Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…
I use to think that this verse meant that once I became a Christian I would no longer feel guilt. That just isn’t true. I have quoted it when the enemy wrongfully accuse me. What about when he rightfully accuses me? The enemy is not the only one- my very conscience will condemn me. If I break God’s law I will feel guilt. God said He would write His law on my heart. ( Romans 2:15) I have been in the grip of guilt, with my mind bombarding me with thoughts of my wrong doing. It just keeps swirling and swirling like being stuck under a wave, tumbled and tossed by its relentless onslaught. I cant just quote this verse to myself when I feel guilty and move on though. I have used it that way in the past, it just doesn’t work like that. I end up reaping what I sow and eventually it all starts to pile up and stink because no matter what I am still responsible for my sin. I have to deal with the issue that is making me feel guilt. I have to deal with my sin.
That is the reason it is important to read the whole text not just a piece of it. That first part sounds amazing and makes me feel so good but the rest of this verse says… who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. That is a stipulation, a requirement right there. There is no condemnation to those in Christ who do NOT walk according to the flesh. I have something I must do. I cant just sin, quote the first part and get out of jail free!
So how does that flesh walk :
Romans 8:5 says that those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires.
The flesh wants to run its own life and not be held to God’s standard. Ever been there? I have.
God’s standard never changed! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! Jesus lived up to that standard and paid the cost for our sin. He was our substitute. He died in our place. We can claim that. We can apply His blood to our sin every time we mess up.
I feel guilt because something is wrong. That is a blessing! However, my flesh does not want to be fixed it wants to reign free. I don’t want to admit I did wrong. I don’t want to apologize for what I think are trivial things. My flesh would rather me blame the other person for being so trivial and ridiculous. The next thing I know my flesh tells me all about how what I did wasn’t that bad, or as bad as someone else, or some other mix of reasons and justifications. I might get angry, even bitter and just move on like nothing happened. That is flesh!
Something is wrong no matter if I agree with these thoughts or not. Sin is sin.
God sent the fix for what is wrong. Jesus Christ accepted the penalty for my sin. The reason I am not condemned because when I feel guilt, is because I now have the freedom to choose to confess my sin and repent! I am not a slave to the sin task master. I can plead the blood of Jesus and He is faithful and just to forgive me of it. I can be really free. I can walk in the Spirit.
That is how there is NOW no condemnation. There is no condemnation when I walk according to the Spirit. The Spirit will always call me to repent. He is a gift of God’s goodness toward me.
Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Don’t despise the richness of this gift … It is always NOW…..