For spring break we took a trip to Louisville, KY to work with the Jefferson Street Baptist Center. I was with a team of 17 college students who were pumped to serve those who are without homes. We had an amazing experience through being blessed by the churches we stayed at (Vine Street and Baxter Avenue), the Louisville Slugger Museum, and a church called Sojourn Community Church. But what was most amazing was how our team bonded after attending Sojourn. The church made the students, and I, want to get into and study Romans 8 through the series going on as well as the devotion (pdf) they provided.
As I was studying Romans 8:9 this morning God revealed to me something:
God is not mad at me or you or anyone else that has His Spirit living in them.
Now I know that seems like a DUH statement because Romans 8:1 says:
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
But think about it. Do you ever feel like God’s presence has left you? Like you messed up and now you can’t “feel” God? I know I do. Paul tells us that anyone who belongs to God (which is anyone who has given their life to Christ and has had a life-change) is no longer condemned and will never be condemned by God. That means God is not mad at you. He will never be mad at you. Nothing can ever change that. Here is how the NLT study Bible puts it:
Therefore, never let anyone or anything make you think that God is mad at you. You will experience His loving discipline but never His condemnation.
In 8:34 Paul mentions it again. He asks who can condemn one of God’s Children – “No one!” Where is this coming from? You see so many people want to “feel” God. I’ve had those times in my life when I was like “is God even with me anymore?” Hebrews tells us that He will never leave us!
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5
God is with you, there is nothing to get rid of Him now that you are His. Move past the fact that you don’t “feel” Him and know that you are free from condemnation and the guilt that sin brings! Please know that you have the same Spirit of God in you, who raised Jesus from the dead! (Romans 8:11)
The cross of Christ was where God poured out his judgement upon human sins. Believers’ sins were imputed to Jesus and God condemned them. That is why there is now no condemnation left for anyone who is in Christ, because the condemnation has already taken place on the cross. – R.C. Sproul