Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Romans 8:34
My mom used to say often that she felt like a “broken record.” She was referring to the old vinyl recordings, of course. If a vinyl disk is scratched or broken, the needle will skip and repeat the last thing it played over and over again. Mom felt like that when she had to remind us over and over about what we needed to do or bring, only to have us forget what she said—or (let’s be honest) ignore it.
Today, as a parent, I can see exactly how my mom felt. I will tell my children something, and five minutes later I’ll have to tell them again. I don’t (usually) get angry that I must repeat myself often, but I do get frustrated and find myself thinking, Don’t you understand yet? Aren’t you listening?
I’m thankful that the Lord is not like me and that He is pure and patient. And yet I wonder if Paul was thinking “Don’t you get it yet?” when he wrote this verse— because it brings Romans 8 full circle with yet another reassurance that no one can condemn us if we are in Christ. When a word is repeated in Scripture, we pay attention. There is a reason why we needed to be reminded yet again that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
Perhaps it’s because it’s safe to say that like children we will forget, even two minutes after we are told. Our hearts will attempt to condemn us every time we sin. But as 1 John 3:20–21 reminds us, “Whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God.”
Paul’s answer to his own question—“Who is to condemn”— is also worth repeating over and over and over again. Why don’t we need to worry about being condemned? Because “Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (8:34).
Jesus died for our sins, satisfying the wrath of God; therefore, no one can condemn us. Jesus defeated death and is at the most powerful position in the universe, at the right hand of God; therefore, no one can condemn us. And the risen Savior is not sitting idly by. He is interceding right now for you and for me. Jesus lives to make intercession on our behalf (Heb. 7:25). The whole gospel, the good news, assures us that no one can condemn us.
At the end of your days, do you want to rely on your heart or on Jesus? Do you want to rely on your personal track record or on God’s grace? It’s a truth we can rest in: no one can condemn us because our Redeemer lives.
Taken from If God is For Us: The Everlasting Truth of Our Great Salvation by Trillia J. Newbell (©2019). Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission.
Episode 133 | Dr. Michael Horton and Adriel Sanchez answer questions on sharing the gospel, spiritual sacrifices, and the image of God.