One of the greatest struggles for so many Christians is the battle with sin and guilt after they commit their lives to Jesus. When a person accepts Jesus as their Savior and Lord, they become a child of God, their sins are forgiven, they have the hope of eternal life and the Holy Spirit indwells them.
But because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, all humans have inherited a fleshly sinful nature characterized by guilt and corruption. Paul addresses this ongoing struggle with sin that all humans have in Romans 7:18-19, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep doing.”
Immediately following these bleak and hopeless verses at the end of chapter seven, Paul gives us clear hope that we can have victory over the struggle of sin and guilt in our lives. That hope is found in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Teaching Overview)
In this first verse of Romans 8, Paul addresses how to defeat sin and guilt. Guilt is the fuel of sin. It keeps us from acknowledging and confessing sin for fear of condemnation. This is why so many people get stuck in sinful patterns that weigh them down with guilt. Guilt is one of Satan’s main strategies. He heaps it on us, he weighs us down with it, he tells us we are not good enough and that we have to perform better to be accepted by God.
The glorious truth of Romans 8:1 is that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We don’t have to be weighed down by the guilt of sin, or stuck in the pit of Satan’s lies because Jesus has already taken care of our sin and guilt problem. Through His sacrifice on the cross, He became our substitute and paid the penalty for our sin that we could never pay. As a result of this great gift of grace through Jesus, all of our sins (past, present and future) have been dealt with and we have been justified (declared righteous) before a holy God.
Our relationship with God is not based on how we perform, but it is based completely on the performance of Jesus for us. This is such a freeing truth and amazing hope for all who have given their lives to Jesus.
So, the next time you are overwhelmed by the burden of guilt from sin, barraged by the lies of Satan, feel like God could never love you because of what you have done, or feel like you have to perform better to be accepted by God, remind yourself of the truth of Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”