NO Condemnation (Seriously)
This Sunday I spent 25 minutes preaching on one whole verse. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)
It may seem odd, but if I had to do it again - based largely on emails I have received and conversations I have had - I would preach this verse and this concept of living forgiven for an entire month.
One of the things I am discovering, is that the idea of Jesus' payment for sin being final, total and sufficient is difficult for many Christians to accept. TRULY accept.
It is clear from the Bible that in Adam we stood condemned but, as Christians, in Jesus we do not. Take a moment and ponder John 3:16-18.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Notice the teaching of this text and its parallels to Roman 8:1...
- In both cases the basis of our condemnation being gone is belief in Christ.
- In both cases, those who do not put their faith in Christ still rightly carry their own guilt.
- One of the purposes of Christ's coming was to remove the condemnation that came by being in Adam and absolve us of it.
- If we are in Christ we do not need to hold on to one iota of guilt and condemnation.
- The price has been paid and it does not require future payment. Our response is simply faith and repentance.
I am heartbroken by the number of Christians, those of us who are in Christ, who still live as slaves to guilt. Maybe a little story will help...
"A little boy visiting his grandparents was given his first slingshot. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit his target. He went back to Grandma’s back yard, where he spied her pet duck. On an impulse he took aim and let fly. The stone hit, and the duck fell dead. The boy panicked. Desperately he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.
After lunch that day, Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you, Johnny?” And she whispered to him, “Remember the duck! So Johnny did the dishes.
Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing., Grandma said, “I’m sorry, but I need Sally to help make supper.” Sally smiled and said, “That’s all taken care of. Johnny wants to do it.” Again she whispered, “Remember the duck.” Johnny stayed while Sally went fishing.
After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, finally he couldn’t stand it. He confessed to Grandma that he’d killed the duck. “I know, Johnny,” she said, giving him a hug. “I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you. I wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."
If you are in Christ, you have been forgiven.
See you Sunday.