1 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
Romans 8:1 (ESV)
Have you ever played a bad game and your team lost? You sit in the locker room and every mistake you made replays in your head over and over: bad passes, turnovers, missed shots, poor defensive rotations. You feel disappointed in yourself and feel that you let your teammates and coaches down.
These feelings linger to the next day when you head in for film and practice. You know you didn't play well and you are praying not to see your name/initials on the bottom of the clips too many times as the coach reviews the game.
But, instead of mistakes, your coach decides to show and discuss the positive things you and your team did the night before. Quality offensive possessions, extra effort plays, enthusiasm and excitement for teammates.
You can't believe it! You feel like a weight was lifted off your shoulders and you’re even a little encouraged.
If you haven't had a film session like this, I pray you do soon!
God, as the ultimate Coach, does this for us on a daily basis! He long since established a standard of perfection and holiness on par with Himself (Leviticus 20:26; Matthew 5:48), and the implications of messing this up are far greater than simply losing a game.
The tough part of life is we constantly turn the ball over and miss shots. It doesn’t matter how much we slow down, study our errors and put in extra effort, we just can’t get this “perfection” thing right on our own (Romans 8:8).
This is bad news bears! Our actions deserve condemnation, reproof, discipline and ultimately death (Romans 6:23). But Jesus changes everything! Jesus not only satisfied the righteous requirement of the law on our behalf, but also paid for all our outstanding debt with God because of our failure to fulfill this law ourselves (Romans 8:3,4).
In Jesus, death and sin no longer reign over us, but we have life and freedom in God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 8:2). We stand as enemies of God no more, but have become God’s sons and daughters (Romans 8:14).
All of this makes the above verse so much more than just words. It represents a beautiful promise from God to be treasured and recalled regularly when guilt and shame start weighing down on us; a promise to be treasured and recalled as we worship Jesus for all He has done in us and for us.
Reflect: When was the last time you celebrated Jesus for who He is and what He has done?