April 8, 2014


There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
Romans 8:1

Can I be honest?

My heart and my mind struggle to grasp this truth.

Why? Because every day, I am faced with my own depravity . . . I see how I fall short, I see my sinfulness and struggles.

I start to think . . . once I clean my act up, once I quit struggling with this sin pattern, then I will be OK before God. 

That totally defeats the purpose of grace, doesn't it? If we had the ability to get ourselves right before God on our own, then Jesus died for nothing.

Scripture tells us over and over again that Jesus lived a perfect life in our place and took all of God's wrath that we deserved, so that we would not only be declared forgiven but righteous, justified . . . perfect in the sight of God. Like they say at my church, the gospel is Jesus in my place.

Jesus was completely and utterly forsaken so that we would never have to be.

Or as Tim Keller says, “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

As I was reading the above scripture this morning, I felt like that guy in the gospels who says to Jesus, "I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24, emphasis mine)

I feel that the struggle to completely and fully unpack and understand grace is one that I will continue to face on this side of heaven.

Elyse Fitzpatrick has a wonderful devotional called Comforts From Romans that unpacks Romans 8:1 beautifully.

She writes,

Jesus Christ is our propitiation. What propitiation means is to make an atoning sacrifice for another. Jesus is our wrath bearer. In his person he received the entire weight of all God's wrath for all our sin. In three hours he received all the wrath we would have known had we spent an eternity in hell. All of God's wrath for all of our sin - not just the sin that we committed before we came to Christ, not just the sin that we have committed since our conversion, or not even just the sins we've committed today. He received God's wrath for the sins we will commit tomorrow and through all of our tomorrows until we finally die. He paid for all our sin. We will never be recipients of God's wrath and condemnation because he's already borne it all.
If Jesus bore all of God's wrath for all of your sin,
how much wrath does God have left for you? 
The answer is none. Go ahead and believe that. Say it out loud: "God has no wrath left for me!" Believe it. Jesus Christ has fully, irrevocably, unequivocally, and freely granted you freedom from all the wrath you deserve.
Throughout our lifetime, we will face struggles and will wrestle with sin - even though we are in Christ. But this does not mean that our salvation or our standing before God is in question. His word never comes back empty, and He promises that there is no condemnation for us.

I don't know about you, but I need this reminder every single day. I need to return over and over to the truth of the gospel. To the truth of God's word. Every. single. day.

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