I find myself apologizing a lot, not always for something I have done, but often for what I am not able to do. I feel bad when I am a burden to others because of my injuries. I always want to do the right thing, and pull my own weight, but I am just not physically capable. This is similar to the frustration that Paul felt in Romans 7:19-25. He wanted to do the right thing too, but he found that he often did the very thing that he didn’t want to do, because his sinful nature was battling against him.
We can, however, both be assured and encouraged by Romans 8:1. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Yes, there are natural consequences for our mistakes, our weaknesses and our sins. And there are times of trial that we must face even though we did nothing to deserve them. But there are no situations in which God is punishing us. None, zero, zilch. I believe that God does teach us through the situations we face, and helps us grow to become more like Christ through them, but this is not punishment. All punishment for our sins was paid for by Jesus on the cross. We are now co-heirs with Christ to the kingdom of God. We are Christ’s brothers and sisters, children of God our Father. Just as God was pleased with Jesus in II Peter 1:17, He is pleased with us. He loves us more than we can fully understand.
That is not to say that God is pleased with the sins we keep committing. It does not mean that we don’t deserve condemnation, but it does mean that the price for our sin has been paid. If we accept Christ’s sacrifice, and we are in Christ Jesus, then His Spirit lives in us. If we yield ourselves to the Spirit, we will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, (Galatians 5:22-23) and we will want to avoid sinning, just as Paul did. If we live according to the Spirit, we will have life and peace. (Romans 8:6)