There is No Condemnation
1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (KJV).
The books of Romans is considered to be the finest exposition of Christian doctrine that has ever been written. It is the crown of the height of New Testament doctrine. The 8th chapter describing the victorious Christian life is the jewel in the crown. Paul begins this description referring repeatedly to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is mentioned specifically nineteen times from here to the end of the book. The Holy Spirit’s presence and power answers Paul’s description of “The law of sin” which seemingly overcomes us as expressed in chapter 7 but is overpowered in chapter 8 by the power of the Spirit. There is therefore now no condemnation is a summary affirmation that we have been saved by Grace and the Lord Jesus took the penalty for our sinful condition at the cross. Because we have been rescued by Christ (Romans 7:24–25), and are therefore in Christ Jesus, we are not condemned. To be in Christ Jesus means to have put our faith in Him, becoming a member of his body of believers. Jesus said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life (John 5:24). There can be no condemnation for our sins past present and future that are forgiven.
God is completely holy, and He punishes sin (Romans 1:18). Furthermore, mankind is sinful and has broken God’s Laws (Romans 1:19-3:18). There is nothing that mankind can do to earn God’s favor (Romans 3:19-20). The way of salvation is a free gift from God through the atonement of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). It is offered to all who would believe on Christ (Romans 1:16-17; 3:22-30; 4:2-8:24). The only people who experience salvation are those who have actually accepted Jesus’ atonement by belief in the Gospel of Jesus.
10be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (KJV).
We must remember that:
The more literally we take the Bible, the more fundamental our theology becomes. The less literally we take the Bible, the more liberal our theology becomes.
Who is in The Church?
The Church is the Body of the Christ and this is what Christ called His Church – His Body, the real believers. It is the invisible Church, you can’t see it obviously. You don’t know who’s a believer and who is really not a believer. That’s the invisible Church. Colossians 1:18 calls it the “Body of Christ”, the “Body of the Messiah.” Jesus referred to the genuine “Invisible” church as His Sheep.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand (KJV).
Composed of Jews and Gentile believers
In 1 Corinthians Chapter 12 and 14, Christ is called the “Head of the Body” in a discussion of spiritual gifts. The term “Body” which is analogous to this whole Church we see in Colossians 1:18 which referrers to the “Body of Believers.” It is composed of both Jew and Gentile believers.
The Bible does not speak of missionary activities, foreign and domestic. The Bible only speaks of Missionary activity to the Jew first and then the Gentile. It doesn’t say you are to go to foreign missions or domestic missions. That’s not how God divides the world up. It’s Jews and Gentiles and that’s the Mission activity.
You enter the Church by Spirit Baptism
Began at The First Pentecost
Is composed of all true believers from Acts 2 (Pentecost) until the rapture.
That’s the Church. It’s the Ecclesia, the Called Out Ones.
It does not include OT Saints
A “saint” in the Bible is a believer. That’s pure and simple. You are a “Saint” if you are a believer. There are Old Testament Saints. The Church does not include the Old Testament Saints
It excludes Tribulation Saints
There will be Tribulation Saints – those who come to be a believer during the Great Tribulation. The Church does not include the Tribulation Saints.
Only those: In Christ; in Jesus; in Jesus Christ, in Christ Jesus; in Him; in Whom; and in the Lord are members of the real invisible Church. These are people who really believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead and they are part of the Church. The apostle Paul used these preceding terms to identify those who were baptized by the Spirit, into the body of the Messiah.
One Enters the Body by Belief.
One gets into the Body by Spirit Baptism after belief. The Church is comprised of Jews and Gentiles and continues on until the last Gentile is saved before the Rapture and Resurrection and then the Church period ends.
1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, [That’s how we get into the body.] whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit (KJV).
It doesn’t matter who you are. Paul is trying to encompass both sides of the ecclesiastical equation and he is encompassing both sides of the general civilization of that time – you were either a slave or you were free. Everybody gets into the Church the same way. At the point of belief, there is a Spirit Baptism and it happens one time. It doesn’t continue to happen over and over again. There is one Spirit Baptism.
Now there is a filling of the Spirit. We see that in Ephesians 5, that is different than Spirit Baptism. Spirit Baptism is a onetime event. The Spirit enters us and takes up residence and never leaves, the Spirit is never without us.
Who is the Church and what is it composed of?
And he [meaning Jesus] is the head of the body, the church: [So the church is the body.] who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence (KJV).
Chronologically, Christ was not the first person in the scriptures that came back from the dead. This verse is referring to the resurrection. Christ was the first one to be resurrected.
Christ is the head of the body. We know from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in Chapter 12 and 14 that he goes on to talk about the nature of the body, the use of the body in the different segments, and how the body all works together. Christ is the head of the body.
What is the composition of the body?
11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called the “uncircumcision” by the so-called “circumcision” in the flesh by human hands, 12 were at that time apart from Christ, alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who were formerly far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He is our peace, who has made both groups one and has broken down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of the commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile both to God into one body through the cross, thereby slaying the enmity (MEV).
What he is saying here is that the Jews called the Gentiles uncircumcised and they wouldn’t let them in. They didn’t want the Gentiles to be part of this commonwealth of Israel. The Gentiles didn’t have the Abrahamic Covenant that they were aware of. However, one aspect of Abrahamic Covenant does say that all nations are going to be blessed through Abraham – all nations. That’s going to come through Jesus. They didn’t have the Mosaic Covenant although they could have made themselves Jews, that didn’t happen very often. For they have come in now to this new entity, the body, by the blood of Christ.
In other words, Jews and Gentiles are not different anymore in terms of this new entity, the Church.
The composition of the Church, the Body of the Messiah, is a combination of Jews and Gentiles united together by faith in Jesus. As this passage shows here is no such thing as a Gentile Church and there is no such thing as a Jewish Church, although some would like for them to be separate. It is not separate. There is one Church and it’s made up of real believers that are now the body of Christ (Ephesians 3:6).
One Purpose of The Church Age
A major purpose of the Church Age is a calling out the Gentiles by the Gospel.
Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name (KJV).
In other words, we are fellow partakers and according to Romans 11:25-27, this calling out of the Gentiles will continue until some [finite] number of Gentiles is saved. There is going to be a group called the Church until that last Gentile gets saved before the Rapture and Resurrection. We don’t know who that is; we don’t know when it is, or where it will happen. It’s really not for us to know. Christ has kept this from us.
Jesus is the person who is God and willingly died on that Roman cross many years ago to enable us to receive our salvation.
What Our Salvation Guarantees
- We are His Child
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (KJV).
- We are Not Condemned
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (KJV).
1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (KJV).
- We are New Creatures
II Corinthians 5:7
7Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things are past away; behold, all things are become new (KJV).
- We are Accepted and Forgiven by God
6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved: 7in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace (KJV).
- We possess Eternal Life
28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand (KJV).
- We are Reconciled to God
10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (KJV).
- We are at Peace With God
1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (KJV):
- We Have Passed from Death to Life
I John 3:14
14We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death (KJV).
- The Holy Spirit Dwells in Us
II Timothy 1:14
14That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us (KJV).
- We are Forgiven of All Our Sins
Canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands (ESV).
- We are Adopted into The Family of God
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons (KJV).
- Our Names Are Written into The Book of Life
3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life (KJV).
- We Receive The Righteousness of Christ
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference (KJV).
- We are Friends of God and No Longer His Enemies
I Corinthians 12:13
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you (KJV).
- We have an Inheritance in Heaven Waiting for Us
I Peter 1:4
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you (KJV).
- We are Sealed by the Holy Spirit Until the Day of Redemption
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ: 13 in whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory (KJV).
- We are Not Saved to Wrath
I Thessalonians 5:9-11
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do (KJV).
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
So, Matthew is saying that there is a way to flee from the wrath to come. How do you flee from the wrath to come? It’s going to come over the entire world. The only way to flee is to be in Christ and to be with Him off the earth. That’s the only way you are going to get out of it. The Lord Jesus also was quoted by Luke saying the same thing.
34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man (KJV).
The Tribulation is coming on the entire world. The only way to escape it is to be off the world and stand before the Son of Man, Jesus. In other words, to be Raptured before the Tribulation. The tribulation will be conducted by Jesus who guaranteed our salvation.
Christ Qualifies To Conduct The Tribulation
5and one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not; behold, the Lion that is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath overcome to open the book and the seven seals thereof (KJV).
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. (Genesis 49:8-12) He came through the tribe of Judah. We also know that he overcame and is now qualified to carry out the commanding role in initiating the Great Tribulation. How it is that He has overcome? The most important reason is because He took the sins of the world upon Himself at the cross.
One reason for the Tribulation is to make and end of Sinners
There are two key passages that express this purpose.
Behold, the day of Jehovah cometh, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger; to make the land a desolation, and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it (ASV, 1901).
The Hebrew word translated sinners is hatta; Strong’s # 2400. It is a masculine noun meaning sinful. This means living in a sinful state without trusting God. It is used to describe those who, by their actions are under God’s wrath and judgment. Their influence is to be avoided (Psalm 1:1; 26:9; Proverbs 1:10)
This passage uses the term the Day of Jehovah as a reference to the Great Tribulation and gives its goal in the phrase to destroy the sinners thereof out of it. The purpose is to destroy the wicked ones out of the land. This is further described in Isaiah.
The earth is utterly broken, the earth is rent asunder, the earth is shaken violently. The earth shall stagger like a drunken man, and shall sway to and fro like a hammock; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it, and it shall fall, and not rise again (ASV, 1901).
The closing words of this verse state that the basic reason for the judgments of the Tribulation is that the transgression, which is worldwide, shall fall and not rise again. So therefore, its purpose is to make an end of sin and sinful ones.
Daniel E Woodhead Ph.D.