Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jacob's Journal

                 We have often heard that there is no condemnation in Christ. It is found in Romans 8:1. I think this is one of those verses we either forget about, don't grasp, or don't truly believe. At least that is the way we live most of the time. If we truly believed that there is no condemnation in Christ then it would set us free like verse two of Romans 8 says, " because the Spirit's law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death."

                  We, I am including myself in this, tend to beat up and berate ourselves over our past and present failures. We set goals, make resolutions, construct plans, edit lists all in the effort to better ourselves or become more. Or we set out to break a bad habit and find ourselves continually falling back in. Or it could be our pet sin. That sin that we just can't seem to leave behind. The sin we are always trying to find loop holes or justifications for so that our conscience will be cleared and our souls eased.

Whatever it is, we as Christians live our lives as if we are in condemnation, full of regret, anxiety, self-doubt, maybe even depression.  We are Christians, right? We are supposed to be stronger than that. We have Christ living in us (Rom. 8:10.) We should be perfect. Wrong.

Even the Apostle Paul struggled with this battle. That is why he wrote Romans 8. He wanted his fellow Christians to know that they where free, not because of anything they had done or not done, good or bad, but because of Christ. Paul just got through laying out his own struggle with his inability to do the right thing. I like to call Romans 7:15-21 the do be do be dos, because it can be a complicated jumble of do's and do not's. Paul is basically saying that there is a war going on inside of himself and he does not always to the right thing even though he wants to. Sound familiar? We have all been there. He ends the section with, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" and goes on to say in the following verse, "Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus."

It is not that we should not try to do good it is that we should not focus on the bad but on Christ who lives in us and find that "the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace." (Romans 8:6)

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