A Study of Romans 8:1
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
When religious people read a statement like the one I chose as the title of this article, they think those who believe and preach such doctrine are opening the door for men and women to live like hell. I’ve actually had people tell me: “If you preach that kind of message, people won’t give, people won’t attend, and people won’t have any desire to become holy outwardly.”
Most religious people think the only way you can get sinners to do anything by way of obedience is to keep them under the threat of punishment if they fail to obey and promise them rewards if they obey. I remember being told by a former pastor that if I didn’t give at least a tenth of my wages, I was a “god robber”. The same pastor told me if I didn’t put forth the sincerest effort to attend every worship service, I was either backslidden at best, or at worst I was lost. Under his preaching, I never would allow myself to think I could know in this life whether or not I was actually going to heaven. What is so sad as I look back on my lost condition while under this type of false preaching is that I was in total agreement with him. Christ said: “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matthew 15:14)
The Scripture are quite clear when it comes to this issue of the freeness and completeness of the salvation Christ accomplished by His perfect life and His substitutionary death at Calvary – “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them which are in Christ Jesus (one with Christ by SUBSTITUTION), who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)
Before encouraging these justified sinners to tithe, to attend worship, or to strive to be holy in their character, he assures them based on God’s testimony there is NO POSSIBILITY of anything bringing them back under the condemnation of God’s law and justice.
Telling those who in Romans 7 are said to continually cry: “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death”, i.e., those who are continually aware of their failure even as justified saints to love God perfectly or to love their neighbor as themselves, that nothing can come between them and the God of their salvation – “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:17)
It’s not that God is forgetful. He won’t remember His children’s sin because Christ bore all the sins of all God’s elect in His body on the tree at Calvary – “Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
God wrote through the pen of King David wrote:
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
What more comfort could any sinner desire than to know in their heart that salvation was accomplished completely by Christ at Calvary?