Facing the daily hazards of spiritual warfare can take a toll on our confidence and faith. We feel lonely and disconnected from God. However, the Lord is always available through the avenue of prayer and Scripture (Hebrews 13:5). His presence in our lives is an immeasurable blessing.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1. NKJV).
These stunning words rejuvenate our spirits and allow us the strength to persevere, in him (Ephesians 1:18,19). However, they provide the parameters we must respect in order to receive this blessing.
A Christian is free from condemnation because of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross (Romans 5:6). Through the shedding of his blood, we are free from the “law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2; Romans 5:8,9).
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Paul, the author of all of these passages, understood the comfort of being in the body of Christ.
- We must be in Christ in order to be free from condemnation.
The little word “in” is the key to this passage. For those who are not “in Christ,” this security is not available to them. They stand outside of Christ where Satan dwells (1 Peter 5:8). They are like the people perishing in the floods outside of the ark, with no hope (Genesis 6,7).
We can only enter into Christ through immersion (Romans 6:3,4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27). Baptism for the remission of our sins adds us to the Church (Acts 2:38,47; Acts 22:16; Ephesians 1:22,23).
- We walk according to the Spirit, rather than by the flesh and glorify God daily (Ephesians 3:20,21).
When we do, we are “walking worthy of the calling” (Ephesians 4:1). We carry his name and walk according to his dictates every day of our lives.
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
In our Christian walk, we must not use the flesh as our standard. Walking in Christ means that we measure our lives after the will of God and pleasing him becomes far more important than pleasing men.
We seek purity, not the applause of men. The world’s standards become an anathema to us.
The blessings contained in Romans 8:1 are contingent on whether we continue to walk in the Spirit. While we continue to have sin in our lives, the Lord knows the direction we are traveling in.
If we choose to leave Christ, he will tearfully allow us to leave (Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 10:26-31). We must realize that when we do, the condemnation returns to our life and we are no longer in Christ.
Saying there is no condemnation in Christ and that we can choose to leave the Lord are two separate matters. If we are in Christ, we cannot be lost because of the promises and blood of Christ. We will walk with him and live with him for all eternity (Matthew 25:46).
However, if we can enter Christ, by our freewill (Ezekiel 18), then we can choose to leave the body of Christ, the same way (John 15:1-8).
We enter into the body of Christ by the blood and grace of Christ. However, we remain in it by faithfulness (Romans 7:4).