“So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
As the seas swallowed up the chariots of their slavemaster, the Israelites underwent a change of rule. They no longer were under the ownership of Pharaoh, but under the care of their God and Father.
Even as they complained against their God in the wilderness headed towards the promised land, their identity as His people did not change. Even as they cast a golden calf to worship instead of God, their identity did not change. And even as they stood at the border of their promised land, deliberating whether to turn around and follow their own fear back into the wilderness, their identity did not change.
They, in all their stumbling and sinning, were still no longer slaves to a master of death but heirs and servants to a King of life.
Romans 8:1 is one of the best go-to passages for assurance of salvation. We often struggle with our security in Christ when our old master of sin is close at hand – when we fall back into patterns of lust, when we see how much resentment we harbor towards our own, when worldliness becomes an indulgence.
We often hear it said that our desires are changed as a Christian, and that we no longer will desire the things of the world. This is true, but it is simultaneously true that we will be tempted and find ourselves pursuing our old slavemaster. We hate it within ourselves, we feel deep grief when it is revealed to us what we have done, but it is a lifelong battle for the Christian (see Paul’s lament in Romans 7:15-19).
But here is the victorious battle won, that at the end of all our wrestlings the good news of our new King and His commitment to rule and keep us stands: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Are you in Christ, believer? Has He freed you from sin and death, granting you clothing of righteousness through the gift of His faith?
His crucifixion and resurrection stand. Your slavemaster is dead. You are saved.