Lent – Day 33 – No Condemnation
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1
Condemnation — censure, denunciation, criticism, sentencing to a punishment, reproof, declaring someone evil, unworthy of good or of acceptance, worthy of negative consequences resulting from bad behavior
Condemnation is the means by which those who break the law can be identified and separated from those who keep the law. To be condemned to death for a crime is the ultimate condemnation.
For the believer, the Christian, there is now no condemnation for those who walk after the Spirit, even though their steps may be unsteady and faltering from time to time. Of this the Word speaks expressly to those who, out of a sincere heart seek to do what is right before God and the world, but still miss the mark occasionally. It does not embrace or condone the wanton disregard for the truth in order to satisfy the whims of the flesh, through violence, destruction, vile and vain glorious acts of rebellion against the Word of God with the expectation that God doesn’t care and nothing bad will happen to them because God is loving and forgives.
True enough—God is loving and He does forgive, but rebellion against God’s love is a sure set up for the wages of sin which is death. Remember, it’s the thief that comes only to steal, and to kill and to destroy. When we rebel against God we reject His love and with it His grace and mercy to free us from our sins. Then, it is not God who removes Himself from us, it is our own will that puts us under the power of the evil one and he only comes to take life from us.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
When our trust and our hope are in Jesus for our salvation then there is no condemnation for us. We have the gift of forgiveness, the grace of God’s love for us that causes Him to extend mercy to us in our human frailty and failures.
Lent sometimes magnifies the accusations of the enemy against us because like New Year’s resolutions you start out with every intention of abstaining from something, or committing to a new pattern of behavior, like exercising regularly or giving up certain foods in an attempt to improve your health and you do it for a while then little by little you abandon your resolution for one reason or another. With Lent the matters are usually more spiritual in nature as indeed they should be.
Maybe you determined to be more aware of the needs of the poor during this time, maybe you decided to fast one, maybe two days a week for the full 40 days. Maybe you sought in some way to discipline your flesh to make yourself more available for the work of ministry. Whatever the decision you made, you did run well for a good amount of the time, then you missed it, you lost your zeal or you just got distracted and forgot to do what you wanted to do. Now you’re feeling condemned and like a failure. Well, you can just throw off those thoughts and feelings and get right back to what you desired to do from the beginning. God is neither angry nor disappointed with you, and most of all, He does not condemn you.
So, you got sidetracked a little. God still loves you. Acknowledge your human frailty and take hold of His strength again by confessing your sin and receiving His forgiveness. There is still time to finish strong. Renew your commitment and get going. Your goal is still before you and there is no condemnation for the past. The road is bright and promising before you. You are free because the blood of Jesus has already paid for every sin you committed and will ever commit until the day death is swallowed up in victory and we are raised to eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord with new and glorified bodies and minds, free forever from any stain of sin, sickness, disease, suffering or death.
Jesus has come, not with condemnation for us, but with Life and that more abundantly.
”For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17
”… I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b