5 Minutes in the Word: Romans 8:1-2
Have you ever been afraid that people might see right through you? Inside each of us there is a knot-forming feeling in our stomachs that desperately fears being found out. We are afraid that people will be able to see through our façade straight into reality: we are not perfect. Gasp! What will people say, think, or worse, do when they find out what sin skeletons we have hiding in our closets? Deeply rooted in our fear of being ‘found out’ is the ultimate fear of judgment. We live in a world ridden with judgment, and in return we are often left in a continual cycle of judgment. We judge celebrities on their outfits, bloggers on their web design, men on their abs (or lack thereof), other families on their problems, the neighbor on their grass, etc. the list is never ending. This judgment cycle is so deeply engrained into us that we often end up judging ourselves.
Today’s scripture reminds us that we are free from condemnation or judgment. If we are in Christ, we are fully approved by God and righteousness . Yet, self-judgment is prominent even among Christians. It is hard for us to understand that there really is, “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” That pesky inner voice asks, are you sure? We often spend most of our time looking back at our past and hanging our confidence on our behavior instead of Jesus’ perfect righteousness. We tend to label our identity like-wise: cheater, liar, stealer, adulterer, you name it. Our focus is unhealthily on who we used to be, instead of who we are freed to be.
Because of Jesus, we are free from judgment; we stand forgiven and perfectly loved in Christ. Our new status before God (not guilty) has no room for closets full of things that are already forgiven, so let’s leave those where they belong—in the past! You and I can rest knowing that the identity of Christ is a judgment-free, fully-accepted zone for all who trust in Him. With these truths, let us quiet our fear of judgment with the knowledge of the One who calls us by our name, not our sin and extends His identity to us in the greatest mercy.
- Think about your past, how would you label yourself as before you began a relationship with Christ?
- Is it hard for you to believe that Christ does not judge you for your sin? How is the affected by those who has possibly judged you in the past?
- How does the fact that “in Christ” there is no condemnation bring rest to your soul?