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Holy God and Man’s Unholy Efforts
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit”.Romans 8:1
The good news of the gospel is that Christ came to condemn sin, not sinners (John 3:17; Romans 8:3). To those who believe and accept the gospel and commit themselves in loving obedience to the Lord, Christ offers justification and freedom.
There will be deficiencies in our character, but when we purpose to obey God, when by faith we make an effort to do so, Jesus accepts our efforts to be good as men’s best service. He therefore makes up for the deficiency with His own merit. For such, there is no condemnation, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
Victory Through Relationship With God
We can experience victory over sin by abiding in Christ. Abiding is a daily living union with Christ (John 14:20; 15:4–7). Jesus emphasized the closeness of this union in His parable of the Vine and the Branches (John 15:1–7). John describes this union as being “in Him” (1 John 2:5, 6, 28; 3:24; 5:20) and Peter speaks of being in Christ (1 Peter 3:16; 5:14). Paul also speaks of being “in Christ” by experiencing the saving faith that brings reconciliation and justification (Romans 3:22-26, 28).
Unless a person is experiencing this transforming union with Christ, he cannot claim freedom from condemnation. It is through the experience of close fellowship and union with Christ that we receive the power to overcome the battle against sin. As we do so, sin will no longer be the predominating and controlling influence our lives.
The united believer with Christ can proclaim, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). When God’s commands are daily kept, the Lord makes Himself responsible for the success of the work carried out by the believer. In Christ there is power to overcome sin. In Him, there is all the grace and courage needed to face the world.
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In His service,