January 10, 2019

37: You are Not Condemned

I’ve been meditating on one verse for over a year now. Actually, I bring this verse to mind more than any other. I struggle with confidence, failure, lack of discipline and find that I am a chronic condemner of myself. In order to fight against my own condemnation, I recall this verse and believe it to be true.

So, what’s the verse?

Romans 8:1

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”


In order for this verse to be true for me, I have to understand it in its original context. I have to ask the question, “Why did the apostle Paul write this particular statement?”

First, I see that this verse is in the book of Romans, one of the greatest theological treatises ever written. Second I understand the theme of the book or more accurately the letter of Romans.

According to the the ESV Study Bible, “The theme of Romans is the revelation of God’s judging and saving righteousness in the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the cross of Christ, God judges sin and yet at the same time manifests his saving mercy.”

The first 7 chapters of Romans expose the sinfulness of humanity and God’s right to judge us. No one escapes God’s judgment because no one is innocent. We all deserve the wrath of God. As Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death…”

That’s me, a sinner deserving death. I see it clearly every day of my life. I know that sin resides in my heart and by my own free will I use sin for my own personal pleasure and gain. God is righteous in taking out his wrath upon me.

That’s the bad news of the gospel.

But when you get to Chapter 8 you read this unbelievable statement. “How could it possibly be true?”


“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”


What God is telling us through His Word here in Romans is that yes, sinners deserve to die and rot in hell forever. BUT God is rich in mercy and grace and has made a way for us to escape the wrath of God and live with Him forever.

The second half of Romans 6:23 tells the good news of the gospel, “…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Christ has taken the wrath of God upon Himself, for me. When I put my faith in Christ, believing that He is the only perfect one who could take my place and I make Him Lord over my heart and my life, then I can know without a doubt that Romans 8:1 is true.


“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”


This is telling me that because I am “in Christ” meaning that I am united to Jesus in an inseparable bond. And since Christ has triumphed over sin and taken the wrath of God upon Himself then I am no longer condemned. All of God’s wrath for His people was poured out on the cross.


“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”


Every day I say that verse to my self-condemning heart. Every day I can get out of bed and know that God is not “mad” at me or “disappointed” in me. When God looks at me He sees Jesus. My sins have been forgiven and washed away forever. All my sins; past, present and future.

When I think to myself, “I’m not good enough.” I remind myself that Christ has made me good enough.

When I say to myself, “You deserve to be punished.” I remind myself that Christ has taken my punishment for me.


“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”


I want you to find the same joy and confidence this verse brings. If you are a true believer, meaning, if you have confessed your sins to the Lord, believe that Jesus took all of those sins to the cross and the only way God will let you into heaven is on the merit of Jesus himself. If you believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and sits at the right hand of God, supremely ruling over all that exists, and call Him Lord, then you are among those who can believe this earth-shaking statement,


“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”


You are no longer condemned. Christ is for you. You are united to Christ in an inseparable bond.

You can confidently live out God’s will for your life. You can fight sin because it no longer has the power to condemn you.

You can know that God is not mad at you, God is not disappointed in you. God is happy with you. You are fully pleasing to Him. What more good news could there be? This is the gospel and it has the power to change everything.