It’s happened to me twice now, and each time was surprising and impactful.
I’ve pulled up to the Starbucks window and found out that my (grande, non-fat, one-pump-caramel) latte was paid for by the driver in front of me. It feels strange to receive my drink without giving anything to the cashier. I accept the gift of a free latte because someone I don’t know paid the debt I owed.
It’s a beautiful picture of the Gospel. Romans 8:1 tells us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Condemnation is not a word we like to discuss. But God’s Word is clear that we are all sinners, and our sin deserves God’s punishment.
So how can Romans 8:1 say there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus? Has God decided to look the other way? Did He change His mind about sin? Is He just being nice?
There is now no condemnation because Someone else paid for our sin.
On the cross, Jesus took the punishment our sin deserved. God is fully satisfied with Jesus’s sacrifice and will not demand payment from those who are in Christ. Our debt has been paid. We freely receive the gift of God’s grace.
As we drink deeply of His grace, we are set free from trying to convince God and others that we’re good enough. We don’t have to keep looking around, hoping to be a little better than the next guy. We don’t have to keep striving, hoping the good works will outnumber the bad.
When Jesus took your punishment, He gave you His perfect, sinless record. If you are in Christ, when God looks at your life, He sees what Christ has done. You can walk in the joy and freedom of God’s grace.
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