Summary: To let the reader know that we have certain privileges in Christ Jesus
THE PRIVILEGES OF RELATIONSHIP
American express in one of its older commercials used to say “Membership has its privileges” and that is fine when it comes to looking for a credit card, but when it comes to our salvation, I’ve learned that relationship has privileges.
The Counterfeit/Fraud departments at the FBI have a proven way to train their agents to detect counterfeit money. They place before their trainees a series of real bills from the smallest to the largest. They would study the bills and become familiar with what real paper money looks like. They would become so familiar, that they can spot a phoney dollar bill from the real one simply by looking for certain things. Likewise Paul in the text is showing us how we should know if we are the real deal or not, then he is showing us the reward that comes with walking in relationship with the Lord.
First of all, in order for you to tell if you have a relationship with the Lord is . . .
1. YOU MUST BE IN CHRIST JESUS (v.1)
“There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus,”
I think that the greatest mistake that many clergymen have made, is that in our invitations for Discipleship. We would tell the unchurched to come to Jesus but we would wrap that statement around telling them to join our local assembly instead of the body of Christ called the Church. Many of the unchurched do not see the word Church as the source of walking day by day with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They simply view it as having some place to go once a week and when they do that it qualifies them as saved. But that my brothers and sisters are not true at all. This might work in certain social activities that you are involved with. But when it comes to salvation Jesus reminds us in John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.”
So, the first thing the new convert must know is that if they accept Jesus as their personal Savior, their sins will be forgiven them and there will be no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.
From the evidence seen in many of our churches, this principal has not been taught. We’ve been taught and rightfully so to pay our obligations, to join certain ministries and to tell someone about our church. But when it comes to abiding in Christ, it calls for us to change the way we are, to become what we need to be, and that is like Christ.
Since Christ has come into our lives, a most wonderful thing has happened. We who believe in Christ are no longer condemned. The believer is no longer doomed and damned, but is freed from the penalty and condemnation of sin; he is not judged as a sinner, but is delivered from the condemnation of death and hell; he is not judged to be unrighteous, but is counted to be righteous.
It means simply this, the person who is in Christ is safe and secure from condemnation now and forever more. So, in order to have this freedom from sin, we must be in Christ Jesus.