Freedom in Christ

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. [Romans 8:1, NLT]

OK, please, just pause for a minute or two and think about that statement. “No. Condemnation.”

But, how about the sins I still commit? I mean, sometimes I find myself expecting a lightening-bolt. And you’re telling me there is no condemnation for sinning? It makes no sense. Especially after everything Christ did for us. The arrest, the beatings, a crown of thorns pressed deep into His scalp. Scourged with a cat of nine tails and made to carry the crosspiece of His cross through the city, out the gate and up the hill to Golgotha – where they attached the crosspiece to the upright, laid Him on his back (which had little or no flesh left on it after the scourging) and drove spikes through His hands and feet. Then, with Christ nailed to that cross, they lifted it up and dropped it into a the hole in the ground that held it upright. After several hours of slow suffocation and loss of blood, Jesus died.

So, He does all that, …and then we pay Him back with more sin, and still there is no condemnation? Correct!

But how can that be? The answer is… “Because of all Christ did on the cross.”

To this day there is a huge debt standing between mankind and God. It is called, “sin debt”. God is perfection. And God cannot allow sin to enter into Heaven. Man is born with a sinful nature and lives on a broken planet. We are far from perfect. God knew, and Jesus knew there was only one sacrifice that could atone for (redeem) man’s sin. It would take the sacrifice of a perfect man. But there was no perfect man on earth. So, “…God loved this world so much that he gave his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16. NLT]

That’s what God and Jesus accomplished some 2,000+ years ago. And now we need to read-on in Romans 8. The next verse says, “And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” [Romans 8:2, NLT]

Christ freely endured false accusation, humiliation, beatings, scourging, and crucifixion in order to set us free from our sin burden. And, at the same time, He opened the door of Heaven – where we will spend eternity with God. It is the greatest gift ever bestowed on humanity. Yet, globally, only a few have accepted the gift of salvation; and, of those who have accepted this free gift, many don’t know how to live with it. (The example, above, about expecting a lightening bolt).

In this broken world Satan will be watching for the slightest opening to lead us off-track and away from God. When we take control of our lives we will inevitably make mistakes and move further into sin. And Satan will be whispering in our ear something to the effect of, “…now you’ve done it. God is really disappointed and angry with you. Say good-bye to Heaven, because He will never forgive you for this one. You’re a poor example of a Christian, …make that former Christian. …Ya-da, ya-da, ya-da….”

But those are all lies! Remember Satan is called, “…a liar, and the father of lies” for good reason.1

The second greatest gift God ever gave us is free-will. We seem not to have a bit of trouble using our free -will. Most don’t know how to live with it free-will, either.

When Adam and Eve, using their free-will, sinned by choosing to believe Satan over God, they ushered sin into the world. We are born with a sinful nature and live on a planet that was cursed because of their sin. And basically, as soon as we learn right from wrong we begin to sin. Before we became Christians our free-will had led us into a sizable sin-debt. After becoming a Christian, with our sin-debt covered by the blood of Christ, we strive to subordinate our free-will to God’s will. We should not follow the desires of others – or even our own. Instead we try to follow God’s plans for us. That’s the surest way to live a sin-free life. But, it isn’t easy. In fact, it isn’t even possible. Jesus’ sacrifice forgives our sin. It did not make us perfect.

In reality, when we came to Christ He forgave all the sins we have committed — and ever will commit. Your sins are covered. And, before you ask – yes, you should continue to confess your sins when you make them. You will not lose your salvation if you don’t, that is secure. Confessing your sins will bring you into closer fellowship with God. And confessing your sins also tells God that you do not intend to sin again. Ask God for strength to resist Satan’s temptations.

Jesus is always with us. If He seems a bit removed; it’s because we have “pushed” Him away.  He is still with us, and will always be with us.2  He has saved us from our sins, period! He likes nothing better than answering our calls and showing us how He can turn negative situations into positive ones for those He calls His Own. He proved that love on the cross. Now it’s our turn to show our love for Christ by staying in constant touch with Him; praising Him; talking to Him; following His plan for our life; allowing His light to shine through us by helping others; and in general — living in His Presence.

Lord, thank you for your grace. We are told that there is no condemnation for those who are yours; and it is difficult for us to understand because we think, that you think the way we think – i.e., the score must be evened.

Lord as we walk in your presence teach us to think like you think. To see with Kingdom eyes, and hear with Kingdom ears. And Lord, help us to recognize the opportunities you place along our path to help others in their struggles. Thank you Lord, for your over-whelming and eternal love.

Larry

1  John 8:44

2  Matthew 28:20

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