avoiding the rope of condemnation

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit….

Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Romans 8

In my own life I’ve struggled with anxiety and fear, and last but not least, condemnation. Reading Romans 8 (hit the link above for the full chapter) helps us understand that in Jesus there is no condemnation at all. So that if we’re experiencing it, or getting it a whiff of it at all, then we can chalk it down to the lies of the enemy. If we are in Christ by faith then whatever condemnation coming our way is suspect, in fact to be rejected, as long as we are confessed up insofar as we know of our sins. And not living or languishing in sin.

If we do sin, not even then are we to accept condemnation. Remember that Judas Iscariot did accept it, it seems, and hanged himself. Was forgiveness available to him? Of course it was, but he was not a person of faith, so that he failed to receive it. God’s conviction is completely different. It is gentle and one of love and of peace. One is glad for it, who experiences it. A night and day difference between what is passed out by the enemy even as the word of God, and what the actual word of God really is.

A telltale sign of condemnation is when all of the spiritual life is choked out of someone. When all strength is gone, and there seems to be no grace in one’s life at all. I speak from experience, and too much of it. We need to see it for what it is, not from God or of God, we can be sure of that. And we need to go forward, ready and eager to confess our sins, to live in God’s loving convicting work, God’s salvation.

And so there is love, joy and peace, and righteousness by the Holy Spirit God has given to us. We need to go on, not leaning on our own understanding, but acknowledging and submitting to God through his word/scripture and by the Spirit. We need to reject any condemnation at all, as soon as we see it rising up. And if it does get a hold on us, we need to ask God for his convicting work, resist the devil, and learn to live more and more in the salvation God has for us, for everyone in and through Jesus.

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