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Romans 8: No Condemnation

Romans 8  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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While our world does all in its power to condemn others, there is no condemnation found in Christ.

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Introduction

This morning if you would, start turning in your Bibles to .
In just a moment we are going to be reading from , but this morning I would like to start you out thinking about something.
Condemnation.
When we think about the word condemnation, what goes through our mind?
Being found guilty
Going to prison maybe
Being doomed
Being isolated and all alone
Being in a place where no one can help you.
All of these things we associate with being condemned, and while many of us have probably never been to prison, there have certainly been times when we have felt all alone, isolated, and maybe even a sense of dread or doom.
We have all been in a place where we felt like we were in so deep that there was nothing or no one that could help us.
And in our world and our community this morning there are people who feel this exact same way.
And believe it or not, there may even be people here with us, today who feel the exact same way.
Even in a room full of people, they feel all alone.
And I want to tell you that, this is the way Satan wants it.
Satan wants us to feel isolated, hopeless, and all alone.
It is much easier to influence us and lead us down the wrong path if we have no one else to help guide us and watch out for us.
Remember our Bible tells us to . . .
1 Peter 5:8 NIV - Anglicised
8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
And in response to this satanic activity we are to . . .
1 Peter 5:
1 Peter 5:9 NIV - Anglicised
9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
But, there is a problem with this.
For some of us, we forget that we are to stand firm in the faith, and for others among us, we have no faith to stand firm in.
We have never placed our faith in Jesus Christ, so we have no power to resist Satan.
We effectively have no weapons to fight this war.
So, this morning, we have a mixed bag of people with us.
We have those who have received Christ but are not fully walking in the power of the Spirit.
And we have others who have yet to come into that relationship and realize that power.
But we also have another group.
And this is the group is the group that should be using what they have learned and God has taught them, to help others realize and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, this morning, as we begin looking at , would like you to start thinking about which group you fit into.
Really two questions:
Do you feel a sense of condemnation for things in your life?
Where do you stand with God right now?
Because the feelings that you have right now are a very strong indicator of where you stand with God.
So, with that in mind, stand with me as we begin reading in .
I will be reading the first four verses . . .

Scripture Focus

Romans 8:1–4 NIV - Anglicised
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Are We “In Christ?”

So, Paul starts out here making a very bold statement.
Again he states that . . .
Romans 8:1 NIV - Anglicised
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
And this is a very significant statement that Paul makes here to the people, because this letter he is writing is written to a very diverse and mixed bag kind of group of Christians.
Really, the people he is writing to is not much different than the make up of the church today.
The letter was written to the Christians in Rome, who were sort of spread out throughout the city in all sorts of churches ranging from very small house churches to probably some that met in town halls and maybe even a former synagogue or two.
So, there were big congregations and small congregation, but they were all very diverse congregations.
He had congregations made up of former Jews, current Jews, Roman citizens, Roman slaves, immigrants, and everybody else.
Since Rome was the capital of the Empire, it was a melting pot of all sorts of people with all sorts of backgrounds.
Meaning that not every single person that this letter was directed to, had a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
And we sometimes miss that point when we are reading our Bible.
We read these letters and assume that everyone in the church was already a Christian.
And the reality is, that was not the case and that is not the case in the Church today.
IN FACT, not everyone sitting here today, IN THIS CONGREGATION has a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Not everyone here today is a Christian.
And I do not say that to embarrass or condemn anyone, because the fact is at one point in our lives NO ONE in this room had a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Not a single one of us.
We all had to come to Christ in the same way.
But the fact remains that without Christ, we are already condemned.
Look at what Jesus told Nicodemus in . . .
John 3:18 NIV - Anglicised
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
:18
So, if we go back to the first question I asked this morning about a sense of condemnation in our lives, there are only two reasons why we would have this sense of condemnation.
Satan has convinced us of his lies that we are condemned.
We are actually condemned because we have no relationship with God through Christ.
It is one of those two reasons.
But either way, I want to tell you that the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you something and you have to choose whether you will listen or not.
Because Jesus has told us already that whoever believes in him is not condemned.
And Paul reiterates the exact same point in our passage.
Again, . . . .
Romans 8:1 NIV - Anglicised
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
And I keep reading that verse because I want that to sink in.
IF WE BELONG TO JESUS CHRIST WE ARE NOT CONDEMNED.
Paul goes on to explain to us in verse two that we are not condemned . . .
Romans 8:2 NIV - Anglicised
2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
And then back to what Jesus says in . . .
John 8:36 NIV - Anglicised
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
So, if you are here this morning and you have a sense of condemnation about you right now, then I want you to stop and examine somethings right now.
Ask yourself, am I believing a lie that Satan has planted within me?
Or, have I been lying to myself about my relationship with Jesus Christ?
And this in itself can get very, very tricky because Satan will use our doubts, our fears, and our shortcomings against us.
Satan will tell us things like, “if you were really a Christian you wouldn’t be struggling.”
That is a lie straight from the pits of hell.
EVERYBODY struggles from time to time.
EVERYBODY.
The real thing to examine is whether or not you remember a time when you realized your sin, asked God to forgive your sin, trusted that through Jesus Christ God did forgive you, and then turn from that sin and do your best to follow Christ.
Was there a time when your heart was transformed by God?
That’s what we are really talking about.
Now, how well you have done since then is a different story.
And if you have fell back into a life of sin, then yes you must repent again.
But God is still there.
Jesus is still there.
And the process is exactly the same.
And God is not standing there waiting to condemn you or judge you .
No, God is there with open arms to embrace and restore you.
Think about the parable of the lost coin . . .
Luke 15:8–10 NIV - Anglicised
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Luke 15:
And when the Prodigal Son returns to his father . . .
Luke 15:20–24 NIV - Anglicised
20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
Luke 11:20–24 NIV - Anglicised
20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armour in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils. 23 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters. 24 “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’
And it does not matter if you have never received Christ or if you need to return to Christ, God will receive you in the same way.
With love, compassion, forgiveness.
With open arms, welcoming you home.
Because . . .
Romans 8:1 NIV - Anglicised
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
But, do we believe it?
Do we believe God’s Word this morning?
Because Jesus has paid the price and made the sacrifice already.
Look at the rest of our passage this morning . . .
Romans 8:3–4 NIV - Anglicised
3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:3-
God took care of it, but there is one more point this morning I want to make about this passage.
Look at the end of verse four again because it gives us an important clue.
Notice what Paul says here . . . who do not live according to the sinful nature, but according to the Spirit.
There is the secret of escaping the condemnation of this life.
Living according to the Spirit.
And this may very well be the reason why even though you have accepted Jesus Christ, you still have a sense of condemnation.
Are you living according to the Spirit?
Which simply means allowing the Holy Spirit to be in the driver seat.
Turning your life over the Holy Spirit to lead you.
Giving up that false sense of power and control that you have to God.
That may be where the problem actually lies.
Because even if we give our heart to Jesus, unless we relinquish our life and actually TRUST him, not much is going to change.
We call Jesus our Lord and Savior for a reason.
He has to be both in our lives.
Otherwise these tactics of Satan to drag us back down will continue to dominate our lives.

Altar Call

So, this morning we really need to think about where we stand with God.
Have we ever given our heart to Christ?
Have we given Christ our life?
Are we feeling condemned because we actually are?
Or, are we being deceived by Satan?
These are very important questions and questions that only you can answer.
And right now, if you will slow down, forget about everything else you have going on today, and listen to the Holy Spirit, He will speak to you.
And when he speaks, you have the option to do what he tells you or not.
It is your decision.
Our musicians are going to sing and I just ask you now to be obedient to the Spirit.
Because God is the only one who can remove the condemnation that you are feeling right now.
It is your choice, what will it be?
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