Thursday, 9 May 2013

Romans 8:34 - Who can condemn?

Romans 8:34
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.

We learnt last time that no one can accuse us, and this ties straight to this verse. Why can no one accuse? Because it is God himself who has forgiven us. He is the judge. Who then can condemn, if the judge has declared us justified and not guilty? No one. God is the judge. He reigns over everything and he alone can and will judge. Everyone on earth has sinned (Take a read through Romans 3). We inherit a sinful nature from Adam, and from birth we sin. Sin is disobedience to God and it is an attack on his character - God is good, faithful, just, pure, etc and sin is wicked, corrupt, false, etc. We all sin and we all justly deserve his wrath. What is his wrath? It is eternal destruction in hell - that is the price we need to pay for sin. We cannot ever pay it in full and therefore the punishment is eternal. How then is there no condemnation for the Christian? Well that's the gospel isn't it? Jesus, who is God, came to earth and died in our place. He took God's wrath in our place if we are his people. He paid for it 100%, and his sacrifice is of infinite value. Because he was perfect and did not sin, he could take our sin and take God's wrath for it. Therefore Gods wrath is satisfied and he is able to show us mercy and grace. If you are a Christian, you are forgiven. 100% eternally forgiven. That's something to rejoice in. Who then condemns? No one - Jesus, who died and rose again intercedes for us. 

A quick side note before we get to that bit though: We easily pass over the words Jesus Christ. They have a lot of meaning. Jesus means saviour - he lived up to that title. Christ means anointed one. In the Old Testament, it was the Prophets, the Priests and the Kings who were anointed. Jesus is our Prophet and he fulfils all prophecy about himself. He is our High Priest (see Hebrews) - he intercedes for us and he is also the sacrifice - he died in our place. He is also our king. Are you serving him? Are you praising him? Am I? But more, he is our servant king - he led by giving himself for us. Are we doing likewise?

Anyway, back on track: "Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life" - this is essential to the gospel. Jesus died, he took our sin and God's wrath for it. He paid it in full. But more than that - he rose again! This is crucial to the gospel! If Jesus was not raised we are fools and have nothing to hope in (See 1 Corinthians 15). If Jesus was not raised, we have no proof that he really did pay for sin. We have no proof he was God, we have no proof that we also will be raised and more than that - he is a liar, since he said he would rise (Luke 18:33, etc). He lives! He is our saviour, He is our God and we cannot claim to be christians and deny that he rose again.

"[and he] is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." - Why can no one condemn? Because Jesus died and rose and he ascended to heaven where he sits at the right hand of God. He 'reminds' God not to condemn us, because in Jesus God's justice is satisfied. Of course, God knows this, but Jesus has that role - he stands between us and God and through him we are blessed, not judged by God. We have a saviour who is constantly standing in our place and helping us and defending us! What an awesome saviour and God! What a mighty King! We should be joyful, we should rejoice! What do we have to be sad about? Surely nothing that outweighs complete forgiveness in Christ and eternal life with him after death if we are Christian!

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