Summary: Paul tells why there is no condemnation for us. 1- No condemnation - Jesus set us free 2- No condemnation - The Spirit empowers us

INTRO.- Someone wrote: “Everything happens for a reason, but sometimes the reason is that you’re stupid and make bad decisions.” True. Stupid and sinful.

ILL.- June, 2012. The longtime girlfriend of Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger was sentenced to eight years in prison for helping him stay on the run for 16 years.

Catherine Greig showed no emotion when the U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock handed down the sentence. He also fined her $150,000. The 61-year-old Greig pleaded guilty in March to charges of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit identity fraud.

The 82-year-old Bulger is awaiting trial on charges he participated in 19 murders. Authorities captured the couple in Santa Monica, Calif., last June.

I would say that Catherine Greig was both stupid and sinful. I guess she thought her mobster friend/lover would always take care of her.

BUT WHAT A LIFE?! I’m sure they must have been looking over their shoulders constantly, wondering when the cops were going to nab them! That wouldn’t have been much of a fun life. What do you think? I’d much rather be able to live in peace, comfort and safety and have no fear of the law.

I think it would be much better to live a decent, honest, law-abiding life and be able to rest in peace at night, knowing that you were on the side of the law, instead of against it.

The same thing holds true in our relationship to God. Have you ever been on the wrong side of the fence when it comes to God? Sure, we all have, but hopefully, we didn’t stay there long. And even we though may occasionally step a foot on the other side of the fence, surely it doesn’t take long for us to wake from our spiritual slumber and get back where we are supposed to be!

Romans 13:11-14 11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Paul was writing to some Christians who needed to wake up. I know some Christians like that! They need to stop living for play, pleasure and the flesh and get right with Christ!

ILL.- Many years ago I knew a young couple in one church that had two beautiful little girls. This could seemed happy, in love, etc., but they started to run with the wrong crowd, the bar crowd and ended up in the divorce court. How sad! They knew better but they allowed the way of the world to get to them.

Sometimes sinful living is even disguised as meaningless or a harmless activity.

For example, I know of many people who got involved in the sports to the neglect of their relationship to Christ through the church. Their children were involved in various sports to the point where they stopped coming to church altogether. And one seemingly harmless sin leads to another and then to another until they become totally disinterested in Christ and the church. I’ve seen it happen many times.

One of my good preacher friends said when he was younger he lived near a lake so guess what took him away from the church. It soon became an every Sunday activity. He would wait until the people were in church and then he’d sneak out of town, pulling his boat behind him.

I’m not sure what shocked him and got him back to Christ and the church but something did.

The reverse of sinful living and being headed down the wrong road is being in Christ and striving to please Him as best you can. It’s called NO CONDEMNATION.

What is that relationship? Here are a few scriptures that tell of how it should be for us in Christ.

Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness....”

Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Who said those words?

Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

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