WHAT NO CONDEMNATION FOR THOSE IN CHRIST REALLY MEANS FOR US- ROM.8:1

By Edward O'Hara,

If we are still supposed to keep the law even after we have been saved. And if we do not God punishes us for it. Then how could Paul say this? This is a contradiction if we are all still supposed to keep the law.

Where does condemnation come from? Where does guilt come from? Why was it that Adam and Eve were only afraid after they disobeyed God? Why didn’t they feel condemned or ashamed?

Oh, you thought they did feel shame after eating the fruit? You thought that this is why they hid from God? Well read the passage for yourself and you will find out that fear was what caused them to hide from God. Not shame or guilt.

Paul taught that guilt and condemnation comes from the law of sin and death. The law written in stone and given to Moses for Israel to obey. He said in 1Cor.15:56 that it is from this law that sin derives its power.

So we see from this that there doesn’t need to be a law for there to be sin. But, for there to be condemnation and guilt there must be law. Because for example, unless there is a law saying you can not drive faster than 35 there can be no imputation for driving faster than 35.

Which is why even though the Bible tells us it was a sin for Adam to eat the fruit, that sin was not imputed to him. So it’s no wonder that Adam and Eve did not feel any condemnation, shame, or guilt when they disobeyed God. Because as Paul said in Rom.5:13, “For until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”

But, after Paul showed in Rom.6 that the Israelite who is dead is free from sin. And showed how baptism represents being buried with Christ and also risen with Him. He told them in ch.7 that it is because of this death and resurrection that happens to us by faith, and symbolized by baptism, that they were now joined to Jesus. And now that they are joined with Him they are “delivered from the law”. Rom.7:6

He showed them this so that when he gets to ch.8 they will understand why he says “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Why? Because “the Spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus has set them free from the law of sin and death.” The law that was written in stone and the many ordinances that went with it for Israel. As well as the many punishments that went along with them for their transgression that we read of in Deut.28.

Being set free from condemnation and death because they are free from this law. Paul also explains this in 2Cor.3 where in vs.7 he says that the ministration of death was that which was written and engraven for them in stones. Also calling it “the ministration of condemnation” in vs.9.

So this is where condemnation and guilt come from. And what we are seeing Paul say is that anyone who was then, or even now is under the impression that they must keep the law, is under its condemnation. And will have the feelings of guilt and condemnation whenever they transgress any of it.

Which is why James said of those who believe they are somehow still supposed to keep the law, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend on one point, he is guilty of all.” And is also why Paul said “those who keep the law must live by them” in Rom.10:5. Or said another way, those who keep the law must have life by them.

But, Paul told them in Gal.3:21 this is impossible because “if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” Having already explained to them that “no flesh shall be justified by the law.”

This is why Paul could say in Rom.8:1 that there is now no more condemnation for those who are in Christ. Because he wanted so badly for them to know that there is deliverance from the condemnation and guilt the law brought.

This is why he told them that those who are in Christ are not accountable to keep the law. Because they are not under the law. But, under grace. And by this grace through faith have been delivered from the law and any feelings of condemnation or guilt caused by them.

So a Jew who has believed in Jesus is delivered from the keeping the law. As for gentiles you were never accountable to keep the law. But, if you have been convinced by false teaching that you still need to keep the law then you can know now that it was not true. And when you trust in Jesus’ deliverance you too will be delivered from it.

Paul tells us that in this dispensation men are held accountable by God to do one thing and one thing only for eternal life. And that one thing is to believe in Jesus. Because like the experience we read about of thief on the cross all that is needed is faith in Him for eternal life.

This is so important to understand because if we have been deceived to believe works + faith are needed for salvation we nullify grace. And anyone who believes that even though they are not under the law they still must keep it has been so deceived.

This is why Paul said in Rom.11:6, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

So once you have trusted in Jesus the Holy Spirit comes to lead you and guide you in the truth. And when He comes Paul says in Rom.5:1-5 that His love is shed abroad in your heart to make you able to love as God does. From now on to be led by His love in all the choices you make. And not by works of the law.

Some wonder why there is no need for the law now that Jesus has come. They think the law is eternal, even saying things like it is because the law is the character of God. And that heaven and earth must pass away before any of the law will.

But, what Jesus actually said was that all of the law had to be fulfilled, which is what He said He came to do, before it could pass away. And until that happened heaven and earth would pass before any of the law would.

So the answer to why there is no more need for the external law written in stone that God used then to lead Israel in the Old Covenant is that it has been replaced with God Himself the Holy Spirit in us.

Which is why in John14:15-17 Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

So if they would show their love for Jesus they were to keep His commandments while He was here under the law. But, after “another comforter” has come they are free from the law to now follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Who leads by love and not condemnation.

One of the problems for those in Old Testament times was that the Holy Spirit did not indwell anyone. He was only with them. And would come and go. Which is why David prayed in the Psalms saying, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me”. Because he wanted to experience the presence of God at all times instead of only when the Holy Spirit was upon him.

But, New Covenant believers should never pray such a prayer. Because as New Covenant believers we know that He will never leave us nor forsake us. And now with the spirit that God created in us when we were born again, communing with God’s Spirit that also indwells believers, we have this witness in ourselves that we are God’s children. And are now able to be led by His Spirit. And have no need for the law written in stone to instruct us in our choices.

The law that brought condemnation and death. The law that made Israel slaves to sin by their thoughts of don’t do this and don’t do that made them focus constantly on sin. So that even when they “walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” as Zachariah and Elizabeth did. Their every waking moment was consumed with the law that Heb.10:3 says was there to be a constant reminder of sin.

This is what made Israelites who were under the law, and even now those who believe they must still keep the law, slaves to sin. Not because they are necessarily doing those sins. But, because of their constantly being made aware of them by the law. Which is why David said in Ps.32:2 “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”

You know who Paul said that man is? The man who knows he has no need to keep the law. The man who doesn’t even relate to God or others with consideration of them. Because he is led by the Holy Spirit in all truth. Not the ministration of death and condemnation written in stone.

We see this absence of condemnation in Rom.5:13 where Paul wrote when speaking of everyone who lived from Adam till Moses saying, “For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”

And in Rom.4:15 where Paul had already said “where there is no law there is no transgression”. Saying this to express the fact that it is the law that brings condemnation. And it is the law that pronounces guilt.

But, we who are saved can thank Jesus who sets the captives free by finishing the law so that it would be “taken away”, “abolished”, “done away”, and “pass away”. So that after Jesus came the Israelites who were condemned by it could be delivered from it and its condemnation into a personal and loving relationship with Jesus. Where there is no condemnation.

Because now that the law had done its work of preserving Israel as a people so that messiah could to be born through their bloodline. There is no more need for it. As Paul proclaims in Gal.3:19.

This is why in Gal.3:22 Paul says now all men are accountable to one sin. That is, those who have not trusted in Jesus are “concluded” under the sin of unbelief. The only sin that in our dispensation determines whether we have eternal life or not. The sin of unbelief in Jesus.

So when we read there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus we are seeing that those Israelites who were once condemned by the law will no longer feel condemned. Because faith in Jesus delivers the Israelite from the law from which condemnation is derived.

This is also why when we read in Rom.6:23 “the wages of sin is death” we understand that Paul is saying this is the way it was for Israel under the Old Covenant. Basically paraphrasing Ez.18:20 where it says “The souls that sinners it shall die.” But, that if they will now trust in Jesus as the last 1/2 of the verse says, they will have the gift of God that is eternal life in a New Covenant.

So the choice is yours to make. Will you be slaves to sin and condemned by the law by joining yourself to the law? Or will you trust in Jesus to be delivered from the law of sin and death with its condemnation and guilt? Into a New Covenant of liberty and life in Christ Jesus where there is no condemnation.

This is the truth we were meant to find in John8:32-36 by which the Son sets you free. And He who the Son sets free is free indeed. If you will trust in Jesus He will set you free from any and all guilt or condemnation brought on by the law. And He will replace it with the love and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

If you will do this then you will have eternal life now. And immortality at the resurrection. If you will do this then you will inherit the kingdom of God. Do it not and you will remain condemned and a slave to sin by the law of sin and death written in stone. A natural man still in need of spiritual life. But, if you will trust in Jesus for deliverance from the law of sin and death… I will see you there or in the air!

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