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No Condemnation

I have to admit, I have not been able to stop thinking about last week’s post. The logical implications just keep going for the idea that God knew about the cross from day one of creation. I’d love to take a minute and explore one of those lines of thought. Namely, how this effects condemnation.

Here’s what I mean.

I grew up in the church, and I always knew that once I was saved I was free of condemnation. Yet I always felt there was secret condemnation, unspoken but there just the same. As if the condemnation of ruining everything through my sin and making Jesus die to fix it was my real face and Jesus was just a mask.

So when I read Romans 8, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1 NKJV) I translated that to mean “There’s no condemnation from God as long as you’re wearing your Jesus-mask, and don’t walk bare-faced with all your mess showing.” Even though that is not at all what Paul is saying in Romans 8.

I couldn’t get past the original sin and the fall of creation. It rested on my conscience like a curse, condemning everything that was me underneath everything that was Jesus. I saw Jesus as the bigger person who was doomed to forgive me every day, and He’s God so He’s strong enough to carry that burden.

However, when I look at the situation in light of last week’s main point, there is no secret condemnation. If Jesus knew from that first breath of creation what He was getting into then He knew my face for what it was. Jesus knew I’d try to craft a mask, and He committed to freeing me from that mask right then.

There is no condemnation in Christ because He is not the one condemning me. In fact He is the one who made it possible to be free from the condemnation of the Law in the Old Testament, and the condemnation of sin after the fall. Which is what Paul was saying in Romans 8.

In other words, there is no Jesus-mask, there is only the mask I made out of shame, whatever I call the mask. There is Jesus who already knows what’s beneath the mask and He is not condemning my face. He’s condemning the mask and breaking it off with His redemption and salvation so that I can walk bare-faced apart from shame.

If Jesus accepted me, future mess and all, even before He created me then there really is no condemnation in Christ. No open condemnation or secret condemnation. There is only His enduring love that went through creation, the various stages of revealing Himself, came to earth to die and rise again the third day, kept my family line alive, until at last I was born. At which point Jesus offered His Word, His salvation, and said, “Here, I love you. I’ve loved you all along.”

-Etta Woods

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