Romans 8:1 “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.”
Two of the most comforting words you will ever hear are these – “no condemnation”. We all know we deserve condemnation, yet there is nothing we can do to deliver ourselves from it without Christ Jesus. He alone paid the price for our sins by His perfect sacrifice upon the cross (Isaiah 53:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:19, 21; 1 Peter 2:24). So, think about these two words “no condemnation”. Ask yourself:
“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’” (1 Peter 4:8).
Love is first, foremost, superior to everything else (Matthew 22:34-40; 1 Corinthians 13:13). It must be fervent, intense, enthusiastic, unceasing because it will cover a multitude of sins. What we need more than anything else is to love God and to love one another from the heart fervently!
Some feel sure that they are. Some aren’t too sure. But how can we know? John helps us to answer this question (1 John 1:5-9).
John first reminds us of the holiness of God. “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (v. 5). Light is a symbol of absolute sinlessness, truth and life (cf. John 1:1-9; 3:19-21; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35-36). God is separate from all evil, every falsehood and death. He is holy (cf. Psalms 99:3, 5; Hosea 11:9, 12).
We all offend one another. We should not want to and should try not to, but sometimes we do; sometimes without even realizing it. When we see that we have offended someone it should make us feel very bad. We should apologize and ask their forgiveness. We should try and make it right. We should try and be careful not to make the same mistake again, yet sometimes we do.
How do you respond to those you feel have mistreated you? Do you lash out in anger? Are you hostile? Do you withdraw, cutting off all ties? Do you turn on yourself?
Such negative responses are very harmful to all involved, especially to you. They will only hinder reconciliation and may destroy your relationship altogether. You are allowing the other person to determine how you feel and act. This is very enslaving and will ruin your life.
Lance wrote to tell me that though he grew up in the church, he hasn’t been in many years. His faith is shattered. He suffers from a serious disability. And, because of his selfish and promiscuous life he doesn’t think his marriage is going to survive. His cheating led to a little girl and he can’t forgive himself. Now he is drinking too much, ashamed and depressed. He writes, “This is too much to bear…Need God in my life and someone to talk to.”
A teacher asked the children in her Sunday School class, “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would I get into heaven?”
“NO!” the children all answered.
“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into heaven?”
Again, the answer was “NO!”
“Well,” she continued, “then how can I get to heaven?”
In the back of the room, a five-year-old boy shouted out, “You gotta be dead!”
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135