“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
This is an amazing passage, especially in light of the fact that Paul has just concluded chapter 7 by talking of the war that wages within us; of the struggle, as Christ-followers, to do what we want to do, all the while finding ourselves doing what we don’t want to do as it relates to sin. His conclusion is that of wretchedness as he declares his imperfection before a holy God…but then immediately follows with an answer to the question of who will deliver him from this body of death with spontaneous praise to God through Christ! Why? Because he knows it is not based upon his own righteousness, which does not exist (Isaiah 64:6), but upon that of Christ. Paul admits the continual struggle between serving Christ in his mind and with his will, desiring to always be faithful, but wrestling with the law of the flesh (sin) that is always close at hand.
That is a struggle with which I am familiar. That is something that I can identify with. I desire to follow Christ closely; desire to obey with my whole heart, but I find that I am often found horribly lacking. I have wrestled with fear and doubt and depression over the condition of my life…why can’t I be a better dad or husband or pastor…a better follower of Jesus? The enemy is always close at hand, seeking to devour me (1 Peter 5:8), to destroy me (John 10:10), to accuse me before the Father (Revelation 12:10).
What do I do? I keep reading! Because of what Christ has done in me, redeeming me from the penalty of the Law of sin and death, there is no condemnation! NONE! The Father does not look at me as the failure that I am, but the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), the child of the King that Christ has made me (Romans 8:15-17). The Father looks at me and sees the righteousness of Christ that has been imputed to me (2 Corinthians 5:21); credited to my account to such an extent that I shine righteously in the Father’s presence, the only way He can look upon me with pleasure…and He does!
I still struggle with sin and I am to always be at war with my sin nature, but I am not defeated by it. I can never be defeated because the law of sin and death was destroyed by the means of a Roman cross (Colossians 2:13-15), never to have victory over me because in Christ, I stand redeemed!