There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
Therefore – With this most important use of the Greek gar (therefore) in the whole letter to the Romans, Paul summarizes the entire argument of the first seven chapters. This little connector brings to conclusion everything that he has been saying – and the conclusion is magnificent and powerful. Of course, if we don’t really know what Paul has been arguing, then the conclusion won’t have the same impact on us. So, that raises the question: Do you know? Do you know the development of Paul’s declaration from the revelation of God in nature to the battle within every person? Do you know how Paul demonstrates that with or without the Law, we are all condemned? Do you know why Paul takes us step-by-step through the hopelessness of self-sufficiency and the absolute sufficiency of self-surrender? And do you know what he means when he utters those wonderful words, “no condemnation”?
Paul never met his Roman audience. By the time he arrived in Rome, he was in chains. But he thought it so important for them to know the whole plan of God’s redemption that he wrote this very long letter to them. It is perhaps the most elaborate and most eloquent dissertation of the good news in the entire Bible. In the middle of this letter is this verse, a verse which brings amazing hope to anyone who understands what Paul is saying. “Therefore” moves us from all the preceding theology to a very practical and immediate conclusion. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation.”
What does it mean to no longer be condemned? The language is legal. It is prisoner talk. To be condemned is to no longer have any appeal. It is to be without further excuse. To be condemned is to be finished! The Greek is katakrima. It comes from the combination of “against” and “to judge.” Literally, it is to pronounce a judgment of “Guilty!” Paul sounds the good news. We are no longer (ouden – not any the slightest bit) guilty before God. As a result of all that has come before this point – as a result of God’s redemptive plan and the fulfillment of that plan in the life of Yeshua – we are NOT GUILTY!
Now, you might have to go back and study the development of Paul’s argument. You might want to answer all those questions above for yourself. But here is the bottom line. Yeshua accomplished for you and me what we can never do for ourselves. We had absolutely nothing to do with it. God engineered history to bring about redemption for us. He did it all. That’s why we are counted NOT GUILTY! If we are in the company and presence of Yeshua HaMashiach, if we belong to the Kingdom of God, we are now no longer one tiny bit guilty. We are free to serve Him without any need to set the books in order. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important than this. God rescued us from certain judgment and pronounced us debt free. Celebrate! Today you are free to follow Him without fear, without restraint and without anxiety. You are not guilty!
Topical Index: therefore, gar, guilty, katakrima, ouden, free, Romans 8:1