“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2
I have always wanted to be able to sing. Over all other gifts, I wish I had a beautiful voice. No such luck. In fact I think I may be tone deaf.
Whenever I see someone sing up on stage I want what they have. It seems as if I am always desiring what others have: “He’s hilarious. She’s beautiful. I wish I had the confidence of that person. If only my body looked like hers.”
I know that I am not alone in this dilemma of comparison. We compare our bodies, personalities and gifts and condemn ourselves of falling woefully short to the person next to us. Romans 8 speaks to this life of self-condemnation that we experience.
In the beginning, Adam and Eve roamed the earth naked and unashamed. God created them to live with confidence in his love for them. But when they chose to eat of the fruit, shame and self-consciousness entered the world. Adam and Eve realized they were naked and they hid from God. God was deeply saddened by their sin and so began God’s great rescue plan to free his people from their sin and shame. God would nail his only Son to a cross so that Jesus would experience the shame and condemnation that we deserve.
Verse 1 plainly states there is now no condemnation from God, from ourselves or from others if you are hidden in Christ. A new declaration has been made of you in Christ. And it is the only declaration of you that matters and is TRUE. You are forgiven. You are righteous. You are beautiful. You are loved. You are accepted. You are delighted in.
Something amazing happens as you speak this gospel truth to your heart every day. God’s words will reorient how you view yourself and others. As verse 2 puts it, you will be set free from the dilemma of comparison and self-condemnation. You will more and more be able to delight in and appreciate the gifts God has given you.
And with your identity firmly rooted in Christ, you will be able to delight in and appreciate the gifts God has given others.