Some theological truths roll off our tongues like reciting our ABC’s. In some sense, they are so foundational to our faith that they can become somewhat unremarkable over time. For me, the encouragement contained in Romans 8:1-4 is a prime example of a foundational truth that can loose its luster over time in the tarnishing environment of familiarity. Let me quote the passage for you:
1. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. 2. because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)
So, how much condemnation is there in “no condemnation”? You know, I think I understand this truth until I look at how I live my life before my God and Savior. If it weren’t in many was so tragic, I suppose it would be darkly humorous. The truth is so simple, yet I seem to steadfastly deny it in how I live. You see, often I still fear that I somehow lack His approval. I wonder if I am a colossal disappointment to Him. But in doing so, I make Him out to be just like me. So, instead of relishing in His unfathomable grace that He would completely forgive a profoundly sinful person such as me, I question whether He really can forgive. He says there is no condemnation, and I say He must be mistaken. He says that the righteous requirements of the law have been perfectly met on my behalf by His own Son’s sacrifice, and I say there must be more He expects of me before He can accept me. I wonder how much sin would be eliminated if I simply relished in the profundity of His grace? Could I really grumble about my life when faced with such a truth? Or, could I covet anything this world has to offer? Wouldn’t commands like “Be joyful always, and again I say rejoice!” seem rather obvious, and perhaps even a bit unnecessary? No condemnation… think about that for a while.