“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life ihas set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
Chapter 8 of Romans begins with a clarion call to all of us who are paralyzed by guilt and shame. This is certainly one of the most profound scriptures in the entire Bible. These words stir the heart, emotions, the mind and the will to rejoice in the great love and mercy of God which He has shown us in Christ Jesus. There is no condemnation, we stand righteous and holy in the sight of God. What a wonderful truth!
“No condemnation” is definite and specific good news, the best news we have ever heard in our lives. We who are in Christ Jesus are no longer condemned. We have peace with God. Christ has atoned for our sins. We have been forgiven of every sin. We now stand in right relationship to God.
Yet at many times in life, we still experience guilt and shame. We still sin. We still feel separated from God. We doubt our salvation. The words of Paul assure our minds, the words of scores of preachers and the Church reinforce his message, but our hearts still doubt.
God provides for this very problem. He has given us His Holy Spirit who plays a dynamic and vigorous role in enabling us to experience the joy of the assurance of faith. He is our enabler, the means of our sanctification. He accomplishes what we could never do by the law because of our weakness, frailty, and our sinfulness. He regenerates us and then enables us to follow the Law of God. He makes the new life in Christ real to us. He applies to us the benefits of salvation so that we no longer walk according to the law of sin and death, but the law of the Spirit. He is the one who frees us from slavery to the works of the law and the flesh. As we cease from striving to attain God’s favor by our own efforts we can rest in the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us carry out God’s will.