Summary: Although we sometimes have feelings of condemnation, if our faith is in Jesus alone, there is no condemnation for us! Paul reassures Gentiles and Jews alike that even though we have all failed repeatedly, if we are in Christ, we are forgiven and free - no
Intro: Michael Breissen was a new father, and he was not about to let his wife’s first Mother’s Day pass uncelebrated. But she was a nurse, and on that particular Sunday was working at the local hospital, and they weren’t able to celebrate together at home. So Michael plunked his new son, Jason, in the baby carrier, drove to the hospital, and in front of all the patients and co-workers he surprised Miriam with candy and flowers and balloons that said, "World’s Greatest Mom."
-It was a great Mother’s Day. But after celebrating, it was time for Miriam to go back to work, and Jason and Michael to go back home. Michael gathered all the things that had been part of the celebration: the candy, flowers, and balloons. It wasn’t as much fun taking those things out to the car as it was taking them in to the hospital for the surprise. He begrudgingly tossed the candy on the front seat and got the flowers arranged on the floor where they wouldn’t tip over. He pulled the balloons in out of the wind and got everything arranged, and headed home.
-On the way home, people began to honk their horns and flash their lights at him. He didn’t realize what was going on until he hit 55 miles per hour on the highway. He heard a long scraping noise go down the roof, followed by a loud thump. He watched in horror in the rearview mirror as the baby carrier bounced off the trunk onto the highway and began to slide along behind the car.
-Michael screeched to a halt. He ran back down the highway to the baby carrier. Jason was okay. As the waves of guilt and fear and relief began to wash over him, Michael fell on the highway and began to sob, which did not stop a passing policeman from writing him up, nor the local newspaper from writing a story about it. A reporter interviewed Miriam, who showed amazing understanding. She said, "It’s so unlike him. He really is a good father."
-While there’s a part of us that says, "How could he?" there’s another part of us that relates to Michael Breissen. We recog-nize all the mistakes we have made, the dumb things we have done born out of hurry or frustration or distraction. We know that there is enough Michael Breissen in us that we could be guilty of such things too. It’s all part of being human.
-The eighth chapter of Romans begins with one of the greatest promises in all the Bible. "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Just those words alone are cause for hope and celebration – if only we really took them to heart! The significance of the fact that in spite of our sin, God doesn’t condemn us is overwhelming in and of itself. But when you read that verse in light of chapter 7, the personal application of its truth is even more moving. (Intro. Adapted from Tim Bond’s sermon on Rom. 8:1-4, sermoncentral.com)
-We’ve all spent time living in chapter 7. Now, I embrace the view that Paul’s vexation or exasperation at his inability to do the right thing is a picture of his life before he met Jesus. Nevertheless, the reality for most of us is that we’ve experienced some of Romans 7 even after coming to Christ. But God speaks through Paul to tell us that even when we fail again and again, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is security in our relationship with God. If we are in Christ, we don’t need to wonder if God is angry with us. "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." If you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you don’t need to fear God’s wrath. "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." When God looks at you, He doesn’t see a wretch, He sees a son or daughter.
1. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (1)
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
-No condemnation! Though we’ve failed repeatedly and still stumble, we are forgiven and free! The question for us who have called on the Lord is not, “Am I condemned?” The question for us is, “Am I in Christ?” And there is a qualification in the last part of v.4: the requirements of the law are fully met in those who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Holy Spirit. If you are still living out your sinful nature, day in – day out, consistently living a lifestyle of sin, then it’s pretty hard to truthfully say that you are in Christ. A person who lives like that is in the flesh or in the sinful nature – not in Christ. There is a difference between that and stumbling occasionally.