Wednesday, September 07, 2011

September 7, 2011 … Freedom From Condemnation

Passage of the Day: Romans 8: 1 – 2 … 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, [in some later manuscripts, “Jesus, Who did not live according the flesh but according to the Spirit”] 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

My Journal for Today: I believe that many Christians, immediately prior to conversion, catch the vision of their own sinfulness, having their spiritual eyes opened by God’s prevenient grace, which is God’s Spirit drawing the sinner to the Savior. This yielding to the reality of their sin causes these convicted sinners to repent and receive the saving grace offered by Jesus through His Spirit, and those who do so are saved (see the description of this process in Romans 10: 9 – 13). That was yours truly on April 13, 1983, when for the first time at age 39, I was able to see the depth of my brokenness; and I was able to ask for Christ into my life.

However, it is also the case, as it was for me, that these newly saved souls, CHOOSE to allow the enemy’s spirit of condemnation to keep them incarcerated in those old chains [i.e., sinful habit patterns] that bind even Christians into fleshly disobedience. If you go back and read Romans 7, the Apostle Paul wrote about this in a very personal way. But today’s matchless passage from God’s declaration of liberty in the New Testament (i.e., Romans 8) is the same Paul declaring the truth of our freedom in Christ.

Yes, you and I, as born again Christians, are now free to receive our Lord’s enabling grace and, through His Spirit, to live free in the reality and truth of 2nd Cor. 5: 17 as well as Col. 3: 3 – 10, which is the boundless freedom I can have – and do now have - when I fully receive and appropriate God’s sanctifying grace, casting off any self-imposed shackles Satan would love for Christians to choose to wear which would bind our spirits to him in fear and condemnation.

But the truth, expressed in today’s verse, as well as 2nd Tim. 1: 7, is that I need not walk in any fear or to cave in to any feelings of condemnation, because I now have God’s Spirit of love and His power welling forth in my heart; and I can now walk in the reality that I am now dead to sin and alive in Christ (see Romans 6: 8 – 11). If we choose to believe these truths and receive God’s empowering grace, we will walk in freedom from our chains of self and sin, and we will have the self discipline and confidence, again mentioned in 2nd Tim. 1: 7, which may convict our hearts and help us to move away from sinfulness and onward toward Christlikeness. But it will never cause us to buckle under to the condemnation ploys of our enemy.

If you, who read this don’t know if you’re saved, and you are feeling the enemy’s condemnation, you need to recognize that God is convicting you to respond to His call for you to come to Him and be saved, finally and forever. I would charge you to contact anyone you identify as a strong Christian and ask that person how you can be saved and set free from your sin. Or you can do it right here by internalizing the passage I mentioned above in Romans 10: 9 – 13. If you do that … all you need to do is recognize, in a simple prayer to God, that you believe that Jesus died for your sins, and ask Him to save you, … then go and declare to someone [you can email me –] that you have made that commitment of faith. If you do that, the promise of eternal life is yours forever (see John 3: 16).

However, as I’ve written here, Satan will then try to get you to think that you’re not worthy of God’s saving grace; and he will try to wrap you up in his chains of condemnation. He will try to get you to believe that your sins will never allow you to walk in the freedom and power promised by God’s Spirit. And if you choose to believe the lies of the enemy [and it’s always a choice], you will be thrown into your own self-imposed prison of self condemnation. But if you believe the truth of Romans 8: 1 – 2 above, as well as Romans 12: 1 – 2 and Galatians 2: 20, you can walk with power into the transforming freedom that God promises when your heart and mind is renewed by God’s Spirit through Christ Jesus.

Oh, how I pray that you will believe the truth of today’s passage and join me to walk in the freedom God’s Spirit has for you in following Jesus (see Luke 9: 23).

My Prayer Today: I walk free in You, Lord! Amen

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