Don't Misunderstand "Condemnation"

Christians must understand the accurate meaning of "Condemnation" to avoid "Cheap Grace" attitudes and misunderstandings.

What does Romans 8:1 mean when it says Christians are under "no condemnation"? Some people use this verse to claim that Christians need not be concerned about our sins because we're forgiven.

Two things help us accurately understand this verse:

1. The meaning of condemnation.

The Greek word katakrima translated condemnation is only found three times in Scripture (Romans 5:16; Romans 5:18; Romans 8:1).  It's always used to describe final, permanent condemnation. Genuine Christians will not be condemned to hell.

2. The full teaching of Scripture. 

However, multiple Bible passages explain how sin damages our lives. Christians are given many instructions in the New Testament for living lives worthy of our calling (Ephesians 4:1; Romans 12:1-2). We understand that we are in a process of renewal, "putting off" our old sin nature (Ephesians 4:22-24).

No matter what we’ve done, we will be in heaven with the Lord. But God's Fatherly love compels Him to punish and discipline us here on earth (Hebrews 12).(1)  

And our love for God compels us to deal deliberately with our sins (John 14:23-24).

If someone has no concern for their sins, it is an indication that they don't know the Lord (1 John 3:1-10; Romans 6). 


(1) Reading about the forgiveness of David in 2 Samuel 12 will clarify this point. Note that God fully forgave David, but his sin brought him both punishment and consequences. 

Christians must understand the accurate meaning of "Condemnation" to avoid "Cheap Grace" attitudes and misunderstandings.

Bible Love Notes


  1. Is worshipping on Sunday breaking God's Sabbath commandment instead of Saturday Worship that many are explaining by stating Good Friday, Jesus resting on Saturday, then rising on Sunday. They claim that Saturday was the original Sabbath day according this mentioned facts. Thanks, Diane

    1. Hi Diane, Some Christians feel strongly about a Saturday Sabbath, and we should respect their convictions. But a Saturday Sabbath is not commanded under the New Covenant. The Old Testament Sabbath was observed from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. If a Christian chooses to rest and worship during that time out of respect for God, that's fine. If they feel doing so makes them better than those who worship on another day, they are wrong and acting as if we are still under the Old Testament laws.

      Christians are commanded to meet together, but no particular day is mentioned (Hebrews 10:25). The fourth commandment is the only commandment not re-commanded in the New Testament. The principle still exists (a day set apart for rest and worship), but the day is not specified.

      Mark 2:27 tells us that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. This means the Sabbath was created by God to provide weekly rest and worship for man. It was designed for our well-being, not as a legalistic duty.

      Hebrews 4 discusses the Sabbath, explaining that Christians have entered a permanent Sabbath rest. Every day is a Sabbath to the Christian. Exodus 20:8-11 explains that the Sabbath is connected to the seventh day of creation. Hebrews 4 also makes this connection when it says that Christians have entered their Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4:3-4).

      Any day we choose to have a worship service is a good day. The Galatians were rebuked for thinking they must obey rules about days (Galatians 4:9-10).

      We must follow our conscience regarding the Sabbath, but we must not condemn our brother for holding a different view:

      "So don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths." ~ Colossians 2:16

      Romans 14:5 tells us it’s a personal preference, not a command.

      Satan would like to divide Christians over this and other non-essential issues. Let's not let him!

  2. Thanks Gail for your quick respond and giving me clearer insight. God bless, and reading your biblelovenotes daily strengths my walk with God.