July 1, 2011
Judgments and Decrees
As you read through the Book of Romans in the New Testament, you come across a very interesting verse in Romans 8:1, page 1768. As we study this passage today, I want to emphasize again that our studies should focus upon giving glory to God. We learn from Jesus, because He alone will give us rest for souls. He remains gentle and humble in heart. As we look to Him, the Holy Spirit will use the Word of God to encourage our hearts together.
Romans 8:1, Page 1768
“Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
No Condemnation. My friend received salvation by faith about eighteen months ago. Since then, he used to read His Bible and tell me often about the great passages he read. Now, my friend has begun to rely more upon single verses, often provided in a list by another friend. The other friend has been a believer for about two years. As we begin this new study, I will try to emphasize why understanding a passage, and not just one verse, will help you grow more in Christ. The Bible does not consist of single verses; it presents intricate and beautiful letters, prophecies, narratives, and various genres of inspired material. In Romans, to grasp the meaning of Romans 8:1, page 1768, we should try to understand every word in the verse and the verses that precede it. The verse starts with the word “therefore.” Based upon the material in Romans 7:21-25, page 1768, we should begin to understand our present verse. In other words, we should be very careful to understand the context of a particular verse. In Romans 7:21-25, page 1768, Paul explains the solution to the spiritual conflict of evil present within him warring with himself who wants to do good. After considering his own wretched condition, and the war within himself, Paul declares that Christ Jesus has set him free from his body of death. Yet, with his mind he serves the law of God, but on the other hand, he serves in his flesh to law of sin. Even with this constant conflict within himself, Paul declares that there is now no condemnation for him and everyone else in Christ Jesus. You see, based upon what we read in Chapter 7 of Romans, we see that this “no condemnation” sits upon a mountain top surrounded by spiritual conflict. As we look up, we recall that God does not condemn believers for the conflict raging within them, but reminds us that all the condemnation our sins deserve has already fallen upon Christ, through His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross. In simple terms, Christ died for us. He gave His life for mine. He took the condemnation I deserved death, and instead I received His righteousness essential to salvation. I encourage you to spend some time reading Romans 7 (and all of Romans) to appreciate the wonders of Romans 8:1, page 1768. But God continues on in the same passage.
Romans 8:2, Page 1768
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
Free from the Law of Sin and Death. In Romans, Paul explained that all people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23, page 1762). We also know from Romans that the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23, page 1766). Therefore, whether slave or free, Jewish or gentile, young or old, we all need salvation from God to free us from the death penalty of sin. On the eternal level of salvation, Christ freed us once and for all the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:3, Page 1768
“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.”
Jesus Condemned Sin. Every believer may confidently know that when they die, they will be with the Lord Jesus forever. In Romans 8:3, page 1768, we learn that the Old Testament Law did not provide this eternal salvation, but Jesus Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh (real flesh, just not sinful), offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin (by dying on the cross), condemned sin in the flesh (He died for my sins), and so fulfilled the requirement of the Law in me. I am no longer bound by the Law which showed me how sinful I am and then condemned me to death. Now, Christ has taken upon Himself the death penalty imposed by the Law for every sinner, and condemned sin in the flesh by dying for me on the cross. By His death, He condemned sin in the flesh for everyone. But only some will accept His free gift of eternal life and life in the Holy Spirit.
So we learn more about Judgment and Decrees today.
● As believers in Christ, we experience no condemnation from God.
● Jesus Christ condemned all sin in the flesh by dying on the cross of Calvary. He offers that freedom from the condemnation of sin to everyone who will accept that gift by faith.
● The verdict for today: innocent by faith in Christ Jesus because He condemned sin in the flesh, and fulfilled the death penalty due under the Law by dying in your place on the cross. He died for you and for me so that we might live under a judgment of acquittal (which we never deserved). Glory! Hallelujah forever!
Application for Today
As I live today, I will remember that God has no condemnation for me, because Jesus took all the condemnation I deserved when He died for me on the cross. I will remember that God will never ignore the work of Christ in freeing me from condemnation, and I should not ignore it today either. I will not fall for anyone trying to condemn me, when Christ has already forgiven me. Will you remember that God does not condemn you today?