No Condemnation

Romans 7 ends with a call for a deliverer.  All of our attempts to live for God from our own resources leaves us calling out, “O wretched man that I am who shall deliver me?”  In Christ we find that deliverer.  We mustn’t forget it’s not a what but a Who!  When the basis for our Christian activity depends on something coming from us, there is no escape from a sense of guilt, because we can never be certain we have ever done enough!  This is why the legalistic Christian way of doing more and trying harder leaves us condemned and full of death.  We must leave all that behind and embrace Jesus – our all in all.
 
Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
 
There is therefore now no condemnation  How can that be?  Because we are guilty!  The Law and Sin produce guilt, condemnation and death yet there is a glorious change – no condemnation.  “Ouketi, no,” is an emphatic negative adverb of time and carries the idea of complete cessation.  No condemnation means God is not angry with us when struggle comes into our lives.  No condemnation means there is no punishment.  Jesus became sin for us to liberate us from its condemnation. God never intended for our mistakes to produce condemnation.  Rather, each mistake we make is to be a learning experience that leads to our growth, restoration, and renewed activity in the strength of the Lord.  
 
Grace is never critical to us until we see ourselves in brokenness.  Isn’t it true that grace means little to most of us because we don’t consider ourselves to be great sinners, desperately in need of forgiveness? We don’t give weight to what Paul says because we never allowed the full weight of our failures, guilt and condemnation to affect us.  Religious pride turns the un-churched world away from the church.  We need to allow brokenness to take its place so we can experience the full grace of God without condemnation.
 
Freedom from condemnation and guilt is ours now.  Condemnation is a forensic term which includes both the sentence and the execution of the sentence.  We stood condemned by sin and were due to suffer the penalty of an eternal death for our sins; all that is changed now because of God’s great grace.  This is the heart and soul of the gospel – we are free from the penalty of all our sin in Christ.  We were condemned and sentenced to death when Jesus stepped in and took all on Himself so there was nothing left for us to bear.  You need to affirm this truth and give it to others.
 
We are free from condemning others.  Since God says there is no condemnation why are we so ready to condemn?  There is no condemnation for us because of what God has done.  It is a whole new way of life.  We are living free from condemnation and free from condemning others because of Christ.  When we constantly condemn others because of their poor choices, mistakes and sin we reveal how little we understand the gospel.  How little we appropriate the gift of God.  What are we saying about ourselves when we make judgments and condemn others who are in Christ?  We are saying we are superior to God.  That’s just plain dangerous in my mind.  Who are you and I to put ourselves in the place of God when God says, “There is therefore now no condemnation”?  You are free from God’s punishment but not His loving corrections!  Some of you are so miserable, it’s time to break free from all the condemnation of self and others!
 
for those who are in Christ Jesus,  God can no more condemn those in Christ than He can Christ.  He doesn’t see you as a separate entity.  This is the only condition.  Christ came for all of humanity but the truth of No Condemnation only becomes true for the individual through faith.  We enter into Christ through faith in His finished work.
 
Born in Adam; born-again in Christ Jesus.  We came out of Adam, we are in Christ and God will never condemn those who are in Christ.  There is no rejection by God.  God will never cut us out of His family.  He will lovingly discipline but never reject us.
 
You are either in Adam or in Christ.  There are no degrees here: men either are in Christ, or not in Him.  No Christian, not even the apostles, were free from the struggle with sin but all who are in Christ are free from sin’s condemnation. 
 
We have a new heritage.  Being in Christ is one of the most profound mysteries; we are in Christ spiritually, in a divine and permanent union.  Many people are concerned about their family heritage, about who their ancestors were, where they lived and what they did.  We are all life-linked physically, intellectually and culturally to our ancestors.  Infinitely more important we are life-linked to the family of God because of our relationship to His Son, Jesus Christ.  In Christ we’ve got not only a new future but a new past.  When the enemy comes with thoughts of condemnation of past sins confess this truth, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
 
Vanessa and I are so grateful for your faithful support and encouragement of us through my health struggles.  Please continue to pray that we don’t see any worsening of the symptoms and actually see the neuropathy and Parkinson’s complications completely vanish when we return to Mayo in six months.  Our Lord is able! 
 
I’m looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.  We’ll be having a baptism service after second service.  If you have trusted Christ as your Savior but haven’t been baptized by immersion yet please call me this week.
 
You are loved!
 
Pastor Tim