“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
Guilt is a powerful emotion. Whether it be consciously or subconsciously, most people struggle with something they have done in their past. These secret regrets can make us feel like we are trapped in solitary confinement. Life becomes a constant guilt trip. The past keeps us from being able to move forward. But there is a way out of guilt, and His name is Jesus Christ.
The first thing that happens when someone surrenders his life to Jesus Christ is that guilt is replaced by grace. We no longer have to define ourselves by what we’ve done wrong. Instead, we are defined by what Jesus Christ has done right. We no longer have to be governed by the guilt of what we have done. We are free to live in the grace of what Jesus has done for us. Grace instead of guilt.
One thing both Christians and non-Christians have in common is we all sin. And every person in the world falls into one of two categories. We are either in Jesus or out of Jesus. In Jesus there is no condemnation…only grace. In Jesus there is no judgment…only mercy. This is not because of what we have done for God, but because of what Christ has done for us. We are all born under the law of sin and death. What does that mean? It’s simple: If we sin, we die. Death always follows sin. But when we place our faith in Jesus Christ we are set free from that law. Romans 8:3-4 says that Jesus was our sin offering, condemning sin in the flesh, “so that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Because of His perfect life, Jesus could die a perfect death and pay the penalty for all of our sins.
Have you ever heard of “Double Jeopardy?” It is a law principle that states you cannot be tried twice for the same crime. Jesus has already been tried for our crime. He was condemned, sentenced, and put to death to pay for our sin. He rose from the dead to prove that God accepted His payment. That is why, as Romans 8:1 says, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
The moment we place our faith in Christ Jesus a miraculous exchange happens. All of our sin is transferred to the account of Jesus and paid in full; and all of His righteousness is credited to our account. In that moment, God looks at us and in His grace declares, “Not guilty.”
Application: Have you been declared, “not guilty” through faith in Jesus Christ?