This is perhaps one of the most powerful messages of the new covenant and yet so often either not known, not employed or forgotten by Christians. This is a message we need to remember and employ as we walk with the Lord day by day.
Listen to this. Romans 8 opens with the words, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The problem all mankind faces is that they do have a sense of morality and of what is right and wrong. Even the most evil people in the world have line that they believe should not be crossed, which is where their sense of morality lays.
But it is when each of us crosses that line of morality we bring ourselves under condemnation, either from God, other people or worst of all, we condemn ourselves. And condemnation from whatever source is judgement whether we are judged by others, by God or by ourselves.
But this scripture gives us reason to be comforted for it gives us hope.
First of all this scripture re-emphasises the opening remarks of Romans 8 by saying again that there is no condemnation. This means that for those who are in Christ Jesus there is no judgement. Judgement has been passed over for those who are in Christ Jesus. That is the essence of what this scripture is telling us. We are not coming under judgement for what we do, even when we mess up and make mistakes it is not being held against us as sin for we have been removed from sin and the law.
Furthermore this scripture explains why we are not under judgement and condemnation. It is perhaps this point that is most compelling for it puts the whole message of no condemnation into perspective. So let us look at the reasons underpinning this situation.
First we are told that the primary reason is that it is God who justifies us. Justification is to make someone just. It means that it is God who declares us to be righteous, for that is what justification actually means.
Consider this for a moment. If God says something is whatever He declares it to be, who can argue with Him? If God declared that black is white or vice versa, who could say otherwise?
So if God says that YOU are righteous and that YOU are not condemned who can argue with God that He is wrong? Well, that is exactly what this scripture is saying. Look at these words.
33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn?
Now one of the worst offenders when it comes to condemnation is ourself. We are our own worst critics and we are the ones who most clearly see and know when we have done wrong. Often we condemn ourself for what we think, which of course no one else can see, as well as what we do or do not do that we should.
But what does God say? There is no condemnation. Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? If God has said YOU are righteous, who has the right to say otherwise? And that includes YOU. You do not have the right to say God is wrong when He has declared you righteous. When God has justified you it is not up to you to judge and condemn yourself, even when you mess up and do or think the wrong thing.
This is the power of the freedom that we have in Jesus Christ. We are set free from sin and we are set free from the law. And through those two things we are set free from condemnation.
What we are talking about here is the grace of God. All of this has been given to us by the grace of God. It is not by anything we do, but through what Jesus did for us. When He died for us he established the pathway through and by which we receive the justification from God the Father that He gave us in His grace.
It is by grace that we are saved and it is by grace that we come to this place of justification and righteousness that we have through faith in Jesus Christ.
Faith is the key to receiving God’s justification. We receive God’s grace by faith. When we believe we receive. It’s that simple. God established His grace and righteousness by faith so that everyone and anyone could receive His gifts and His righteousness because all people in any station of life have the capacity to believe.
And we see the power of this comes through faith in Jesus Christ. This scripture tells us this in verse 34 saying,
Who is to condemn? 34 Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
It is Jesus seated at the right hand of God who is interceding on our behalf with God Himself to overcome the condemnation that we would normally have been subject to when we do the wrong thing.
It is Jesus saying to God the Father that we are works in progress and that when we fail or fall we are still in training until we are fully remade into the image of Jesus Christ.
So we MUST NOT condemn ourselves when we mess up, let alone condemn anyone else. We do not know what God is doing in their lives and what He might be working on in them as He works to bring them to perfection. There is no condemnation. Remember that. Hold onto it and do not condemn yourself if you make a mistake.
One final point in this discussion. Just because there is no condemnation, this does not give us the right to do whatever we want. We do not have the right to do what would otherwise be called sin just because we are set free from sin. That is not why God gave us His grace.
God’s grace is meant to lead us to repentance. It is given so that as we walk towards the place where we are being perfected in Jesus Christ we will not be discouraged as we make mistakes.
To consider otherwise is to be licentious and that is opposed to what the working of grace is all about. God’s grace will overlook almost anything while we are being perfected and having the rough edges of our humanity knocked off. But we are not permitted to do whatever we want.
The purpose of grace is to bring us to God and to desire to do what is good, right and true. He gave us His grace so that we would desire and choose to do what is good in the sight of God.
So let us seek Him and hold fast to the truth that we are not condemned and that by His grace we are justified. And as we do that, let us remember that we should not condemn others and not even condemn ourselves. There will be a time of judgement when God will judge all people and that is His responsibility, not ours. Instead let us seek His grace and walk with Christ to come into His kingdom.
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