Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”
Romans chapter 8 has been called the most wonderful chapter in the Bible! It’s extremely encouraging. It starts with no condemnation and ends with no separation. It describes the new life of the believer in relation to the Holy Spirit and His work in and through us. Today we’ll look at the first four verses.
Paul begins by summing up what he has said to this point. It’s basically everything we’ve been looking at the last month as we’ve gone through chapters 5-7: how death came through Adam and life comes through Christ; how believers are now dead to sin and alive in Christ; how believers are no longer slaves to sin because we now live in a new era where we are now slaves to righteousness; how we’ve been released from the Law and are now bound to Christ; and finally, it is Jesus who rescued us from the body of death.
So how did Paul sum it all up? He stated, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!” Think about that for a minute; it’s an amazing statement. It means to be found innocent of the accusation, to have no sentence inflicted and no guilty verdict found.
How can this be? We all know how bad we can be and how short we seem to fall when compared to God’s righteousness. That’s Paul’s point, we can’t. It’s only by the grace of God that we have any hope! It’s not by anything we do—it is a free gift from God. By His free gift (we went over this in Romans 5:15-17), believers in Jesus will not face condemnation. Think about that—you and I are free to serve God in the new way of the Spirit—it’s powerful!
I want you to notice something else—did you notice that Paul didn’t say, “One day soon” or “in the future”. He said, “There is now no condemnation.” Did you catch that? It is a present reality for believers. Yes, right now in the present, the moment a believer places their faith in Christ they are immediately set free from the Law of sin and death. They are now free to live in the realm of the Spirit (see Romans 7:6). They are now made right in God’s sight by virtue of the work of Christ on the cross. God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves: He sent His son to rescue us.
The solution to our problem—our deepest need—lies in the work of Christ’s death on the cross. Because of our union with Christ (6:11), there is no condemnation—our future deliverance from death has invaded the present world we now live in! Think about what this means for us: think about the way it sets you and me free, the way it liberates us, and emancipates us. Can you see why the early Church called it the Gospel, the good news? Yes, it is good news indeed!
Paul’s statement was an exclamation of victory, which proclaimed the new age inaugurated by the Spirit. We’re free now to live in the new way of love as we bear fruit to God.
Take some time today and think about your own life. Think about the reality that there is no condemnation for you; you’re now dead to sin and made alive in Christ Jesus. You don’t walk according to the flesh—the sinful nature—but according to the Spirit. What does that life look like for you this week? How can you live as one who has been set free?
*From what you have just read and considered, what is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the Gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live out this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the Good News today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest.