There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
This message is a reminder to all of us who have been listening to the gospel of grace for some time now. The Lord is revealing to us the secret to living a transformed life. It’s time for us to remove all the buttons in our lives that the devil constantly presses. Let’s get to the deepest root that causes all our problems.
When you go through a difficult day, you are like a sickly plant with sick leaves. You may have leaves of sickness, poverty, a broken marriage or depression in your life. But these are just the leaves. These are just the manifestations of the root. It would be foolish to attack the leaves because they are not the cause of your problems. We all know that there’ll be no leaf if there is no root. Even the world knows that and many people in medical science are beginning to realize that there is a root to sickness. In fact, a study by a well-known medical facility showed that about 70 per cent of all sicknesses are due to stress.
Now, the deeper root of stress is fear. All stress is caused by fear—fear of failing, fear of not having enough, fear of death and so on. But that’s as far as medical science can go. They cannot touch the deepest root because it is spiritual. And the deepest root of all is condemnation. When there’s condemnation, there’ll be fear. When there’s fear, there’s going to be stress. And when there’s stress, there’ll be manifestations of the curse.
Now, if you disagree with me that the root cause is condemnation, let me refer you to Genesis, the book of beginnings.
Do you know that Adam was planted in the midst of a finished work? Everything was prepared for him. But the devil told him that he needed to do something to qualify for all the things he had already qualified for. The devil gave him a mistaken identity. He said, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4–5)
The truth is that Adam was already like God! But Adam believed the devil, ate the fruit and fell. And the curse came. Before there was poverty, sickness and death in Adam’s life, there was stress. How do we know that? Well, God said, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread…” (Genesis 3:19) And sweat speaks of stress and self-effort. But if you go deeper, you will find that there was fear. Do you know what Adam said to God when God asked him where he was? He said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:10) Adam was afraid. He was fearful. So the deeper root of stress is fear. But before he was fearful, he felt condemned.
Why did Adam feel condemned? It was because he partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was not even the tree of evil or the tree of sin. So what does the tree of the knowledge of good and evil speak of? How did it cause Adam to sin? The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a picture of the law because the law gives us the knowledge of good and evil. The Bible says, “…by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20) Contrary to popular opinion, God did not give the law for man to live by or to make man holy. God gave the law so that we know we’re sinners and we see our need for a Savior.
Now, we know that the law brings about the knowledge of sin. But what happens when you have the knowledge of sin? You will feel condemned. So when you think of the law, think of condemnation. Don’t think of the law as doing right or not doing wrong because God did not give us the law for that purpose. The law condemns. (2 Corinthians 3:7–9)
You might ask, “What does the law have to do with my problems?”
Our enemy the devil is smarter than many psychiatrists, psychologists and even many believers. He does not deal with the peripherals and the superficial. Do you know what his first name is? It is not “thief” or “murderer”, even though he steals and murders. His first name is Satan, which is Hebrew for “prosecutor at law” or “accuser”. Do you know what the role of a prosecutor is in the court of law? He is there to prosecute you and condemn you. He never talks about your good points. He will bring up all the dirty laundry and relentlessly accuse you till you feel condemned.
So the devil’s name tells us that he goes straight to the root of your problems. He doesn’t come to you and say, “Let your business slide” or “Neglect your children”. On the contrary, he comes to say things like, “How can you let the business slide?” or “Call yourself a Christian! Call yourself a good father. You’re a lousy father!” He accuses you till you feel condemned. And he uses the law, which is holy, good and just, to condemn you. That is why condemnation—the root cause of all your problems—is so subtle. That is why condemnation usually goes undetected.
I have realized that the devil hasn’t changed his tactics since that day in the garden with Adam and Eve. Do you know why? Because he has no other tactic! He has no other weapon! The devil cannot enforce the curse in your life apart from condemnation. The devil cannot make you sick apart from condemnation. You have to cooperate with him and receive the condemnation first.
Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:14–15)
The good news is that God disarmed the devil at the cross. God took his only weapon—the law—and He nailed it to the cross! Yes, God has triumphed over the devil and all his demonic principalities and powers! Because of the cross, we are not fighting for victory. We are fighting from victory. The victory is already ours through the finished work of Christ at the cross.
The fact that you can feel condemned is proof that you have a heart of flesh, not a heart of stone. (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26) It is proof that you are truly born again. What, then, is the key to getting out of your evil day? What is the key to no condemnation in your life?
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
The only place where you find no condemnation is in Christ Jesus. The word “therefore” connects Romans 8:1 to the previous verses in Romans 7, where Paul talked about how he was condemned by the law that he knew so well.
The reason there is therefore now no condemnation, is that God loved us so much that He gave us His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Jesus came and He was condemned for our sins at the cross. When He hung on the cross, God took all our sins of our entire lives, and He heaped them on Jesus. Then He unleashed the vengeance of His fury against lawlessness and sin on the body of Jesus Christ until Jesus cried, “It is finished!” The reason that you and I experience no condemnation today is that all our sins have been punished and condemned, but in the body of another—in the body of Jesus Christ!
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Revelation 12:10–11
Many Christians know that we overcome the devil by the blood of the Lamb. We know that there is power in the blood of Christ. But what is it about Jesus’ blood that makes it so powerful?
Now, what did Jesus say of the blood when He instituted the Lord’s Supper? He said, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)
The blood is for the forgiveness of sins! The blood is there to ensure that you live in no condemnation! That is what makes it so powerful! Notice also what is said in verse 10, “…for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.” The devil is called the accuser of the brethren. And he relentlessly accuses God’s people day and night. But the good news is that he has been cast down! He has been defeated! The moment he has no power to accuse you in your life: salvation, strength, wholeness, the kingdom of God and the power of Christ will manifest in your life!
Some of might say, “I have no problem with this root. I don’t feel condemned.”
My friend, you will be surprised. Condemnation is very subtle, especially if you are a person who believes in doing what’s right. Continue to do what’s right, but do not respond to the accuser. When you choose not to respond to him, he cannot condemn you. The root cause of all your problems is destroyed, and you will come to the place of no condemnation in your life.