There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
What does it mean for us that God is willing to forgive us of our sins?
Because we have been forgiven by the Divine Director of our lives, we are free from God’s condemnation. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin, so we never have to worry that sometime in the future God is going to make us pay up. Our sin penalty has already been paid.
Imagine you have a teenager who gets a speeding ticket with a fine of $200. Your child says to you, “I don’t have $200. I’m going to lose my license or go to jail if I don’t come up with the cash.” So after a stern lecture, you give your child $200. He is very grateful for it. He pays the fine. His record is clear. Several weeks later, your child gets a check from Aunt Ethel for $200. What is he going to do with that money? One thing he is not going to do is this: he is not going to go back to the court and pay the fine again. Why not? Because the fine has already been paid. You don’t pay a fine twice. You pay it only once.
The same thing is true of God’s forgiveness of us. When you trust in Jesus as your Savior, your sin debt is paid in full.
When Jesus hung on the cross, He said, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). The Greek word translated “finished” means paid in full. That’s why you never need to worry that one day when you die and you stand before God, He’s going to look at you and say, “You’ve got to be kidding. Let you into heaven? You have to spend eternity suffering for your sin to pay your sin debt.” You don’t have to pay again because your sin debt has already been paid (Colossians 2:13-14). We can do nothing to add to the once-for-all payment that Jesus made for our sins.
Now, I’m not suggesting that Christ’s death for our sins erases the temporary consequences of our sin. Forgiven people still have to suffer financial hardship, public humiliation, divorces, and even imprisonment at times for mistakes they have made. Trusting in Christ for forgiveness doesn’t erase the temporary consequences of our sins.
We need to keep an eternal perspective when it comes to God’s forgiveness. Thirty years of painful consequences in this life sure beats 30 trillion years of suffering in the next life, doesn’t it? That’s what God’s promise is.
If you have trusted Christ, you never have to worry about God’s eternal condemnation for your sin. The fact that we have been forgiven by God means that we are free forever from God’s condemnation.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Our Second Act Depends on God” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.