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So there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit—and this power is mine through Christ Jesus—has freed me from the vicious circle of sin and death. We aren’t saved from sin’s grasp by knowing the commandments of God because we can’t and don’t keep them, but God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours—except that ours are sinful—and destroyed sin’s control over us by giving himself as a sacrifice for our sins. So now we can obey God’s laws if we follow after the Holy Spirit and no longer obey the old evil nature within us.

Romans 8:1-4 Living Bible (TLB)

When we claim to belong to Christ Jesus, we are not to view this as something significant we have done for God. Believing in who Christ Jesus is benefits those who believe in what He did for us. We are given the Holy Spirit to help us to live in this fallen world enabling us to follow the ways of Jesus as we seek to obey God's Word. We are strengthened by the Spirit to resist the evil that was once a commanding force of our natures in which we had no defense. We will be engaged in this battle until Christ returns to establish God's Kingdom.

It is guilt that condemns us, not God. When God gave His Son, who was without sin, to die for our sins, He freed us from sin's power to condemn us. We can trust in God's forgiveness when we confess and turn from sin. This is what we are to believe. When we begin to think ourselves righteous and superior to those who sin differently than we do, our own sinfulness is magnified. We deny God the opportunity to show His loving-kindness and tolerance as we too still fall short. We reject our need for Him to pick us up, dust us off and begin again the process of cleansing we are so desperately dependent upon Him for. We become prideful in our righteous accomplishments as if Jesus died for some other sinful person since we're so good. We are all sinners saved only by God's grace. Whether it be in thought or deed, we all fall short of the glory of God and we all need our Savior. God sent His Son as a sacrifice to destroy sin's control over all who believe. The challenge is to accept who we are and enlist the help of the Holy Spirit to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ.

We are all works in progress but this battlefield on which we now exist calls us to realize that it is God who works in us to perfect us and not we ourselves. The enemy of our souls seeks our condemnation through guilt, shame and unbelief and he is working overtime to ensure our destruction. Jesus came to save us and as we believe and put our trust in His finished work on that cross, there is no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Him.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

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