#1 There Is No Condemnation


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Good News About Being a Christian #1 There Is No Condemnation by Tim Bond

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#1 There Is No Condemnation

  1. 1. Good News About Being a Christian #1 There Is No CoNdemNaTIoN by Tim Bond http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=44934&Sermon%20There%20Is%20No%20Condemnation%20by%20Tim%20Bond
  2. 2. Romans 8:1 NET There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the life- giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.
  3. 3. 3 For God achieved what the law could not do because it was weakened through the flesh. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
  4. 4. 4 so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
  5. 5. Michael Breissen was a new father, and he was not about to let his wife’s first Mother’s Day pass uncelebrated. But she was a nurse, and on that particular Sunday was working at the local hospital, and they weren’t able to celebrate together at home.
  6. 6. So Michael plunked his new son, Jason, in the baby carrier, drove to the hospital, and in front of all the patients and co-workers he surprised Miriam with candy and flowers and balloons that said, "World’s Greatest Mom."
  7. 7. It was a great Mother’s Day. But after celebrating, it was time for Miriam to go back to work, and Jason and Michael to go back home. Michael gathered all the things that had been part of the celebration: the candy, flowers, and balloons.
  8. 8. It wasn’t as much fun taking those things out to the car as it was taking them in to the hospital for the surprise. He begrudgingly tossed the candy on the front seat and got the flowers arranged on the floor where they wouldn’t tip over. He pulled the balloons in out of the wind and got everything arranged, and headed home.
  9. 9. On the way home, people began to honk their horns and flash their lights at him. He didn’t realize what was going on until he hit 55 miles per hour on the highway.
  10. 10. He heard a long scraping noise go down the roof, followed by a loud thump. He watched in horror in the rearview mirror as the baby carrier bounced off the trunk onto the highway and began to slide along behind the car.
  11. 11. Michael screeched to a halt. He ran back down the highway to the baby carrier. Jason was okay. As the waves of guilt and fear and relief began to wash over him. Michael fell on the highway and began to sob.
  12. 12. That did not stop a passing policeman from writing him up, nor the local newspaper from writing a story about it. A reporter interviewed Miriam, who showed amazing understanding. She said, "It’s so unlike him. He really is a good father."
  13. 13. While there’s a part of us that says, "How could he?" there’s another part of us that relates to Michael Breissen. We recognize all the mistakes we have made, the dumb things we have done born out of hurry or frustration or distraction. We know that there is enough Michael Breissen in us that we could be guilty of such things too. It’s all part of being human.
  14. 14. The eighth chapter of Romans begins with one of the greatest promises in all the Bible. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." And even standing by itself there is something in those words that makes your heart flutter.
  15. 15. The significance of the fact that in spite of our sin, God doesn’t condemn us is overwhelming in and of itself. But the truth of the matter is, when you read that verse in light of chapter 7, the personal application of its truth is even more invigorating.
  16. 16. You see, chapter 7 is one of the most powerful statements about struggling with sin in the history of all literature. What makes it so powerful is, that it is Paul providing us a glimpse into his own struggle. For me that is encouraging.
  17. 17. Often when I think of the apostle Paul, I think of somebody who is bigger than life. I see him standing up and defending his faith in front of the Roman governors and even the emperor. I remember him on his great missionary journeys all over the Roman empire.
  18. 18. We have all listened to him as he instructs the churches to be faithful, and as he encourages Timothy and Titus to remain true to their calling. Probably most of us have put Paul on quite a pedestal.
  19. 19. But when we come to the 7th chapter of Romans, we get a peek behind eyes of the apostle, and he’s a lot more human than we might have first thought. Paul is a fellow struggler.
  20. 20. Romans 7:14 NET For we know that the law is spiritual — but I am unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin. 15 For I don't understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want — instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I do what I don't want, I agree that the law is good.
  21. 21. 17 But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me. 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want!
  22. 22. Did you notice what is going on here? Paul is honest enough to recognize within himself a tendency to get caught in the stranglehold of sin. This is not Paul talking about the way he used to be sinful before he became a Christian.
  23. 23. This is Paul saying, “Just this morning, I gave in again.” It happens to us all. Earlier in his letter he has proclaimed Romans 3:10b NET "There is no one righteous, not even one,” Later he stated matter of factly Romans 3:23 NET for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But now he states it even more personally. “I struggle with sin, and sometimes I lose.”
  24. 24. Finally, the frustration of losing seems to break through to the surface as Paul proclaims in Romans 7:22 NET For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. 23 But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
  25. 25. How many times a week could you just kick yourself for failing? You try to be patient with your kids or your spouse or your parents, but in a flash you strike out and the words you say have done their damage before you even knew it.
  26. 26. You thought you had broken the grip of that nasty habit, but there was that one weak moment, and you listened to the whisper that told you "it will be okay just this once," and now you feel like a failure.
  27. 27. You knew you should have steered clear, but you thought you could handle it. Before you know it, you have found out the hard way that you were weaker than you thought.
  28. 28. A thousand times, in a thousand different ways you have tried to live by the standards that you know are right. But like Michael Breissen, even though you knew better, you did the stupid thing. And now all you feel is stupid, filthy, wretched to use the language of Paul. Let’s read where Paul goes from here.
  29. 29. Romans 7:24 NET Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
  30. 30. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the life- giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.
  31. 31. You see, I told you that promise was even more grand when you know Paul’s train of thought. Paul admits that there is a struggle going on within every human being, and when we try to win on our own strength we often get pinned to the mat.
  32. 32. But the greatness of the promise of God’s grace is that even when we fail again, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is security in our relationship with God. If we are in Christ, we don’t need to wonder if God is angry with us.
  33. 33. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." If you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you don’t need to fear God’s wrath. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." When God looks at you, He doesn’t see a wretch, He sees a son or daughter.
  34. 34. I am not saying we have a license to sin! No! Far from it! Let’s review what Paul said two chapters earlier. Romans 6:1 NET What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? 2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
  35. 35. He goes on to talk about putting our life of sin to death when we join Jesus in death through Baptism. Then, as Jesus was raised from the dead we come out of the waters of baptism having put our old sinful life to death so we can then live a new life.
  36. 36. Just because we are living a new life under God’s grace we should live in obedience that results in righteousness. Romans 8:15 NET What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves,
  37. 37. you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were entrusted to, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.
  38. 38. This being the case you have avoided the 2nd death, Hell and will receive the gift of Eternal Life. Romans 8:20 NET For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness. 21 So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of?
  39. 39. For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. 23 For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  40. 40. The point is we have become slaves of God, hence, we live to serve Him. We must act like we belong to God and not sin. What needs to happen when we fail? 1 John 1:9 NET But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.
  41. 41. You remember the story of the prodigal son. The boy disregarded his father, and then disgraced himself in every way possible. Dr. Vernon McGee says “Do you know the difference between the son in that pigpen and the pig? The difference is that no pig has ever said to himself, ’I will arise and go to my father.’”
  42. 42. He’s right, but a child can do that! And when that dirty, stinking boy came within eyesight of home, His dad was there to clean Him up and throw Him a party. Paul wants to make sure that you understand that God is just as anxious to throw His arms around you. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
  43. 43. Now let me tell you why this is so important to understand. Because if the truth be known, there is sometimes condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. But it never comes from God. It comes from Satan. Do you know what the word “satan” means in Hebrew? Accuser!
  44. 44. He loves to fool us into believing that we are condemned. He wants to trap us into believing that we are so wretched that God doesn’t want anything to do with us. He wants us to be like Adam and Eve in the garden after they sinned. All they wanted to do was hide from God!
  45. 45. And the truth is, we’ve all been there. We have failed, and kicked ourselves, and felt condemned. And we have hidden ourselves from God, and turned away, not because we don’t love Him, but because we are ashamed.
  46. 46. We have felt like a wretch, and we have listened to Satan tell us that God condemned us for our sin. But if we were in Christ at the time, then we were wrong.
  47. 47. A little while back there was a girl who was the daughter of one of the royal families of Europe. She had a big, round nose that destroyed her beauty in the eyes of others and especially in her own eyes. She grew up with this terrible image of herself as an ugly person.
  48. 48. So her family hired a plastic surgeon to change the contour of her nose. He did his work, and there came the moment when they took the bandages off and the girl could see what happened.
  49. 49. When the doctor removed the bandages, he saw that the operation had been a total success. All the ugly contours were gone. Her nose was different. When the incisions healed and the redness disappeared, she would be a beautiful girl. He held a mirror up for the girl to see.
  50. 50. But, so deeply embedded was this girl’s ugly image of herself that when she saw herself in the mirror, she couldn’t see any change. She broke into tears and cried out, “Oh, I knew it wouldn’t work!”
  51. 51. The doctor labored with that girl for six months before she would finally accept the fact that she was indeed different. But the moment she accepted the fact that she really was different, her whole behavior began to change.
  52. 52. Paul recognizes a very important truth, that we act according to what we know we are. If we are deceived into thinking that we are not what God says we are, then we are going to keep on acting that way. That is why the way to break the power of the most vicious and evil habit is to see yourself as God sees you.
  53. 53. Then you begin to act that way. Now, how many of you believe the Bible to be true? I want to find out. Remember, when you say the word “Amen” you are actually saying a Hebrew word that means “That’s the truth!” In a minute I am going to read a promise from God’s Word, and I want you to respond.
  54. 54. If you believe the truth of the promise, then respond by saying “Amen!” (Not wimpy amen) God’s Word proclaims “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Do you believe it?
  55. 55. The challenge that we face, is not to just say that we believe it, but to live like it. Don’t let anything that you have ever done, or will ever do to separate you from God. A little later in Romans 8 Paul asks a very important question that at one time or another is on the mind of every Christian.
  56. 56. Romans 8:35 NET Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, "For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." (Psalm 44:22)
  57. 57. 37 No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  58. 58. You see, none of those things can separate us from Him. But when we are foolish and fail, our tendency is to turn away in shame.
  59. 59. For five weeks beginning today I am preaching from Romans 8 on “The Good News abouT beING a ChrIsTIaN.” Nothing else I can ever say could be more important than the one that Paul begins this great chapter with.
  60. 60. "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." There is never a time when you will turn toward God and not find his arms extended, waiting for your return. Why would we ever want to turn away?
  61. 61. Even though we are beginning a series of messages from Romans 8, Paul didn’t begin his train of thought by proclaiming the good news "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
  62. 62. He began by proclaiming the bad news that in our natural state, every single person who lives on the face of the earth is guilty of sin and condemned to death.
  63. 63. Romans 3:23 NET for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 6:23a NET For the payoff of sin is death, In our natural state we get what we deserve. Imperfection brings death. 23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  64. 64. The bad news is that everyone outside of Christ will suffer the consequences of their sin. They will die! The good news is that God has made a provision for us to come "into Christ." His will is that every person will come into Christ. But God does not force His will on us. He gives us free will.
  65. 65. Now we must choose who must guide our lives. Will we live by our own standards and suffer the consequences. Or will we turn our lives over to God and receive the promise of Romans 8:1 "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
  66. 66. The time to make that decision is N OW!