“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).


The look on the faces of those sub-postmasters who have been exonerated – it’s quite a picture!

Imagine what it must be like for them to have been waiting so incredibly long for justice. For truth to win. For reason to triumph. Not that the verdict recovers all those wasted years. And, for some, it has been too late. But still – that moment when the judgement is passed down, the “not guilty” verdict is given – it must be a moment of true relief, deep-felt thankfulness and unspeakable joy.

The Bible verse says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. What is the Bible talking about? Who is condemned? Why can they be exonerated? How does it happen?

Who is condemned?

Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. That is God’s verdict. It includes the non-religious and the religious. No one is excluded. And if we are honest, it goes a long way to explaining why we see so much malevolence in our world. Sin that pervades systems, institutions and individuals. Sin is the root of the problem in humanity, a product of our own making, and whilst it shows up in blatantly awful ways such as we have seen in the post office scandal, it also shows up in each of us. It’s true that justice takes into account a good name, but none of us are perfect. We all have indeed sinned. And because of that, we are all guilty. We are condemned.

Why can they be exonerated?

We can be exonerated because God has provided a way.

According to the Bible, it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgement. In this moment, the justice we all clamour for will be fully and finally achieved. God is just. God is truth. The God revealed in the Bible will hold all to account. But God is also love, and so He has provided His way.

The way involves no community service. No amount of good works would satisfy the cause of justice. Neither does the way involve religion. Justice demands far more. Justice demands that someone be found guilty. Enter Jesus Christ. Ever wonder why the man Christ Jesus came and died on a cross? “Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). He willingly offered Himself to take sin’s punishment, died, was buried, and rose victorious the third day so that God can rightly offer to justify you and me.

How does it happen?

Marvellously, all that is required to enjoy the “not guilty” verdict offered by God, is faith. Indeed, it is so simple and so humbling that many reject it. Many insist that they must do something to gain favour with God. Others insist no amount of kindness on God’s part would make them right. Yet for any and all who turn from such thinking and sincerely and humbly put faith in God’s Son who died for them and took their punishment, receiving Him to be Lord of their lives, there is now no condemnation.

What a joy it has been to see those who were wrongfully accused have their guilt cleared, their name restored. And what a joy it is for those who trust Christ to have their guilt cleared, to stand right before God, to never have to face judgement – because their sins are forgiven. What grace! What good news! News that everyone should be talking about!