A favorite bible verse of many Christians, me included, is Romans 8:1. The King James version says it this way: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Upon comparing the interpretation of this verse with other bible versions, I noticed one glaring difference. Many of the newer bible translations leave out the last part of the verse. The NIV, for example says it his way:“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Obviously, the part that reads “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” was left out. This could fuel the fire of many unbelievers who claim that the bible is filled with contradictions. Once again, they would be wrong.
At first glance, it would appear that this freedom from condemnation applies only to those who walk after the Spirit and not to Christians who live according to the flesh. If that were the case, salvation would not be by grace. Keep this in mind: We are not saved by what we do; (our works) we are saved by what Jesus did. Another thing to remember is that, we who are in Christ, have been freed from condemnation, not from the effects of the flesh. Because the “old man” is still in us, we will all struggle with our carnal nature, some more than others, until Jesus comes for His church. Thank God, therefore, that He has freed us from condemnation anyway. The last part of Romans 8:1 is really just a description God’s children. That is, they live because Christ lives in them, or as the verse says: “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” It is just one more Christian characteristic just like this one which I put up on our church’s marquee recently: “You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” For those who have love (Jesus) in their hearts, it is just as natural to give than it is to drink water. They just do.
Here is why this bible truth is important: At one time or another this thought will come to all of us: “Who am I kidding? I am not worthy of being a Christian.” There are people who have been in Christ and in the church for years who have fallen for this lie from the devil. Because of it, they feel condemned. Don’t let that happen to you. If you have ever called upon Jesus to save you with a sincere heart, He did. Therefore, there is absolutely no way you can or will ever be condemned.
God’s word for today: (1 John 4:13) “This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of his Spirit.”