From time to time, I serve as the liturgist for our church’s worship service. That means I need to make sure I have on matching earrings and be on time. It’s not usually much more complicated or meaningful than that.
But awhile back, the assurance of pardon came from my favorite verse in all of Scripture: Romans 8:1. It says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Simple words, and they can be read without a lot of emotion. But I think if you go back to Paul’s original writing, it would look more like this: “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION–that’s right! NONE!!!–for those who are in Christ Jesus!!!!” (Seeing as how it’s the Best News Ever, I take issue with the translators’ serious lack of exclamation points.)
I found that this verse completely changed my experience as the liturgist. It suddenly meant much more than making sure I didn’t look ridiculous and knowing how to pronounce any strange names in the Scripture passage.
On that Sunday, I got to speak the truth of Romans 8:1 to a congregation of my brothers and sisters. After they confessed their sin, which deserves God’s wrath and judgment, I got to give good news. There is therefore now NO condemnation for you! Christ took it! And if you are in Him, you are safe from God’s wrath and brought into His house as His child.
During the sermon, the pastor talked about redemption and asked, “What does redemption mean to you?” It got me thinking about the truth of Romans 8:1. What does it mean that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus?
It means that we have nothing to fear. It means that we have freedom. It means that when Jesus said, “It is finished” on the cross, He fully paid our debt and took every last bit of the condemnation we deserve. He drank the cup of wrath so that we could drink the cup of blessing, resting solely in His finished work on our behalf. It means that when we talk to our children or our neighbors or ourselves about our sin, we have good news to share: there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!Share