Summary: Our response to the Gospel is relationship and obedience. Relationship without obedience leads to "Cheap Grace" and Obedience without relationship leads to "legalism"
Rom 8:1-17 – No Condemnation in Christ
What is it like to be a condemned man?
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to stand in the dock waiting for the jury to deliver its verdict and to hear the words “we find him guilty”
And then to hear the judge pronounce the death sentence
Seen the movie, “Dead Man Walking” or “The Green Line”
Perhaps some of us here today still feel guilt over some past sin, or we may wonder if we are are good enough to escape God’s condemnation
The great apostle Paul struggled with these same feeling
Romans 7:21-25 It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin?
Last time I talked about the movie “The Hand”
How the old man keeps coming back to haunt us
Paul also struggled with the old man of sin and if we were to stop at v.24 it would seem it is a losing battle
And it is except for one thing
In this section of scripture between v. 14-25, Paul uses the personal pronoun “I” or “me” 33 times
What does this indicate to you when we see 33 uses of the personal pronoun used in 12 verses
Emphasis is on self effort and while we try to battle this old nature by ourselves we will fail
Our new life is meant to be lived in partnership with God
So in v.24 Paul in frustration asks the question, “Who will free me from this “Life (Self-life)” dominated by sin”
And he now gives us the key to how we can live the overcomers life
25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
The answer to his dilemna is the gospel message of Jesus Christ
And he goes on to expand his answer in Rom 8
This chapter is the culmination of Paul’s explanation of the basis of the Christian faith
One of the most important chapters in the whole Bible
Its the Christians victory cry
In contrast to the last chapter where Paul used the personal pronoun 33 times in 12 verses, guess what word is used 19 times – Spirit or the Holy Spirit
Ought to give us some indication of where our strength should come from
1Therefore, (as a result of all that has gone before) there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
It doesn’t say there is “a little condemnation”, it says “no condemnation”
…………Are you in Jesus Christ?
How much condemnation do you have?
Do we believe that very encouraging statement
Its healthy to have remorse and guilt for our past and present sins, especially at our repentance, but God does not intend us to stay in that frame of mind
He wants us to believe this statement
When we use the expression, “Freedom in Christ” What do we mean?
Here we see Paul’s explaination, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”.
Far too many Christians live their lives as thought they are still under condemnation
These people are asking the wrong question. The question can never be, "Am I good enough."
And of course the answer is “no”
The more important question that needs to be asked is the one I asked earlier, Are we in Christ?
If we are, then the next verse applies to us
2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death
this is the answer to Paul’s dilemna posed in the last chapter
the new law of the spirit frees us from the law that governs the sinful man
V3: "God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."
So Paul clearly says that if we are “in Christ” we no longer live under condemnation.