VIDEO No Condemnation

Woman caught in adultery

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution—besides containing the well-known protection against self-incrimination—also contains the so-called “Double Jeopardy Clause”: “Nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” In general, this clause protects against being tried or punished twice for the same crime.

The New Testament contains another kind of double jeopardy protection, expressed most succinctly in Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” That is, since Christ died for all our sins, we cannot be condemned and judged for sins we might commit again. If anyone—Satan in particular—should accuse us before God of being terrible sinners, Christ is there “at the right hand of God . . . [making] intercession for us” (Romans 8:34). Christ is our Advocate (attorney): “I have paid for all of his sins.”

We all sin, but Christ has paid for all our sin. Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who have accepted His payment.

The Lord Jesus has paid too high a price for our redemption to leave us in the enemy’s hand. Charles H. Spurgeon


The Answer, Romans 8:1-11 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

Comfort Shared

We can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:4

When my daughter Hayley came to visit me, I saw her three-year-old son, Callum, wearing a strange piece of clothing. Called a ScratchMeNot, it’s a long-sleeved top with mittens attached to the sleeves. My grandson Callum suffers from chronic eczema, a skin disease that makes his skin itch, making it rough and sore. “The ScratchMeNot prevents Callum from scratching and injuring his skin,” Hayley explained.

Seven months later, Hayley’s skin flared up, and she couldn’t stop scratching. “I now understand what Callum endures,” Hayley confessed to me. “Maybe I should wear a ScratchMeNot!”

Hayley’s situation reminded me of 2 Corinthians 1:3–5, in which Paul says that our God is “the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

Sometimes God allows us to go through trying times such as an illness, loss, or crisis. He teaches us through our suffering to appreciate the greatest suffering that Christ went through on our behalf on the cross. In turn, when we rely on Him for comfort and strength, we’re able to comfort and encourage others in their suffering. Let’s reflect on whom we can extend comfort to because of what God has brought us through.

By: Goh Bee Lee

Reflect & Pray

Whom has God helped you to comfort through your own experiences of suffering? What can you do to help them appreciate Christ’s suffering on the cross through their pain?

God, help me to experience Your comfort in my sufferings and to become a source of comfort to others.

Read more about comforting others.

The Promises of God

God is the only one in the universe who keeps all His promises

Hebrews 10:19-23

Many people in the world today place little value on commitments. We see politicians retract campaign promises once they take office, and some friends are quick to reschedule when a better opportunity comes up. Certain people even take marriage vows lightly. 

Thankfully, God always keeps His word and never changes. That means we can confidently count on Him to do what He says in Scripture. The Bible is filled with His promises, which give us stability in an uncertain world. 

The Lord’s promises reveal His character. Every time we see Him keep His word, we learn a little more about His greatness, faithfulness, love, power, and sovereignty. As a result, our confidence in Him grows. What’s more, His promises bring tremendous comfort in times of distress. And when we struggle with doubts about our salvation, Scripture gives assurance for our eternal future.

In a changing world where vows are often broken, it’s reassuring to know we serve a God who always does what He says. Think about the hope His promises provide. Then praise Him for the way they reveal His character and bring Him glory.

Creation and the Finger of God

It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. (Exodus 31:17-18)

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16), but this portion of Scripture was given by direct inscription of God! Moses testified: “The LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly” (Deuteronomy 9:10). “He wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments” (Exodus 34:28). Thus, out of all the Holy Scriptures, God chose to write this section, not through one of His prophets, but with His own finger! It should, therefore, be taken literally and most seriously.

It is also significant that these commandments were structured around a weekly day of rest, “remembering” God’s creation week—six days of creating and making everything in heaven and Earth, followed by a sanctified day of rest and refreshment (note also Exodus 20:8-11 and Genesis 1:31–2:3). Ever since the creation, people have observed a weekly calendar. The seven-day week (unlike the day, month, and year) has no astronomical basis. People keep time in weeks simply because God did! Even those who deny the six-day week of creation must observe it, for their biological rhythms are constructed that way by God. “The sabbath was made for man,” said Jesus (Mark 2:27). Since God considered the truth of the literal creation week so important that He inscribed it Himself, we should believe this portion of His Word first of all. HMM

Hope And Full Deliverance

Restore our fortunes, Lord, like watercourses in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy. Though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed, he will surely come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves (Psalm 126 vv. 4-6).

Unless you know something of the topography of Israel, you can’t fully understand the faith demonstrated by the psalmist in this prayer.

The Negev—the desert south of Judah—contains many wadis that are bone-dry eleven months of the year. But in the twelfth month, during the rainy season, these dry streambeds quickly fill with water and become raging torrents.

This psalm cries out for that kind of dramatic change in the history of Israel as the captives flow back to their native land.

The second metaphor is equally graphic. Before irrigation, sowing and reaping in this barren part of the world were extremely difficult. Seed was often sown with little prospect of harvest. Yet the ancient musician believes that God will send life-giving rains and, even after long neglect, that the desert will bloom once more. The weeping sowers will return “with songs of joy” to greet the returning captives.

What a comfort to know that the Lord can take my dried-up, unproductive life and drench it with his showers of blessing! All the self-improvement courses and how-to books in the world combined with Herculean human effort cannot begin to match the incomparable grace and mercy of God!

Personal Prayer

Lord, change the dry, barren riverbeds of my life into raging streams in the desert.

A Gospel Song

There Shall Be Showers of Blessing

There shall be showers of blessing;

This is the promise of love;

There shall be seasons refreshing,

Sent from the Savior above.

Showers of blessing.

Showers of blessing we need:

Mercydrops around us are falling,

But for the showers we plead.

Words by Daniel W Whittle. (Based on Ezek. 34:26.)

Music by James McGranahan.

What If?

Say these things, and encourage and rebuke with all authority.—Titus 2:15

A little boy, when asked what the Holy Spirit meant, replied: “I suppose it is what puts the ‘oomph’ into Christianity.” He was on the right track but failed to use the correct pronoun—not “it” but “He.” The Holy Spirit is not an influence but a Person. This is why Scripture, when referring to Him, uses personal pronouns such as “He,” “who,” and “whom.”

Suppose there had been no Holy Spirit? Then we would have been faced with a religion in which there was little “oomph.” We would have the four Gospels without the upper room—distinctive, but not dynamic.

Take Mark’s Gospel, for example. If there had been no day of Pentecost, if the promised Holy Spirit had not been poured out upon God’s people, the message of Christ would have ended with these words: “So they went out and started running from the tomb, because trembling and astonishment overwhelmed them. And they said nothing to anyone, since they were afraid” (Mk 16:8).

What a sad plight we would all be in if the message of Christ had ended there. The Resurrection had taken place, the whole of the redemptive process was complete, the gladdest news that had ever burst upon human ears was in the possession of the disciples—but “they said nothing to anyone, since they were afraid.” If Christianity had ended there, it would not have been a gospel that conquered the world. No amount of good information could have transformed those early disciples. Something else was needed—the Holy Spirit.

Prayer

O God, help me not to live in the twilight zone between Resurrection and Pentecost. I want to know all the fullness of the upper room in my life. Turn me from a flickering torch into a flaming torch. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Jn 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:1-16; Ac 1:8

What did Jesus say of the Holy Spirit?

What is another title of the Holy Spirit?

Wisdom in Foolishness

1 Corinthians 1:21

Spiritual truth is often paradoxical. A paradox is a statement that on the surface appears contradictory, but whose truth emerges upon further examination. The Bible states that the key to being rich is being poor; the key to being strong is being weak; the key to being wise is being foolish. By exploring the paradox, we gain an appreciation for the breadth and depth of spiritual truth.

Obviously, complete understanding of the infinite will always remain outside the finite limits of human understanding. Enter the paradox: an attempt to phrase the unspeakable, to explain the unsearchable dimensions of God’s truth, at least in part. Let us peer through the darkened glass to understand those things revealed to the probing mind of the believer.

“For since the wisdom of the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). What is this foolishness? How can something be absurd, yet true? What foolishness has God chosen to use to save those who believe?

It’s right there in verse 23: “We preach Christ crucified!” To the Jew of Paul’s day, a crucified Messiah was a stumbling block; to the Greek philosopher of Paul’s day, a God who “so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son” (John 3:16) was foolishness.

But the Jews and Greeks of the first century do not stand alone in regarding the Christian gospel as incredible. In an age characterized by a crisis of faith, the simplicity of the Christian message is often cast aside as irrelevant to the issues of our day.

But is it really any wonder? The disciples themselves found it foolishness. Jesus told them what was going to happen to Him and they found it incredible. It seemed foolish, but it was the power of salvation. Once they had experienced it, it ceased to be foolishness. “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God!” (1 Corinthians 1:18). The foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom.

The key to being wise is being foolish. I’m foolish enough to believe that Christ crucified means my salvation. ‘Tis a wise fool who believes!

Donald Hostetler, The War Cry