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From the Clergy: Vice Dean Murray

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. This is the transforming message of the gospel. And rather than being a recipe for lawlessness, it is instead a formula for greater submission and obedience to God’s moral law.

To illustrate, Donald Grey Barnhouse tells the story of a pastoral situation he encountered in his ministry. A man was interested in pursuing marriage with the young lady he was dating, but was holding back because of guilt and shame surrounding some sins from his youth; he was concerned about falling back into his old ways, and hurting his beloved.

Barnhouse writes, “So I told this young man that I had dealt with another young man who had also lived a life of sin prior to his conversion, but had then married a Christian woman to whom he later confided (briefly) some things about his past. And he said that, after he did this, she kissed him and said, ‘Bob, I want you to understand something very plainly. I know my Bible well, and I know something of the workings of Satan. And although I know you are a thoroughly converted man, I also know that you have an old nature to which Satan will appeal.

‘The day may come – I pray it never will – but it may, when you shall succumb to temptation and fall into sin. Immediately the devil will tell you that you have ruined everything, that you might as well continue in sin, and that above all you shouldn’t tell me because it will hurt me. But I want you to know that this is your home, Bob, and this is where you belong. And I want you to understand that there is full pardon and forgiveness in advance for any evil that may come into your life.’”

As Dr. Barnhouse told this story, the young man sat with his head lowered into his hands. When he had reached the end, the young man lifted his head and reverently said, “My God, if anything could ever keep a man on the straight and narrow, that would be it.”

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. None.

– Tom

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