Tuesday, July 23, 2013

No Longer Condemned

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  –Romans 8:1, 2 (KJV)

We have heard in recent years about cases where someone was condemned for a crime, and then through DNA testing was found innocent.  Imagine how that must have felt.  A court of law had condemned you, but then against all odds and against all hope you were exonerated. According to God’s Word, this was the condition for those who are in Christ Jesus.  We were guilty, had been found guilty, and had been condemned, but in Jesus Christ we have forgiveness and we are no longer condemned.  This merits celebrating, right? 

If that is the case, then why are so many followers of Christ walking around acting as if they are still enslaved and still under the bondage and mastery of sin?  Rather than walking forward in the victory Jesus has promised, they are surrendering in defeat.  According to the Bible, this is not God’s plan.  The abundant life Jesus promised does not come by laying down in defeat, but rather the abundant life comes when we by faith rise up, get going, trust Jesus, and start acting like conquerors and over-comers.  I look around and I see followers of Jesus Christ cowering in fear, and you know something?  I have done that myself – too many times.  The over-arching theme of God’s grace in the Bible is spiritual victory over what enslaves us.  Jesus said in John 10:10 that He has come that we might have life and have it more abundantly.  The abundant life means spiritual victory.

The high call of God in Christ Jesus is to walk forward in victory rather than defeat.  We begin to sink when we allow our focus to be on our problems, the world, and ourselves.  This reminds me of Simon Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples when the Lord invited Him to step out of the boat and walk on the water (Matthew 14:22-33).  The moment Peter took his eyes off Jesus he began to sink. Do not set our eyes on the storms of life, but instead set our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.  We were condemned, but we now have new life, freedom, and victory in Christ.  Life is too short to spend it wrapped in fear and worry.

Christ invites us to step out of the boat and experience the fullness of His grace and power.  Do not be afraid, but instead claim the peace and joy that is ours in Christ.

God Bless you today.