“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
— Romans 8:1-2
In high school, I thought that owning a car was the pinnacle of personal freedom. Thus, it was my primary goal in life. When I was 15, I bought a little Ford truck that cost less than an iPhone 11. However cheap the vehicle, I felt like a whole new man behind the wheel. I saw myself taking cross-country road trips, going on moderately-priced dates, and driving down winding backroads with my windows down and Rascal Flats on the radio. However, I quickly learned that all my fantasies were fictional.
With a car came a strict curfew. Not just inflicted by my mother, but by the government. I had to be home before sundown. This was the exact opposite of the freedom I imaged, so I foolishly rebelled. One Saturday night, I checked my phone to see that I was already 20 minutes past curfew. Did I immediately call my mother, hop in my car, and responsibly drive home? Nope. I thought, “Well, I have already broken curfew, so I am going to stay out. My mom will be furious regardless.” One hour past, I was still there. Two hours past, I was sticking it out. Nearly three hours and twelve phone calls past, and I hopped in my car to drive home.
While driving home, I saw a number I didn’t recognize pop up on my phone. I picked it up as my heart skipped a beat. It was the police. Turns out my mother wasn’t merely mad, she was legitimately worried. Immediately, I felt like a massive bag of garbage. I explained to them that I was on my way home. After sitting in the drivers seat wallowing in guilt for five minutes, I went inside to confront my mother. When I walked into the house, she didn’t yell. She didn’t reprimand me. She didn’t burn my car to the ground. She just said, “I am happy you’re home. I was worried sick.” Then she went to bed. I felt like my heart stepped on a lego.
I didn’t even want to see my mother for weeks after that. I wasn’t angry; I was ashamed. My guilt was too strong. I just wanted to withdraw and hide. That is what sin almost always does — sin sends us into hiding.
After committing the first sin in the garden, Adam and Eve tried to hide from God. Then God visited the garden and asked, “Where are y’all?” Of course God knew where they were — this wasn’t an interrogation, it was an invitation. God was inviting them to come out of hiding. This is always how God responds to us in our sin. He says, “I know you feel guilty, I know you messed up, but I want to restore our relationship.” Even though they experienced punishment, God also gave them a promise. He promised to make everything right. Romans teaches that Jesus was the “the last Adam” who came to earth to restore our relationships with God and his people (Romans 5:12-17).
That is good news for us. There is no condemnation for you or me. Simply put, that means that God says you’re set free. Christians are set free from sin, guilt, shame, and hiding. Yes, your sin makes you want to go into hiding, but God invites you out. He