Imagine that you are on trial for committing a terrible crime. Imagine that you have pled guilty because you are guilty and that you are awaiting judgment and sentencing. You know that you deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Imagine now that the judge finds you not guilty of all charges, that he releases you from your chains, opens the door to the courtroom, and lets you go free. How do you feel?
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
Oftentimes, we may think that our standing is better off as Christians, that we receive less condemnation. This verse tells us that rather than less condemnation, we have NO condemnation. Our standing hasn’t improved, it has completely transformed. If we still sin, why is there no condemnation for us? We certainly deserve condemnation for our poor choices, but Jesus endured the punishment for our sins when he died on the cross. He suffered so we don’t have to.
What does it mean to have no condemnation? In a courtroom, it means that you are innocent of all charges, that no punishment or sentence will take place.
A key word in this verse is “now.” The apostle Paul is speaking in the present tense in this verse. Although as Christians, we will continue to sin (it’s inevitable), we will not be judged or punished for this sin because we belong to Jesus.
If you are living in past sins and failures, STOP! Philippians 3:13-14 says:
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
How is receiving NO condemnation different than receiving less condemnation?
Do you feel free from condemnation?
Write down some of your sins, mistakes, bad choices, regrets, etc. When you are finished, take the paper and rip it up, crumble it, throw it away. While you are doing this, picture Jesus releasing you from the burden of these sins.
Romans 8:1-2 are the memory verses that go along with the Finally Free series. Take time this weekend to begin memorizing them.
God, thank you for freeing me from the condemnation of my sins. Thank you for releasing me from the guilt of my bad choices. Please help me to live in a way that honors you and the sacrifice that your son made for me. Amen.
This post was written by Meghan Yarnell. Meghan is an art teacher and artist. She is married and has a son and daughter.
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