Cap's Corner: Don't live in fear of sin

by Cap McIlnay

One of my favorite books in the Bible is the book of Romans. But, of course, it seems that whatever book I am reading at the time is my new favorite. However, Romans is the theological masterpiece of Paul. The first seven chapters of Romans truly lay out the complete condition of sin that we all are under. Paul acknowledges that the Mosaic Law is perfect in its creation, but that it becomes imperfect when the Law and humankind come together. He included himself in this condition of continuous and complete condemnation. A condition that will truly end in a just judgment of damnation.

This is the condition of all mankind, and there is nothing any of us can do about it. We are born into this condition of sin since the fall of Adam. Sin entered our DNA, and it has been passed down with each new birth, from generation to generation throughout all of time. One man, Adam, brought sin and death. And because of Adam’s fall, all of humankind is a fallen creation. However, just as one man brought sin and death, one man will bring redemption and life.

Now hear this: It was not the life of Jesus that saved us, and it was not the teachings of Jesus that saved us. It is what he did on the cross that saved us. Jesus, the sinless, took all of humankind’s sin upon himself and became the perfect atoning sacrifice for all of our sins.

If the first seven chapters are hard to read because they highlight our helpless condition and condemnation, just wait until you get to chapter eight! Everything changes because it is here that Paul brings the power of the Cross to his letter: “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.” THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS!!! This is the good news! The Gospel of Jesus, the Gospel of the Cross here in one sentence!

What Paul is saying is that sin, death, condemnation (judgment), and damnation are no longer our future. We have a different future; we have a future of joy, mercy, grace, and eternal life. All because of the power of what Jesus did on the Cross!

Not only are all of our sins that we have ever committed in the past forgiven, but all of our sins in our future as well. That’s right! The Law taught us that we humans cannot be perfect, and that is why the Mosaic Law was never going to bring salvation to us. Not because the Law was imperfect, but because we were, and until the Cross, we remained under the law of sin and death. But now – BUT NOW! – we are under a new law: the law of the Spirit of life that is in Jesus Christ. Jesus’ life and his teachings are instructions for us on how to continue to improve ourselves, but that is not where our salvation lies. We do the best we can, for as long as we can, but this does not change our salvation.

As we continue to sin in our future – and if anyone has a future, they will sin – we will always have the power of the Cross that will continue to protect us. This gives us the opportunity to go before God to ask for forgiveness in the name of Jesus while knowing that Jesus is now our advocator. It is like having to go to court, and you are guilty as heck, but you have the judge’s son as your lawyer, and the judge loves his son so much that the judge will pass whatever judgment his son recommends. Is it a “rigged” system? You bet! It is rigged by grace, by mercy, and by love because Jesus paid for all of your sins on the cross.

Some of you have a hard time letting go of their guilt of sin. Please, don’t have a hard time. I know it is overwhelming to think about all that Jesus did for you and continues to do for you. Please, understand that Jesus did what he did to set you free, and he does not want you to live under the weight of the sin that he has already taken care of. You are FREE! There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them fear: The power of the Cross and the blood of Jesus is so much more powerful than the total of all of your sins. BECAUSE OF JESUS, YOU ARE NOT THE SUM OF YOUR MISTAKES, BUT INSTEAD YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD! Start acting like it!