The final verse of Charles Wesley’s “And Can It Be That I Should Gain?” provides a fitting climax to all that has gone before:
No condemnation now I dread,
Jesus, with all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, thru Christ, my own.
“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). “Who is he that condemneth?” Not Christ! “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (v. 34).
As in our text, we are now alive through Christ’s work on the cross, giving us a standing far beyond our comprehension. “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him” (Colossians 2:9-10). The song calls Him our “living Head.” Peter calls Him a “living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. . . . The same is made the head of the corner” (1 Peter 2:4-7).
In response to His love, we “put off concerning the former conversation [way of living] of the old man . . . And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Dressed in His righteousness, “let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day” (2 Timothy 4:8). JDM