There Is No Condemnation…by Jim Nelson
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
As I was recently studying the book of Romans, these verses made me think and reflect on the gospel. Before we come to understand the good news of the gospel, we must deeply understand the reality of the bad news. This is exactly what the Apostle Paul explained in the earlier chapters of Romans. He explains that we are totally desperate sinners in need of forgiveness. This can be a hard reality to understand in our current secular, humanistic, and narcissistic culture, but it is Biblical truth.
One commentator put it this way, “Although the Bible is a book offering good news of salvation from sin, it is also a book that presents the bad news of condemnation for sin. No single book or collection of writings on earth proclaims so completely and vividly the totally desperate situation of man apart from God”.
The Bible reveals that, since the fall, every human being has been born into the world with a sin nature. What David said of himself can be said of everyone: “Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” Ps. 51:1. Paul declared, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. Because of that universal and innate sinfulness, all unbelievers are under God’s condemnation and are “by nature children of wrath”, Ephesians chapter 2. Because of sin, all of humankind is born in bondage to pain, disease, and death.
It is in light of that dreadful condition that the Apostle Paul proclaims in Romans 8:1-4 the unspeakably wonderful truth about those who, by grace working through faith, belong to Jesus Christ. He proclaims to believers the thrilling promise that fills the heart with immeasurable consolation, joy, and hope. Some have called Romans 8:1 the most hopeful verse in scripture. The truth that there can never be the eternal death penalty for believers is the foundation of Romans chapter 8.
God’s provision of salvation came through His perfect sacrifice on the cross. For those who place their trust in Christ and in what He has done on their behalf, there is therefore no condemnation. This is the heart and soul of the gospel, that Jesus completely and permanently paid the debt of sin and the penalty of the law for every person who humbly asks from mercy and trusts in Him. Though the Law condemns all mankind, we as believers in Jesus Christ have this wonderful promise of no condemnation.
Being a Christian is not simply being outwardly identified with Christ but being part of Christ, not simply of being united with Him but united in Him. Our being in Christ is one of the profoundest of mysteries, which we will not fully understand until we meet Him face to face in heaven.
In Christ, we are made an entirely new creation, (2 Corinthians 5:17) just as God created the heavens and the earth originally. He made them out of nothing, and so He does with us. He does not merely clean up our old selves; He makes an entirely new self. When we are in Christ, we are partakers of the divine nature. God Himself, in the person of His Holy Spirit, takes up residence in our hearts. We are in Christ and He is in us.
What a glorious salvation we have, may we rest in Christ alone.
Your brother In Christ, Jim Nelson