Therefore…

Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King,

Romans 8:1

This must be one of the most quoted, most cherished, most encouraging verses in the Bible. Paul has clearly laid out our problem at the end of chapter 7 – we can’t help ourselves. We want to do the right thing but we fail. We sin. He cries out that verse I am certain we all identify with:

24 I am absolutely miserable! Is there anyone who can free me from this body where sin and death reign so supremely?

Romans 7:24

Then he reminds us of the good news -we are forgiven, redeemed and sanctified all through Jesus. It is amazing, wonderful, astounding news. No longer required to struggle under a law that highlights our failings we are liberated in Christ.

Paul says no condemnation for those who are in Christ, living in Christ, walking according to the Spirit. It’s a two part deal, the lack of condemnation isn’t because we have achieved something or done something right it is a result of accepting our weakness and agreeing to be guided, led, directed by the Spirit.

Life under the law and life in Christ are as different as light and darkness. One puts us under a burden we can never carry and the other frees us to live the life for which we were created: a life in relationship with God.

I call out to the Eternal, who is worthy to be praised—
    that’s how I will be rescued from my enemies.

Psalm 18:3

Here’s that same revelation. We are unable to do it ourselves. That must be the hardest thing we ever realise because every single thing we experience in the world around us tells us to be independent, to make it on our own, to stand on our own feet and that we only get what we have earned. The gospel tells us to depend totally on God, to stand on the Rock and that forgiveness, grace, hope, salvation are freely given.

We have to call on Him and be saved and then we have to continue calling on Him daily, hourly, moment by moment to keep from our enemy who would drag us back under the burden of the law. That enemy who would drag us into condemnation because we just cannot – CAN NOT – satisfy the requirements of a Holy God without Jesus.

Temptation comes from all sides at all times. God does not expect us to ‘grow up’ and manage it alone. It is only by relying on Him, calling out to Him, recognising that He is our strength and protection that we can consistently resist.

Don’t feel weak when temptation comes. Don’t feel like a failure. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. That removal of condemnation comes with a promise that when we call to Him He will hear us and rescue us from the one who would kill, steal and destroy. We have the promise that His Spirit will empower us to live according to His will.

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