Our Bible reading for today is from Romans Chapter 8 verse 1. Saint Paul writes:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
The word “condemnation” is a word we probably don’t use a lot in our daily usage. Once in a while we might hear about a building or a house that’s being condemned, but inside of each one of us there is a sense of judgment when we know we’ve done something wrong. We can see this in little children. They’ll often want to run and hide away from a parent if they know that they’re gonna get in trouble. If we feel that we have broken the law. Driving on the highway and we see a police officer go by we might slow down suddenly very quickly because we want to avoid the judgment and avoid the possible punishment.
So inside of each one of us there is a sense of knowing when we’ve done something wrong and also that we deserve some type of punishment and condemnation for that. When the famous mass serial killer Charles Manson was on trial, as he was being sentenced, his lawyer claimed that he looked down and saw that Charles Manson’s hands were shaking because he was so scared and terrified he’d been so cocky before that during the trial. But when the actual moment for his judgment came he was terrified.
That’s maybe how we think about the day that we have to stand before God some day. That God who knows everything about us. But notice Paul’s words he says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Think about the work of Jesus when he died on the cross. Think about his work as if it’s like a big umbrella, a fire retardant umbrella, that protects us from the condemning fire of God’s judgment. All of God’s condemning fire fell on Christ and not on those who are in Him by faith. It’s as if we are standing underneath that umbrella protected from God’s condemnation because it has hit our Savior and doesn’t fall on us.
And so those who believe in Christ are not any more or less sinful than others in the world, but they are protected by that wonderful umbrella of God’s grace in Christ. And so may we remain there throughout our lives so someday we can have our eternal reward in heaven. Amen.