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: why is there no condemnation?
Consider what it is like for a follower of a religion or worldview other than biblical Christianity. Nearly all of these systems promote what has been called “works righteousness.” In other words, you have to earn your salvation by performing the necessary requirements, such as saying the right prayers, devoting enough time, doing enough good works, etc.
One question can nag at the hearts of those who follow these religions: “How can I know if I’ve been good enough?” These people are often motivated by a fear of condemnation because they may not have worked hard enough to please their god or gods. Of course, their religious leaders cannot offer any assurance of salvation. One reason for this is that if their followers heard they had done enough work, then they may not work as hard for the organization anymore.
But Jesus Christ taught the exact opposite of this mindset. Rather than telling people how hard they must work to earn salvation, Jesus taught that He was the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Instead of teaching us to desperately try to win God’s favor through our futile efforts, the Bible reveals we are all sinful and deserve death and God’s wrath. There is nothing we could ever do that would merit heaven because we are sinful and fall short of God’s standard of perfection (Romans 3:23).
Thankfully, God sent His Son to pay the full penalty for our sins on the Cross. Salvation is freely given to all who receive Christ’s sacrifice on their behalf. When we place our faith in Him, God sends us the Holy Spirit who gives us the strength and wisdom to live rightly for our Lord. God graciously grants us something we could never earn—eternal life with Him. He also mercifully does not give us what we truly deserve—eternal separation from Him.
When we understand these truths, the only proper response is to give Him our lives. Our passage today shows that if we are in Christ and walk according to the Spirit, then we do not need to fear condemnation. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).
Yes, Christians are called to do good works. However, instead of doing these because we are fearful of not being good enough, we do these works out of gratitude for what God has already done for us.
Today’s big idea: Christians do not need to fear condemnation because Christ has already paid for our sins.
What to pray: praise God for His amazing grace and mercy.