No Condemnation

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”
Romans 8:1-2 NLT

This famous verse starts with “So now”. In other translations it’s “Therefore”. It is as though Paul has turned a page in His thinking and writing about the Law and sin, and particularly his personal inability to live the righteous life he wants to live. He leaves the previous chapter with a wail of despair, “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death” (Romans 7:24)? But thankfully he followed up his cry with a statement of reassurance, as he writes, “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord …” (Romans 7:25a). The fact that Jesus brought the answer to his dilemma is then amplified in our key verse today, as if he suddenly realised its implications.

For the Roman Christians the message was really Good News. But the life-changing importance of this verse has reverberated down through the ages to the present day. Christ-followers have grasped this verse with grateful hearts, knowing that its earth-shattering conclusion has saved them from an eternity that would otherwise have been spent in a place so dark and hot, and so inevitable, that even the devil will find himself incarcerated there. You see, there will come a day when everyone, past, present and future, will stand before God to give an account of their lives. And the really Good News is that all those who have accepted Jesus and His redeeming grace will be declared “Not guilty”. They will not become men and women condemned to an eternity in hell, even though they deserve that fate because of their sins. 

We pilgrims “belong to Christ Jesus”. No ifs or buts. Through His breathtaking grace, the implications of belonging to Him means that we have been set free from “the power of sin that leads to death”.  What a wonderful Saviour! We are condemned no more. Paul continues with his message as he unfolds the truths of what Jesus has done for us. Exciting reading! But even more exciting news!

Father God. What can we say? We are overwhelmed with gratitude for Your love and grace. Amen.

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