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Summary: Grace at work - Those who are in Christ Jesus, now, today, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, but NOW, there is no condemnation.

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Rom 8:1

Romans 7:24 (AV)

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

May 6, 2013 – Rescued & free

- Story of the 3 women 21, 16, 14 at the time - “held captive for 10 years

- Inside a run-down padlocked Cleveland house, in Ohio.

- Starved & beaten

- Got outside of the house twice — and then only as far as the garage.

- Bound and hidden sexually abused & raped in what feels like the darkest and most desperate place on earth

- A picture of what its like to be “held captive” by legalistic, condemning, controlling, sin and death.

- Clawing and scratching but feeling powerless and hopeless. In the midst of all that despair.

Condemned (condemnation)

- Now worst when under the sentence of death

- The trial is over found guilty - now time to pass judgment

Job 9:20 (AV)

20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.

John 8:10–11 (AV) - Women Condemned To Be Stoned

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

A pardon she did not deserve. This is what mercy is: a punishment she did deserve withheld. "Neither do I condemn you

- Gk. Reads – No then now condemnation those in Christ Jesus

οὐδείς ἄρα νῦν κατάκριμα τοῖς ἐν Χριστός Ἰησοῦς

- First word in Ro 8:1 in in Gk is “No”

- Emphasizing as strongly as possible “No condemnation”

- Never at all

Guilt Free

- “There is no condemnation – none whatsoever – for the believer in Christ Jesus”

“For those who are in Christ Jesus, now, today, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, but NOW, there is no condemnation.”

- This is GRACE at work

2 Corinthians 8:9 (AV)

9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

1. Christ had unlimited possessions – He was rich

2. Stepped into poverty – He became poor

3. With unswerving purpose – that ye through His poverty might be made rich

Eph 2:8

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

- Def. – Grace is God’s freely given, unmerited favor toward the sinful and failing, the expression of – forgiving, redeeming, restoring love toward the unworthy.

- Grace is God taking the initiative to meet our need whatever that may be.

- Grace is “Love stooping down”.

Rom 8 begins with “No Condemnation” It ends with no separation

Grace Les Miserables

AN ILLUSTRATION OF GRACE: JEAN VALJEAN FROM LES MISERABLES

The story of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables is a great example of grace.

• I read the book many years ago. Liza and I just saw the movie adaptation of the musical.

• “Les Misérables” is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. In the English-speaking world, the novel

• French title, which can be translated from the French as The Miserables, The Wretched, The Miserable Ones, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims.” (Wikipedia.org).

• “Sentenced to a 19 year term of hard labor for the crime of stealing bread, Jean Valjean gradually hardened into a tough convict… At last Valjean earned his release. Convicts in those days had to carry identity cards, however, and no innkeeper would let a dangerous felon spend the night. For four days he wandered the village roads, seeking shelter against the weather, until finally a kindly bishop had mercy on him.” (Philip Yancey).

• I see in this story a powerful parallel with the teachings in Galatians, contrasting the law and grace. Jean Valjean is a guilty man, convicted of a crime. He experiences undeserved grace from a bishop, and the pursuit of the law from a policeman named Javert.

LES MISERABLES MUSICAL: Javert releases prisoner 24601 on parole (lyrics © 2013).

[Javert] Now bring me prisoner 24601, Your time is up

And your parole's begun, You know what that means

[Valjean] Yes, it means I'm free.

[Javert] No! Follow to the letter your itinerary, this badge of shame you’ll show until you die, it warns you’re a dangerous man

[Valjean] I stole a loaf of bread.

My sister's child was close to death And we were starving.

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