How can there be no condemnation if Christians can sin?


I've been trying to fit Romans 8:1 and I John 1:7-10. We know that if we walk in the light then we can ask for the forgiveness of our sins and they are cleansed. How does Romans 8:1 come into play?  If we sin, we are separated from God. If we die in our sins we stand to be condemned, but Romans 8:1 says there is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and for those who are called according to His purpose.

I know it doesn't contradict because I know James 5:19-20 shows we can lose our salvation and that would be condemnation.

I am just trying to fit those verses together. Thanks for your help.


"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:1).

When you see the word "therefore" you have reached a conclusion based on what was stated before. What came before was Paul's discussion about the difficulty the Law (the Old Testament) place a believer in. "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin" (Romans 7:14). The Law justly condemned sin, but it could not free a man from sin. That did not come until Christ. "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin" (Romans 7:24-25).

By saying "no condemnation" Paul is stating that now -- in the age of the church -- there is no eternal condemnation for those who have accepted Christ's gift -- those who are in Christ and who walk according to the Spirit.

I John 1:7-2:1 covers the fact that we don't always walk according to the Spirit consistently.

"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 1:7-2:1).

Unlike the Old Law, the Law of Christ does not leave us in condemnation when we sin. It offers us a way out of sin.