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No Condemnation

Growing in gospel fluency through Romans 8:1

This article is part of our "Gospel Saturation series" – featuring rich gospel verses from Scripture to help us grow and strengthen in faith as we saturate in the knowledge of Christ Jesus and his work for us.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

Romans 8:1

This is a bit of a different gospel-saturated verse than some we’ve looked at so far in this series. Rather than laying out the specifics of exactly what Jesus has done it expresses the results of the good news; what makes the gospel good news; what Jesus’ life and death and resurrection has won for us. Let’s look closer.

“The gospel is that when we believe in Christ, there is now ‘no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Rom 8:1).”

– Timothy Keller

Therefore

My Dad likes to say “whenever you see a therefore, you should see what it’s there for.” So, what’s this therefore there for in chapter 8 verse 1?

The apostle is referencing the case he’s been making through the previous few chapters about the gospel and what has been accomplished by Jesus for us.

Strangely enough I think the simplest and quickest way to understand what he has in mind with this therefore is actually to look at the very next few verses, Romans 8:2-4. He goes on to flush out the details of the gospel and how Jesus took all our condemnation on himself so that the requirements of the law would be fulfilled and finished.

So, what is this therefore there for?
It's there to reference how our Lord Jesus Christ has set us free from sin and death by taking all the condemnation we deserved, reconciling us to God, and sending his Spirit to us.

No

This verse is short and, for many, very familiar and so it can be easy to rush over it and miss the awesomeness of one of its shortest words: no.

For a lot of my life, growing up in a Christian home, a pastor’s son, I knew Jesus took my condemnation. 
But I’ve realized in more recent years that more deeply I really believed he took most of my condemnation. I still, underneath my good Sunday school answers, thought there was still a little left for me. Oh, not enough to keep me out of heaven, I thought, but still a little. That’s why I should hang my head in shame at my sin and failures, even hide them. And it was what would keep me motivated to do better next time. Yes, Jesus took the ultimate punishment, but I was still accountable… wasn’t I?

That’s when I read this verse again and this two letter word leapt out at me: no. The answer was no. How much condemnation is for me? No condemnation. How much? None. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Absolutely no condemnation for me and for you. That changed my life. And if you haven’t yet felt that “no” deep in your soul, it can change yours too. 

"The phrase Paul uses in verse 1 is much stronger than simply saying we are not condemned; it is that there is no condemnation at all—no possibility of it. Not only are we not condemned, we can never and will never be condemned."

– Timothy Keller

But what is this condemnation thing?

Condemnation

So the next question we have to address now is what is condemnation. It’s not really a word we tend to use a whole lot day to day. So, it’s important we know some about it in order to enjoy having none of it.

Condemnation is what you get when you are condemned; when you are pronounced guilty. It is the weight of guilt on you. It is all that comes with being held accountable for a wrong.

This is what God sent his Son to do, to take all the guilt, accountability and condemnation of our evil and lawlessness and sin upon himself and satisfy its just sentence: death (Rom 6:23).

Why? So that we would not have to serve the sentence ourselves. With Jesus pronounced guilty and held accountable and punished for all our sin, there is absolutely nothing left with which to accuse or condemn us (2Cor 5:21). It’s all already been judged, sentenced and punished.

There is no guilt or accountability or condemnation left for those who are in Christ Jesus. That is crazy awesome news!

In Christ Jesus

But who are in Christ Jesus? If this amazing gift is given to those in Christ how do we know we’re in? Let me ask you this: do you call Jesus your Lord? Do you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead?

If so you are safe in Christ (Rom 10:9). For it’s only by the grace of God through the work of his Spirit upon you that could ever enable you to believe those things in your heart (Eph 2:8).

It’s only by the action of God’s Spirit that we can have saving faith in Jesus (1Cor 12:3).

And so, if you have faith it is evidence that you have the Spirit. And if you have the Spirit then you belong to Christ (Rom 8:9).

"The gospel of Jesus Christ is that all who believe in him are bought with a price. They will never come into condemnation. The judgement day is past. It was 2000 years ago. When Jesus died, the debt was paid. Justice has been done. We are free. And God is not against us but for us, if we will except his gift and trust him."

– John Piper

Romans 8:1 is extraordinary news and news which, I find, only get’s better and more scandalous with age. It is a truth which the world finds impossible to believe and which the enemy will work very hard for every Christian to forget or doubt. It is a verse which can be invaluable every single day, especially while we live on in these mortal, sin-harassed bodies.

So, let me implore you: Read it. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Saturate yourself with it every single hour. Consider all its implications. And enjoy the glorious, shocking, mind-blowing, everything-changing freedom and life we’ve been given in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

Romans 8:1

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About the Author

Scott Hunt
Scott Hunt
Scott is a longtime member of St. George's. You might see him in the music team on Sundays playing a variety of percussion odds and ends or carrying around one of his nephews.

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  • About the Author

    Scott Hunt
    Scott Hunt
    Scott is a longtime member of St. George's. You might see him in the music team on Sundays playing a variety of percussion odds and ends or carrying around one of his nephews.
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