Put Your Foot Down
Joel Anderson, Senior Pastor, Harvest Orlando, Florida
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. - Romans 8:1-4
Blended families and dysfunctional homes have been around since the beginning. In fact, consider Abraham, the founding father of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, who tried to blend Sarah and Isaac with Hagar and Ishmael and finally threw Hagar and Ishmael out of the house (see Genesis 21). Jacob tried to blend four families with disastrous results (read Genesis 29-38 for all the details).I could go on. So what’s the point?
Of course, it’s not to embolden our sinful hearts. “Well they did it and lived to tell. What’s the big deal?” Wrong. That’s not the point.
Instead, those stories ought to remind us that God has always been the redeemer of people, not just prone to sin, but boldly practicing sin. And whatever you’ve been through or are going through, remember that God can and does make all things new when we repent and return to Him (Acts 3:19). It is the enemy who desires to keep you feeling defeated by decisions you’ve already been forgiven of.
So put your foot down on the foundation of God’s clear and comforting Word! In he passage above, Paul writes some of the most encouraging words found in Scripture.
First, we’ve got to put the past in the past. There is “NOW” no condemnation in Christ. So none of this “But I don’t feel forgiven.” Don’t exalt your feelings about the facts, loved ones. When we confess it, we’re forgiven (1 John 1:9).
Second, put away the partial. Notice again in verse one that there is therefore now “NO” condemnation. Two things happen in the Greek text that we don’t always get as clearly in the English. For one, the “no” is a compound word conveying an intensified meaning. It’s the audible equivalent of shouting “No!” instead of simply saying it. Second, in the Greek sentence, the “no” comes at the beginning of the sentence also implying the force of the negation. It’s not an afterthought or a wimpy wish, but a starting place for what will be expressed next.
There is “NO” condemnation for those in Christ. Not less. Not just some. Not just on bad, rainy, dreary, dismal-no-good-awful-rotten days. No condemnation. I love that!! Put away the past. Put away the partial.
And finally, put away the punishment. The point here, as with forgiveness, is that if God doesn’t condemn those in Christ, what business do we have condemning ourselves?
And not because I say so, but because God does. Put it away . . . He has!
What are sins I don’t feel forgiven of?
Am I boldly practicing some sin today? What will I do about it?
Prayer: Dear Father, I want what Jesus Christ did for me on the cross to make a difference in my life. I want to not only know that I’m forgiven, but to feel forgiven as well. Protect my mind from lies that tell me that some things can never be forgiven. And help the grace that You’ve shown me spur me to show that same grace to those around me. All for Your glory! In Jesus' name, Amen.