1 For this cause those who are in Christ Jesus will not be judged as sinners.
Do you ever feel condemnation against yourself for mistakes you make? When I screw up, I immediately call myself a “doofus”. I am very critical of myself, and hate when I mess up. I often feel like God must be calling me a doofus in heaven as well – but that is a lie from the enemy.
Doofus is a term that insinuates the speaker’s disdain, impatience and frustration with the person being described. However, none of those are our God’s feelings towards His children. Additionally, He would never call us that derogatory term specifically because we ARE his children.
God does not judge us as He does sinners. Re-read that last sentence so that fact sinks in. Romans 8:1 says so. We are no longer sinners saved by grace, but saints who sometimes sin. However, we need to understand WHY he doesn’t judge us.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
All of chapter 8 talks about how we have been moved from the dominion of the flesh realm into the spirit realm. Remember how Adam and Eve originally were in unbroken fellowship with God, trusting in him for everything (in other words, living by faith in God, and Him considering them righteous because of their faith)? They didn’t live by rules and regulations. When they had a question about what to do, they simply asked God and He told them what to do. They lived by walking and talking with, listening to and obeying His Spirit.
What was the only thing God told them they couldn’t do? Eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In other words, they were not to live by a list of rules and regulations that told them what was good and what was bad, later known as the Law. He wanted them to always rely on Him to understand good and evil.
The Law can never make you right with God – it can only tell you what is expected from you and what is disallowed. It cannot empower you to OBEY the laws and do what is right (unlike God’s Spirit in us), just like a speed limit sign can’t empower you to drive 55 mph. So laws tell you what not to do and make you accountable for doing what those laws instruct. The penalty for breaking the laws you are accountable for are stiff.
However, when we have his Spirit in us, we become capable of living by the leading of and prompting by His Spirit to know what is right and wrong for any situation. We are expected not to live by a list of laws, but by every word that comes from God to us. If we are no longer accountable for obeying the Law, then we cannot be judged for disobeying it. That is why we cannot be condemned.
Instead, we are held accountable to an even higher standard than simple laws. It is possible to obey a law externally, but internally be disobedient, hating the law and wanting to do things contrary to the Law. Jesus said if you have lust or hatred in your heart, it is just as bad as if you had acted on it.
You would think that it would be impossible to please God at this level of obedience, but we have two things working in our favor: God’s grace empowering us to obey this high standard, and the fact that we are not under the same penalty system as those who are expected to obey the law. In other words, because of our right standing (righteousness) with God through faith in Jesus Christ, our past, present and future sins are already paid for by Jesus’ blood.
There is no eternal condemnation of death hanging over us when we sin – only a separation in our communion and intimacy with God and others. Condemnation is reserved solely for those who try to earn their own righteousness by choosing to obey the law instead of believing on Jesus’ sacrifice and living by the leading of God’s Holy Spirit.
That is why we must remember that any condemnation we ever feel CANNOT be coming from God, only from the enemy. That is when we need to remember the below scripture:
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
God and His Word (His truth) prove that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, regardless of how we feel about ourselves. Focus solely on being so close to God that you are following His leading, knowing you have passed from death’s condemnation into God’s promise of eternal life. Tell the “Accuser of the brethren” that you refuse to listen to any condemnation any more!