Thought for Thursday

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. Romans 8:1

This verse holds a special memory for me as I re-read the first part of it and remember the week I was saved. We had gathered around the campfire, a large group of children ranging in ages from eight to 12, and were singing enthusiastically to the accompaniment of Marilyn’s accordion. Someone fitted the first part of our text into one of the choruses, and we lifted up our voices. For me, it was good to be able to sing it, knowing that I was no longer condemned. Actually, this verse carries two promises. The first promise is positional, and enables us to actually place a period after the word ‘Jesus’. The second promise is conditional, and requires the entire verse.

Well might we lift up our voices in an anthem of praise to realize that our condemnation is gone. The next verse tells us that our Salvation has made us free from the law of sin and death. We who once were under condemnation because of our sin can rejoice forever. The judgment against our sin was poured out in full measure on Jesus Christ at Calvary. He proclaimed its completion, died, and rose again to never more face death or judgment. In all the value of the work of the cross, we accept release from our condemnation. This is true for every believer, regardless of our faithfulness or service. This is our eternal position.

But our condition may well be another story. The latter part of the verse reminds us of our responsibility to walk after the spirit. The One who gave us our release from condemnation also gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us to live our freedom. If we live after the flesh, we compromise the conditional enjoyment of our salvation and face chastisement.

Our enjoyment of our freedom from condemnation is all the greater when we keep ourselves free from the things that displease our Saviour. -Jim MacIntosh

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