Anyone see the movie Liar Liar with Jim Carey? He couldn’t lie to get out of court so in hopes not to be in court he went to the bathroom and beat himself up. As he went before the judge, the judge asked him a question and he still couldn’t get out of it and he continued the case. He stood there bleeding, clothes torn and looking like a mess for no reason. He beat himself up for no cause. Much like today in the spiritual we beat ourselves up over something that happened in our past possibly to get out of the state we are in with the possibility of feeling guilty for it. We are all guilty but we can be granted forgiveness and be pardoned from our sin through the blood of Jesus Christ. That’s God’s mercy system.
Sometimes as believers we feel condemned because Satan uses past guilt and present failures to make us question what Christ has done for us. Our assurance must be focused on Christ, not our performance. Our own conscience reminds us of guilt. Non-Christian and sometimes even Christian friends will notice (and point out) our inconsistencies. Past memories of how we lived can haunt us. The perfection of the law will show how imperfect we are. We can allow Christ’s perfect example to discourage our efforts rather than encourage our trust. Unhealthy comparisons with other believers will make us feel inadequate. I think this happens quite often, as we tend to compare ourselves with each other and not after Christ. My husband frequently reminds me of this.
Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Do you know what that means? We may stumble, we may fall, we may trip, we may make a thousand mistakes, we may sin and we do, we may get off the path, we may go astray, we may have a thousand problems, but for the believer in Jesus Christ, there is, therefore now, no condemnation because God has said it is so. You can struggle, but you’re not condemned. You can fall, but you’re not condemned. You can trip, but you’re not condemned. You can stray off the path, but you are not condemned because God has said He will not condemn those who are in Christ Jesus. When Jesus saved you, he didn’t say he would take away all your problems. No, but he did say this. In your problems, there is no condemnation. In your struggles and there is no condemnation in your failure. In your going astray, there is no condemnation. Because of our position not our performance! We are in Christ. What does it mean, then? It means, number one, there is no rejection for the believer. God is not going to reject you just because you struggle. You’re not a bad person just because you’re having a hard time.
Paul is saying that in addition to “peace with God” there is also no need to continually put yourself under condemnation every time you sin. God has condemned sin in the flesh so that we can never be condemned. In Christ Jesus is not just an assurance of never coming into condemnation but is a guarantee of a new life even today, because of the position we now share His Rise life. What unspeakable relief it is to the bewildered, troubled soul, oppressed with a sense of his own unworthiness and distressed because of frequent failures, to learn that God sees him in Christ Jesus, and as thus seen he is free from all condemnation. He may exclaim, “But I feel so condemned.” This however is not the question. It is not how I feel but it is what God says. He sees me in Christ raised, forever beyond the reach of condemnation. According to God’s justice, we who are “in Christ” were as guilty as that man before we were converted, but now we are just as un-punishable. Why? Not because of a legal technicality. Rather, it’s because any and every sin we’ve ever committed or will commit has been fully prosecuted in Christ on the cross. And once is all that the law demands. There are still consequences when we do wrong, even as believers. But as far as the penalty of the law is concerned, Jesus’ death places us in a wonderful position of being exempt from eternal punishment. Christ lives in me. The Law already has condemned my flesh although I am free now from Law’s condemnation because I am in Christ. Whenever my flesh comes out in my thoughts, words or actions it proves to result in nothing but death. My flesh cannot do any good thing, any righteous thing, and any thing that pleases a Holy God. When I in my own self-effort, which is flesh, try to forgive one who has wronged me. When I try to live a victorious life in my own (self) effort, I find that it just does not “work”. When I put my faith in Christ, I begin to realize that HE can forgive THROUGH me. When I seek to love people who are unlovable in my own energy, I find that I cannot do it. But when I put my trust in the Lord Jesus and I access His grace (by faith) and that amazing grace TRANSFORMS me, I find that out of me comes a love that I didn’t even know was there. So something has been marvelously changed inside our mortal bodies – the Holy Spirit now lives within us.
Paul is not basing his declaration of no condemnation upon our conduct, but upon our position (in Christ). While it is true that those who are in Christ should not and do not consistently walk according to the flesh, this is not a condition for their status of “no condemnation” and for that we are thank our merciful Father for the wisdom and perfection of His plan of salvation. A sanctified soul is a living soul; and that life is peace. The carnal mind is not only an enemy to God, but enmity itself. The carnal man may, by the power of Divine grace, be made subject to the law of God, but the carnal mind never can; that must be broken and driven out. We may know our real state and character by inquiring whether we have the Spirit of God and Christ, or not. The life promised for the man who is righteous by faith is, in the fourth place, described as a life characterized by the indwelling of the Spirit of God. The Law condemns; but the believer has a new relationship to the Law, and therefore he cannot be condemned.” Victory is not going to come from our performance but from our faith that accesses God’s grace which alone can transform our life. We have got to learn to WALK BY FAITH (not by sight) trusting the leading of the Holy Spirit Who lives within us to Guide and direct our steps. So, stop beating yourself up, look up and realize today is a new day and you belong to Christ Jesus.