Guilty But Not Condemned

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1


Illustration

Two elderly, excited Southern women were sitting together in the front pew of the church listening to a fiery preacher. When this preacher condemned the sin of stealing, these two ladies cried out at the tops of their lungs, "AMEN, BROTHER" When the preacher condemned the sin of lust, they yelled again, "PREACH IT, REVEREND" And when the preacher condemned the sin of lying, they jumped to their feet and screamed, "RIGHT ON, BROTHER TELL IT LIKE IT IS... AMEN." But when the preacher condemned the sin of gossip, the two got very quiet. One turned to the other and said, "He’s quit preaching and now he’s meddlin’."


Becoming a Christian does not make one sinless or perfect. A Christian is just a repentant sinner. We repent because we know we are guilty of sinful acts, thoughts, or motives. Therefore, when we pretend to be perfect, we become obnoxious in the sight of God.


The good news is that God does not dwell on our guilt. He has put our sins (past, present, and future) away from us as far as the east is from the west. Therefore, we are not condemned. Through Jesus, we have a get-out-of-jail-free card that cannot be revoked or canceled. Despite the fact we continue to sin in the flesh, we are forgiven and given a heavenly inheritance through Christ Jesus.


I have a friend who is currently facing a 40-year jail sentence for a crime he did not commit. This brother is a professed Christian who loves the Lord with all his heart. For the past 15 years, this brother has remained steadfast in his faith in God. Though the criminal justice system has convicted him and declared that he is guilty, he knows that he is not condemned by God.


When we make mistakes and go astray from God, we need to be reminded that we are not condemned. The blood of Jesus is powerful enough to wipe away all sins and purify us of all unrighteousness. Therefore, the repentant liar, thief, murderer, or gossiper is not condemned. The brother or sister who is struggling with the lust of the flesh, pornography, or any other type of sexual sin is not condemned by God. All they need to do is confess and repent so they can be restored.


Since God does not condemn the repentant sinner, neither should we. It is not our job to be judge, jury, and executioner of others who made mistakes no matter how awful the mistakes may be. Mature believers must resist the temptation to look down on other believers because of their past. We all have proverbial skeletons in our closets. Because our skeletons may not be exposed or known does not give us the right to disparage or criticize those whose skeletons have been exposed.


Unfortunately, many Christians are like the women in today’s illustration. They like to condemn other people’s sins, but when their own sins are exposed, they cry foul. God does not condemn one sin or sinner while absolving others. We are all His creation. What’s important to God is that we repent and return to Him through Christ Jesus. Those who come to the Lord in the name of Jesus become joint heirs of the kingdom of God no matter their past. And since God the Father does not and cannot condemn His Only Begotten, Jesus Christ, who became the propitiation for the sins of humanity, neither can the Father condemn those who are in Christ Jesus. Disciples of Jesus are not condemned, they will not be condemned, and they cannot be condemned. Therefore, we don’t have to live in shame because of our failures or mistakes. We can rejoice in the Lord and walk with our heads held high in the name of Jesus.


Questions for Personal Reflection

How is Romans 8:1 going to change the way your life?

How can you help others who are feel condemned because of their mistakes?


Prayer- Blessed Lord, I think you for not condemning me despite my sinfulness. Thank you for the forgiveness of my sins and for restoring me into the right relationship with you. May those who are living with shame and do not feel worthy to have a relationship with you know that your love for them is greater than their sins. Remind them they have been forgiven through Christ Jesus and cannot be condemned.

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