there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [romans 8:1]
pneuma, appears in the eighth chapter of romans 21 times, and all but 2 of those mentions reference the Holy Spirit. (exceptions exist in verses 15a and 16b). not to mention, there are 39 verses in romans 8, which means pneuma is repeated in approximately every other verse. why mention this? for one, repetition is important, emphatic, and intentional. second, paul, the author of romans, wants to convey to the roman church that ONLY those who have received the HOLY SPIRIT are free from condemnation! of what significance would the day of judgement be if God excepted everyone, even those who have rejected Him?
“therefore” indicates that a conclusion is being made. therefore, paul is saying that we get to participate in life only because God forgives us when we welcome him in! how blessed are we to serve a God who does not hold our trespasses against us when we surrender our life to him!
as awesome as it is to look at this verse through an exegetical (interpretation of text) lens, the reality is, this verse is often taken out of context. it is used as a means to justify sinful behavior because we know that our God is a God who is abundant in loving forgiveness, mercy, and grace. simply because we go through the motions of the “Christian” life we think that we are in Christ Jesus. are the motions enough? by no means are the motions enough! all the motions are, are a works-based justification for the lack of our relationship with God! it is not about not sinning, it is about growing in relationship with God, not for what he does for us, but for who He is and what he has done for us in Christ – that’s it!
~ angela younger