Only the knowledge of unconditional love can motivate lasting, inward change. I’ve seen this reality in a new light in the last six months of marriage. I never realized I could feel so safe, so loved, so secure in a relationship. Yet, far from that sense of security making me careless about my actions, knowing my husband’s love makes my sin and any wrong against him so saddening to me. Because I feel safe, because I love him, I want to change.
It hit me that this experience is only a picture of what it looks like to live in the freedom of the gospel. The gospel grants us the amazing privilege of adoption into God’s family. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ Our status of “No Condemnation!” (Rom. 8:1) can never change, because it was bought by Christ’s blood.
Some say since we are saved by grace alone, no works, it doesn’t matter how we live. It’s equally easy to fall into the ditch of living like we’re saved by grace but have to work to gain God’s favor. After all, it seems like something — be it the Spirit’s indwelling or God’s pleasure or eternal rewards — has to motivate us to obey.
But that’s not how healthy relationships (with others or God) work. This position of no condemnation has staggering affects on our lives. It frees us from slave talk: Have I done enough to please God today? Is He pleased with me yet? How can I gain more eternal reward? Or even, who cares how I live because God’s already saved me! And instead causes us to think like sons: What can I do to show my love for God? How can my life show the overflowing praise in my heart for what he has done? How can I become more like the One I love?
Holiness is produced by grace, there’s simply no other way. “For sin will not have dominion over you, since you are not under the law but under grace.” Adoption into Christ’s family brings us into a greenhouse where growth and flourishing can occur, where sin is weighty and serious and obedience is but the overflow of our love for the Father. Yet how often do we continue to live like we’re outcasts in God’s family? If Christ is ours, we have all the unsearchable riches of being his son or daughter!
Let “No Condemnation” be your constant refuge today!