There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
There is a well-known real estate maxim that lists the three most important characteristics of any property: “Location, location, and location.” This famous real estate maxim holds true in the Bible, as well.
In the Old Testament in particular leaving Israel is seen as departing from God, and returning to Israel represents one’s returning to God. We notice this principle in the story of Ruth, among others. There is a notable difference in Naomi and Ruth’s experience once they move from pagan Moab to Bethlehem (which means the “house of bread”).
“Location, location, and location.” This famous real estate maxim holds true in the Bible, as well.
Likewise, Solomon would pray in dedication of the temple, “If your people Israel are defeated before the enemy because they have sinned against you, and they turn again and acknowledge your name and pray and plead with you in this house, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them again to the land that you gave to them and to their fathers” (2 Chronicles 6:24-25).
But this is not an exclusively Old Testament concept. In the New Testament, the same truth is stressed — only now the emphasis is not on physical location but on where one’s faith is planted! It is for this reason that Paul writes in our text that there is no condemnation for those in Christ!
Are you in Christ, by faith? Location is everything.
This is why Peter would also write: “[Christ] himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:24-25).
So the way to return to “the house of bread” in New Testament terms — as faithful Naomi and Ruth found in the Old — is by trusting in God’s Redeemer alone for salvation. Jesus tells us in his own words that we must partake of his person and work by faith: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life” (John 6:47-48).
Where do you find yourself today? Are you trusting in the provision, power, or protection of man-centered solutions to life’s problems, or are you resting in the finished work of Christ at the cross, on behalf of sinners? Are you in Christ, by faith? Location is everything.