In the beginning of my journey following Christ I had a basic understanding of the checklist of scriptures you memorize in youth group when you make those first steps...
“All have sinned and fallen short” ✔️
“The wages of sin is death” ✔️
“God so loved the world that He gave His only son” ✔️
“if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” ✔️
Though I knew these scriptures and had a measure of faith, I still was fighting many battles. I was still messing up. It just hadn’t clicked that I did not have to keep “doing a good job” to stay saved. I was deceived, thinking that I somehow had to keep coming back to the lord every time I messed up, that when I continued to struggle, I was outside of good standing with God, and needed to “be saved” again. Each week I found myself in tears again at the altar, overcome by the guilt. I believed in my heart Jesus was the Son, died and rose again, but I still didn’t believe I was good enough. Looking back, clearly I see I still needed freedom, or maybe, I needed to understand my freedom. Either way as I dove into the scriptures things finally clicked, when along came Romans 8...
Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Jesus not only took our sin on the cross but he set us from the law of sin and death! There is no need to keep condemning ourselves again. Not only did Christ die for our sins, and rise from the grave, but his very spirit is alive and living in us.
10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
The very spirit of the living God is in our heart, whereby we call out to the Father, God the Father whose Son set us free, and is interceding for us, and whose spirit will most certainly help us through this life and welcome us into the “Future Glory” of eternity (Romans 8:18)
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What a marvelous thing to know freedom from the law of sin and death, and to know the spirit of God is working in us, and HE will conform us into being more like Jesus. We follow the Lord because the lord works it in us! Even in trials, in the midst of darkness, persecution, or suffering we have the hope of future glory set aside for God’s children! We WILL see God face to face.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Praise God for His word! After Romans 8 spoke freedom, security and promise to all of my condemnation and fear, my life shifted from one of coming back to church each week to “be saved again” to rejoicing in the freedom of being forever safe… We are alive in Christ...Christ is alive in us!