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Previous sermon in this series This sermon is number 5 in a series of 5 This is the last sermon in this series

Sins We Have Sanitized - Part 5

"No Condemnation!"

by David Legge | Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com

'Preach The Word'Romans chapter 8 please, is where we want to take God's word from this morning, Romans chapter 8. I really feel before God that this is a message I need to bring to you, especially after the ministry I've been giving on Thursday nights.

If you feel yourself sinking into the slough, the bog of despondency because of the sins that are in your life, this passage, these are the golden steppingstones to get out of it...

Now we're going to have to read some of chapter 7, so Romans chapter 7 verse 24: "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" - and we'll finish our reading there at verse 4.

Now after the studies these Thursday nights, if you've been with us, they were entitled 'Sins We Have Sanitised' - sins that have become acceptable in the lives of believers, mainly because they tend to be hidden sins, they are secret sins, they are not sins of the externals but the internals. We hit on four in particular: 'Mental Sins', 'Verbal Sins', 'Religious' or 'Spiritual Sins', and 'Cultural Sins'. I don't know about you, but I feel pretty bad after that series - in the right sense - because we realise how guilty we are as Christians. We might look okay externally, blameless. We might seem to have everything together as Christians because of our attendance to meetings, or our external spiritual activities that we're engaged in. Yet internally our lives can be a mess at times. I don't know whether you have felt bad after any of the Thursday nights - that's why I think we need to turn to this portion, particularly the verse I want to take as my text, chapter 8 verse 1, the first half: 'There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus'.

So I want to preach to you on 'No Condemnation'. C.H. Spurgeon said about Romans chapter 8, he called the truths of it 'golden steppingstones through the slough of despond' - golden steppingstones through the slough of despond! So if you feel yourself sinking into the slough, the bog of despondency because of the sins that are in your life - and I feel that at times, the sins that are in mine - this passage, these are the golden steppingstones to get out of it.

The question has to be asked: why do so many of us who profess the name of Christ feel like failures in this Christian life?

Now between verses 9 to 25 of chapter 7, I think Paul uses over 40 personal pronouns - so he's talking a great deal about himself in chapter 7, and that leads to this great exclamation in verse 24: 'O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?'. Is that how you feel as a Christian? 'Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?'. Now in Paul's day, I'm led to believe that criminals who were convicted guilty of the crime that they were being charged of sometimes had the penalty of dead corpses, dead bodies strapped to their back - and they would have to carry this corpse about wherever they went. Paul is saying: 'That's the way I feel as a Christian. I've been saved, and yet there is this old nature, this old man, that at times rears its ugly head. I feel condemned by God's law because of the things that I want to do, and can't seem to get doing - righteous things - and yet the things that I don't want to do, the unrighteous things, I end up doing those things'. It's so easy, isn't it, to despair when we find that we have no victory in ourselves.

Well, chapter 8 gives us the answer: that through the Holy Spirit, through the ministry of God's Holy Spirit, we can be - and I'm quoting now, chapter 8 - more than conquerors! That's what you need to hear - and it's not because God has given us a new law, no, we have been given a new life! Life in the Spirit is now our law! So the question has to be asked: why then do so many of us who profess the name of Christ feel like failures in this Christian life? Well, this is what I'm going to labour on in the time that we have now, because I believe there are two possible reasons why you might feel that way. After ministry like Thursday evening's, about sins, maybe you feel a failure? Maybe you don't need to be here on a Thursday night to hear that type of stuff, you already felt like a failure because of something that has happened in your past, or something you're engaged in in the present; or you just have this constant sense of accusation and there's no particular sin that you are conscious of, but you still feel that you're way below the mark as a child of God in your performance.

Well, there are two possible reasons for feeling that way, here's the first: Holy Spirit conviction - Holy Spirit conviction. In other words, you are guilty as charged! So if we're talking about mental sins, verbal sins, sins of the flesh, cultural sins; the Holy Spirit's job before we were saved was to convince us of our sin to get us saved, but His job doesn't change after the new birth - He still goes on putting His finger on things that ought not to be so in our lives, that we might change. We can never ever really get out of the zone of feeling uncomfortable as Christians if we're going to walk with God's Holy Spirit. Judgement must begin at the house of God, and if we expect unconverted, unbelieving sinners to see the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we've got to first be willing and ready to feel it ourselves.

Paul says that if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged - so, in other words, if we would sort out the things that need sorted out in our lives, we wouldn't have the conviction of the Holy Spirit in that particular area. There is another name for this in the New Testament, it's called 'discipline'. Hebrews talks about it, Hebrews 12: 'For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives' - so if we are sons and daughters of God, just like we chasten earthly children, in the same way God does this toward us. As he goes on to say in Hebrews 12:11: 'Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous' - who of us as children enjoyed the chastening of our father and mother? 'They are grievous: nevertheless afterward they yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby'. Now, how many times do we hear parents say: 'It's for your own good - it didn't do me any harm, and it will not do you any harm'? Discipline is for the purpose of maturity, of bettering our character and our personality.

Judgement must begin at the house of God, and if we expect unconverted, unbelieving sinners to see the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we've got to first be willing and ready to feel it ourselves...

So this is what God does: when we feel bad about sins that are in our lives, by His Spirit He is convicting us - but it's discipline, and you must understand this, it's restorative. It's restorative justice, not punitive justice. Now let me explain that: it's not with the purpose of inflicting punishment upon us, it's not punitive. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ that the Lord Jesus has already dealt with that kind of justice when He died on the cross. He has saved us from our sins, He has borne our sins in His own body on the tree - that's why we are forgiven as believers, justified by faith we have peace with God! That is judicial forgiveness. Now, I hope you understand this: if you're saved, you are forgiven, cleansed - but there is such a thing called 'relational forgiveness'. That means that after we're saved, sometimes sin can come in and inhibit our relationship, our fellowship with God. So, take the parent-child relationship, nothing can change the relationship by blood - they'll always be father-son, mother-daughter - but sometimes problems enter in, and the relationship can be skewed and inhibited. That's exactly what we're talking about in relational forgiveness, and sometimes when we let sin go for a long time God, the loving Parent that He is, has to come in and discipline us not with the purpose of punishment, but restoration. He wants to restore us to the place from which we have fallen, or ultimately He wants to take us on to a place of maturity that we have not reached yet.

I trust you understand this. It is this relational forgiveness that is spoken of in 1 John: 'If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness'. Now that verse is spoken to Christians, and it doesn't mean that when we get saved all our sins are not forgiven - no, no, no! They are forgiven judicially but, after we are converted, sometimes sins come in and interrupt our fellowship with God, our relationship, and we need to confess them and have done with them. The Bible teaches that when we do put our hands up and say, 'Guilty as charged!', and we choose to walk in the light as God is light, we have fellowship one with the other, and the blood of Jesus Christ God's Son goes on cleansing us from all sin. Because of that there should be no condemnation, because we are forgiven!

Now let me ask you believer: are you walking in the light? You have judicial forgiveness, but are you celebrating and enjoying relational forgiveness every day, keeping short accounts with God so that if any sin enters in - whatever sin it might be, mental, verbal, spiritual, cultural, or whatever - that you confess it, have done with it, and enjoy no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Neil Anderson, whose books have been a real blessing to me, is a Christian counsellor, and he said these words: 'It has been said that 75% of all mentally disturbed people would be pronounced well if they could only be convinced that they are forgiven. Many seemingly healthy Christians find it difficult to believe that they are really free from condemnation. Some say' - is this you? - 'I know that Jesus died for my sins, and that I am forgiven for the sins I have already committed, but what if I should choose to sin tomorrow?'.

Now, insecurity about forgiveness was a great Old Testament problem, because the animal sacrifices that they were prescribed in Judaism were insufficient to atone for sins - but we're not in that dispensation. We look to a different sacrifice: 'Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he', the Lord Jesus Christ, 'entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us'. It's already ours! Have you got it? We sing about the cross, we preach about the cross, but are you living in the good of the cross - that when Christ died once, for all our sins, they were all atoned for? Do you understand this? Let me ask it to you another way: when Christ died on the cross for you, how many of your sins were future? Can anybody answer that? How many? Them all! All of them! There is no condemnation for past sins, okay, but for future sins and for present sins - now, of course, that's not a licence to go out and sin. Should we continue in sin that grace should abound? God forbid! The message of the gospel is that we don't have to sin any longer, but even when we do fall into sin - whilst we may be convicted by the Holy Spirit - if we confess our sins, and repent of our sins, we are not condemned! We might be convicted, but there's no need for us to be condemned!

If we confess our sins, and repent of our sins, we are not condemned! We might be convicted, but there's no need for us to be condemned!

Now, someone needs to hear that here this morning, I believe. If you are convicted by the Holy Spirit about something in your life, listen: confess it to God, renounce it, repent of it, believe the word of God that you're free in Christ, abide in Him moment by moment kept in His love, and you will know no condemnation!

So one of the reasons why you might be feeling bad is Holy Spirit conviction, but the other is Satanic condemnation - Satanic condemnation. Now, the devil - in fact, the name 'devil' means 'accuser', 'adversary' - and that is the devil's role within holy Scripture as we see him, he is the accuser of the brethren. Now we learned two Thursday nights ago that the opposite of living in the Spirit - what we're talking about here, keeping short accounts with God, dwelling underneath the shadow of the cross every day, enjoying the cleansing of the blood and the Spirit and the Word - well, the opposite to that is operating in the flesh, trying through yourself to achieve spiritual things, trying to live the Christian life by rules and regulations. It is manifest in living by law - now listen carefully: law condemns us, law - whether it's the Old Testament law, whether it's your little Ten Commandments that are personal to you that you try to abide to in your Christian life - they will always condemn you, always! Do you know why? Verse 3, look, chapter 8: 'For what the law', or indeed any law, 'could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh'.

Now, God's law is perfect, and your law might be pretty good as well - but the weakness was not in the law, the weakness was in our flesh! The law was weak toward our flesh in that we couldn't keep it, we haven't got it in us to keep it! Do you understand this? Therefore living by law gives the devil ammunition to fire at you, do you understand that? If you break a commandment, you fall regarding God's laws or your laws, you're condemned right away - now that's right throughout the New Testament, the law magnifies sin. Paul says it wasn't until he understood the law, that he understood how much sin was in him - it's like a magnifying glass that just blows it all into proportion, as it is in God's eyes. So if we're going to live by laws, we're constantly going to be condemned, and we're giving the devil a foothold in our lives - but what Romans 8 is saying is: 'Since you no longer are under the law, Satan has no longer a basis to accuse you!'.

Are you getting it? So, if you want to be accused, go back into the Old Testament and keep living by law, and make a whole lot of New Testament ones for yourself as well - and don't understand that this is nothing to do with law, it's the Spirit, and it's far far superior than the law. The law is the only basis for accusation. Now here's another inaccurate illustration that you can correct me on afterwards - I haven't been able to ascertain all the facts, but I know this much: if you go over the speed limit in Northern Ireland, you will get a speeding ticket if you're caught...I think that's true! But I think in the Isle of Man, there are either no speed limits on the Isle of Man, or there are different speed limits on the Isle of Man - and one thing is sure: you'll not be able to be convicted in the same way over there for speeding as you are here, why? Because the same law does not apply, and no judge could condemn you as guilty.

It's better in Christ: there is no law in Christ to find us guilty, therefore it's the law of the Spirit - it has set us free from the law of sin and death. 'Why is this?', you say, 'Is this a wiping the slate clean? A brushing of our sin underneath the carpet? It doesn't seem fair!'. It is fair, because what - verse 3 - 'the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh'. He took the curse - cursed is every one that hangs on a tree, and that was the penalty for a lawbreaker. Our Lord Jesus bore it, and bore it for the sins of a transgressing world - He took the rap for the law.

There's nobody going to take you down from the testifying box, and incarcerate you and take you to jail. You will never be separated from the love of God...

It's been paid. It's not that God has just forgotten about it, or ignored it - it has been judicially dealt with, 'For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him', that's how God can be just and the Justifier of them that believe in Jesus. That's why, if we confess our sins, He is not only faithful, He is just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now I want you to come with me here in your own personal understanding of this: so the Lord Jesus put away sin, and as He rose again from the grave the third day and ascended to heaven 40 days later, there was no sin on Him when He went into glory - there couldn't be any. As He entered in there, so we have entered in in Him - and, as God the Father looked on Him:

'Look, ye saints! the sight is glorious:
See the Man of Sorrows now;
From the fight returned victorious,
Every knee to Him shall bow'.

As God looked on Him, and saw His own reflected utter perfection, that is how He sees you and sees me. I'm surprised nobody has fallen off their seat, especially if you're a person who feels bad about how you are as a Christian. Look at this chapter 8 for a moment, this is mighty, verse 33 - why are you feeling bad? Verse 33 says: 'Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies' - that means there is no charge, there's not even a charge against you. Forget about going to court and being condemned, there's no charge! Why? Because the only One who can bring a charge is the One who is worthy, and that is Christ - and He's not bringing the charge! He has paid the penalty, so there's no charge! Verse 34: 'Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us'. So not only is there no charge, there is no judge! The only one who can judge us is God in the person of His Son, and He's not doing that! He's paid the penalty, He's wiped the slate clean - no charge, no judge!

Look again with me at verse 35: 'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?' - no jailer! There's nobody going to take you down from the testifying box, and incarcerate you and take you to jail. You will never be separated from the love of God - no jailer! Isn't it wonderful? Because the cause for any condemnation - this is the point - has been taken away, it's removed, and even now Christ continues to intercede for us! Are you living in the good of this? You've no reason to feel bad! So many hymns have been inspired by this - too many to mention, but some of them are wonderful:

'When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because the sinless Saviour died,
My sinful soul is counted free:
And God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me'.

If you have confessed your sin, repented of it, and are seeking to abide in Christ, you cannot know the conviction of the Holy Spirit if you've dealt with your sin in a particular area...

That's why Revelation 12:11 says: 'They overcame him', not by their keeping of regulations and rules and laws, but 'by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony'. So God is for us, that's what it says, isn't it? Verse 31: 'What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us' - God is for us. That means that any other opposition should be of no consequence. Now, let me ask you a question, the one who is feeling bad here this morning about themselves: if God isn't out to get you, who is? The Bible tells us that before we're saved, Satan blinds us - and if you're not saved, you need to waken up to the fact that the devil has got a blindfold around you, and he is leading you to hell. You need to waken up very fast before you end up there, and the blindfold is taken off. But after we're saved, the devil still wants to work with us - in fact, I think he's more interested in us after we're saved, he wants to then bind us.

Because we are made free in Christ through the cross, the only way he can achieve a binding of us - now, stay with me - is to deceive us. He is the father of lies, the Lord Jesus said, and in our minds he plants thoughts that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, and he does this to distort our relationship with God. He can't cease God to be my Father, he can't stop me from being His son now that I'm saved, but what he can do is: accuse me day and night, and say that God is angry with me, God doesn't want me, and I'm no good as a child of God. Do you understand this? He can't do a thing about our position in Christ but, if he can, he can get us to believe that our position isn't true. Are you with me? If he can get us to believe it isn't true, we will live as if it isn't!

We ought not to be ignorant of his devices, this is the way he works, his schemes. One primary strategy towards believers is to distort their relationship with God, and discredit the truth of who I really am in Christ. You see, Satan's lies are aimed at making you think - now, you know who you are, you're a child of God, you're bought with the precious blood of Christ, you mean everything to God - and yet Satan wants you to think: 'Oh, I'm no good! I can't be forgiven for what I've done! Christianity might work for all these religious people round me, but it doesn't work for me'. What he's trying to do is distort your identity in Christ! Condemning thoughts - do you have those? Accusing charges and blames?

Now, listen carefully to what I'm saying: if you have confessed your sin, repented of it, and are seeking to abide in Christ, you cannot know the conviction of the Holy Spirit if you've dealt with your sin in a particular area. So if you are being condemned, it cannot be from God, because He's the One who justifies! No charge! No judge! No jailer!

Turn with me for a moment to Zechariah 3, near the end of your Old Testament, because we need to really labour this. Who does God rebuke? Is God down on you this morning because you messed up, or you're feeling bad? Zechariah 3 - who does God rebuke? Verse 1, Zechariah says: 'He shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan', the adversary, the accuser, 'standing at his right hand to resist him' - that's his job. 'And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD', He uses His own name, 'the LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?'. God rebukes Satan, He wants to put Satan down, He wants to build us up. Now He uses discipline at times to do that, and it can be rough as we saw from Hebrews - no chastening for the present time seems to be joyous - nevertheless, He never turns us down, He never condemns us, He never destroys us. Well then, who is trying to destroy our relationship with God? Who is it that is accusing you day and night without ceasing? You know who it is! You know who it is...it's not God.

We need to answer a question: how do you know the difference between Satan's condemnation and the Holy Spirit's conviction?

Now, maybe this is all getting muddled in your head, and I don't want that - so we need to answer a question, and I'm almost finished. We need to answer a question: how do you know the difference between Satan's condemnation and the Holy Spirit's conviction? That's a good question, because both of them will make you feel bad - so how do you know which is which? Well, turn with me to 2 Corinthians chapter 7, and I think this will tie it all together hopefully. Second Corinthians chapter 7 verses 9 and 10: 'Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry', nobody gets a kick out of making people feel bad, 'but that ye sorrowed to repentance' - that was the end result, that made Paul happy, that the sorrow bore fruit in repentance - 'for ye were made sorry after a godly manner', so there's a godly feeling bad, 'that ye might receive damage by us in nothing' - 'I didn't want to do you any harm, I wanted to do you good'. So this is this discipline to maturity: 'For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of', in other words there is a great change that you don't go back on in your life, 'but the sorrow of the world', the feeling bad that the devil and the world brings, 'works death'.

Now, let me put this even more simply for you to understand, listen carefully: how do you know the difference between Satan's condemnation and the Holy Spirit's conviction? Put simply: if you have repented of a particular sin, the Holy Spirit's conviction for that sin stops. Let me repeat that: if you have repented of a particular sin, you've confessed it, renounced it, repented, the Holy Spirit's conviction stops for that sin - but if you repented for a sin, and you are still feeling condemned, that is the devil! Be under no illusion about it. The difference between those two things is always in the result: God's Holy Spirit only ever makes us feel bad to make us feel good by getting done with our sin, but the devil wants us to feel bad so that we'll become bad, and we'll start to believe we're no longer children of God, we're no longer blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, and we will lose our identity.

It's inevitable that at times we will feel bad because we're letting the Lord down, and we must for it is the Holy Spirit's work to convict us, and to conform us to the image of His Son - but God wants us to be free from condemnation, to be free from condemning thoughts, condemning feelings! Listen, whoever you are this morning: are you free? Whom the Son sets free shall be free indeed. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. Dear friend here, wounded soldier of the Lord, hear His soul-inspiring word: if you have sinned - listen - confess it, repent of it, and be free! If you have confessed and repented, don't let the devil condemn you. Who are you going to believe? Are you going to believe what that wicked, filthy liar and murderer from the beginning says about you? Or are you going to believe what the lovely Lord Jesus Christ testifies? The One who bled every drop of blood for love of you, and is ascended on high and at the right hand of God - He's representing you, He's not ashamed of you, He's not ashamed of you!

Do you understand the difference this can make? Do you know what the effect of this no condemnation understanding is? Listen, you've got to understand this much: what we do does not determine who we are. Listen: what we do does not determine who we are, who we are determines what we do. If you think you're a no good child of God, you'll live like a no good child of God - but when you realise the truth of who you are in Christ, do you know what? It will revolutionise your behaviour, and you will have victory in the Lord Jesus Christ that you have never experienced in your entire life.

If you think you're a no good child of God, you'll live like a no good child of God - but when you realise the truth of who you are in Christ, do you know what? It will revolutionise your behaviour...

Now, answer me the question: we all feel bad, do we not, about letting the Lord down? We need to ascertain where that feeling is coming from: am I genuinely being convicted by the Holy Spirit about something that I have done before God that He is displeased with, and is this the discipline of the Lord to bring you to repentance, and to bring me to a healing in the Spirit? If you have confessed and repented, that conviction will stop - so if you're having the bad feeling, and you've done that, it is the devil and you need to believe God and be free of it today...that's your blood right in Jesus Christ. He died so that you might know that.

Let me close with a brilliant illustration - it's not mine, it's Neil Anderson's - but it brings all this together, and I'm just going to read it to you. Apply it to your own heart. He writes that slavery in the United States was abolished by the 13th Amendment on December 18th 1865. 'How many slaves were there on December 19th 1865? Well, in reality, there should have been none. But many still lived like slaves, because they never learned the truth. Others knew and even believed that they were free but chose to live as they always had'.

Now listen, he says: 'Now suppose several plantation owners were devastated by the Emancipation Proclamation.'We're ruined!', they said, 'Slavery has been abolished. We've lost the battle to keep our slaves'. But their chief spokesman slyly responded, 'Not necessarily, as long as these people think they're still slaves, the Emancipation Proclamation will have no practical effect. We don't have a legal right over them anymore, but many of them don't know it. Keep your slaves from learning the truth, and your control over them will not even be challenged'.

Once a cotton farmer asked, 'But what if the news spreads?'

'Don't panic', was the reply. 'We have another barrel in our gun. We may not be able to keep them from hearing the news, but we can still keep them from understanding it. They don't call me the 'father of lies' for nothing. We still have the potential to deceive the whole world. Just tell them that they are going to be free, not that they are free already. The truth they heard is just positional truth, not actual truth. Someday they may receive the benefits, but not now.

'But they'll expect me to say that. They won't believe me', came the response.

'Then pick out a few persuasive ones who are convinced that they're still slaves and let them do the talking for you. Remember, most of these free people were born as slaves and have been slaves their whole lives. All we have to do is deceive them so that they still think they're slaves. As long as they continue to do what slaves do, it will not be hard to convince them that they must still be slaves. They will maintain their slave identity because of the things they do. The moment they try to profess that they are no longer slaves, just whisper in their ears, 'How can you even think you are no longer a slave when you are still doing things that slaves do?'.

Years later, many had still not heard the wonderful news that they had been freed, so naturally they continued to live the way they had always lived. Some heard the good news but told themselves, 'I'm still living like a slave, doing the same things I have always done. My experience tells me that I must not be free. Everything is the same as before the Proclamation, so it must not be true. I must still be a slave'. So they continued as if they had not received freedom!

This is not a sermon, it's not something to tickle your ears, it's something to change your life, child of God!

Then one day, a former slave heard the good news and received it with great joy. He checked out the validity of the Proclamation and discovered that the highest of all authorities had originated the decree. Not only that, but it personally cost the authority a tremendous price so that slaves could be free. The slave's life was transformed. He reasoned that it would be hypocritical to continue living as a slave, even though his feelings told him he still was. Determined to live by what he knew to be true, his experiences began to change dramatically because he realized' - now get this - 'that his old master had no authority over him any more, and he did not need to be obeyed. He was free, and he gladly served the one who set him free'. That's it!

'No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold' - are you bold? - 'I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own'.

Now listen: this is not a sermon, it's not something to tickle your ears, it's something to change your life, child of God! It's changing my life, is it changing your life? Get out from under the cloud, this morning, of condemnation, and get up the mountain and see God face-to-face in Christ - and it's that that will revolutionise your Christian victory!

Let's all pray just for a moment, let's pray - have you got it? Have you got it? That's it! Are you there yet? You are there! It's believing that you're there. Christ got you there, it cost Him every drop of blood to get you there - that's where you are! Just believe it and live in the good of it!

Oh Father, we remember when our Lord Jesus stood at that tomb and said: 'Lazarus, come forth!'. When he came forth, he then said: 'Loose him, and let him go'. Lord, sometimes we're like Lazarus with the grave clothes still on. We've got the new life, but we're not letting go - we won't let ourselves go when the Lord is loosing us. Oh Father, just now we pray for those who still believe they are wrapped up, and they're not. Lord, may they be let go now, and never stop going till the day they die again like Lazarus, and until that day when we're glorified in complete likeness to our Lord Jesus when we see Him as He is. Help us now to appreciate all that He has done for us as we remember Him now around this Table. Amen.

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Transcribed by:
Andrew Watkins
Preach The Word.
February 2009
www.preachtheword.com

This sermon was delivered at The Lifeboat Mission in Moy, Northern Ireland, by David Legge. It was transcribed from the fifth recording in his 'Sins We Have Sanitized' series, entitled "No Condemnation" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.

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