There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. —Romans 8:1 NIV
The algebra of Heaven reads something like this: Heaven is a perfect place for perfect people, which leaves us in a perfect mess. According to Heaven’s debt clock, we owe more than we could ever repay.
Our debt is enough to sink us, but God loves us too much to leave us. So He found a way to save us: “God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin” (Romans 3:25 The Message).
God never compromised His standard of perfection. Yet He also gratified the longing of love. He was too just to overlook our sin, yet too loving to dismiss us, so He placed our sin on His Son and punished it there. “God put the wrong on Him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 The Message).
What does this mean for us and our debt?
Each time you sin, Jesus stands before the tribunal of Heaven and points to the blood-streaked cross. “I’ve already made provision. I’ve paid that debt. I’ve taken away the sins of the world.”
Guilt simmers like a toxin in far too many souls, but you don’t need to let it have a place in yours. Internalize this promise: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NIV).
Not “limited condemnation,” “appropriate condemnation,” or “calculated condemnation.” That is what people give people. God gives His children no condemnation.
Promises from God
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed. — Romans 3:23–25
For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. — Romans 6:6–7 NIV
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. —2 Corinthians 5:21
[Jesus] personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed. —1 Peter 2:24 NLT
Praying God’s Promises
Father, You are perfect in Your ways, in Your love, and in Your mercy. You do not fail or fall short or sin. You are holy beyond my understanding. You sent your Son, Jesus, into this world so that I would be made holy by Him and, therefore, worthy of your presence. It is only by His wounds that I am healed. You promised that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, but in my heart, it’s not always easy for me believe it. I may try to make myself right by doing good deeds. But I never seem to be able to do enough. God, teach me how to live free from condemnation. Teach me how to trust and believe in this promise: in Christ, I am no longer a slave to sin. Free me from guilt and shame. Thank You for taking care of my debt. You’ve ridden me of the chains of sin that had taken me captive. I now live free of condemnation, fear, and guilt. Amen.
I WILL …
I will find forgiveness in the finished work of Christ. I will stand on the promise that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I will not let guilt weigh me down. My debt has been paid in full. I will live and walk in freedom.
Excerpted with permission from Praying the Promises by Max Lucado, copyright Max Lucado
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Forgiveness is a funny thing. It seems abnormal to us to just wipe debt away. We’re accustom to a life system where when debt is owed, you either pay off what you’ve incurred, or you’re hunted down to do so. In the Kingdom, God says, “you’re covered”. Just like that. It’s a wide and deep concept that might keep you up at night, but He’s just that good. And, that’s our reality – that He saw enough value in us to bankrupt Heaven. How do you show forgiveness to others the way Christ has forgiven you? Come share your thoughts on our blog!