Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” If you ever struggle with the issue of losing your salvation, then this is a great verse to memorize.
May I point out to you three significant words that might help you understand this verse? The first word is “condemnation.” Let’s be honest: there are times we find the gospel boring. We have heard it many times: Jesus came and died on the cross for our sins so we can go to Heaven. The only reason for boredom is that we really do not understand that our state before Christ died for us was condemnation. Romans 1-3 says we are born into this world condemned before God. We are like prisoners on death row. The sentence has already been pronounced: guilty. We are just awaiting our execution. But Jesus delivered us from that condemnation. How did He do it? God “[sent] His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh” (8:3). Jesus suffered the wrath of God for us, so there is no condemnation.
The second word I want you to notice in this verse is “now.” That word “now” signifies that something has changed. Notice the verse does not say, “There has never been any condemnation for anyone.” It says, “Therefore there is now no condemnation.” This verse implies that something has changed in your life. There has to be a point in time when you receive by faith that gift of forgiveness that Christ offers you. Can you point to such a time in your life? There has to be a time when you are born again.
The third word I want you to notice is “no.” That little word “no” answers a lot of questions. What if I commit this sin? No condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. What if I doubt my faith? What if I stumble? No condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Isn’t that a great truth? We never have to fear the wrath of God because of what Christ has done for us. God’s condemnation has already been poured out on Jesus Christ, so when we are in Christ, we have already experienced God’s wrath. The fire of God’s wrath has already burned against His Son, and we never need to fear it again.
There is also a key phrase I want you to notice, and it is this: “in Christ Jesus.” Only those who are in Christ Jesus have the assurance that they will not face the condemnation of God. How do you know if you are in Christ Jesus? Very simple, Paul said: those who are truly saved are becoming more like Christ every day. The eternal security of the believer is real, but it applies only to those who are truly believers. We have done a great disservice by giving the assurance of salvation to people who walked an aisle or got wet in the baptistery or believe a lot of things intellectually, and we say they are saved even though there is no change in their lives. Eternal security belongs only to those who are truly believers.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How to Know If You’re Really Saved” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
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.