(By Michelle Snippe)
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
For years, this text has been a blessing and comfort to me when I have thought wrong thoughts, done sinful things, or spewed words that were a little less than holy—all the things that deserve condemnation. Yes, I confess to God and yes, I confess to those whom my actions and words have affected yet, even post-confession, sometimes my heart still condemns me, others continue to condemn me, and the devil seems to always find a way to do that, too. But, I have learned that my three favorite words in this verse get to have the final say over what I, others, or the enemy might try to tell me. And, what are those words?
They’re tiny words, aren’t they? And they may seem insignificant, but despite their meager size, what they pack in truth is mighty. Let’s look at all three.
In—When I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my substitute and payment for my sin, I was immediately placed “in” Him. Paul writes in Galatians, “In Christ [we] are all sons [and daughters] of God.” This is a fixed position uniting me to my Savior and there is nothing that can sever me from this relationship—not even my sin. Jesus Himself affirms that in John 10:28-30:
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.
Knowing this, I feel safe. I feel protected. And I feel secured by His perfect sacrifice that brought me “in” and keeps me near (Ephesians 2:13). As a blood-bought daughter, no matter how badly I mess up, I can’t lose my salvation; I am safe “in” Christ Jesus.
No—Despite what I’m feeling, or what the enemy might have to say about my sin, this little word “no” overrides every emotion and voice. I will never face eternal condemnation for my sin. God has already judicially declared me innocent. And His word trumps Satan's lies and accusations every time. Does this mean that I am free to sin as I please, presuming upon the grace of God? Paul asked the same question in his letter to the Romans:
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1).
Now—The word “now” means I don’t have to wait until heaven to experience my freedom from condemnation. It means I get to celebrate and live out that freedom from judgment now. It means I get to exchange my feelings of shame, disgrace, and self-loathing over my sin for a life of spiritual peace and joy. And, I get to do that now!
I’m so excited to remind you that these three words are all for you, too! Such little words, but so significant and steeped in His grace!
The reason? The Lord Jesus Christ. His death on the cross frees us from every condemnation we would ever deserve. Every mistake, every failure, every offense against God was paid for by His Son. And in exchange, as believers in Christ, we are clothed in His righteousness and IN Him we bear NO condemnation and we get to enjoy that grace NOW. And not only now, but for all of eternity where we will continually gaze into the face of grace Himself!
Be blessed by this truth today…and let us remember to thank and bless our God who has pardoned us!