Strong and Courageous
June 21, 2018
One of my favorite passages in the Scripture is Romans Chapter 8: 1-8. It reads as follows, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
What a remarkable picture we see here, no condemnation, being set free, and being justified. All of these benefits are thoroughly and completely ours to embrace as followers of Jesus Christ.
But how good are we at walking the walk in this arena?
If you are like me, there are many instances where I don’t really believe that I am free from condemnation. We find ourselves in the unique position of being sorrowful over the mistakes that we make in life that can overwhelm us with guilt. But we are also in a position of being set free from sin, solely by redemption in Christ. Both of these dynamics are in play at the same time. This is frustrating on one hand and exhilarating on the other.
When we stop to think about it, we are by default, placed in a position of peace and security. We hold a legal perspective of being justified, meaning that we are declared not guilty! R.C. Sproul states, “Legally speaking, God sees us as law-keepers. He sees that His law has been fulfilled in us, because when He looks at us in a judicial sense, He sees Christ. Jesus provides in our justification the perfection that God requires to live in His presence, and this perfection can be credited to us only if we first admit that we cannot achieve it.”
When we fully understand our position, we can confidently say “there is therefore now no condemnation, for those who are in Christ Jesus.” When we get locked into thoughts that are contrary and destructive, we need to stop rolling the tape and reshape our thoughts on this glorious redemption that we have, even though we did not earn it in any way.