Drexel Heights Church
~pastor’s pen / August 2015
In Chapter 8, verses 1-2 of Romans, the Apostle Paul writes; “…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.”
A friend told me once, when he sat in a court room waiting to plea his case before the judge, that he thought the only words he wanted to hear from the judge was, “Not guilty. You can leave, sir.” Those words are so meaningful to any person who is contesting any accusation. What if you were on death row? Would the words “Not Guilty” have a greater impact? I’ve been in several courts (ministry related, of course) and it is intimidating, humbling and scary. Let’s imagine that You and I were on death row, justly condemned for repeatedly breaking God’s Holy law. Jesus is our defense-attorney and judge! Jesus stands ready to be our hope! He has declared us not guilty and He offers us freedom from sin and the power to His will. Remember in Romans 5:1; “…we have peace with God.” The Apostle Paul explains that there is no condemnation for the believer because God has condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son to pay the penalty for sin through his death on the cross. The Apostle Paul seems to be recalling his whole argument about salvation in Christ. In verse 2 of Romans chapter 8, it mentions that we mustn’t be over looked, the Spirit of life is the tender Holy Spirit. He was present at the creation of the World. He is the power behind the new-birth of every Christ-Follower. He gives us the power/TNT we need to live as a Believer. On this subject, I can’t help but think of another text found in John’s Gospel- the story about the woman caught in adultery is brought before Jesus in John 8. The Religious Guys, the Scribes and Pharisees, want Jesus to condemn her. The Jewish Law interestingly states the both parties must be present when this process takes place. You’ve probably read this story before but the Religious Guys in this story want her stoned to death! Jesus bends down and begins to write something in the dirt. Was he listing their sins? Was he writing down their names? Biblical scholars don’t know. The story continues and one by one, the spiritual leaders of that day begin to exit their man-made court room, leaving the woman and Jesus standing there alone. Jesus asks her, “Who is here to condemn you?” This is a beautiful picture depicting that there is no condemnation in Christ. How many individuals do you know who condemn others because they’re different? We all like to judge and condemn people, but may the Lord help us to refrain from those actions and those often hurtful words of condemnation that we utter. As we touch lives and build meaningful relationships, let us leave the condemning of others out of our lives.