As Christians, we like to claim that there’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ, but what does it mean to live without condemnation?
What Does No Condemnation Mean?
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Before we try to understand what condemnation means in biblical terms, let’s first try to understand what it means in daily life. The Oxford Dictionary defines condemnation in two ways:
- the expression of very strong disapproval; censure.
- the action of condemning someone to a punishment; sentencing
So, in other words, when someone has been condemned, they experienced some form of judgment which resulted in disapproval or ensure. There is also usually some form of punishment. The person was found guilty and a judgment was passed down on them.
When we say there is no condemnation, we mean that a person has been found innocent and absolved of all guilt and is free from receiving any punishment.
What does the Bible mean when it says there is no condemnation?
Now that we know what no condemnation means in our daily lives, let’s talk about what condemnation means in the Bible. In Romans 8, we read these words,
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.Romans 8:1-2 NLT
These words are a source of joy. We are not condemned because we belong to Jesus. But maybe you’re wondering, was I condemned? What was the crime?
In Genesis 3, we read the story of the fall and learn that because of sin, we’ve all been found guilty and have been sentenced to death. But all hope is not lost, because of Jesus’s sacrifice we have been redeemed. In Romans 6, we read this statement,
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:23 NLT
This statement is a prelude to the good news in Romans 8. Because of Jesus, we don’t have to suffer the death penalty as we rightfully should. Jesus paid the price for us and because of Him, our sentence has been reversed.
We are no longer guilty. Through the blood of Christ, we have been set free! There is no condemnation for us because we have been covered by the blood of the Perfect Lamb.
How Do You Live Without Condemnation?
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So, we’ve accepted the good news. We know Jesus is the Son of God and that He has died for our sins. We are no longer sentenced to die, but how do we live without condemnation?
Romans 8 has some great reminders for those who want to live as if there is no condemnation in Christ.
What is the message of Romans 8?
Romans 8 is one of those powerhouse chapters of Scripture. There is so much awesome truth and encouragement packed in that it’s quite possible to uncover a new nugget every time you read it. But in this lesson we’re focusing on reminders that will help us to live free of condemnation.
If we are going to live like there is no condemnation because we are in Christ, then we have to remember these 8 things.
1. Those who belong to Christ have been set free from the power of sin. We have been released from paying the penalty of death which is the result of sin. When Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross, He gave us access to His life-giving spirit which triumphs over death (Romans 8:1-4).
2. Having the Holy Spirit living in us and through us lead to life and peace. Before we belonged to God, we were controlled by our sinful nature. But now, we have the power of the Holy Spirit which allows us to overcome the temptation to sin (Romans 8:5-8).
3. Those who are led by the Spirit have the honor of being called the children of God. The Spirit of God gives life. It is able to resurrect and restore. Those who accept the power of the Holy Spirit and do the will of the Father will act in a manner that pleases God (Romans 8:9-14).
4. Being a child of God makes us heirs of His kingdom. God’s kingdom is one of glory, honor, and power. He chooses to share those glories with those who call Him “Abba Father” (Romans 8:15-17).
5. Though we experience trials on earth, it will not last forever. As children of God, we know we will experience tribulations and trials. But we know that at some point we will receive all the gifts God has promised us.
Because we are not condemned, we will one day be given eternal life and will receive glories which include new bodies (Romans 8:18-25).
6. The Holy Spirit will help us. Have you ever needed to pray but couldn’t find the words? Maybe it was because your heart was too heavy or your spirit too tormented to find the words. Or maybe, you had no clue what you needed in order to survive your latest crisis.
The great thing is that the Holy Spirit prays for us. He knows what we need and He expresses those desires to God and He does so in harmony with God’s will (Romans 8:26-28). How cool is that?
7. We have been given a right standing before God. Remember how we learned earlier that the penalty for sin was death? Through the death of His Son Jesus, God has restored our standing before Him. When we belong to Christ, God doesn’t see our sinful, human natures. No, He sees His perfect Son because we have been covered by the blood of our Savior (Romans 8:29-34).
8. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Okay, this truth may take a little time to settle in: God loves us, always had, always will. This may seem unbelievable because we live in a world where love seems conditional. God’s love is not like that. The apostle Paul says not even the powers of hell can separate us from the love of God. If that’s not a reason to celebrate and try to live without condemnation I don’t know what is (Romans 8:35-39).
As we focus on these eight reminders from Romans 8, we can live free of condemnation because our guilt and sin have been covered in the blood of Christ. This message of how important it is to live as if there is no condemnation in Christ really came clear to me as I read Framed in Death Valley.
My Review of Framed in Death Valley
Laney and Beckett both had stories that had left them broken. But where Laney was a fighter who tried to make a new life for herself from the ashes, Beckett believed the lies of his naysayers. This made for some interesting conflict because Laney had to decide if Becket really loved her and he had had to decide he was worthy of being loved.
The tension starts on page one and continues to build until the killer is revealed, and I have to admit, I didn’t figure out who the real killer was. Though, looking back, there were some subtle signs.
It was interesting to watch Beckett care for and protect the woman he still loved while trying to retain his distance. At the same time, Laney was conflicted: how did she feel about Beckett? Could she trust him not to break her heart again?
Ms. Mentink did a good job of weaving lots of tension and excitement in this book while also providing points for spiritual consideration.
One of the major themes in Framed in Death Valley was that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Laney had embraced that message but Beckett had a way to go. Still, he did get the message in the end though I would have liked to see him wrestle with his faith a bit more.
Overall, this was a good read and will remind you that your identity should be found in Christ and not in what people say about you.
I received an advanced reader’s copy from the publishers through Celebrate Lit; a positive review was not required.
About Framed in Death Valley
A killer who will stop at nothing…
Framed for a murder he didn’t commit, firefighter Beckett Duke gave up on everything—including his marriage to spirited Laney Holland. That is, until Laney’s life is threatened. Knowing the real killer is still at large, Beckett now has one purpose: protecting the woman he loves…and their unborn child. But sometimes an innocent man’s second chance comes with a deadly price.
About Dana Mentink
Dana Mentink is a two-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, and a Holt Medallion winner. She is the Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming, and Poisoned Pen Press.
Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, and a chubby box turtle.
Victory is Ours Through Christ
Living without condemnation is something that will take practice and time because the devil will always try to remind us of our pasts. He will always try to make us feel as if our sins are too great to be forgiven. But we have victory over our sins through the blood of Christ Jesus.
My friend, you can live without condemnation because if God has not condemned you, who can?
What are your tips for living as if there is no condemnation?