One of the wonderful
of Scripture is found in Romans 8:1:
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for
those who are in Christ Jesus.”
In his letter to the Romans, Paul presents the
importance of the
good news of Jesus Christ
(Romans 1:16–17). We need this good news because all people, in their sin, are under condemnation (Romans 1:18—3:20). Paul then explains the gospel (Romans 3:21—4:25) and what it means to no longer be under condemnation, describing the implications of being declared righteous by God (Romans 5—8). He concludes this section of the epistle by affirming the eternality of the righteousness given by God and asserts that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Paul adds an example of the trustworthiness of God (Romans 9—11) and challenges believers in Christ to behave in a manner consistent with their new position of righteousness in Christ (Romans 12—16).
The need for salvation is universal because of our connection to Adam and his sin. Adamfell, his nature became sinful, and all humanity bears his image and likeness (Genesis 5). All people born of Adam are naturally under condemnation and separated from God like Adam was (Romans 5:12–15).
But Paul explains that those who have believed in Christ are now positionally in Christ.
They are justified, or
by grace through the
-redemption in Christ-
(Romans 3:24), and they are now
alive in Christ Jesus
They have eternal life (Romans 6:23). Elsewhere, Paul emphasizes that the one believing in Jesus now has a new identity in Christ (Ephesians 1:3–14).
Where there was once condemnation by God,
there is now justification by God.
There is now
no condemnation for those
who are in Christ Jesus.
The believer’s new position,
received by grace through faith
cannot be taken away.
Once God declares someone righteous, no one can
correctly accuse that person or justly condemn him
There is now no condemnation for those who are
in Christ Jesus.
died on the cross,
He took our condemnation
He took the punishment that was due us all (1 Peter 3:18).
All who believe in Him have eternal life (John 6:47)
and are no longer condemned by God.
It is worth noting that the KJV and some other translations contain an added clause in Romans 8:1: “who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1, KJV). In the context, Paul explains that those who believe in Christ are those who walk by the Spirit, and the evidence of that is that they have the Spirit of God in them (Romans 8:9). Even if the added words in the KJV are not original to verse 1, the same truth (that we walk in the Spirit) is communicated in Romans 8:4 and Romans 8:9.
Those who “walk after the Spirit”
are those who are
these are two ways of describing the same thing.
In other words,
the statement of Romans 8:1that there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus is not conditional. Once someone has believed in Christ,
he is in Christ and can never be separated from the
love of Christ,
as Paul explains in Romans 8:38–39. No created thing (including an individual) can separate anyone from the love of God that is in Christ. When Paul affirms that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1),
we can be
of our secure position
In 1 John 4,
John encourages believers that, because God has loved us,
we should love one another
(1 John 4:11).
And “there is no fear in love.
But perfect love drives out fear,
because fear has to do with punishment.
The one who fears is not made perfect in love”
(1 John 4:18).
lives in us,
then His love also lives in and is perfected in us (1 John 4:12).
But how can we know that God lives in us?
We can be certain because
Holy Spirit dwells
(1 John 4:13).
So, if He lives in us and we in Him, and if His love lives in us, then we have the tools we need to live in His love and
show that love to others (1 John 4:16).
John explains what he means when he says that God’s love is “perfected” or “made complete” in us in 1 John 4:17—that, even in this world, we are like Him because His love is in us.
We don’t need to fear the coming judgment
because we are in Him and He in us.
As Paul put it in Romans 8:1,
“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Because fear involves punishment, John says, the one who fears punishment is
not perfected in love
(1 John 4:18).
If we recognize that
we are in Christ and He in us,
then we have no fear of future condemnation.
We know we have His Spirit within us.
His love is expressed perfectly in us--
He has given Himself to us.
Why would we fear His judgment in the future?
We belong to Him.
If we (rightly) fear punishment, then we are not in His love because those who are in Him have been saved from condemnation.
As Jesus said, God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten, or unique, Son so that the one who believes in Jesus will not perish (i.e., die in condemnation) but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Those who have believed
are in His love
and have no reason
judgment and condemnation.
But those who are not in Christ Jesus have reason to fear the judgment. The apostle John explains that, if we are in Christ, then we have no need to fear--
“there is no fear in love.”
If we are in Christ, we see His love
expressed perfectly in His salvation, and we should
demonstrate that love toward others.
There is no fear in love, but
perfect love casts out fear
(1 John 4:18).
God’s perfect love has cast out our fear
punishment and condemnation.
In a sense, we should always fear God because He is the Creator who is sovereign over all (2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Peter 2:17; Revelation 14:7), but that is quite different from fearing judgment and condemnation.
We don’t fear God because we are afraid
He might violate
His promises and throw us into condemnation—no,
we fear God because of His greatness, worthiness,
It is because the fear of the Lord is the
of knowledge, wisdom,
(Proverbs 1:7; 9:10)
that we can understand what a gift His love truly is.
To be loved by One so incredible and great means that
His love is stronger than anything we can imagine.
If God is for us,
then who can be against us??