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Empowering Grace Teaching


"New Life without condemnation, part 1"


 


The blue underlined Scriptures used throughout this lesson are web links which will take you to its web content. This is to enhance your study (*** Web links only work on PDF version. For Facebook readers, the PDF is available at the bottom of this post ***). 

 

We’re going to start by looking at what Paul said in Rom 8:1 and 2 at the conclusion of his personal testimony — “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus… For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Drink in those 2 words, “NO CONDEMNATION”. One person describes these words as, "the fateful dilemma". Think about that: Our fateful dilemma is over! That excites me to no end! To get a further image of what condemnation is, look at the photo I used above (or for Facebook readers, it’s at the bottom of this post). Condemnation was our fateful dilemma of being chained to sin and death before we came to Christ — we were chained in our minds and actions to the power of sin. This is just like Paul said about himself before he was saved (Rom 7:14) — "I am carnal, sold under sin". Condemnation was our fateful dilemma of being on the slave-market of sin and death to the highest bidder of our fleshly desire see Eph 2:1-3. And even though we had a desire to do what was right, we ended up doing the wrong thing anyway (AA and addiction meetings across our land are filled with these kinds of people). So, simply put, condemnation is being bound to the fateful dilemma of sin and death. 

 

The good news is that since you’re in Christ Jesus, this does not describe you and the better news is that it will NEVER describe you again! 

 

Yes, we may feel this way from time to time, but as a believer in Christ, you are completely set free from sin — no longer chained and shackled to its control! 

 

From this, I want to ask and answer a puzzling question that many have — If that is true, that we’re no longer under the fateful dilemma of sin, then why do so many of us still struggle with it? Although there can be a plethora of answers to that question, the main answer, according to Paul’s teachings from Rom 6, 7 and 8, is our ignorance of grace. Let me show you a snippet of how this is taught.

 

  • our ignorance of what Jesus has done in His death, burial and resurrection and our brand-new identity with Him in those 3 Redemptive steps — we died with Him, were buried with Him and gloriously raised to new life with Him. Without KNOWING these things, we can never RECKON them and without reckoning them, we cannot PRESENT our members as instruments of Righteousness (taught from Rom 6);

  • our ignorance of trying to use the law to manage our behavior, instead of trusting in Christ’s ability within us (taught from Rom 7);

  • our ignorance of having a NEW LIFE WITHOUT CONDEMNATION (taught from Rom 8).

 

The main truth to keep in mind is that as a believer in Christ, you have received forgiveness of sins and a brand new life — you are not the same person on the inside you used to be; you have a new identity, a new self, that’s filled with new life! Contrary to popular opinion, telling a believer who struggles with sin that they are “backslidden”, or away from God, or any other kind of nonsensical phrases, does not make his situation better; it makes it worse. Because that makes them think incorrectly about himself in the light of Redemption and therefore, feel its effect of condemnation. What he needs to be told is that, even though he struggles with sin, he’s still forgiven and the Righteousness of God. God’s forgiveness, as described in the New Testament, is always used in the past tense. Why is this? Because our forgiveness of sins came by the blood of Jesus and He only needed to be sacrificed once.

 

To get into the meat of this, look at what Paul said about in Rom 7:23-24 from the NLT (It’s important that you keep in mind that he said this before he came to Christ) — “(23) But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still WITHIN ME. (24) Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” We see the fateful dilemma of an unbeliever; sin still works within him. This is why he needs to come to Christ and receive forgiveness of sins and a changed life of Righteousness. Now look a few verses later at what he testified (Rom 8:2, NLT) — “And because I belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed me from the power of sin that leads to death.” I think it’s neat how the NLT translates the word LAW, as used in most versions — “the law of sin and death” — to the word POWER — “the power of sin that leads to death”. Because that is exactly the picture of condemnation — bound by the power of sin. 

 

With those 3 verses we just saw — Rom 7:23-24 and Rom 8:2 — we get the BEFORE and AFTER picture of a person coming to Christ. Believers have no business feeling miserable. This kind of misery comes from condemnation and shame (Notice what John said about this, 1 John 3:20-22). When believers, through ignorance, “feel” condemned, it causes them to become vulnerable to the power of sin (Please understand that as a believer in Christ, sin is not inside of you, it’s outside of you). The feeling of condemnation causes the “sin-cycle” (a continual procession of sin) to remain in believers’ lives. What I want to do by showing you these truths from Rom 6, 7 and 8 is break the ignorance of condemnation from the believer by making him realize his new life in Christ! 

 

Condemnation is the root cause of sin and the problems that come as a result. If one deals with condemnation, he’ll start experiencing more freedom over the power of sin!

 

Look again at v.1 — “There is therefore NOW no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” The word NOW is a beautiful word, because every time you say it, it refreshes itself. NOW always puts us in the present and as a believer in Christ, this NOW season of your life! There is no condemnation to you — NONE; ZILCH; DIDDLY; if you’re Spanish, NADA! Towards the end of chapter 8, Paul said — “(33) Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Notice the 4-fold assurance in these verses that let us know that God will NEVER condemn us again: 1) Christ died (to give us forgiveness); 2) He was resurrected (to give us new life); 3) He’s at the right hand of God (so we can rest); 4) He’s interceding for us (to give us more and more knowledge of this). Can you say, “WOW”??? Condemnation from God or our Lord Jesus Christ no longer exists! 4 times in v.31-35, the personal pronoun WHO is used — who can be against us… who shall bring a charge against God’s elect… who is he who condemns… who shall separate us from the love of Christ…?” The implied “who” in these verses is either you, the enemy, or other people — never the Lord. God already condemned sin in the flesh of Jesus and He’ll never condemn us again!

 

In Christ, we have been given a brand-new life and this life is without condemnation! You have been set free from sin and therefore have no more condemnation. This is Paul’s whole point of teaching Rom 6, 7 and 8. Next time, we will continue to look at Rom 8 and see the truth of our new life without condemnation. Please stay tuned.


 
 
 
 

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