Be In Christ Jesus

January 23, 2011

Many believers still live in condemnation. They have not rid themselves of the guilt of their past sins. It is as if the sword of Damocles is hanging over their heads and will snap anytime. They cannot look to the future with hope—they are like captives that are waiting for their time, condemned to die. However, the apostle Paul said, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1). These believers seem to have missed the point that for them to be set free from condemnation, they have to be in Christ Jesus. Those who live under condemnation are nominal believers who do not have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

To better illustrate how we can be in Christ Jesus, it is best that we consider the designation of Cities of Refuge, as the Lord commanded Moses. The Lord explained that the City of Refuge would serve as a sanctuary to those who killed a person accidentally and unintentionally. For as long as the person was in the City of Refuge, and until the death of the high priest serving at that time, no one could touch him—he was safe and secure from the avenger of blood (Joshua 20). In like manner, believers are safe and secure when they are in Christ Jesus, for he is their refuge. The accuser of the brethren, the devil, who accuses them day and night, will not have power over them. It should be noted that our security in Christ is based on the fact that he, being the High Priest, will never die again. He died once to redeem us from our sins, but rose again and is now seated at the right hand of God to make intercession for us.

Everyone who has been justified and set free from condemnation does not need to walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit. He has been sanctified, or set apart, to walk the walk of faith. He cannot remain captive of the sins that he had committed. To remain in bondage means that he is still walking after the flesh and is under a curse, for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law. Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (Gal. 3:10-11). This is the helpless condition of those who walk in the flesh—they have no future. They languish in their sin and suffer every conceivable consequence. However, we who walk in the Spirit can look forward to a better future, for “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree’” (Gal. 3:13).

To walk after the flesh is to walk in a worldly manner. The apostle Paul pointed one of the signs of worldliness when he said, “Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it…You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly?” (1 Cor. 3:1-3). Indeed, the consequence of jealousy and quarrelling could be devastating and the resulting guilt could linger for years to come. By walking in the flesh, the sons of Jacob plotted to kill their brother, Joseph, because they were jealous. At the last minute, they decided to sell Joseph instead. Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, eventually became the governor, while his brothers were being threatened with famine in the land of Canaan. The guilt of selling their brother continued to haunt them even after many years. When they were in distress, they said, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come upon us” (Gen. 42:21). Even after having been reconciled with Joseph and had lived with him many years, they still had fear in their hearts. After their father died, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” (Gen. 50:15).

Friends, unless we are born again and walk in the Spirit, sin will continue to be a tormentor. The devil will come to accuse us, but as long as we are in Christ, all that the devil can do is to accuse us. The devil cannot condemn us, for he himself is already condemned. Let us confess our sins and receive forgiveness. There is no more condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. Amen!