Although we deserve condemnation before our maker, through Jesus he has set us free instead, to live freely without shame.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Take a moment to consider verses 1 & 2 of this passage, and what they mean to you. I think of the kings and queens of old, who had the power to condemn or pardon at will – sometimes deciding fairly and doing right, other times deciding unfairly on a whim or for their own gain. Imagine kneeling in front of a king or queen, awaiting judgement, and the moment that the decision is announced. What will it be – death or freedom?
Who has the right to condemn us? God Himself is the only one who has that right, and he has declared us to be set free. In these verses, we hear the results of God’s judgement announced for those who trust in Jesus. Paul has just spent seven chapters in this letter outlining the gospel – our profound sinfulness, deserving death, God’s profound righteousness, the inability of the law and our own efforts to keep it to save us, and God’s profound mercy and grace towards us – the gift of forgiveness through Jesus’ death and resurrection, and now – the gift of the Spirit. This is the big announcement. The “therefore” feels like a big “aaahhh” moment – the arguments and questions have been fierce and taxing up until now – they have been leading to this crucial moment in the letter. “No condemnation”, “the Spirit who gives life has set you free” – at last, we can breathe a sigh of relief – we are free to live without condemnation.
Head: God himself is the only one with the right to condemn us, but who or what else do you allow yourself to be judged by?
Heart: How do you feel at that moment of being declared “free”, and not condemned by God? Do you allow that reality to rule your heart in your day to day life?
Hands: What difference will it make to you today as you interact with others to live in the reality of being “not condemned” by God? How will you extend the grace of God to those around you?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you that you have pardoned me completely, totally, utterly – that there is now no condemnation, no shame, for me. Thank you that through Jesus you have set me free from the condemnation that I deserve, to live life –true life- in the Spirit, who gives true freedom. Thank you that you have taken away my shame. Please enable me by your Spirit at work in my heart and mind, to live today and each day freely and shamelessly in and for you. Amen.
A song to listen to: Before the Throne of God Above
This Grow Daily weas originally posted as part of the Must See Passages series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.