Sunday, January 31, 2010

No Condemnation Means We Can ENJOY GOD

Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.  Psalm 34:21-22, ESV

God does not treat everyone the same.  In the text above we see a distinction between God people (the righteous) and unbelievers (the wicked): condemnation vs. NO condemnation!  Those outside the covenant he has made with his people in Christ are constantly under God’s wrath (John 3:36) and will be treated by God as enemies!

• The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. Psalm 34:16

But the righteous (made righteous through faith in Jesus Christ, who took our sins and gave us his own righteousness) are constantly under God’s steadfast love!

• There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

We are all born in sin and are God’s enemies. But when a sinner is born again and given eternal life in Jesus Christ - saved by grace through faith – he crosses over from condemnation to NO condemnation (from death to life – John 5:24, Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life).

At salvation there is a change of relationship between God and the new believer in Christ. God is now Father to the one who has been justified from sin in Christ Jesus; God has given him the rights of a son (adoption: Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5, John 1:12-13).

The result is life-changing and freeing! There is now no condemnation for us in Christ Jesus…even when we sin! YES, all our sins are under the blood of Christ – even future sins! What does this mean for daily application? It means that when we, as a believer, stumble and sin, God is not dealing with us primarily as our Judge (like he does with the wicked, or unbelievers); rather he deals with us – even in our failures and sin s – as a Father who wants a restored relationship – so we can go back to enjoying God. Our sin has hindered our relationship with our Father, but has not brought condemnation on us (there is NO condemnation left for us who believe - Christ took it all!!)

When I sin and then wallow in my guilt without coming back to God in repentance and faith, hesitating to restore my relationship with him because I am ‘unworthy,’ I am actually denying the sufficiency of the blood of Christ! I am saying that Christ didn’t do a good enough job on the cross bearing my sin that I just committed; I need to help him bear it by feeling guilty and bearing my shame – prescribing penance for myself. We think we can go back to God when we’ve paid the price. But Jesus has already paid the price, borne our shame, taken our condemnation. Now there is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ – even when we sin. Now God is our FATHER, and we can – and should be – immediately restored. He will lovingly discipline us (Hebrews 12), but as a Father who wants us to enjoy him! Indeed, he has, at great cost to himself, removed what hindered us from enjoying him by sending Christ to die for our sins on the cross. Hallelujah to the Lord!

When we sin as believers, we should immediately preach this gospel to ourselves and run to the Father’s arms. Even when Satan accuses us, we have a great High Priest, Jesus Christ, who is representing us to the Father with his own blood.

Once we are walking in this freedom and enjoying God, here is what it will look like:

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.
Psalm 36:7-9

1 comment:

Amy said...

Great message Cary! Needed to hear this.