Condemnation and justification are two key concepts in our faith. They are opposites; different sides of a coin. One is very good; the other is very bad. Let’s look at both and bring the contrast into a sharp focus. We start with the bad one.
Mankind has been condemned since Eden. When God warned not to touch the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil he said that doing so would cause death. Indeed, the moment Adam and Eve took and eat, they were spiritually dead and instantly began to die physically (Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:6, 7, 22-27). Spiritual death spread because sin, now in the world, also spread. Like a viral contagion sin has found its way into every life. In the very first generation after the sin of Adam and Eve, their son slew his own brother. Today we see the impact of sin and lawlessness everywhere. Why? Because all have sinned (Romans 3:9, 23; 1 John 1:8).
Paul writes that the payment (wages) of sin is death (Romans 6:23). In your Bible you might want to write Genesis 2:17 in the margin next to Romans 6:23 and vice versa. You must understand that sin brings death. There are always consequences to our actions. In the case of sin, death is always the consequence. So we can say that sin brings condemnation and that condemnation is a sentence of eternal death.
Man is in a sorry condition because of his own choices. Nothing but eternal death awaits him. There is nothing beyond the grave except horror. We have no one to blame but ourselves.
[bctt tweet=”Where there is justification there is no condemnation!”]
It is good news that the story doesn’t end there. It is the gospel message that proclaims the news that the Creator has intervened in our world. He steps in to justify and save us from our own, well-deserved condemnation.
Justification is a profound topic and there is no way to do it service here. It is just too deep to fully comprehend in a brief article. Volumes have been written and still do not cover justification fully.
The Father, working through Jesus, has given us a way to escape to punishment; a way to escape condemnation and be justified despite our sins. That too is part of the gospel message. In order to gain justification one must obey that gospel message (Romans 10:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17). In the case of the first Christians (and us) obedience was the result of the frightening reality that we are sinners (Acts 2:36-41). In Paul’s case, it was described as having his sins washed away (Acts 22:16).
[bctt tweet=”darkness cannot co-exist with light, condemnation cannot co-exist with justification!”]
Now here is where it really becomes wonderful. Where there is justification there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1)! Just as darkness cannot co-exist with light, condemnation cannot persist in the presence of justification!
Are you in Christ? Condemnation does not exist in Christ as we walk in the light (Romans 8:1; 1 John 1:7-10). Again, are you in Christ?
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