Wednesday, February 13, 2013

No condemnation

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

This verse is a bold declaration. It would almost be hard to believe if it wasn't in the Bible. It seems on the verge of audacity especially when you consider who penned those words.

Paul - the man who guarded the cloaks of Stephen's executioners, the pharisee of pharisees who was determined to stamp out the followers of The Way, someone with the blood of at least one saint on his hands and perhaps culpable for more. And here he is saying there's no condemnation? How does he dare say such a thing?
Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? 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. Romans 8:34-35
Paul made this declaration because he knows where he stands. He stands in Christ justified by God. He is not condemned because Someone else was condemned in his place. He didn't minimize what he had done. He didn't try to make up for it. He embraced the gospel with open arms and held on tight.

Let's fast forward to 2013. Is this declaration for you and me?

Now in the spirit of keeping it real, I debated about posting this because I'm beginning to sound like a broken record. The gospel occupies a lot of my thoughts, not because I'm a profound and brilliant theologian but because I need the truth every day. I am tempted to fall into legalism when I sin, which also happens every day. I know in my head that my only hope is what Christ Jesus did on my behalf, but I find myself wallowing as though I need to do something as payback. But the gospel doesn't need my wallowing. Only a pig needs a good wallow. If God has justified me in Christ, why on earth would I dispute that? Who would dare contradict or add to what God has done? Any takers?

Rather let's embrace the gospel with open arms and hold on tight. For then, we can stand with Paul and every believer on the basis of Christ's work and God's Word, which cannot lie, and say, "No condemnation!" 

[Note: This post is based largely on this sermon by my pastor Ryan Davidson on Job 26-31 in which he gave a powerful exposition of the gospel.]


  1. "The gospel occupies a lot of my thoughts, not because I'm a profound and brilliant theologian but because I need the truth every day." Amen, dear sister, amenn. As do we all. This is one broken record, Persis, of which I will never tire of hearing.