Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)
Read: Romans 8:1-10
Consider: Romans 8:1 tells us: ‘… there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus …’ Notice the qualification in this statement. It is not that anyone and everyone is no longer subject to condemnation, but only those who are ‘in Christ’. This might seem harsh on the face of it, but God’s offer of forgiveness is freely given to all and each individual decides whether to follow Christ or not. Does God want to condemn? In John 3:17 we read: For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. The offer of salvation is freely available to all and it is God’s passionate desire that everyone should be saved. However, we know that while the gift of salvation is freely offered there will be those who reject it. As it says in John 3:18 – Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Notice also that Romans 8:1-2 speaks of two ‘laws’; the ‘law of the Spirit’ and the ‘law of sin and death’. As someone who has accepted Christ as your Saviour, you are set free from the consequences of sin. We have spoken in an earlier post about being ‘Free from sin, but not sin free’. We still see the struggle between the Spirit and the flesh in our lives. While death of the body itself is still the natural consequence of living, for the Christian it is the life of the spirit (soul) that is of prime importance. I like the term ‘in Christ’ because it signifies whose we are, but another term is used in Romans 8:10 which speaks of how we are indwelt by Christ: But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.
Being ‘in Christ’ and having ‘Christ in us’ should cause us to question everything we do to ensure that it glorifies God. Of course we cannot do this in our own strength. We must ask God, through the Holy Spirit, to set our minds on what the Spirit wants: Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit wants (Romans 8:5).
As you draw closer to Christmas are you more concerned about the physical aspects of the festivities, or have you seen that the spiritual aspects also warrant your attention?
Pray: Father, we praise you that being in Christ we are not subject to condemnation, but have been set free to live in accordance with your will. Amen