June 12, 2018

No Longer Condemned. Now What?

Romans 8:2

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For the law of the Spirit of life has set you1 free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.


[1] 8:2 Some manuscripts me

No Longer Condemned. Now What?

Bio | Edward Barrett

Greetings, fellow Journeyers! I love Jesus, Texas, the State Fair of Texas, and Chevy trucks. And at the time of this writing, I'm getting ready to marry my best friend in a few days. Claressa is the best example of Christ I get to witness every day. I love her more than Texas, the State Fair, and Chevy trucks, but I love Jesus more, and so does she.

Central Truth

As a believer in Christ, I am no longer held captive by sin. Rather, I am set free from it.

Devotional | Romans 8:2

The first time I witnessed the hands and feet of Christ was when a great friend of mine shared Romans 8:1 with me: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." After...

The first time I witnessed the hands and feet of Christ was when a great friend of mine shared Romans 8:1 with me: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." After considering all that I had done in sin, this was the turning point in the life I now try to lead as a follower of Jesus.

Now that I know I am not condemned, how do I change who I am? How do I live a life that looks different? How do I have peace? These are just a few of the many questions I had.

Before I truly put my trust in Jesus, I found all my worth and value in female relationships. I lived and died based on what women thought of me, and, in the end I was always completely defeated and left with so much hopelessness. I drowned my sorrows in anything that numbed me. Then, after some time, I would go back to the same pattern of life that always ended the same way. I lived this broken-record life for many years.

Six years ago, a friend invited me to re:generation, a recovery ministry of Watermark Community Church. There, I came to realize that when I found all my worth and value in a broken person (as we are all sinners), then, of course I would always be left disappointed and heartbroken. At this point, my friend shared Romans 8:1 with me. It was like the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders! So now what? How do I keep from falling back into this old pattern of hopelessness?

Romans 8:2 gives a wonderful illustration of sanctification. What is sanctification? According to dictionary.com, it means "to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate"; or "to purify or free from sin." When we trust in Christ, He gives us His Spirit to help us be transformed continually into the likeness of Jesus.

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Discussion Questions

1. Have you been freed from the power of sin and death? How has your life changed as a result?

2. Do you believe that Christ gives us His Spirit? How has your life changed as a result?

3. Have you submitted to Jesus' authority in your life? How has your life changed as a result?

4. Record in the comments to this devo how knowing Christ and following His authority and His Spirit have changed your life.

15 Comments available

Courtney Castleman 9 months ago

Knowing Christ’s love for me has given me peace that I never had before. I spent 5 years going in and out of the hospital from panic/anxiety attacks - all of these truly rooted in the fear of hell and not being loved by God. Gods spirit is evident in me in my desire to depend on HIS love over peoples approval, peace instead of fear, and the reality of positive relationships in my life that I could have never had before.

Sue Bohlin 9 months ago

Thanks, Edward. Today’s verse, which tells us that one kind of law can supercede a second kind of law, reminds me of flying in airplanes. The law of aerodynamics overcomes the law of gravity, and BOOM! multi-ton aircraft are able to leave the earth and fly 35,000 feet above it.

Michael Spain 9 months ago

Hey, Edward! So good to see you on Join the Journey. Great devotional, buddy.

Linda Green 9 months ago

Thanks for a great devo, Edward, and being willing to share your story of being redeemed.

Romans is heavy on discussing the Law, which is sometimes wearying to read for me. But the Word shows me in Genesis that God has always had a Law “you must not eat of the tree…”, Genesis 2:15-18, even when there was only one man on earth.

How wonderful is it that the “law of the Spirit of life” has set us “free in Christ Jesus”. That Law never gets old!

greg jones 9 months ago

Example of not choosing results but motivations. I can say “I choose to have peace in my house”. That can become a motivation for control, in that sense I have chosen a motivation rather than a result. Control became the result I did not choose. I can choose to honor God in my parenting. That motivation is not dependent on whether or not there is peace in the house at any given moment. A non peace-results in-a motivation to honor God. Is peace in the home a bad thing to desire? No. Can that good desire cause harm? Yes. It is the Spirt of Christ reconciling the differences between desiring a result based on our patterns and desiring a motivation to examine our patterns.

This is added to maybe help explain my earlier comment about not being able to choose results. Hope this context helps to explain.

Aaron Young 9 months ago

peace and identity, purpose and reconciliation. sadness, at times, yes, and sorrow, but joy that cannot be taken away.

Carolyn Bailey 9 months ago

Jesus has gifted me with freedom from the guilt and shame of my own sin. My life through him is filled with joy and acceptance where my sinful life was filled with isolation and judgement. I am still on the road to understanding as I work through the word and come to know the love of Christ.

greg jones 9 months ago

Really like how the word “pattern” was used today. Patterns are repeated predictable results. To change results is easy, you change patterns. To change patterns is difficult. Bad results don’t have the power to change patterns but they do have the power to challenge the motivation of our patterns. We are a slave to our patterns, we choose our motivations. Our motivations are our masters, we do not choose our results they are the product of our patterns. In my life God does not want the equivalent of burnt offering and sacrifice-certain results. He desires to be the motivation behind the patterns. I sometimes overthink and under live this concept. Love reading about this being applied in real life today.

Michael Scaman 9 months ago

People are always slaves to something or other. Believers are free from sin but slaves to God. That’s a much better place - freedom from sin and death, a harsh taskmaster.

Q4 One area is that the word of God was ‘an unknown territory’ for me before I believed. I didn’t have ability or motivation to know it. Also as a child going to church reminded me felt like drudgery and worship outside of church gathering was unknown.

samuel cabrera 9 months ago

Submitting my life to Christ has changed my relationships. Before knowing Christ and allowing Him and His spirit to have authority over me I used relationships as tools to further myself along. People were not of value to me. When Christ took over my life, relationships became the venue for His spirit to work in my life. The love of Christ Christ now flows through my relationships, I love others and care for them. I no longer seek selfish gain through knowing and serving others. I know try to live my life loving others the way Christ has loved me.

Tommy Burnette 9 months ago

Today I have a life fixated on Christ in all things that I do. Any time I need comfort, I look to Him. Any time I need guidance, I look to Him. He’s completely changing my heart and actions day by day, one step at a time.

Hope Harris 9 months ago

Edward, great to see you on JTJ!

Q4: Changed from radical lesbian to all in Christ follower. The Spirit has lead me to know the authority and the Truth of God’s word, revealed who Jesus is and that God is trustworthy.

2 "He showed us real life, eternal life. We have seen it all, and we can’t keep what we witnessed quiet—we have to share it with you. We are inviting you to experience eternal life through the One who was with the Father and came down to us. 3 What we saw and heard we pass on to you so that you, too, will be connected with us intimately and become family. Our family is united by our connection with the Father and His Son Jesus, the Anointed One; 4 and we write all this because retelling this story fulfills our joy. " (1 John 1:2-4 Voice)

Lindsey Driscoll 9 months ago

Today my heart finds joy and curiosity in the words “in Christ” and “through Christ,” as there’s a savory truth on the other side of these words that I can’t wait to read what it is. Q2 - yes, Christ give us the Holy Spirit. The spirit of life! Which helps us find freedom over the law of sin and death!

Hugh Stephenson 9 months ago

Good morning Edward! I love your phrase “set apart”. It’s a great reminder of how Jesus pulled me off the wrong path and set me on the right one.

Freedom. How wrong I was about what it meant and what that kind of life would bring.

Me being me, I center on the word “in”. “…in Christ Jesus”. The Greek word is “en”. Strong’s has it as (paraphrasing) “denoting a fixed position in place, time or state; a relation of rest”. I’ll rephrase it for me as “resting in a fixed position in place, time and space”. I note Paul does not add anything beyond this phrase.

So, my freedom comes from resting in Him. A friend likes using “resting” as a synonym for “abiding”, (John 15:10-11).

My prayer today is to continue abiding and resting in Him alone. My hope and freedom is found in Him alone.

Julie Newmeyer 9 months ago

I like what Constable says: “The “law of sin” is like the law of gravity; it pulls us down. But the “law of the Spirit” is like the law of aerodynamics; it overcomes the law of sin, lifts us up, and enables us to “fly” victoriously over the flesh.”

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