Webster’s dictionary – Condemn: to pass an adverse judgment on; disapprove of strongly; to prove a person guilty of wrongdoing, declare to be guilty, convict; to declare incurable.
This is the perfect beginning for this chapter, especially after the previous one stating, ‘O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Oh boy, how many times I have asked this very same question…lol), I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.’
Here let me type out the beginning verse because I would really like you to read it over and over again. It is very important that you study Romans 7 to get the full impact of this opening verse in 8.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.
We can see right away that a couple of things are going on in just these two passages; some very profound things. In our studies of Brother Paul, we know that he was actually a pretty righteous dude according to the law. (Phil 3:3-11) Now why on earth would he be so concerned with being delivered from his body of death, not to mention calling himself a wretched man? Brothers and sisters, could it be because our brother finally understood that it is not by the works of the law that made him righteous? That the law had done what it was designed to do and that was show him his death and condemnation because for all his outward appearances, he still sinned by coveting? As we studied in the last chapter, our precious brother got the opportunity to be raw before our very eyes, and work out his salvation by speaking the truth about what the law was designed to do and that was show him that he was dead. Why else do you think he called it the ministry of death (II Cor. 3:7)?
Before I get too carried away with the ministry of death, I want to head over to the Good News part of this post. As the opening verse in 8 says, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation,’ is the greatest news a soul needs to hear. It is so very important for a saint to get a hold of the fact that a big portion of what ails them in their lives is guilt and the feeling of condemnation whether they realize it or not. Even the saints that have put faith in Christ still are plagued with guilt over sinning. Now I am not saying it is wrong to feel bad about being a jerk to someone, or cheating on your taxes and getting caught; but what I am addressing is the feelings of guilt towards God. Could it be that many saints are not understanding the full impact of what Jesus did by condemning sin in the flesh which would be why Paul would thank God through Jesus Christ for delivering him from this body of death? I believe it is.
This brothers and sisters is the main purpose of why my husband and I blog these things, to truly help the saints be free from condemnation and guilt. As verse 2 says, ‘For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has MADE me free from the law of sin and death. Did you catch that? His life has made me something, and that something is free from the thing that was designed to show me my death, and it worked! This body, yeah it still does ridiculous things; and finally it does not surprise me. But on the flip side, when the life of Christ spills out of me, and I see it touch a person that needed touching, or even touches me; it is then that I rejoice in the Lord and know that His spirit dwells in me and I am His.
Now if you continue reading Romans 8, some spots may appear to be warnings about behaving, but I encourage you saints to be sure and go back to the beginning of the book if you have to and keep it in context. Be sure and put on your New Covenant lenses, always looking through them at what Christ has provided through HIS death, burial, and resurrection.
And yes I can already hear some saying a very popular verse that after studying the book of Romans thoroughly, I pray you too can see how ridiculous it is in light of what Jesus has made us; and that is ‘Shall we go on sinning that grace may abound?’ And I have to concur with my brother’s answer, ‘How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?’ There are a whole lot of saints that need to be reconciled to Poppa over the sin issue, and personally, for this saint, when I was, it was like I was born again all over. Try it, you’ll like it!