Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Condemnation-Free Zone

We live in a world where condemnation is a part of life.  Those who break the law and are apprehended are judged for their crimes.  When a particularly heinous act is committed, the perpetrator can be condemned to life imprisonment or even death.  Buildings are condemned when they become unsafe for use due to deterioration or damage.  Such structures are demolished before someone gets hurt.  Governing authorities can condemn property through the use of eminent domain if a case can be made that it is necessary for the public good.  Then there is the personal condemnation that the citizens of this world heap on one another.  We condemn each other on the basis of race, gender, social status, occupation, appearance, income level, and a myriad of other distinctions.  We even condemn ourselves over our own failures and inconsistencies.  Condemnation is standard issue in our world.  We have come to expect it.  Worse yet, we practice it.
Perhaps that is why some have difficulty believing the truth revealed in Romans 8:1: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  We read the words “no condemnation” and think that there has to be a catch.  To live without being condemned seems like a fairy tale.  But it’s true!  If we are “in Christ”, it’s as though we are covered with a non-stick spiritual coating.  Satan can cast his accusations of guilt at us, but none of them are valid anymore.  No longer can our sins condemn us because we are continually cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7).  Those who listen to Jesus and believe in God are given the opportunity to escape judgment (John 5:24).
Even though it may be difficult to believe, we can live a life free from spiritual condemnation.  There is no one who can bring a charge against the one whom God justifies (Romans 8:33).  There is no one who can condemn the one for whom Jesus intercedes (Romans 8:34).  The child of God lives in a condemnation-free zone!

God loves you!

Monday, November 19, 2012


“‘Isaac’s Storm’ is a very interesting book about the hurricane that wiped out Galveston in 1900. One of the main plot lines of the book is about how everyone was convinced that a hurricane could never strike Galveston, even as one approached. The author vividly describes how as the streets began to flood people went about their business as if nothing was wrong. Children played in the water, men gathered for breakfast at the local diner, and no one fled from the storm that was about to strike.  Some didn’t worry because Issac Cline, the national weather service officer in Galveston, assured them it would not be a severe storm. Other’s simply believed that Galveston was invincible. Some thought that since they had never seen a hurricane strike Galveston one never would. So for a number of reasons, people assured themselves nothing bad would happen. And as a result over 6,000 people died one September day in 1900” (Steve Hanchet, citing "Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History," by Erik Larson and Isaac Monroe Cline).
Jesus faced a similar kind of complacency in His day regarding the coming “flood” of judgment on His people.  “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37–39).
In our modern day of instant communication with every corner of the world, it seems that we get a daily dose of bad news.  We are always being warned of one danger or another.  In such a situation, it is easy to become numb to all the prophets of doom. But Jesus is different.  When He warns us, we had better listen closely.  He issues no false alarms.  He makes no idle threats.  Hear Him and live!

God loves you!