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Tag Archives: no condemnation

Unlawful Usage of the Law

1 Timothy 1:4-11

Timothy was a young preacher who was saved under the ministry of, and mentored by, the Apostle Paul. Paul felt a special closeness to this young man, and reserved some of his finest instruction for ministry and preaching in the final two letters of his life, both addressed to Timothy.

The first few verses of his first letter to Timothy are rich in good advice about what not to preach. He tells him to avoid fables and endless genealogies, which only cause people to ask questions that lead nowhere (verse 4). On the contrary, he instructs Timothy to edify the hearers, challenging their faith (verse 4).

Paul’s instruction to Timothy is not unlike Jesus’ very simple command to Peter, when He asked Peter if Peter loved Him. When Peter said that did indeed love Him, Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17).

Then Paul begins to get specific with Timothy as to how to edify the listeners. Every preacher, pastor, evangelist, and even lay person would do well to grasp what Paul says about the “glorious gospel” (verse 11). He tells him that the end of the commandment is “charity out of pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned (not pretending)” (verse 5). The Law demanded that men love the Lord with all of the heart, mind and soul, but no man was able to do that without a heart reformation. Christ entering into us gives us that reformation, thus completing the demand of the Law. Paul then warns that some preachers have turned aside from preaching that, to “vain jangling” or “useless talk” (verse 6).

What a bold thing to say! By continuing to preach the commandments, Paul says that a preacher is presenting useless talk. To further the argument, he continues in verse 7 with this powerful comment:

“Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm” (1 Timothy 1:7).

Now Paul wants to make sure that no one thinks that he is against the law, so he says that it is good, “if a man use it lawfully” (verse 8). Wait a minute! If there is a lawful way to use the law, then there must be an unlawful way to use the law. Paul says, “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane…” (verse 9). In light of this instruction, why is the law so frequently used against Christians? When a saint fails, we often hear the same condemnatory remarks used, citing the Law of God, as we do against the sinner. Instead, we should edify the believer, reminding them of who they are in Christ. Only the grace of God is going to teach them how to live righteous in this present world (Titus 2:11, 12).

Saint, receive no condemnation today. Let the love of God and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son silence the voice of condemnation in your spirit. God’s Law is just, holy and good and it shows people their sins. You are clean in Jesus, so see His grace and favor, and walk therein.

 

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No Separation

Romans 8:35-39

Romans chapter 8 opens with “no condemnation” and closes with “no separation”. In between is the working of the Holy Spirit within our lives. With only one mention of the Holy Spirit prior to the eighth chapter (Romans 5:5), the text now explodes with His activity, mentioning the Holy Spirit 19 times in this chapter alone! Only when the believer realizes that they are under no condemnation because of the finished work of Christ do they allow the Holy Spirit to do His perfect work in their life. The end-result of this work of the Spirit will be a complete knowledge of just how loved that you are.

So secure is the believer in the love that Christ has for them, that Paul uses as many different terrible circumstances as he can think of to show that there is nothing that trumps God’s love. No tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword can ever sever the tie that binds us with our loving, heavenly Father (Romans 8:35).

Paul points out some powerful truths about God’s love in these passages, beginning with our position in Christ as “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37). The word ‘conquerors’ in Greek speaks of “gaining a surpassing victory”, meaning that in Christ, our victory over sin, the flesh and the devil is an overwhelming victory. We are so victorious because of what Jesus did for us, but until we grasp a singular point of verse 37, we do not know how victorious that we are. How are we more than conquerors? “Through Him that loved us”. Know how loved that you are, and you reap the benefits of Jesus’ victory at the cross!

Paul’s “persuasion” of verse 38 is “confident” in the Greek, denoting that he had become intimate enough with the Lord and His love that he could say unequivocally that there was nothing in the universe that could cause God to stop loving His creation. Even “things to come” (verse 38) were covered. There is no amount of technology or futuristic inventions yet thought of that can outdo or outlast the love of God. How sweet to know that no matter how sophisticated man becomes, or how many new ways that he invents to sin against God, there is no separating man from God’s abundant love and grace.

The word ‘separate’ is particularly interesting because it literally means “to divorce”. God views His relationship with His children as both Father to son/daughter and Husband to wife. There is nothing that can ever divorce the love of God from His bride. Jesus has married Himself to us through the blood covenant of the cross. He even gave His mother away at Calvary so that He could be free to cleave to His wife. What an awesome God!

Finally, the love of God is “in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Everything that God does for us is because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. We are blessed, favored and loved because Jesus paved the way through His sacrificial death. See your sin in Jesus and know that you are no longer condemned. When you realize that He does not condemn you, you will comprehend His mighty love for you and you will be more than a conqueror. Let it begin today.

 

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No Condemnation

Romans 8:1

Paul told the church at Corinth that he did not speak to condemn them (2 Corinthians 7:3) and Jesus said that He did not come to condemn the world either (John 3:17). If Paul didn’t preach condemnation, and Jesus did not show up to give condemnation, why are we so quick to condemn? Could it be that we have very little revelation of our own liberty from condemnation?

Paul states this first verse of Romans 8 in an unequivocal manner: “NO condemnation”. The word ‘no’ is ‘not even a little bit’ in the Greek, meaning that there is no room for condemnation at all, because of Christ Jesus. Once you accept Jesus Christ and His free pardon from sin, there is absolutely no room for you to be condemned. Jesus was condemned for all of our sins at the cross; thus there is none left for you or me!

The last part of the verse is “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”, which appears to place qualifications on the gift of no condemnation. In the original Greek, these words do not appear in this passage, but instead appear at the end of verse 4. Bible scholars call this process of moving one passage to another place as “interpolation”. Why would the translators do this if the Apostle Paul did not write it that way?

The only explanation that I can find is that they simply could not believe that there were no qualifications or conditions upon the gift of no condemnation. Most Christians will tell you that you are under no condemnation as long as you do the right thing, but if you fail then you are condemned in your sin. This is diametrically opposed to the third verse which tells us that Jesus had sin condemned in His flesh (Romans 8:3). Since all sin was condemned in the body of Jesus, it cannot ever be condemned in my body. Hallelujah!

If walking according to the Spirit is the requirement for “no condemnation”, then Jesus broke this rule when He withheld condemnation from the woman caught in the act of adultery. There is no clearer example in the Gospels of a moment when the full weight of the law should have fallen on a law-breaker than when this woman was caught sleeping with a married man. The Pharisees hoped to trap Jesus by forcing Him to decide to either stone her under Moses’ Law or let her go free. Jesus trumped them all with, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (John 8:7). Of course the Law condemned them all, so they dropped their rocks and left. Jesus then released the woman with the blessed promise, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). If ‘no condemnation’ comes only for those who walk in the Spirit, this woman is disqualified. She was living according to her fleshly desires, yet Jesus did not condemn her. It is a gift, and Jesus gives it freely!

As soon as we embrace the gift of no condemnation, the righteousness that the Law tried to bring out in us will come to the surface. Paul said, “That the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:4). Here, the phrase “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” is in the Greek text, but now the meaning becomes clear. Walk according to what the Holy Spirit says about you and you will see the righteousness of God come out in your lifestyle. What does the Spirit say? “Now no condemnation”!

 

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