I’ve been reading through the Psalms in a book called The Psalms for Prayer. Each Psalm includes a short descriptive paragraph at the beginning, a suggested Bible passage to read, and suggestions for prayer focus interspersed throughout the Psalm. The other day I read Psalm 24, and the suggested Bible passage was Romans 8:1-11. This is one of my favorite parts of Romans, and I especially like the first three verses:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. Romans 8:1-3 (NIV).
This passage is a great reminder that the purpose of the law is to help us realize our sinfulness and need for a savior.
The law is necessary for a civilized society. It is good to have an idea of what is right and what is wrong. But the law is powerless to make people always do what is right. Absolutely powerless.
But God’s grace is out strength and power to overcome; Christ is our Savior.
The dictionary definition of condemn is “to pronounce to be guilty; sentence to punishment.” Because of Christ, we are pronounced innocent and are pardoned from the punishment we deserve.
This morning I saw a quote on Facebook that said, “This is the Karma Café. There are no menus. You will get served what you deserve.” My first thought was that I am glad Christianity is not based on karma. When we trust in Christ, we do not get what we deserve.
The law can only give us what we deserve, but the God of grace gives us what we do not deserve. What a blessing that is!
So how about you? Are you still living a condemned life under the law, or have you been set free from the law of sin and death?