8:15). We do not need to fear punishment, but instead we get to love and be loved by God. We get filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13) and are enabled to live out lives in accordance with the will of God. We live out our lives with the joy and peace that only the Spirit can bring, no longer hindered by feelings of guilt or shame or despair. We get to live in freedom - and it is very good!

So if you're struggling with feelings of condemnation, know that this is not God's will for you! Your Father doesn't see you as dirty and shameful - he sees a beloved son or daughter whom he loves. He does not have any condemnation or rejection in his eyes. Only love. He thinks you're amazing. He wants to have a relationship with you for all of eternity because he thinks you're worth it. And we can live in that reality without fear of punishment for our sin, because Jesus bore it all. Is that fair? No. But that's why it's called grace. God did it for us, even if it wasn't fair - he loves us enough to do that.

"Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressionsit is by grace you have been saved." (Ephesians 2:4-5)

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