There is no condemnation in Jesus. Many of us have heard this truth as believers, but what does it mean to walk in it? I can know that I’m forgiven by God, but how do I reconcile that with the fact that I sometimes struggle and I still mess up from time to time?
If you’re anything like me, you beat yourself up for every little stumble. But is this how God meant for us to live?
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Even though we have the Spirit of God living inside of us, we still live in our earthly bodies in a world with sin and temptation all around us. No one will achieve absolute perfection this side of eternity, yet the Bible teaches that we are forgiven of our sins – past, present, and future.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. – Romans 8:1
Merriam-Webster defines the word “condemn” as the following:
– to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation
– to pronounce guilty
When we fail God, our first response is usually guilt. This initial feeling may simply be the Holy Spirit showing us the error of our ways so that we can make things right with God. But again, if you’re anything like me, you’ll repent and still feel guilty. Even when I’ve taken the steps to reconcile my relationship with God (and with others), I still struggle with feelings of guilt and shame.
The truth is clear that in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation. We are declared righteous by God, not guilty.
Keep this in mind: Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. We didn’t have to clean up our act before we came to Him. In fact, Paul tells us that it’s literally impossible for us to become righteous apart from Jesus.
Many of us believe that we have to “get clean” before we come to Christ, but we have it all backward. It’s God who does the cleaning. We come to Him to transform our lives and renew our hearts and minds.
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. – Romans 8:12-14 (NLT)
Romans 8:14 refers to us as children of God. As a mom, I can relate whole-heartedly to this message. My children mess up. They throw tantrums and disobey. But they also learn and grow. They repent and move forward. It doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences for their actions, but they don’t stop being my kids, and I certainly never stop loving them. As they grow older, the tantrums become fewer and they learn to think before they act. Basically… they grow up.
You are a child of God; and as you are growing and maturing in Christ, He will never stop loving you.
No mistake you make can separate you from God’s love and mercy.
So the next time the enemy tries to convince you that you’re still guilty somehow, don’t let him. You have been declared righteous by God, and he can’t take that away from you.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.