19 September 2006

No Condemnation!

Romans 8:1 tells us that, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I’ve been loosely tethered to this verse for the last couple of months, trying to understand it, to bring it from the confessional level to the functional level. Last night, at church, one of our pastors worked hard to drill this joyful idea deeply into our souls.

Tracy Lee Simmons wrote: "Ideas are shadowy and inert without [words]. But with words to clothe them, ideas take on form."

And he’s right. On the way home, I decided that I just didn’t really understand what condemnation means. It was the Invisible Man and needed words to clothe it so I could get a better glimpse of it.

My best guess was destined to be punished because of guilt. While this isn’t wrong, it’s only part of the story.

When I looked it up in Webster’s New World Dictionary and Noah Webster’s 1848 Facsimile Dictionary, I learned that this word means a great deal more than I’d ever imagined. From the two dictionaries, I discovered quite a bit that made this verse come alive.

There is therefore now no condemnation (no guilt, no punishment, no doom, no rejection, no censure, no blame, no disapprobation, no disapproval, no declaration of being unfit, no determination of being wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Now there’s an Invisible Man made visible!

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