No Condemnation: Our Eternal Standing in Christ.

Christian parents often tell their children, "There is nothing you can do to change my love for you." How much greater is God's infinite love! There is nothing we can do to change God's love for us. God the Father keeps us eternally secure in Jesus Christ, omnipotently held by the Holy Spirit. These truths provide hope for us throughout this earthly journey regardless of our circumstances.

All earthly possessions and positions have a shelf life. Only our spiritual life can last for eternity. True security only comes in Jesus Christ. Romans 8 assures us that God keeps us secure now and for eternity. He desires to encourage and sustain us by His grace. This chapter is rich with meaning, as the Bible commentator Charles Trumbull notes:

"The eighth chapter of Romans has become peculiarly precious to me, beginning with 'no condemnation,' ending with 'no separation,' and in between, 'no defeat.' This wondrous chapter sets forth the gospel and plan of salvation; the life of freedom and victory; the hopelessness of the natural man and the righteousness of the born again; the indwelling of Christ and the Holy Spirit; the resurrection of the body and blessed hope of Christ’s return; the working together of all things for our good; every tense of the Christian life, past, present, and future; and the glorious, climactic song of triumph, no separation in time or eternity 'from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'"

Romans 8:1-4 expounds on the fact that we have no condemnation by proclaiming our standing in Christ. These things are true for those who know Christ and have been truly changed by Him. They will desire to be governed by the Holy Spirit.

The Basis of our Standing (Romans 8:1)

Several aspects of the original Greek grammar lend even more emphasis to the first few words of this verse. Most literally, it says, "Condemnation now NO therefore." Our righteous standing before God is an objective reality done for us and maintained by omnipotence. The word "now" tells us that this is our present reality from salvation forward.

The words translated as a simple "no" in English are stronger than a double negative in the Greek. It means "no, no, no, never, never, ever!" Those who are in Christ will never be condemned because Jesus is never condemned. Even if a believer is struggling, he or she is perfectly loved by God because He always loves His Son perfectly who is in every believer.

The word for "condemnation" is the same legal term used in Romans 5:16-18. We have been forever acquitted of past, present, and future sins even though we do not deserve to be. We can never be made to pay for our sins because Christ has already done so (Isaiah 53:4-6); there is no double jeopardy.

"It is because of God's work in Jesus Christ and because of the application of it to us by the Holy Spirit that there is now no condemnation." We are in Christ, and He in God who cannot lie will by His grace continue to perform His work in us. His grace will compel us to pursue right living.

"Because we are justified by faith in conjunction with our own union with Christ, we escape the sentence of death that our sins have justly earned us, transferred into the new regime of life, we no longer fear that our sins will ever condemn us. There are no conditions for us to meet to gain this standing, and there are no conditions given to maintain it once it's received."
-- Douglas Moo

The Function of our Standing (Romans 8:2)

In addition to making us secure and taking away our condemnation, God has done something else that we have no strength to do on our own. He has set us free from the law of death and free to the new law of Christ. The old law showed our need for Christ; the new law fills that need to overflowing. Under the law of death, we were slaves to patterns of sin. The Holy Spirit brings us from death to life in regeneration and sustains us in that new life. Another godly man said, "The law of the spirit of life is like the law of gravitation that operates all the time, only in the spiritual world."

The Ground of our Standing (Romans 8:3)

No one could follow all the demands of the law given by Moses; the more they tried, the more they failed. It was not designed to save people or spiritually grow them.

Jesus came in flesh but was not sinful. Thus He was able to be the perfect offering for sin (John 1:29).

The Fruit of our Standing (Romans 8:4)

The purpose of our security in Christ is to make us more like Christ. Those who enjoy this standing in Christ will be compelled by grace to live a certain way. When we own Christ, we are viewed by God with His perfect obedience to the law. The Holy Spirit is God's ambassador to help us daily walk according to the Scripture. As one author put it, "God comes into you in Christ and overcomes sin as you yield to Him." The miracle of God's grace provides us loving guardrails on the way to spiritual development.

Application Points

  • These things are only true of you if you have a living relationship with Jesus Christ. Do you? If you do not know Jesus personally, realize that you can never reach God on your own. Humbly beg Him to forgive you and be your Savior.
  • If you know Christ, you will never be condemned for your sin. God's omnipotent hand holds you. How will you apply this fact to your daily reality?
  • Are you weak and faltering in your Christian walk? If you are truly saved, you have never been condemned for your failure. The voice of condemnation to the believer is never the Holy Spirit. The Roman church was full of strong believers, even though they were afflicted, because they knew doctrine well. You may be lacking a depth of spiritual learning. Seek out a mentor and more learning opportunities to study the Bible with others.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Galatians 5:16-26, Philippians 2:13, Galatians 2:20 – Our passive role and the active role of grace in our spiritual growth.
A Hymn to Encourage: "Arise, My Soul, Arise"

Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding Sacrifice in my behalf appears:
Before the throne my surety stands,
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.

He ever lives above, for me to intercede;
His all-redeeming love, His precious blood to plead:
His blood atoned for all our race,
His blood atoned for all our race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

Five bleeding wounds He bears, received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:
“Forgive him, oh, forgive,” they cry,
“Forgive him, oh, forgive,” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

The Father hears Him pray, His dear anointed One;
He cannot turn away the presence of His Son;
His Spirit answers to the blood,
His Spirit answers to the blood,
And tells me I am born of God.

I now am reconciled; His pard’ning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.