No Condemnation

Each of us, at some level, is exposed to either good or bad influences. For instance, are we involved in something because we want to be, or, because we fear what will happen should we refuse? Unfortunately, many find themselves in a job or social situation that is less than pleasant, and then do their best according to their personal abilities.

And if this isn't bad enough in every day life, there are times when unfortunate people are faced with very unpleasant situations even in their religious life too. The basic problem with this, has to do with the type of motivation. Simply because something needs to be done, isn't motivation enough (for some) to carry out a work in a kindly manner.

So, what is a healthy form of motivation? Let us consider how the Apostle Paul addressed this problem in the book of Romans. The people in Rome hadn't yet developed a spiritually mature attitude, and Paul needed to let them know that an honourable motive was needed. So, we find him saying this in Romans 8:

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don't walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the law couldn't do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh; 4 that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace; Romans 8:1-6.

Therefore, as may be seen, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. When the faithful come to understand the full impact of this wonderful news, it may lead to spiritual blessings in our daily lives. Blessings such as these below:

No condemnation in Christ Jesus encourages the faithful to become joyful at being freed from sin's bondage of the human heart:

5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection; 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. Romans, 6:5-7.

No condemnation in Christ Jesus encourages the faithful to become bondservants of righteousness;

16 Don't you know that to whom you present yourselves as servants to obedience, his servants you are whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto you were delivered. 18 Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness. Romans 6:16-18.

No condemnation in Christ Jesus encourages the faithful to become kind, leading to other blessings of the spirit;

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32.

No condemnation in Christ Jesus encourages the faithful to become involved in good works;

8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10.

The christian who takes this message of good news to heart, will come to know and understand that not one thing he does will ever merit salvation. For example, the faithful teacher is no more saved while presenting a lesson to God's people, than when still sat down before his lesson. Consider what the Apostle Paul has written on this;

but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected. 1 Corinthians 9:27.

No condemnation in Christ Jesus encourages the faithful to become steadfast in suffering in the spirit:

28 Peter began to tell him, "Behold, we have left all, and have followed you." 29 Jesus said, "Most assuredly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the gospel's sake, 30 but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life. Mark 10:28-30.

No condemnation in Christ Jesus encourages the faithful to become led by the spirit:

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you won't fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one other, that you may not do the things that you desire. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16,18.

Suffering in the spirit may be due to our concern for others. Indeed, the ones we are closest to may be the source of unceasing heartache as we may learn from the apostle Paul in the book of Romans:

1 I tell the truth in Christ. I am not lying, my conscience testifying with me in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing pain in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brothers' sake, my relatives according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service, and the promises; 5 of whom are the fathers, and from whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God, blessed forever. Amen. Romans 9:1-5.

The Spiritually mature are those who do not force others to do that which they are not yet ready for. In this regard notice the apostle Paul's account of his dealings with Apollos in, 1 Corinthians;

Now concerning Apollos, the brother, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brothers; and it was not at all his desire to come now; but he will come when he has an opportunity. 1 Corinthians 16:12.

Not everyone gets to understand what the Lord's church is about. Whatever the reason, people need to work things out by themselves, at their own pace. A young woman once told me about her own experience in coming to understand what the church was about. At the time she was courting a young man who was now her fiancée. When she began to attend worship services, she thought it all a bit odd. However, because she was keen on her beau, she kept attending. She was puzzled by the teaching at first, so she gave closer attention to what was being taught in order to figure out why her boyfriend took it so seriously. Well, she did figure it out, she believed, confessed her belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, and was then baptised in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of her sins. The patience and good will of her boyfriend, and the members of the local assembly in allowing her to make up her own mind, in her own good time, impressed her immensely.

Knowing that there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, may lead us to become steadfast in our sufferings, as joint-heirs with Christ. And further more this will establish us as being glorified together in Christ:

15 For you didn't receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God; 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:15-17.

As each comes to understand the meaning of Faith, becoming steadfast in it, having received the Spirit of adoption, it will become clear, that Death has no fear for those whose labour is not in vain in the Lord:

55 "Death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord's work, because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:55-58.

How encouraging this is to those who are in Christ Jesus, including the young woman who while courting the young man she was interested in, had the delightful experience of serendipitously learning of her Lord and Master. And she, like all who take advantage of Divine Providence as others have, may, by the Grace of God, come to know the encouraging message of Romans chapter eight, verse one, that;

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don't walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1.

And therefore, as a result of this, the honourable motive for any work that we, the faithful do, will be from a grateful heart with thanks, as Love is the only acceptable motive for whatever the Spiritually mature are involved in.

So then, remember, to the grateful, who are faithful in Christ Jesus there is now;