Summary: Christ sets us free so that we do not need to live under the dark cloud of condemnation from past sins.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For 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 for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” [1]

There are only two religions in the world—“do” or “done.” One of these religions attempts to coerce the god (or gods) worshipped within that particular religion to accept the worshipper as they perform prescribed rituals. The other, less popular religion, seeks mercy from the God Who gives life to all. The first of these two religions depends upon the worshipper doing something to make himself or herself acceptable. The second of these religions realizes that the worshipper can do nothing to make himself or herself acceptable. In the latter religion, worshippers cast themselves upon the mercy of God. Two religions—either worshippers feel they must make themselves acceptable, or worshippers accept that the work is done by the God they worship.

What has this to do with the message? Everything! The overwhelming majority of people want to “do” something to assure themselves of a place in Heaven. They believe there is a god, and that they must “do” something in order to placate that god. Perhaps that is obvious for Muslims and Buddhists, for Hindus and practitioners of Voodoo, but it is true even for much of Christendom. Why else do mothers of infants want to get their infants baptized if not to secure those babies a place in Heaven? Why do people who have no time for God or for worship during the course of the year feel compelled to attend church services at Easter and Christmas? The answer is the almost universal thought that we must do something if we will secure a place in Heaven.

Why is it so popular throughout the world to try to do something to placate the deities who are thought to control life? Isn’t it because we realize intuitively that we are guilty of violating the mandate of Heaven? Isn’t it because we realize that we are sinful, broken people? It doesn’t require great persuasion to convince us that we do sin.

When witnessing to people concerning the salvation Christ offers, on multiple occasions I’ve read, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” [ROMANS 3:23]. I cannot recall that anyone has denied the reality of what is written in that verse. Many will attempt to deflect or mitigate God’s assessment; but no one ever dissents from the divine censure. “Of course I’ve sinned,” a person might admit, “but I’m not that bad!” At other times, the individual may attempt to deflect what is revealed by saying, “But I’ve never killed anyone.” Or the individual may say, “I’m okay; I’m not a bad person.” However, when pressed, all have agreed that they have sinned at least once! The logical response is, how many sins must one commit in order to demonstrate they are a sinner? The answer is evident—one sin exposes you as a sinner. We are not sinners because we sin; but we sin because we are sinners. And our past condemns us as sinful!

Ask a cultist such as a Jehovah’s Witness whether she is forgiven, and she can only equivocate. So long as she continues doing what she believes is required to satisfy Jehovah god, she hopes she may get a shot at the new world. Nevertheless, she has no assurance that she is forgiven. She is terrified of disobeying Jehovah god. Mormons are similarly squishy when asked if they have any certainty that their sins are forgiven. Muslims have no assurance that Allah accepts them. Buddhists can only hope that they may eventually somehow achieve some sort of eternal peace through their efforts. Hindus can never have a firm hope of acceptance by the multiplicity of gods worshipped.

Christians, however, have this wonderful and comforting promise from the Lord: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” [1 JOHN 5:13]. The Word is written so that you may know that you have eternal life! The Risen Saviour wants His people to have confidence that they are forgiven. Our Saviour is quite clear on wanting those who believe in Him to know that they are accepted and that they have new life in Him.

I was invited to speak to a religious society on one occasion, a supposed church. The man inviting me was the preacher for that particular society. I challenged his invitation, stating that he really didn’t want me to speak to his people. He was somewhat shocked as evidenced by his response to my assertion. He questioned my rationale for saying what I had said, “Why would you say that brother?”

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