No Condemnation

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    Christians continually struggle with sin. Satan is a real force to be reckoned with in our spiritual lives and he will continue to tempt us as long as we are trying to do what is right. Yet even when we try to do right, we still slip up at times and do something we shouldn’t. It might be as simply as a thought in our mind that we shouldn’t have had or a word that was said that we shouldn’t have said, but we all struggle with sin. If we feel like we don’t, then we make God a liar (1 John 1:7-10). So where is the comfort in Christ? Where is the freedom from sin? How can we struggle with sin and still live right with God? There are times when we know what is right and we want to do right, yet we still find ourselves doing wrong. Is there hope for us? Is there a way for Christians who struggle with sin to be right with God?

    Paul addresses this very question in Romans 7-8. Paul struggled with sin and the law. Paul wanted to do what was right yet still at times found himself doing wrong. The law had no answer to this as anyone who sinned would receive the punishment due to them which is spiritual death. Yet the answer is in Christ. Paul spells out the answer to Christians in the first few verses of Romans 8.

    Romans 8:1-3 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”

    The answer is in Christ and the forgiveness found in Christ. In Christ there is no condemnation. Sin demands a punishment and under the old law sin left all doomed to spiritual death with no means of redemption. Yet Christ is the answer to that condemnation. Christ can set us free from sin and death. Yet this is not a free pass to live however we want. Many believe that the forgiveness in Christ covers all unrighteousness. Many believe that one can become a Christian and then it doesn’t matter how they live for the rest of their life, Christ will forgive them. Yet notice what the verse says. There is no condemnation to those who do not walk after the flesh, but after the spirit. This gift of forgiveness through Christ only comes when we live obedient to Christ. This is emphasized later as well in Romans 8:8 which reads, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

    The reality is, there is forgiveness in Christ. Christ can and will forgive any sin. Yet this forgiveness extends only so far as we are willing to follow Him. When we are willing to leave our sins behind and live according to His law we will have forgiveness. Yet when we refuse to leave our sins and continue walking after the flesh, we cannot please God and do not have the forgiveness that Christ offers. We must be thankful for the forgiveness found in Christ, but we must also realize that the forgiveness in Christ is dependent upon our willingness to follow Christ!