2001-01-04 - No Condemnation
John 1:9 There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. (NAS)
A searchlight peering into the darkness can be used to spot a suspect or an escaped convict. That light exposes the individuals location. It condemns the person to capture. The light a surgeon can use a light to cut away the shadows inside a wound or incision to expose a tumor or infection. The light condemns the sickness or injury to eradication. It is the spirit with which the light is used that either condemns or heals.
The world sees the light of Jesus Christ peeling back the layers of their lives. It is the perception that matters here. If the person sees their actions and is not willing to admit that the actions are not something that needs to be dealt with, either through pride or ignorance, they perceive the light as an attack or a threat. If that person will see these actions and humble themselves asking for forgiveness, the light is perceived as healing. Sin is not something to take lightly, not unlike many diseases. Left alone a simple cold can become deadly, just like sin. But sin has a sure cure in Jesus Christ, just like simple care allows a cold to be a thing of the past.
John 3:17-18 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (NAS)
Jesus is the true light. If you feel you must run from him, he becomes the sheriff. His teachings become a standard to which we can never attain. If you stop running and accept the fact that all of us need help, then the standard is still unreachable but it is a reminder of God's mercy and acceptance.
Rom 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (NAS)
There is a law which condemns us all. But the law is only there to show us that we can't do it ourselves. Alone we all fall far short of the perfection required by the law. But with Jesus Christ, anything is possible. He stands ready to trade His perfection for your and my imperfection, so the law is satisfied. So many people see God as some big "Thou shalt not..." far away, detached and unfeeling. Jesus came from Heaven and lived in among us, felt our hunger and temptations. He cried over the death of a friend, just as we would. He was angry with injustice and sloth. He told stories to children. He is not unaware of our struggles. He can identify with all our faults and pain. He did it all because He cares about each of us individually.
If God cares so much, why are there so many problems in the world? Well, I think human pride and arrogance has to take the blame for that. Jesus came to deal with that too. None of us is perfect. Most of us are "not that bad" either. But that won't cut the mustard against that perfect standard the law set. It seems a lot less unfair when we see that the one who set the standard, also made a way to satisfy that standard. He is giving us the answer to the test with the test.
Does this God and this Jesus Christ seem more interesting than the one throwing lightening bolts at us when we step an inch out of line? I hope so. Anyone who sincerely asks to be forgiven of their sins, failings and shortcomings is promised acceptance. Ask Jesus to come in and save you from the law. If you still have questions, please send email, call the church or contact a local Calvary Chapel. There are people there who would love to help you sort this out. Please don't put this off. This simple decision has eternal weight to it. And eternity is a very long time.
Grace & Peace,