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Christians stumble and fall when we try to conquer sin on our own. We need to constantly rely on our Savior. Steve Ham, AiG–U.S., explains.
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. (Romans 8:1)
Today’s big question: when can we rely on Christ?
Over the past few days we have been looking at the reality of sin in the Christian life. While we are dead to sin, we find that we have a great war within. We desire to serve Christ, but our sinful flesh wars against us. Even the Apostle Paul fought this internal battle.
In the context of this great battle, we come to today’s text. So often we isolate texts of Scripture because of the separation of chapters and verses, but when Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, there were no chapter separations. This is very significant as we look at Romans 8:1 because this verse comes in the immediate context of Paul sharing his internal war against sin and how he often failed. He wrote, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”
When are those in Christ not condemned? The answer is now—right now. If you failed yesterday, it was yesterday you were not condemned. If you fail today, it is today that you are not condemned. In Christ we are dead to sin and we battle against it (as opposed to embracing it). Even though we fail, we are not condemned. How does that make you feel?
It is never because of our own doing that we are not condemned. We are only ever saved from judgment because of Christ and His grace toward those in Him. Jesus, in the greatest act of grace, came into this world and died on the Cross. Christ is the only One who rose again, conquered death, and is fully exalted at the right hand of the Father. By His grace, Jesus saved us through faith in Him. The work is all completed by Christ, and to Him belong all glory, honor, and praise. It is in Christ that we revel in wonder and awe and hope and joy and peace forever.
We fail, but He doesn’t. We fall short, but He has covered our failings. We war against sin, but He has defeated it forever. We can never stand before the righteous Judge, but Christ stands for us.
If this one little verse in Scripture doesn’t make you overflow with joyous victory and hope, you need to pinch yourself. Do you know Christ? If you do, Romans 8:1 should bring true relief to your heart.
Today’s big idea: our hope is secure in Christ right now.
What to pray: spend time thanking Jesus for taking our condemnation upon Himself.