Sunday, September 26, 2010

No Condemnation

What does it really mean, what does it really look like, to be dead to sin and alive to God, to walk free from all condemnation? 

I’ve been swimming around in the book of Romans lately, mostly in chapters 5-8.  Looking at Romans 8:1, I think the way I’ve usually I’ve usually heard this verse is with the connotation that “no condemnation” essentially equals freedom from guilt, sorrow, or remorse.  In my experience, the phrase “no condemnation” seems to be practically substitutable for “don’t worry about it” in Christian vernacular.  As in, “Oh, don’t feel bad, there’s no condemnation.”  I think that’s a shallow understanding, so I’m digging here until the Lord moves me on. 

   There is so much for me to learn in terms of living not only free from the consequences of sin, but actually living free from sin.  Like Jesus said to the adulterous woman after saving her from condemnation at the hands of the Pharisees “Neither do I condemn you, now go and sin no more.”

But how to walk this out…ah!  There is the rub.
 “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that ones’ slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness.” 
I so often find myself essentially gritting my teeth and saying to sin “You’re not the boss of me!”  That’s better than intentionally embracing sin, but it is not the same as presenting myself to the Lord. 

I want to walk in the Spirit.

I want to, by the Spirit, put to death the deeds of the body

I am so with Paul on this one – “O wretched {wo}man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
C’mon, world, I know you feel it too“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God…because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

     “No condemnation” does not only mean freedom from guilt, sorrow, or remorse.  But it does mean that if we are in Christ, we are not defined by our sin, its consequences, or the guilt, sorrow, or remorse that we feel when we do sin.
     I am in a place of pain at not walking in the reality of the freedom that I know is available to me.  BUT, this ache does not mean that I am defined by falling short of the mark.  It means that I have been given the gift of longing for God and His ways.

v. 11, 15 “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.  …  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

 Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you,
         And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you
         For the LORD is a God of justice;
         How blessed are all those who long for Him.
 O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer 

He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.
 Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher.
 Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it,"

-Is 30:18-21


  1. This is really good!! Thanks for posting Sarah.

  2. Renee Stevens9/27/2010 1:48 PM

    God has been teaching me about receiving His grace over my life. I believe He has so much He wants to give us and often we are so shame based that we can not receive it! Phil. 2:12b-13 "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."