Start Finding Freedom Today

May 4, 2024 | Faith, Harold Sala

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Troubled by the uncertainty you have in your heart as to whether or not, should you stand in the presence of God, you would be greeted with joy or rejection? Vast numbers of people are there! In fact, some groups actually teach that you can’t be sure that you are really born again until you cross heaven’s threshold, though—let’s face it—that would be a bit late to do anything about it.

When Paul wrote to the Romans, he said, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Stop for a moment. To whom was this written?  He begins his letter saying, “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus…. To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints” (Romans 1:1-7). Coming to the end of that letter, you discover that Paul singles out 26 individuals by name. Included are Priscilla and Aquila, who worked with Paul in Corinth; Epenetus, a man described as his dear friend; Mary, who worked very hard for the friends at Rome; Ampliatus, whom Paul loved in the Lord; and various individuals, listed at random along with a word or two of identification.

What do we know about these folks? History tells us that two-thirds of Rome’s population were slaves, so that probably includes some of those whose names were listed, but Paul doesn’t mention who they were. Unimportant, because they were brothers and sisters. In all probability, some had homosexual backgrounds, a fair assumption because of the number who practiced this kind of lifestyle. Again, that fact isn’t mentioned by Paul. He just says, “There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ.”

In the opening paragraph of this famous letter, though, Paul does mention something for which the church there was famous. Buildings? No! The size of their congregations? No, again. How large were their offerings to help his work? No. He says that their faith had gone all over the world. Strange? Only if you have bought into the 21st-century mentality that bigger is better and what really counts is buildings, numbers, and power.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:1

Why was their faith important? Paul made that important no-condemnation statement following the word, therefore. That word drives a stake in the ground. It means, “Notice what has just been said because here’s the conclusion.”

In the first three chapters of the book, Paul says everybody is guilty before God. None are excluded. He then says that Jesus Christ paid the price of our wrongdoing and that—and this is the important part—God accounted what He did (which is described as righteous) to our account, settling the score, paying the price of our guilt which resulted in condemnation.

Getting the picture? I have read where secular psychologists blame Christianity for producing guilt.  It’s partly true, in that Christianity produces an understanding of our need for forgiveness; but millions have come to the foot of the old rugged cross and have rolled off their burdens of guilt and sin, leaving them there, walking away with joy and peace, knowing that they have been forgiven and are right with God.

“You see,” says Paul, “at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly… Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:8, 9).

If your name is not included in that extended list of Romans 16, those who no longer live under the burden of condemnation, read this important letter written centuries ago. It contains ageless truth.

Resource reading: Romans 8:1-7

Speaker, author, and Bible teacher, Dr. Harold Sala founded Guidelines in 1963. Pioneering the five-minute commentary on Christian radio, Dr. Sala’s daily “ Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living ” is broadcast in 49 of the 50 states and is heard the world over in a variety of languages.

Sala, who holds a Ph.D. in biblical text, has authored over 60 books published in 19 languages. He speaks and teaches frequently at conferences, seminars, and churches worldwide. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children and eight well-loved grandchildren.

You can read more of Dr. Sala’s articles HERE!

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