Summer Devotional | 2020 - Day 14
No Prison Time
By Jim Haines
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death!”Romans 8:1-2
When I was in seminary at Southwestern, I took a course in which one of the questions on an exam was: “What is your favorite book of the Bible?” That question is not one I had ever seriously considered. It arrested my attention during the exam. There was not much time to consider an answer, but I wasn’t able to push through it and just list any of the many options—none of which would have been marked wrong. After all, the professor didn’t know which one was my favorite. He was simply asking the question to discover which book was most meaningful to each student.
As I considered an answer, it didn’t take much time to write down Romans. I was even surprised when I gave that as my answer. Romans continues to be my favorite book of the Bible, and when I was given the opportunity to write this devotional about my favorite verse in the Bible, it didn’t take long to focus on the first verse of Romans 8.
There was an atmosphere of condemnation in many of the sermons I heard as a child and a young adult. It was a part of the culture of many churches I attended. It was a part of the family in which I grew up. Condemnation was a part of the Christian culture with which I was familiar.
I was eight-years-old when I trusted Christ as my Savior. There was a great sense of freedom I knew about my eternal destiny. But my day-to-day life was not one in which I enjoyed a sense of freedom. There seemed to always be a cloud of condemnation hanging over me.
The Enemy of my soul did not want me to walk in freedom. He still doesn’t! I regularly have to confront him with the truth of Romans 8:1 and at the same time allow the Word of God to free me to live without condemnation. When is there no condemnation? This verse says there is now no condemnation. Right now. In this moment. No condemnation, now and forever for the believer in Christ. Do I believe it? Absolutely!
The word condemnation means there is no condemnatory judgment. In other words, there is no prison time. Before I was in Christ, I was lost and condemned to eternal separation from God. Now that I am in Christ, I am saved and free to live the life for which He created me.
I walked under the cloud of condemnation far too long. Today and every day I am grateful that He saved me and I am able to walk in the power of His Holy Spirit.
Read the rest of Romans 8 and draw strength from the reality that what God says is true about you, what He has done for you, and how much He loves you. The next time you feel condemnation creeping in, take a deep breath and remember that in Christ you have been set free from condemnation. You have been made righteous in Christ. You are a saint in Christ. You are complete in Christ. Think on the truth of who you are in Christ, and the feeling of condemnation will pass.
Jim is passionate about working with Boomers and Seniors because they are the best! He is encouraged by their energy and hearts for the Lord and reaching others for Christ. When Jim isn’t working he enjoys being with his family—preferably at the beach! He also enjoys musical theatre and the symphony. Jim and his wife, Nan, have been married over 35 years and have four adult children.