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  • Brian Fuller

"No Condemnation"



"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." -Romans 8:1


Welsh Pastor, D. Martyn LLoyd-Jones, once said that most of the troubles we experience in our Christian lives are due to our forgetting these two simple words: "no condemnation." Even if Lloyd-Jones was only partially correct, that's a life-altering truism. I mean, honestly, have you ever attributed the cause to even one of your mental struggles to a “no condemnation” amnesia? But what if he’s right? Could our forgetting that there is now "no condemnation" actually be the culprit for conflicts like people-pleasing, addictive behavior, defensiveness, guiltiness, or a lack of joy in worship? Is it possible that my inability to take criticism is rooted in my being mindless about "no condemnation?"


This amazing verse (8:1) is the first verse of an amazing chapter. Martin Luther referred to Romans 8 as"the masterpiece of the entire New Testament." Others have said that if the Bible were a golden ring, Romans 8 would be the beautifully mounted diamond atop. In the eighth chapter of Romans, the Apostle Paul announces a believer‘s complete security in Christ. He does this by confronting the two most terrorizing experiences in the Christian life : (1) our ongoing struggles with indwelling sin and (2) suffering. This Mount Everest of Bible chapters begins with “no condemnation” and ends with “no separation.”


Consider the scope of ”no condemnation:" ...there is therefore now no condemnation...

In English, if we want to make a word stand out we may italicize it, bold it, capitalize IT or highlight it . In the original language of the New Testament one of the ways a word could be emphasized was to put it at the beginning of the sentence. That’s precisely what the Apostle Paul does here. He uses a highly-caffeinated word for “no” (ouden) and then he places it at the beginning of the sentence. In addition he pairs the word “no” with “now.“ The original order is a bit clunky in English. Verse eight begins with “No now therefore condemnation...” This grammatical structure was intended to emphasize that a guilty verdict and the punishment that follows have been eternally removed. The case against us is closed; and there can never be a re-trial. Because Jesus Christ was condemned in the flesh, on our behalf (Romans 8:3), all charges against us have been dismissed, with extreme prejudice. Make no mistake, it’s not because we got lucky and didn’t get caught. Nor were we discovered and “let off the hook.” We were found guilty of all charges, and sentenced to death by execution. That death sentence was brutally carried out on a skull-shaped hill, outside the city of Jerusalem on a Friday, A.D. 33. And because of that, there is now “no condemnation.” No double-jeopardy. ”There is therefore now no condemnation...”


"The case against us is closed; and there can never be a re-trial. Because Jesus Christ was condemned in the flesh, on our behalf (Romans 8:3), all charges against us have been dismissed, with extreme prejudice."

If the verse had stopped there, this would mean amnesty for everyone. But it doesn't. There is a sphere of those who have "no condemnation." The second half of the verse says that there is a group of people that has immunity from condemnation forever. Listen to it: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." This reminds us that there are really only two classes of people in the world: those in Christ and those outside of Christ. Truth and error. Righteousness and Wickedness. Heaven and Hell. Those who are in Christ will never, ever, face any condemnation. Go ahead, think ahead 10 million years, 20 million years, 80 billion years...and those who are in Christ will still be in the space of "no condemnation." Amazing news! Like Noah and his family were safely in "no condemnation" in the ark while those outside the ark were condemned: "By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became the heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." (Hebrews 11:7) Those outside of Jesus are "condemned already, bc they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:18)


It's important to remember that those who are "in Christ Jesus" can never be removed to be outside of Jesus, even when they sin. Think of the children of Israel who placed the blood on the door posts prior to the death angel passing through. Do you think any couples were arguing in those homes on that first Passover night? Was there a perhaps a teenage, firstborn son giving attitude to his parents in one of those cottages? Of course there was! But that's just the point. The reason the death angel passed over them was not because they were behaving inside of their homes that night. The death angel passed over because he saw the blood. Do you think Noah and his sons were impatient with their wives every-now-and then during that year on the Ark? Did they ever get angry with the elephants for being rowdy? Of course they did. But, again, the reason they were in the "no condemnation" place was not because they were "behaving" on the Ark. They were under "no condemnation" because God, in His sovereign grace, had placed them in the Ark. Here this! Like the children of Israel who applied the blood and Noah's family on the Ark, you will never, ever, be moved out of being "in Christ Jesus." Therefore, in spite of your occasional sins, you will never be outside of Christ. You are forever in the place of "no condemnation"


So, how can these two words change us? In a raging, shaming, guilt-ridden, virtue-signaling world, how does a space of impenetrable "no condemnation" space sound? Staying conscious of "no condemnation" will help break the shackles of guilt, unworthiness and pain that so many of us carry incessantly. Imagine being free from always driving to "prove yourself." What if you had more confidence in relationships because you were confident of "no condemnation" forever in the presence of the only One who matters. And just dream for a moment what it would be like to serve the Lord out of love and gratitude rather than obligation and duty? "No condemnation!"



No condemnation now I dread;

Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!

Alive in Him, my living Head,

And clothed in righteousness Divine,

Bold I approach the eternal throne,

And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Bold I approach the eternal throne,

And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

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