(Article for publication week of 10-17-2012 AD )
“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34).
This is a gloriously strong assertion of the justification of God’s elect. The believer in Christ is not only uncondemned, he is uncondemnable! What an encouragement to the believer in Christ! What a comfort to those under a load of guilt! The child of God cannot be condemned by anyone in the universe, because he is justified by God (verse 33).
Paul issues a bold challenge to every devil in hell. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died. Paul issues this challenge with the confidence that none can be condemned for whom Christ died. By His substitutionary death, Christ fully atoned for all the sins of God’s elect. Not one for whom Christ can ever be condemned, because Divine Justice was satisfied by the dying Saviour. Our sins were charged to Christ as our vicarious substitute, and we are fully absolved from the awful penalty they so richly deserved.
I pray that you would be enabled to believe this glorious truth of the efficacy of the death of Christ. Our text this week, and the larger passage in Romans 8:28-39, boldly asserts that the Lord Jesus Christ died efficaciously- that is His death accomplished all that God intended for it to accomplish. I want you to see that the scriptures teach that Christ did not die in vain, but that He was a glorious success in dying for His people. Not one lamb in Christ’s flock can ever be lost, because Christ died for His sheep and saved them to the uttermost.
“It is Christ that DIED”! We ourselves were under the sentence of death for our sins. But Christ agreed with His Father in an everlasting Covenant of Grace to become a Man and die a torturous death to redeem all the Father gave Him in eternity. The death of the Lord Jesus Christ eternally satisfied the perfectly strict justice of God, and God the Supreme Judge of the universe is satisfied. God is determined to punish sinners, but His glorious wisdom and mercy designed that elect sinners should have Christ as a Substitute. So God punished the Substitute and declared elect sinners “not guilty”!
Now God being strictly just, will not punish sin twice. He is not such an unjust Judge as would hold men in double jeopardy. (By the way, our judicial system being rooted in the Bible upholds this principle of not trying a person twice for a crime of which he is already found innocent.) He will punish the sinner, or the sinner’s Substitute, but He will not punish both. The sentence has been fully executed upon Christ, and so not one charge can be laid to the elect, and no one anywhere can condemn them. The believer in Christ is uncondemnable.
Christ died for all the sins of all His people fully justifying us before God. Christ died for all our sins past, present and future. The believer in Christ will never be punished for his sins because Christ was punished for us. (God’s Fatherly chastisement is another matter to be considered another time, but presently we are considering our judicial and eternal standing with God.)
Dear reader, if you are trusting in Christ Alone for salvation you are uncondemned- yea uncondemnable. God does not condemn you, for all your sins are forever taken away. And if the Judge of all the earth does not condemn you, who can? May the Lord bless His dear people to understand this glorious gospel.