Tim begins chapter 4 by reflecting on the great gospel announcement that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). What great news! But he goes on to say that while Christians generally understand what this will mean for judgment day, we’re not so good at living EVERY DAY in the confidence that this “no condemnation” announcement should bring.
He then backs this up by looking at what our attitudes towards ourselves and each other reveal about how well we’ve understood the “no condemnation” message of the cross and the resurrection. He shows that feelings like bitterness, anger, insecurity and indifference will be replaced by the confidence to love, accept, serve & forgive others to the extent that we understand the truth of Romans 8:1.
How could a deeper appreciation of Romans 8:1 (and the rest of the chapter for that matter!) make a difference in your life?
I enjoyed reading Tim explain how our heavenly Father sees us now in Christ. So when we sin, even though it grieves God’s heart (and should grieve ours too), God still sees us with Christ’s righteousness. I think it is easy for me (and us) to just see things from merely a secular point of view – seeing how others have sinned (or we have sinned) and forgetting that God sees us IN CHRIST and we are still beloved and have His favour and acceptance.
I think the other thing I’ve noticed is I’ve been slow to accept just how sinful I am and was. I’ve read passages like Romans 1:18 (see below) and I’ve thought it was just unbelievers being referred to, not how I did treat God in the past (and still do to some degree). I’m starting to realise the whole point of Romans is to show how all of us were ungodly people who deserved his wrath, but God in his mercy grants some salvation by grace through faith alone. I’m sure the more this seeps into my convictions, the more gracious I will become.
18 For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, 19 since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them.
I love your conclusion David – “I’m sure the more this seeps into my convictions, the more gracious I will become”. The gospel is truly the greatest power in the world for genuine transformation.