We are now brought to a glorious chapter of the book of Romans. Chapter 8 starts with a declaration:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…” Romans 8.1.
Friend, heed to this declaration. There is no declaration in this universe that could bring greater comfort to you. No condemnation.
You should still remember in Romans 3.20, it was declared: “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight…”
How does one move from unconditional condemnation to unconditional justification (that is, no condemnation)? Because this person is now in Christ Jesus. You are that person, or if not, you should be.
But we tend to have difficulties to appreciate how significant this is. We tend to think that condemnation is merely a subjective reaction by one person to what another person has done. Sure, we would like to be looked upon favorably by everyone, but if that does not happen, it is all right. So our thinking goes.
Even worse, many people can be extremely sensitive to other people’s attitude toward them, to an extent that a condemning attitude of others is like a severe penalty, yet at the same time the same person may give no fearful consideration to the prospect of facing condemnation by the Almighty God. How Satan has blinded man’s eyes!
But once your spiritual eyes are opened to see that God is the Giver of life, and condemnation by God means eternal death and even worse, your heart rejoices with thankfulness for the fact that by virtue of receiving Jesus Christ, there will be no condemnation.
This chapter of Romans, however, leads us much deeper into the reality of the salvation. We have previously discussed the aspect of sanctification beyond justification. But now we will see the end of salvation, which is glorification.
But most important, the book of Romans is not just a magnificent thesis. Behind these luminous concepts is the spiritual reality which abides in a spiritual life. One who receives Jesus Christ doesn’t merely receive a friendly welcome by a very important person, but instead receives the very life of the Son of God, and is born again.
A believer thus becomes a child of God and enters into an intimate relationship with God, a relationship he previously could not even imagine, much less to experience. For a true child of God, the concepts of justification, sanctification and glorification are merely a convenient way to describe an eternal reality he is actually experiencing.
Friend, Jesus died on the Cross so that you may receive His life. Will you come and receive life? It will all start, rather than end, with this: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”
If you have been in a Gospel meeting, you may have had occasions of being invited to raise up your hand to receive Jesus Christ. But even if you are in private, you may still raise up the hand in your heart to indicate acceptance. Regardless of how much or how little understanding you may have when you raise your hand, you are not misled. For the Spirit of God does not mislead anyone. Satan does. When you raise your hand, your have chosen to submit to the Spirit of God, and God would not despise your decision. He will honor you.
Man’s hands were once raised by Satan to put nails through the hands of Jesus Christ to crucify Him, yet the Lord Himself prayed to the Father: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” If our Lord forgives those hands raised to crucify Him, what blessing He will be giving to those hands that are raised in submission to confess sin and to acknowledge salvation!