“Whenever you see a therefore in Scripture, you need to see what it’s there for”, Dr Charles Woodbridge
would say with great enthusiasm as he stood there in the pine pavillion. His voice would echo from below and
carry all the way to the top row; the stairs and seating ascending ever upward. He was the Bible teacher at
Word Of Life camp in Schroon Lake, New York in the 60’s. Tall and thin with white hair, he had great
charisma. His way of getting through to the teenagers on the island often included humor. He’d smile wide
and frequently, and somehow we suddenly understood the Scripture he was teaching. Nestled in the
towering pines in the Adirondack mountains, the setting was the perfect venue for presenting Christ to teens
who always required a lot of entertaining.
Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”.
The song written with those words of Scripture goes through my head often. The melody is catchy. What
might it mean for everyday people like us aside from what it’s saying? Nothing. It means exactly what it
says. Usually the word “therefore” would reference a prior thought, and it appears that the apostle Paul’s
“therefore” this time may be a follow-up to the previous chapter where Paul goes into detail about our
unfortunate sinful condition.
Since that one perfect summer evening in 1960 when I first trusted Jesus as my Savior at that wonderful
Word Of Life island, I’ve never looked back. Jesus paid the price for me, bought me with His own blood, and
loves me no less than anyone else. I am washed in the blood of the Lamb, and Jesus and I have come to
know each other intimately.
We all can mess up and make the same poor choices over and over. We all can sin. But being true to the
person God created you to be is not one of them. Thank you Jesus for acknowledging that truly some of us
are born gay from the womb. There was never a moment in my life that I have been anything other. To
quote my friend Sue Foy, “If gay were a choice, there’d be no gays. It’s just too hard.” Thank you Sue for
your simplistic candor.
Jesus, I know that I am saved and preserved unto salvation, and belong to none other than You. There is
therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Shame on those who insist otherwise.