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There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 NRSV

Imagine you are somewhere and spot friends talking across the way. Desiring to greet them, you walk over and join the conversation. Unfortunately, you've missed out on whatever was said before you arrived. Today's verse is like that; we walk into Paul's discussion at the "therefore." To understand, we need to step back to the previous chapter.

In Romans chapter 7, Paul discusses the spiritual and physical conflict. As imperfect and sinful people, we struggle to meet the requirements of God's perfect law. Paul perfectly captures this tension in verses 7:18‭-‬19, "For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do."

We can all appreciate the tension between knowing what is right and doing what is right. It seems hopeless, but it's not because of the coming of Jesus Christ. Though our battle against temptation continues, we aren't indicted by our imperfection through Christ. Through acceptance of Christ as our savior, we are freed from condemnation. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." (Rm 8:2)

Of course, this doesn't mean we use our imperfections as an excuse. We still must do what is right. But when we do not, we earnestly ask for forgiveness and strive to improve—constantly striving for the perfection of Christ.

Merciful Father, thank you for the gift of your son who offered himself for our sins that we may be complete in the law. Help us today to press onward to perfection, and when we fail, earnestly repent, and rejoice in your forgiveness. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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