Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from the Scriptures
Romans 8.1 – There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Almost too good to be true – isn’t it? NO condemnation? What if I fail or fall? What about when I still sin? No condemnation?
But, won’t that lead to loose living? Won’t those who hear it imagine they can just live like the Devil and still go to Heaven? Isn’t it dangerous?
It won’t lead to loose living because those who hated the bondage of their sin and plead for mercy, don’t want to live there any more. Their greatest grief is when they fail. They won’t want to live like the Devil because they now have a love for Christ. It isn’t dangerous, because love will bind us faster and tighter to following Christ than any law, rule or precept ever could. No one ever needs compelled to do what they love. In fact, they are usually looking for excuses to do it every chance they get. That’s the way it is with my marriage. No one has to tell me to kiss my wife. No one needs to tell me to hold her hand or put my arm around her. No one needs to give me some rule to follow so I’ll smile and feel squooshy (yes, I made it up) when I see her picture. I love to do all those things. The truth is, if we don’t want to get free from the remnants of indwelling sin, if we don’t want to draw closer to Christ, if we don’t want to grow in holiness against the desires after sin still within us – the problem can’t be solved by rules, laws and regulations anyway. We need new hearts. New loves. And we’ll be willing slaves to what we love any day.
Steve Brown illustrates this principle powerfully with an anecdote from his own family life. Once, his daughter was asked to participate in an advanced course in school. She loved the idea, and the subject itself, but she feared to go after it because she feared failing. The Teacher kept pressing her to do it, but she shrank back. Finally, she asked her Dad – Steve – to go and ask the Teacher to quit bugging her about it. Steve went and plead his daughter’s case. The Teacher just wouldn’t relent, because she knew his daughter could rise to the occasion, and because the experience would be invaluable. Finally, in exasperation, the Teacher said “I’m so convinced she can do this, and will do well at it, that I will make this pledge: If she will just come and attend the classes and do the work – I’ll give her an A for her final grade no matter what.” Now that’s a deal she couldn’t refuse. So she did attend the class. She did the work. And on her own she earned an A. Though all along, she dug in hard because she knew no matter what, she couldn’t fail. Brown makes the point that that’s the way it is with God’s grace in salvation. He promises us an A. Just believe, and jump in, and no matter what – there is no condemnation. And you know what – once that really gets a hold of your soul – you try harder and harder and harder. He has done it all! And we can risk taking on our sins and pursuing holiness with a freedom and abandon that betrays the confidence we have in the finished work of Christ at Calvary.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Now let’s begin to live like it.