According to the New Testament, if anyone is in Hell they there despite the following graces offered to us all by God.
John 12:32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”
-If anyone is in Hell, they are there despite the fact that at the cross, Jesus drew them to himself.
Romans 3:23-24 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
_ The message in this passage is that every last one of us is justified. The easiest way to understand what the word justification means is to say that if I am justified God has made it just as if we never sinned. Therefore, if anyone is in hell, they are there despite the reality that God has made it just like they never sinned
Romans 5:6-7 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
-If anyone is in hell they are there despite the fact that Christ died for them straight in the face of their sin.
Romans 5:15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
-Surely, the work as Christ is at least as powerful as the work of the forces of darkness. Therefore, if anyone is in Hell, they are there despite the overflowing grace of God.
Romans 5:18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.
-In case we missed it Chapter 3, Paul repeats the same idea in Chapter 5. We have all been justified. Therefore, for the second time, if anyone is in hell they are there despite the fact that God justified them.
That means that when this passage says there is condemnation for anyone. So the answer to the question how does Jesus remove the earthly, grievous tendency to behave
Romans 5:21…So that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
-The reign of Jesus Christ our Lord is obviously more sweepingly inclusive and powerful than the reign of death.
In California, generally speaking you will not go to jail if you obey the law. This situation is different. It is not just that I do not have to go to jail if I obey, God has completely and absolutely torn down the jail. No one is condemned. We all are permanently connected to God.
In the Bible death is separation. A picked rose is a dead rose. The rose only can remain alive if it remains connected to the plant. If it remains connected it will bear fruit.
Who delivers me from this Body of death? Thanks be to God, Jesus does. How does Jesus do it? By removing the separation that used to be between me and God. Jesus Delivers me by taking condemnation completely out of the world.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
When I tried to please God through my self discipline on an “outside- in” basis I failed. If we live in conscious contact with God and surrender myself to God I gradually learn to live like God. The trials of life daily given to God produce in me the life of God. When I abide in Christ, even my trials change me from the inside out.
Here is my take on the Romans 8 idea of no condemnation.
1.The the past and the present and future does not condemn me.
“ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
All things are not good. My father’s suicide when I was 15 was not good. However, given to God that which was evil in my life has worked to my great advantage as I try to serve God. The reality is that God is so good and so creatively powerful, that He can use whatever I give to him.
2. The Future does not condemn me.
“ We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
I will never be separated from God’s love. I am in tears today because I am separated from one of my daughters. I do not see it as her fault nor do I see it as my fault. It has just happened. I grieve over the loss of closeness with her every day of my life. But I am not without hope. I grieve for the mother my mother was created to be, but I am not without hope. She waits for me perfected into her full womanly potential. The day is coming when all of us will be united together and perfected in God’s love.
3.God the Father does not condemn me. God planned, and brought to pass my salvation.
4. God the Holy Spirit does not condemn me. The Spirit prays for my serenity and joy every second of every day.
5. Jesus does not condemn me. He died for me.
6. Mankind can not condemn me. If I borrow five dollars from my dear friend Russ and a day later he says I forgive you your debt no human being can say I still owe Russ five dollars. In the same way if God says my debt of sin is forgiven no human has a voice in the matter.
..Then comes the great question.
“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns?
The answer is no one can bring a charge against us. There is no condemnation. It has been completely consumed by the grace and love of God.
Then follows a magnificent testimony to God’s love.
” Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I love the phrase “And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s tenderly loved children.” That’s why a few chapters later Paul says,
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”
It is by the mercies of God I surrender. God’s Justice, or power scares me away. Gods mercy allows me to surrender myself to God.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
To whom is God’s will perfect? It is certainly perfect to God. The surprise I keep discovering is that God’s will is perfect to me.
A few things about this passage in closing.
The first is I have no hope of being able to surrender my will and my life over to the care of God until I have discovered how merciful God is.
The second is I am in the process of discovering that God’s will is not only perfect in His eyes, God’s will, as it is turning out in my life, perfect in my eyes too. That is why I am being taught to pray exclusively for knowledge of his will and for the ability to carry it out.
The third is that the power of sin is the fear of death or separation from God, or as Paul puts it in 1Cor 15: “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.”
The fourth is that I know I am no different than anyone else. Deep down in side I believe that if everyone is not saved then no one is. For me to understand limitless grace for me, I need to understand every man woman and child is the is the recipient of limitless grace whether they know it or not or want it or not.