WHO HAS “NO CONDEMNATION”?
Many "believers" who deliberately break God's law are using the following verse to convince themselves they will not be condemned for their sins:
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Rom 8:1 (KJV)
Only those who are "IN" Christ have no condemnation; but, what exactly does it mean to be IN Christ Jesus? Here are three scriptural tests to determine if one actually is in Christ:
1. Am I walking as Jesus walked? Yes [ ] No [ ]
"He that saith he abideth *in him* ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." Jn 2:6 (KJV)
2. Am I keeping his commandments? Yes [ ] No [ ]
"All who keep his commandments ... "abide in Him" I Jn 3:24 (RSV)
3. Have I stopped committing sin? Yes [ ] No [ ]
"Whosoever abideth *in him* sinneth not: " I Jn 3:6 (KJV)
Anyone who answers "no" to any of the above questions is not in Christ. Jesus gave this warning to those who do not abide in Him:
"If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and BURNED". John 15:6 (RSV)
The word ABIDE comes from the Greek: meno, which means "to remain in." All who are truly born of God are "in Christ." But to be saved from destruction, you must REMAIN in Christ. The scriptures are clear --those who are IN Christ keep his commandments and sinneth not. It is they who are not under condemnation
In addition, since Paul said that those who are IN Christ "walk not after the flesh", we need to understand what that phrase means. In the 5th chapter of Galatians, Paul lists the works of the flesh that will keep us from inheriting the kingdom of God:
adultery fornication uncleanness
laciviousness idolatry witchcraft
hatred variance emulations
wrath strife sedations
heresies envyings murders
drunkenness revellings and-such-like
Those who continue to do such things are walking after the flesh. Those who stop doing such things are walking after the Spirit and have "mortified (put to death) the deeds of the body". (See Romans 8:13)
"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections [passions] and lusts." Gal 5:24 (KJV)
Crucifixion is a slow, painful death. Few are willing to deny themselves and pick up their cross to follow Jesus. Nevertheless, that is exactly what we must do in order to BELONG TO CHRIST and inherit eternal life.
Our sin nature craves to do the works of the flesh; therefore, it must die to every selfish desire that is opposed to God's law. That is what Peter told the church in Asia when he wrote:
"Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;" 1 Pet 4:1 (KJV)
Jesus bore his cross for the forgiveness of our sins. We must also be willing to suffer in the flesh as we die to the rule of sin over our lives. When we do this, we will not be walking after the flesh but after the Spirit and we can be certain that we have "no condemnation.".
Harold and Donna Kupp
A warning from the judge ...
"And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes." Jesus Christ ( Luke 12:47)