This post is a companion to the recent sermon “No Condemnation.” The following are a handful of examples of how you can apply the truth that “There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) There are many more examples, but I hope you can find a few on this list that will encourage you with God’s love in your battle against sin.
Fight shame with “no condemnation.” Are you ashamed of your past? Are you ashamed of your present failures? Do you feel that your life is constantly lived trying to find fig leaves to cover yourself because of your shame? God looks at you and says, “Now, no condemnation.” He does not shake his head. He does not pronounce a wailing judgment. To God, you are righteous, and have no need of shame. Allow him to cover your shame better than you ever could, in Christ Jesus.
Fight guilt with “no condemnation.” We live in a guilty world. Even if no one looks at us and says ‘guilty,’ we look at ourselves and feel a constant sense of guilt. We are sinners. We live in sin, and sin lives in us. But God looks at us and says, “Now, no condemnation.” He views us as innocent. Let the great reality of God’s view wash over you.
Fight doubts with “no condemnation.” Maybe you doubt that you are even really saved. Maybe you struggle to believe that God really cares for you. Maybe you think that God is too big and you are too small for God to be concerned about you. Allow God’s proclamation to dispel the darkness of doubts in your life and brighten your soul, “Now, no condemnation.”
Fight sorrow with “no condemnation.” It is difficult to differentiate between shame, guilt, and sorrow, but if you have ever come to the end of embarrassment of your sin, and if you have ever felt your guilt washed away in God’s proclamation, you may have still felt a sense of sorrow. Jesus became the man of sorrows, being acquainted with grief, so that you do not have to experience sorrow for sin. Now, godly sorrow acts as a gag reflex to protect us from destruction, but godly sorrow is soon replaced by joy when we ask forgiveness and again rest in God’s everlasting proclamation, “Now, no condemnation.”
Fight self-esteem with “no condemnation.” The answer to your problems are not found in greater self-confidence, or more self-esteem. Anything that begins with self leads to destruction. Rather than concerning yourself with how you view yourself, rest in God’s view of you, “Now, no condemnation.” Only love. Only grace. He only views you as his child.
Fight depression with “no condemnation.” Do you struggle with depression? The mind and the body are complex, but the beginning of every answer to life’s problems is found in your relationship with God. It is difficult to drudge through the sewers of life when your heart truly comprehends and believes God, “Now, no condemnation.”
Fight the past with “no condemnation.” How many foolish things have we done? In the past 24 hours? In the last 10 years? In our youth? God remembers your sin no more. “Now, no condemnation.”
Fighting the future with “no condemnation.” Sometimes our past paralyzes us in the present and the future. We fear that we will make more mistakes. We fear that we will shame God’s name and continue to fall into sin. These fears paralyze us and we make no advances in our holiness. The only sin that you can beat in your life is a forgiven sin. The beginning of the battle is rest. Rest in Christ. Rest in the fact, that, though you may fail tomorrow, God will still say, “Now, no condemnation.”
Fight pride and self-righteousness with “no condemnation.” There is nothing we can do to be good or righteous. It is only of God’s proclamation, “Now, no condemnation,” that we have any right standing with God.
Fight materialism, that is, idolatry, with “no condemnation.” How can we worship money, or what money can buy, when money lets us down again and again? Money is a fallible and cruel god. Money cannot give us freedom, but enslaves us. Money is so whimsical, here today and gone tomorrow. Money cannot purchase life, but always promises peace with “just one more dollar.” But God gives us life freely. He does not string us along with peace constantly out of reach like money does. God is always here, and faithfully tells us, “Now, no condemnation.” Why would we run to the arms of money, when the arms of God are so much better? When God finds the right place in our hearts, and money finds the right place under him, and when we see that God gives us freely all things in Christ Jesus, including the promise of “Now, no condemnation,” how can we be stingy? How can we not give freely to others in need? How can we not give to ministries who offer God’s gift of “Now, no condemnation?”
Fight lust with “no condemnation.” Many times, the battle with lust begins with insecurities or discouragement. How many husbands and wives have fled to the arms of a lover, or to a book, or to their computer, because they are discouraged, disheartened, and insecure? They look for instant gratification and security, and lust promises these things instantly, but if they would only realize that there is no peace and life in the computer, book, or arms of a lover. There is peace and life in the words of our God, “Now, no condemnation.” Run to him, fall in his arms, and rest in his love. God can give you what those things promise, but never ultimately deliver.
Fight anger and bitterness with “no condemnation.” God is not angry or bitter at your unceasing sins against him, but instead, he says “Now, no condemnation.” When that absolute love, sacrificial in nature, constantly faithful, unceasingly bearing with our faults, fills our hearts and becomes the song of our lives, it flows out not only in our speech and actions, but into our heart as well. It fills us with an inward attitude of love for those we would, in our natural, fleshly state, hate, burn with anger at, become entrenched in bitterness at, and even kill.
Fight lies with “no condemnation.” In a world that is torn about by dishonesty, half-truths, misleading statements, politicking, and misleading actions, the greatest truth remains, “Now, no condemnation.” When we weave a web of lies in our lives and in the lives of others, we cover this great truth. We do not need to lie to make ourselves look better, because God says, “Now, no condemnation,” and that great reality gives us more peace than the compliments of 10,000 friends. Lies create insecurities, paranoia, a constant attitude of self-defense, and pride, but God offers a better way. We can be truthful, and then rest in him, secure and at peace, as he whispers, “Now, no condemnation.”
Fight worthless and sinful speech with “no condemnation.” The greatest words that were ever said were, “Now, no condemnation.” In the light of these words and the weight of their truth and reality, dirty jokes are not that funny, angry words seem inappropriate, and gossip seems small and petty. The weight of God’s truth weighs on our hearts, and “Now, no condemnation,” removes the desire to use our tongues in a sinful way, and replaces that desire with a desire to follow the Holy Spirit in our speech.
Fight spiritual laziness with “no condemnation.” Too many Christians coast through life, showing up at church, paying their dues, and then going home. So many go through the motions and drift with the current that God says, “Not all who say to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven.” Meditate on the words of God, “Now, no condemnation.” Feels those words burn like an inferno in your soul, and see if you are content to simply go through the motions any longer.
Fight workaholism with “no condemnation.” In our busy American culture, there is always a sense of rest around the next bend, without that rest ever coming. We feel the need to be busy, to be productive, or to be successful. God offers that peace, saying, “NOW, no condemnation.” Rest in God, rest in his finished work for you, and find responsibility and productiveness ‘as to the Lord, and not to men.’
Fight apathy towards the Great Commission with “no condemnation.” We have the greatest promise, the greatest truth in the world, “Now, no condemnation.” And yet, we treat that promise like it is something to be hidden, or something to be embarrassed about, or an uncomfortable topic for those around us, or an inconvenient truth. When the fullness of God’s words “Now, no condemnation” wash over us, we desire all men to come to repentance and experience the same truth, like our God does. We realize that the great problem of mankind is not education, or poverty, or governmental systems, but it is that they are outside of Christ Jesus and right now, under God’s condemnation. We agree with Jesus that this earth and this city is “White, and ready for harvest.”
Fight disrespectful attitudes towards those in authority with “no condemnation.” Christians are most un-Christian at tax season and election season. Much of the disrespectful attitudes that we have towards politicians, bosses, or parents comes because we are fearful that our leaders do not know best. We become agitated, fearful and angry, and therefore lash out, oftentimes with good insights, but done in horribly distasteful ways. However, if we listen to the words of God, “Now,” even in this civil unrest, even though your boss may not be qualified, even though your parents don’t seem to understand, “Now, no condemnation.” If the reality of our peace with God truly permeates every part of our life, even though the world falls apart, we can say, “Now, no condemnation,” and live at peace with, in full support of, and in absolute respect of the authority in our life, knowing that God has appointed them over us.
Fight the rocky road of marriage with “no condemnation.” We find that the best way to live is a life of “Now, now condemnation.” The way of peace and life is not only to have that truth between God and us, but between us and our relationships. To our spouse, we, with God, say, “Now, no condemnation.” Though they insult us and fail to come through for us, we give them the position of no condemnation. We will not punish through the silent treatment, or lash out with our tongue, or manipulate with sex or money. Instead, those around us stand secure in our loving proclamation, “Now, no condemnation,” and security is the best soil in which a good relationship can grow.
Fight raising your children the right way with “no condemnation.” Do your children live in fear of you? Do they fear that they will be punished at the slightest mistake, scolded harshly, and judged? Do they only feel that you love them when they do right? Our Heavenly Father has pronounced for all his children, “Now, no condemnation.” He corrects and guides us, but not out of fear, condemnation, or judgment. His children are always guided by his love and their security in their relationship with him, which never changes. What better way to show shadows of the Heavenly Father’s love, than to constantly confirm in your children that there is no condemnation in your relationship with them?