August 29, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:1-2
Have you ever wondered how significant the word "therefore" is in Scripture? It serves as a significant turning point in the text. The proceeding verses build a case, then the verses that follow "therefore" emphasize (because of what has been said) that we should either rejoice in what follows, or take action in the challenge that is given. Look at these significant examples.
"THEREFORE"...[the pivotal point of significant liberation]..."there is NOW NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus, because, through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:1-2). What a change from all that we were in sin, to all HE has purchased and provided for us. From condemnation to justification, because we are now "in Christ." And what does this justification mean now that we are in Christ? Paul says remember, you were separated from God, you were foreigners to the covenant of promise, you were without hope and without God in the world...BUT NOW, you are in Christ Jesus.
"THEREFORE"...[the pivotal point in relationship]..."you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:19-20). Great is the reconciling grace of God. From "foreigners" we are now "members" of the family of God. We have an entirely new perspective on life. We have been "born again" by the might of God's power. The old things that attracted us because of our sinful nature can now be overcome by the new spiritual nature He has given us.
"THEREFORE"...[the pivotal point of change]..."if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). All of this is of God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ Jesus, and gave us this "ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18). As believers, God has "given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2 Peter 1:4). Our whole life has been transformed, having been made a new creation in Christ.
"THEREFORE"...[the pivotal point of admonition]..."brethren, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15). Paul challenges every believer to be a steadfast, faithful, servant of God. Servanthood carries with it the "stigma" of Christ. Paul encourages believers to manifest love to each other...don't forget the stranger, remember those less fortunate, keep your lives free from the love of money and adultery, and be content with what you have. Paul encourages these believers to imitate the faith of their leaders who spoke and lived faithfully for the ONE who redeemed them, and who now proclaim His salvation.
"THEREFORE"...[the pivotal point of challenge]..."Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1).
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=242&date=2012-08-29
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