THEREFORE

Romans 8:1-4

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. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
When I was in 6th grade, I had a bad habit of not doing my homework. What was strange was that it was only for one class that I wouldn’t actually do my homework – English. I’m not sure what caused it, or why it was only for my English class. Maybe I wanted to play outside instead, maybe I didn’t like the class, or maybe I was just lazy. The consequences of not doing my homework were quite substantial: not only did it affect my grade, but I got lunch detention whenever I wouldn’t do my homework. The policy of the school also stated that 5 detentions led to a Saturday school. I went to Saturday school three times. Meaning that I didn’t do my homework – and got detention – fifteen different times. I didn’t learn my lesson after the first fourteen times, and the fifteenth time was near the end of the school year, so I never got a chance to learn from that mistake.

Consequences aren’t always so simple. In my situation, it was very clear. If I didn’t do my homework, I would get detention. If I got five detentions, I would get Saturday school. I knew the consequences of not doing my homework, but it didn’t change my actions. In our faith lives, the consequences are laid out very clearly for us. Romans 6:23 makes it very clear: “For the wages of sin is death.” We know the consequences, but just like me skipping my homework, we can easily ignore the consequences and continue in the sinfulness that plagues us all. But the verse continues, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our LORD.” There are good consequences too. Not all actions create negative outcomes. That’s where THEREFORE comes in.

THEREFORE is defined as “for that reason” or “consequently.”
There is Consequently (THEREFORE) now no condemnation for THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS.

Coming off of Easter, many of us recognize the severity of Jesus’ actions. The result of His actions on the cross is that salvation is available for us all. And the THEREFORE in Romans 8:1 is that if we are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation for us. Those who are in Christ Jesus are set free from the shackles of Sin and Death.

Reflect

  1. Are you living in the consequences of sin, or the consequences of a life in Christ Jesus?
  2. In what ways do the consequences of a life lived in Christ Jesus affect your actions locally during this global event?

Pray

Heavenly Father, thank you for the THEREFORE that you’ve laid before us through Christ Jesus. We know that we try and fail, but that you are eternally merciful and extend grace to us even at our lowest. We ask you to guide us with your hand and help us to live a life hinged on THEREFORE, a life guided by being found in Christ Jesus. Thank you for giving us these many opportunities. Amen.

Philip Wines, April 13, 2020
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