We’re continuing our study through Paul’s letter to the Romans. In this post we’re starting chapter 8.
Remember, in the last chapter we saw that there’s a battle going on between my mind and my flesh. Each of them is submitting to a different law. But, we can get victory through Christ.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
Here’s another one of those passages that people like to take out of context. It’s one of the favorite verses for people who hate correction. The least bit of constructive criticism causes them to respond, “Stop speaking condemnation over me!”
That statement shows a total misunderstanding of what this verse means. It literally reads that there’s no guilty verdict in Christ Jesus. We’ve been declared “Not Guilty” in Christ. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t miss the mark sometimes.
Jesus made a statement to a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. He couldn’t have made it any clearer.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
We need to take this to heart. Telling someone to stop sinning is NOT the same as condemning them. It’s part of the assignment of Christian leaders to lovingly warn believers of the outcome of their actions.
Condemnation is the final verdict. That’s why the phrase, in Christ, is so important. It’s because we’re found in Christ that the law of the Spirit of Life liberates us from law of sin and death.
What, exactly, is this law that liberates us? It’s in Christ.
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
Actually, what Jesus said here was for us to remain in His Word. His Word remains in me if I remain in Him. James talked about this as well.
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
He went on to say that we can’t just look into the Word, then forget it. We must continue in the Word. He concluded with an important statement of truth.
But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.
Please understand that James is not simply talking about reading the Bible. He’s talking about remaining in Christ and allowing His Word to be planted in us. Notice that James equates the implanted Word as the perfect law that gives freedom.
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom…
The truth is that we’re not going to be judged on the ten commandments. We’re going to be judged by the Word planted in us. This is the law of the Spirit of life that sets me free as I allow it to take root in my life.
Question: What’s the difference between condemnation and warning against sin?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi