Bible Reading: Romans 8
Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
He was newly saved, but a past sin eventually caught up with him. He had secretly absconded with thousands of dollars from the business he was managing. The owner discovered the discrepancy and filed charges against him. My friend was charged and condemned to spend time in prison. A plea deal with struck that would allow for him to go free if he would repay the owner the funds that he had taken, but he didn’t have any money. What was to be done? Fortunately for my friend, generous family members and friends stepped in to raise the required funds and he escaped imprisonment. They paid a debt that they did not owe, to free him from a debt he could not pay.
Much like that, though on a much grander and more glorious scale, Jesus has worked to free the believer from condemnation. We are all sinners by birth and practice (Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:1-3). The just punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). In God’s divine courtroom, all stand justly condemned because all have sinned. How are any of us to escape judgment?
Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, to free us from a debt we could not pay. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because they have been justified (i.e., declared righteous), based solely on the merit of Christ’s finished work on the cross. Having been justified “by his grace as a gift” (Romans 3:24) and “by his blood” (Romans 5:9), the one trusting in Jesus has entered a blessed estate whereby the “record of debt that stood against” him has been canceled out in the forgiveness of his sins (Colossians 2:14)! Since God is the One who has declared him righteous, no charge can henceforth be brought against him (Romans 8:33-34)! How incredibly blessed we are in this by-grace reality! There was absolutely nothing I could do to escape the just judgment of God for the sins I had done, but Jesus stepped in and bore my sins, and paid the debt I owed, that I could be set free! “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow!”
There was absolutely nothing I could do to escape the just judgment of God for the sins I had done, but Jesus stepped in and bore my sins, and paid the debt I owed, that I could be set free!
In legal lingo, double jeopardy is that which protects a person from being prosecuted more than once for the same offense. According to God’s justice, we who are “in Christ” cannot be condemned because in dying once-for-all for sin Christ has bore any and every sin we’ve ever committed or will commit. We cannot be subsequently condemned for them. There are still consequences for sin, but as far as the penalty is concerned, that matter has been settled.
Ray Pritchard has commented on this, “Do you know what that means? We may stumble, we may fall, we may trip, we may make a thousand mistakes, we may sin, and we do, we may get off the path, we may go astray, we may have a thousand problems, but for the believer in Jesus Christ, there is, therefore now, no condemnation because God has said it is so. You can struggle, but you’re not condemned. You can fall, but you’re not condemned. You can trip, but you’re not condemned. You can stray off the path, but you are not condemned because God has said He will not condemn those who are in Christ Jesus.”
AND CAN IT BE?
And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!
No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own. [Refrain]