There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. [ESV]I'm not one who remembers specific events in my life very well. I don't remember the setting, the date or time, or much of anything else about the circumstances the first time this verse impacted me, but I do remember very clearly the fireworks that went off on the inside of me. No condemnation? NO condemnation? There's nothing at all that is condemning me? None of my sin, none of my guilt? To me, the word "no" in that verse was nothing short of revolutionary. I felt a freedom that I had never felt before. And I grew up in the Church! My parents made sure I was exposed to the Word as a child. But this revelation hit home to me when I was in college. Some things you just have to pick up when you're ready for them.
I've been studying and just reading over and over the entire chapter 8 of Romans for the past 2 weeks, at the recommendation of our pastor (from the pulpit, not to me personally) and any number of things other than this verse have sort of woken up in me. One thing comes from this passage:
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. -Romans 8:31-34I love the picture that everyone who could possibly press charges against the accused party is a family member and will not prosecute! Verse 34, "Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us" reminds me of the story in chapter 8 of the book of John where Jesus is actually identified as the only one qualified to condemn a woman who is clearly guilty, and Jesus declines to condemn... he forgives and sends her away free.
Jesus says to us when we sin, when we confess our sin seeking forgiveness, that we are forgiven. He says to each of us, go and sin no more. He is interceding for us, and because of His work, there is no condemnation-NO condemnation-for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. Is that incredible or what?