Summary: Our salvation is based on the blood of Christ and God will not condemn us as long as we continue to trust in Christ. The beginning of a series of sermons on Romans 8
No Condemnation In Christ Rom. 8:1-4
INTRO.: One reason we come to Church is to find some encouragement in life’s struggles. We all need encouragement. I find the eighth chapter of Romans to be the most encouraging chapter in all the Bible. Over the years, I have preached many sermons from this chapter and always thought some day I would put together a series of messages from just this chapter, but I never got around to it until now.
For the next few weeks, our messages will be from the eighth chapter of Romans and will center on the idea of encouragement for the Christian.
I. Let’s examine our Scripture passage in its context: It begins with a "therefore."
A. Obviously it’s connected with something that goes before. We need to look back at chapter seven to see what the "therefore" is all about.
1. In chapter 7, Paul is relating his struggles with sin. He has been a Christian about 25 years, yet he is still struggling.
2. This is not about problems he had before becoming a Christian. It is about his Christian life and the temptations he faces.
3. In verses 18-25, he despairs of any hope to keep God’s perfect Law. And thanks God for deliverance through Christ.
B. Have we not felt the same struggle and experienced the same despair?
1. It isn’t always easy to be a Christian. There are terrific temptations.
2. The more you are able to accomplish for God, the greater the effort Satan will make to tear you down. Temptations will come.
3. We all know God has rules, the Law, but some days it seems impossible to keep. Some days we can’t seem to do anything right.
4. We are plagued by guilt and feel we are likely to go to hell.
C. God has good news for you:
1. You are not going to Hell. "There is now no condemnation."
2. Christ died for your sins. His blood will not be wasted.
3. A different law will be enforced. The law that comes from the Spirit and brings life. It will free you from the Law that causes sin and brings death.
II. God gave us rules to save us from sin and guilt.
A. Even though perfect, the rules failed because of our weakness in the flesh.
1. The Jews had the Law of Moses including the Ten Commandments we have heard so much about recently. It was both a religious and civil code.
2. The Gentiles had a knowledge of God as He was seen in the creation. They knew certain acts were wrong.
3. Both groups failed to keep the rules given them. They all had the power to choose and chose not to obey.
4. For this reason, no one could be saved by obeying the rules. Neither can we.
B. There is a universal penalty for breaking the rules. It is death. Rom. 5:12
1. Death comes because of God’s rules. Rom. 5:13. Pesky rules no one ever keeps.
2. So, we are all under penalty of death, but this is where Jesus comes in.
3. God sent Him to free us from the law. He kept the law perfectly, yet died. He died for us.
4. So, rather than condemning us, God is able to condemn sin. It no longer has any power over us.
C. We still want to think we can be saved by keeping the rules:
1. Even though we are Christians, we think we’ll go to Hell if we break a single promise, fail to be in worship one Sunday, or slip into some sin.
2. Christians live in fear and insecurity, forgetting the Father’s love. If we do our best to live for Him, we deserve salvation, we think. If not, we don’t.
3. We have the idea God has given us parole rather than pardon. We think our salvation depends on good behavior. It depends on the grace of God.
III. Like most promises, this promise of no condemnation has conditions:
A. However, they are not the conditions we usually attach to it.
1. ILLUS.: "I don’t know what I may do tomorrow."
2. Of course God doesn’t want you to sin, but He knows you will.
3. When you do, there is a wonderful promise in I John 2:1.
B. One must be "in Christ Jesus" v. 1
1. We are baptized into Christ. Gal. 3:27, thus into His death. Rom. 6:3
2. In Christ, we are a new creation. II Cor. 5:17
3. Being "in Christ" means living for Him, putting your life in His hands, being part of His body. It means trusting and following Him.
C. We must "live according to the Spirit." v. 4
1. That means letting God direct our lives. Not living for self or pleasure. Not living just to satisfy the flesh.