Part 1 – No Condemnation
We now have moved into the marvelous eighth chapter of Romans – the chapter that will reassure the believer of the Spirit’s eternal presence and guidance in one’s life, as well as confirming that true freedom and joy comes from walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh. This chapter begins with the powerful verse of affirmation – “Therefore, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus...”. As we discussed when we went through chapters six and seven, chapter eight is probably connected with the end of chapter five, since chapters six and seven are a parenthesis between five and eight.
Paul picks up with his thought at the end of chapter five which tells us that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more, and that God’s saving and sustaining grace will forever reign in the life of the believer because this grace has brought with it eternal life. If the believer has been granted eternal life by God’s electing grace, then therefore, there is now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus!
Christ took upon Himself the just, holy, and righteous wrath of God, thus receiving the punishment and judgment of sins that were due to us. So, we will no longer be recipients of God’s wrath....we are free from condemnation.
Condemnation – eternal punishment – is the just and right consequence of a life separated from God that is also actively in opposition to the ways and will of the Lord. Those who do not know Christ and who die in their sin will receive just wrath of God, but again, those in Christ – those born again – those who have been transformed by God’s grace – are set free from eternal judgment.
This is important because many Christians – although forgiven of their sins and set free from the guilt of their sins – continue (because of insecurities; lies from the devil, the world and the flesh; and because of an enlarged punitive section of their conscience) to walk in condemnation, but this condemnation is not from the Lord. Shame is that crippling thought/feeling that, because of a sin of the past, we are worthless and unredeemable, but this verse assures the believer that there is no condemnation to those in Christ. This is why this eighth chapter concerning walking in the Spirit is so essential, because when we walk in the flesh of chapter seven, we will continue to sense an unworthiness that is not only crippling, but prevents the believer from walking in true freedom and joy.
This chapter will be a constant reminder that as believers we need to be telling ourselves the truth about what God’s Word and His Spirit say to us concerning our redeemed state before the Lord. And I pray that we will all take to heart the beautiful truths found herein.