From time to time I will get down on myself for past sins or for just not living up to the expectations I believe, in my own mind, Christ has for me. I am pretty sure many believers experience the same attitude. We, as believers in Jesus Christ, are still flesh and blood and sinners. Come on, you know it’s true. We still sin. I believe that the apostle Paul experienced the same dilemma. Inspired by the Holy Spirit he writes in Romans 7 that he does not understand his own actions. He explains that he does not do what he wants to do, but does the very thing he hates. He goes on to write later that he understands that he is in Christ and the evil he keeps on doing is the sin that still dwells in him.
The other night I was reading some writings by the Puritan Octavius Winslow. He makes some interesting comments on the the very next chapter in Romans. Romans chapter 8 begins with:
1 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.
This transition between the despondent attitude of chapter 7 and the triumphant language of chapter 8 may seem abrupt and somewhat startling, yet it is perfectly easy, logical, and natural. The perfect law that was delivered by God is what condemns us. The perfect redemption from the condemning law was also delivered up by God in Jesus Christ. For those who trust in Christ for salvation from this condemnation, this death sentence, this future doom have eternal hope. Through Jesus Christ he curse has been removed, the indictment is quashed, and “there is, therefore, now no condemnation.”
So, who or what still condemns me? Winslow again comments:
The freedom of the believer is just what it is declared to be- entire exemption from condemnation. From all which that word of significant and solemn import implies, he is, by his relation to Christ, delivered. Sin does not condemn him, the law does not condemn him, the curse does not condemn him, hell does not condemn him, God does not condemn him.
It is an awesome thing to continue to keep this in mind. We are no longer condemned. I have a dear friend, who has since moved out of state, who used to struggle with the fact that he still sins. I used to point out this Romans 8 verse to him all the time and yet he would still struggle. Please remind other believers and dear Saints of this rich truth. For when we do, we are expressing great love for them. I am so thankful for this scripture and for those in my life who lovingly remind me that nothing and no one condemns me.
Soli Deo Gloria!
December 30, 2007 at 7:45 pm
Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last! I cannot understand how believers can get through the consequences of their sins without remember there is no condemnation. I would be a total basket-case (watch it!!) if I not only had consequences for the action, but would still remain condemned in God’s eyes!
Thanks for the great reminder.
December 30, 2007 at 9:31 pm
> I used to point out this Romans 8 verse to him
> all the time and yet he would still struggle.
Are you saying we are not to struggle against sin?
December 31, 2007 at 3:48 am
Thanks for the comment. We are free indeed.
I may have misrepresented what I was trying to convey. I meant that he would still beat himself up for being a sinner and live like a condemned man.