Read: Romans 8:1-17

Guilt. Shame. Judgment. These are sometimes the words that people associate with the church or being a Christian. Let me boldly say that if this is your understanding of the church or relationship with God, then the church was not really proclaiming the gospel of Jesus to you. Here is what Paul wants you to hear today: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus is known for many miracles, but his greatest gift is what Paul describes here in Romans 8. Jesus condemned sin in you without condemning you. In fact, Jesus instead fulfilled the law for you to be presented as righteous before our heavenly Father. This miracle means two critical things for you. You have a new responsibility, and you have a new identity.

Your new responsibility is to live according to the Spirit of life and put to death sin and disobedience by the Spirit’s power. You don’t do this out of guilt or shame, but because Jesus has set you free to do this in joyful obedience to God. Your new identity is as a child of God. Previously in Romans, Paul has talked about being a slave to God, but as he has progressed through his argument for Christ’s mighty work in you, he reveals that the ultimate identity and standing you have before God is as his child. Instead of wallowing in condemnation, step with confidence into the responsibility and identity you’ve been given through Christ.

Reflection:

  1. How have you been doing with your responsibility to walk in step with the Spirit?
  2. What does your identity as a child of God mean for you concerning approaching God’s throne of grace?

Gracious Father, your perfect love casts out fear for us as your children. Help us to rest fully in our standing as forgiven and loved children. May we represent your gospel of freedom and joy to others so that your family will grow. Amen.