The Bible is the greatest book in the Universe. The book of Romans is the greatest book in the Bible. Chapter 8 is the greatest chapter in the book of Romans. One way to understand this flow of thought is to think of a song. The entirety of the song is absolutely wonderful and you hang on every note. However, the chorus is what resonates deep in your soul. It is the chorus that sticks in your hear and brings a smile to your face. But still there is one line in that chorus that brings you to tears. It is what pushes you over the edge of joy. It is the climax. This is how many people, including perhaps me, see Chapter 8 in the book of Romans. Many theologians refer to Romans 8 as the Great Eight.
Why is this? For many reasons, one of which is how the chapter begins, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Paul, the writer of Romans has spent the first seven chapters unpacking our desperate condition and how Jesus is the answer. In fact chapter seven ends by saying this, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25).
How does Jesus save us from this ill fate? “[F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. “ (Romans 3:23-25)
We receive this gift of salvation through faith in the blood of Jesus. The Word that is used in Romans 3 is justified. To be justified means to be made righteous. To be acquitted. Notice that it is past tense. This means that it has already happened to those who believe in Jesus. What does that mean? It means that there is “NOW no condemnation.” (Capitalization added).
This is the crescendo to the symphony. We are wretched sinners and have rejected the Lordship of our Loving Sovereign God, and through faith in the blood of Jesus we are NOW forgiven. This means that the weight of God’s wrath has been removed from hanging over our head. The blood of Jesus has paid for all of our sins; past, present and future.
This truth is liberating. This is the freedom that Jesus spoke of in John 8:32, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” To recognize the power of Jesus’ sacrifice, specifically that it covered all of your sins and there is nothing left for you to do except to trust in his blood allows you to live a life of joy, peace, love, passion, purpose, and faith. No longer are we governed by legal/religious requirements. No longer are we oppressed by guilt. No longer do we waste our lives wondering if we have done enough to appease the wrath of God, for we know the power of the blood of Jesus.
Verse 2 of Romans 8 says, “through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
Unfortunately, many people have been misled by people who claim to be religious but who are merely white washed tombs. They have led many people down the path of slavery, not freedom. They have added to the Gospel and therefore destroyed it by telling you that believing in the blood of Jesus isn’t enough. They are like Satan who twists God’s Word by telling you that in addition to the sacrifice of Jesus you have to be baptized, or attend Church, or take communion, or be a good person, or perform penances. This is not the Gospel and those who teach these lies should beware.
In Galatians it says, “there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 17-8) Likewise the Bible ends with these deafening words, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19)
Do not let the accursed steal your joy. Embrace the Gospel proclaimed in God’s Word. Embrace the chorus of God’s love found in Romans 8 and let tears of gratitude fall to the pages, for there is “now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Praise the Lord!