How do you see yourself in relation to God? Do you go around always feeling, at least slightly, guilty? Do you ‘live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud’? (v.1, MSG).
This is not how you are meant to live as a Christian. You are a child of God, deeply loved, accepted and empowered by his unconditional love for you. He wants you to enjoy freedom from guilt and condemnation and to experience an intimacy of relationship with him, even closer than the best parent/child relationship.
The moment you receive Jesus the past is dealt with. You receive complete forgiveness. The barrier between you and God has been removed. Paul writes, ‘There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (v.1). You are set free from the law of sin and death (v.2). Although the law was good, it was powerless to save us because of our sinful nature (v.3a). So, God sent Jesus to die for us as a sin offering (v.3b). Jesus took away all your sins – past, present and future.
Now, in the present, you can enjoy life in the Spirit. You no longer live ‘according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit’ (v.4). The Holy Spirit leads you to stop setting your mind on ‘what that [sinful] nature desires’ but rather to set your mind on ‘what the Spirit desires’ (v.5). This leads to ‘life and peace’ (v.6). Paul is not saying that you will be perfect, but rather that ‘even though you still experience all the limitations of sin – you yourself will experience life on God’s terms’ (v.10, MSG). This is possible because right now the Spirit of God lives in you (v.9).
Abba Father, thank you for the amazing privilege of being your child. Thank you that your Spirit living within me testifies with my spirit that I am your child. Thank you that my future is secure – that I am your heir and co-heir with Christ.