Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Hebrews 10:16, 17 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
God created Adam and Eve in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26, 27). Man’s spiritual nature was righteous (morally blameless/measuring up to God’s standard of moral perfection) and holy (sinless; pure; set apart for God). This was man’s standing before God and what he was conscious of. What is moral, (what is right or wrong, good or evil), comes from God’s character and nature. This was lost when sin and spiritual death entered their spiritual being in the Fall (Romans 5:12). God’s goal in redemption was to restore both righteousness and holiness within man’s nature.
Being made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) restores our standing before God where we are no longer under the condemnation that passed upon the human race because of Adam’s sin and the nature of sin within man. Condemnation carries the idea of being under judgment for wrongdoing; a verdict being against us because of a transgression; irreversible punishment and impending doom. It is like being on death row with no chance of parole, no hope of reprieve, and awaiting our sentence. Since Jesus paid the price by being made sin for us and the judgment for sin was upon Him we are made righteous in God’s sight and no longer under a condemning sentence.
Condemnation is not the same as conviction which is still possible for a Christian to experience. In the New Covenant, Hebrews 10:16, 17 says, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” The morality of God’s character, will, and nature inscribed on Adam’s heart in innocence but destroyed by his sin is restored in the new covenant of grace. The moral law from God’s character that was formerly written on tables of stone under the law God gave Moses that is reinscribed in our hearts in the regeneration of the Holy Ghost. The Old Testament prefiguring of God’s intent to do this is seen in the Ark of the Covenant that housed the tables of the covenant (Hebrews 9:4). The ark was where the Presence and Glory of God was and it was placed in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle. Our body is now a living temple and tabernacle. God’s laws have been written upon our hearts and minds (Hebrews 10:16).
God’s laws have been internalized or written in our hearts and because of that we experience conviction, guilt, and reproof when we break God’s moral laws. We have a conscience that when it is fully informed by the Word of God it can accuse or excuse us (Romans 2:15). This isn’t bad but good because it tells us something is wrong we need to fix. I say this is good guilt because it lets us know a problem exists that needs attention, like an oil indicator light in a car that flashes. It is flashing because something needs attention, it is time to go aside and drive no further. Get it fixed. What if we were driving and the oil indicator light starts to flash and we get angry, take out a hammer and bash the indicator light with it. The whole engine will eventually lock up. This is what many Christians do when they fight their conscience or bash their conscience. We’re supposed to keep a tender conscience (Acts 23:1, 24:16; 2 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Timothy 1:19).
We also have a new nature within us to enable us to live up to God’s moral standards of righteousness and holiness which is Christ-likeness. We can live righteous and holy lives because under grace it is our new nature. Ephesians 4:24 says, “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” As we walk in the Spirit and allow our Christ-like nature to rule us we will always fulfill God’s moral law in our behavior (Romans 8:2-4).