Romans 8:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 8:1, NIV: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Romans 8:1, ESV: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1, KJV: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:1, NASB: Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1, NLT: So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1, CSB: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus,

What does Romans 8:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Romans 8 is one of the most powerful and popular chapters in all the Bible. In it, Paul describes with great detail what it means to live as Christian, both now and for eternity. The chapter begins, as well, with one of the most comforting statements in all the Bible.

The previous chapter ended with Paul crying out in frustration about his wretchedness and asking who would deliver him from his "body of death." He answered by giving thanks "to God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 7:25). Now he states absolutely why the gospel is such good news for all who believe.

The Greek words translated as "there is therefore now no," as in the ESV, are very emphatic. The literal phrasing is Ouden ara nyn katakrima, which accomplishes two things. First, it ties this statement to the claim made in Romans 7:25, according to the word "therefore." Second, it definitively states a permanent, present, and complete lack of "condemnation," from a Greek word meaning "a sentence" or "penalty." In crystal-clear language, the Bible indicates there is absolutely no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. None. Zero. Paul's statement leaves no room for even a tiny bit of condemnation to sneak in.

In short, if you are "in Christ Jesus," God will never, ever condemn you for any sin whatsoever. The condition of this statement, however, is crucial: salvation is for those who place their faith in Christ (Romans 3:23–26). There is no other way (Acts 4:12), and those who reject this salvation will not be rescued from condemnation (John 3:18).

How can this be? Paul has already built the case in chapters 3—5 of this letter to the Romans. When we place our faith in Christ, God so closely identifies us with His Son that He gives us credit for Jesus' sinless, righteous life, and He accepts Jesus' death as payment for our death-deserving sin. Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:21: "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

So if God is judging us on the basis of Jesus' righteousness, how could we ever be condemned? God would never condemn Jesus, so He will never condemn those who are seen by God as being in Christ. And how do we come to be "in Christ"? Only by faith (Romans 5:1, Ephesians 2:8–9).