Freedom from Sin's Condemnation

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
It is not merely that God will not condemn us, though surely that is true, but there is no such thing as condemnation for us. When the red heifer was slain for a sin-offering her blood was sprinkled seven times before the tabernacle—the place where Jehovah dwelt—while the whole of her carcass was consumed to ashes outside the camp. Now in the blood we see the answer for what we have done—our sins; and in the burning of the victim we see the entire end, in judgment, of that with which the victim was identified—the “body of sin.” There was nothing more for the fire to do, that is, when it had consumed the victim to ashes. It had then done its all. You cannot burn ashes. They testify that the fire has found its end.
Now, the blessed Lamb of God not only identified Himself with the guilty things we had done, not only did He “bear our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:2424Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)), but He was “made sin” [a sin-offering] for us, and that which happened to Him under the consuming judgment of God happened for us in God's account. In His blessed person God “condemned” substitutionally that which never existed in Him personally “sin in the flesh.”
Could that fierce judgment ever have to say to Him again? NEVER. He endured it fully; He exhausted it perfectly; and then rose above it triumphantly. Is there any condemnation to Him? Impossible. “He died unto sin once”; raised from the dead He dieth no more. There is, therefore, now no condemnation to those that are in Him. If in Him, in whom we now live before God, judgment has already been executed, there could not possibly exist any condemnation for us. Nay, what is there left to condemn? The sprinkled blood (referring to the type) testifies that sins have been atoned for; the ashes, that the judgment which once rested upon the sinner has already been put into execution. What, then, is there left to condemn? If all that a holy God could condemn has been condemned; if the believer is now alive in Him who exhausted the condemnation, there is, there can be, no condemnation to him. He is forever “beyond his doom” by the death and resurrection of Another.
Take another beautiful Old Testament figure. Before Noah left the ark, as you are aware, the dove was sent forth. The patriarch was like thousands of believers in the present day sheltered, but shut up. He well knew that the ark had stood between him and the storm, and that it had not allowed a single drop to reach him. He knew he was secure enough, but still he was not in full liberty, He was safe, but shut up.
At last the dove returned a second time with the olive leaf in her mouth. This made it manifest that the outpouring judgment from the windows of heaven had ceased. The waters were assuaged. The judgment was over. That which was once buried beneath the waters of death was now appearing in living energy above them.
But God gave Noah yet another token. He put His bow in the cloud. This was to be a constantly recurring witness for coming centuries, that He would never again destroy the world by a flood.
Thus, if the dove witnessed that the judgment was past, the rainbow witnessed that there was no more to come.
Once more. When Noah came out of the ark he built an altar, and offered burnt-offerings upon it, and we read “the Lord smelled a sweet savor” (Gen. 8:2121And the Lord smelled a sweet savor; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. (Genesis 8:21)). Now, the burnt-offering was in connection with the ACCEPTANCE of the offerer. The offerer laid his hands upon the head of the offering, and was accepted according to all the sweet savor of that offering before God. This we learn from Leviticus 1:44And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. (Leviticus 1:4): “It shall be accepted for him.” Henceforward it was no question of what the offerer was, but of the offering. Therefore we read, “If any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord... it shall be accepted for him.” Compare the “any” of verse 2 with the “it” of verse 4.
To apply these figures: the Holy Ghost has come from heaven to bear witness to us who believe, that not only is our judgment past, but that there is no more to come. Thank God this witness is as true as it is blessed; for if, for us, Christ's death exhausted the judgment due to sin, our judgment must necessarily be past; and if we are now alive unto God in Him who rose above it, there is certainly no more judgment to come.
More than this, we stand in a place of unclouded favor before God. “As He is so are we in this world” (1 John 4:1717Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17)).
How blessedly, how triumphantly has God cleared the whole ground for us. Oh, to be more in the enjoyment of these redemption triumphs! This is freedom indeed.