Topic:Who Condemns You Now?
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
This is a reminder of the work that God has done. We love God when we trust in the full effect of his work on our behalf. Paul is looking back over the letter, and sees two great works that God has done. The first is justification. “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?” Who can? It is God who justifies. Justification means that nothing and no one anywhere can accuse us successfully before God.
The devil is the accuser of the brethren. He will try to accuse us constantly. This verse tells us that we must not listen to his voice. We must not listen to these thoughts that condemn us, that put us down, that make us feel that there is no hope for us. These thoughts will come — they cannot be stopped — but we do not have to listen to them. We know God is not listening to these accusations. Who can condemn us when God justifies us? Therefore we refuse to be condemned. We don’t do this by ignoring our sin or trying to cover it over, or pretending that it isn’t there; we do it by admitting that we fully deserve to be condemned, but that God, through Christ, has already borne our guilt. That is the only way out. That is why Christians should not hesitate to admit their failure and their sin. You will never be justified until you admit it. But when you admit it, then you also can face the full glory of the fact that God justifies the ungodly, and therefore there is no condemnation.
Then Paul raises the question, “Who is he that condemns? Who is going to do this?” The only one who has the right is Jesus — and Jesus died for us. And more than that, he was raised to life for us, he is now at the right hand of God in power for us, and he is also interceding for us. So there is no chance that he is going to condemn us. This is a reference to the power that we have, by which we take hold afresh of the life of Jesus. Not only is our guilt set aside, but we have power imparted to us — his life in us, his risen life made available to us now. So we can rise up and say “No!” to the temptations that surround us and the habits that drag us down; we can be a victor over them. That is not a mere dogma; we are in touch with a living person. That is the glory of Christianity. The unique distinction of Christians is that we have Jesus.
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Thank you, Lord, that there is no one who can condemn me because of all that you have done for me in Christ.
Are we being held hostage to condemnation instigated by the enemy? What response to God’s forgiveness frees us to fully experience freedom from condemnation? What power is available to withstand both the temptations and the accusations from the enemy?