July 9

Romans 8:1-6

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” vss. 1-2

Paul’s argument as he lays out the gospel to the Romans can seem convoluted and cumbersome–it certainly isn’t as simple as we might like it. But he’s very clear about the essence of the good news message he wants the people to take into their hearts. Those who are in Christ Jesus have been freed from condemnation, not because of their own actions, but because of what God has done. We can worry about as many things as our little hearts desire, but we don’t have to worry about our judgment or death. We are free to live as the Spirit of Christ directs us and experience the fullness of joy in daily living. One nagging question remains: how do we know that we are in Christ Jesus? Here there are a variety of responses. Some would say the answer is plain–we become a part of Christ through baptism, and that’s why baptism is such a big deal. Others find that answer insufficient–it seems to limit God and leaves a lot of folks out. They believe that all who exist are in Christ–we were born into Christ and remain in Christ through our entire lives. It is Jesus who makes the Christ known to us–in our baptism into him we receive blessed assurance of the life that God intends for all people.

Thought for the Day: What does it mean to me to be in Christ Jesus?

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